Thousands of Sharon Wests
Many Rhode Islanders surely share the sentiments that Sharon West expresses from East Providence:
Recently, a consultant hired by the committee reported that the average teacher makes $69,000 a year and receives benefits costing $26,000 annually.
Yes, $95,000, and many make even more. The consultant stated that this amounts to an hourly wage of $93. Please bear in mind that currently the School Department is $4 million in the red and sinking deeper every day.
As average homeowners, as well as renters, struggle to pay utility bills, car payments, the mortgage or the rent, buy groceries and pay medical bills, these 180-day-a-year workers want still more. Teachers, look around! These folks are valiantly struggling day by day to provide basic necessities for their families.
We, the working stiffs who pay for everything, need some relief, not further plundering.
The question is whether there are enough of us to force change. Can we (or hard experience) shake enough of our neighbors out of their apathy to counterbalance the well entrenched interests that bind the state? Let’s hope the isolated reform movements that have emerged (notably in the East Bay, for some reason) are the tip of the spear, not the rear guard of an exodus.