Illinois already has almost $100 billion in unfunded liabilities for its public sector pension plans which include the Dixon, Illinois teachers, of course. That's over $6,000 for each man, woman and child of Illinois that's owed. And increasing the pay of those Dixon teachers will only increase the state's unfunded liability, and the debt owed by each Illinois citizen as well.
Increasing teacher pay will also increase what the taxpayers of Dixon, the state of Illinois and our nation as a whole have to pay to meet the new and higher payroll requirements for the Dixon teachers, too.
So if it isn't 'just' about money, then why are the teachers not teaching and the students not in the classroom?
The Illinois based WHBF-TV station reported this about the current situation in Dixon:
"The two sides haven't come to an agreement yet, but there are some new developments in what's going on in Dixon.
(Sunday) there's a special parent meeting at the VFW in town.
Superintendent Michael Juenger will be answering questions posed by parents, many tired of keeping their kids out of the classroom.
"They're missing out on a lot you know, sports, and friends, it's hard on them," said parent Nicole Stamm.
According to the event's organizer, at least two board members will also be coming.
"Kids need to get back in school and you know, so they don't lose more time," said Stamm.
Last night the school board posted on their website about several major issues that remain unresolved in the dispute, like pay.
It said teachers are asking for a 4% raise now, and for the next three years, while the board is offering a 2% raise this year, and 2% and under for the next three years.
But teachers said it's not just about the money.
"In reality what we're doing is right, it's in the best interest of our students and obviously we want to get everyone back to school' (including) the students and the teachers," said DEA spokesperson Dolph Ricks. . . .
Tomorrow before the parent meeting, there are more negotiations between teachers and the school board at noon."
When the kids get back to school, they'll probably recite the Pledge of Allegiance which says in part, "I pledge allegiance .... with liberty and justice for all."
So here's my question. What is justice for all in this case for the parents, students and taxpayers of Dixon, the state of Illinois and the U.S. as a whole?
And to better focus on the question of it's not 'just about money' as it relates to the phrase 'justice for all' in the Pledge of Allegiance, let's repeat the quote from the unnamed teachers hereinabove, "Teachers said it's not just about the money."
Who are they kidding? Of course, it's about the money. It's not about "liberty and justice for all." That's for sure.
And it's also 'just' about getting more money from the taxpayers of Dixon, who already have been fleeced to the tune of $54 million by a local government employee, and which money they don't have at the ready for increased teacher pay.
And it's also 'just' about the money that the taxpayers of the state of Illinois don't have. They're already almost $100 billion behind the public sector pension 8-ball liability.
And it's also 'just' about the money that the 'sequestered' taxpayers of the U.S. as a whole don't have at the ready either.
And besides, what good are public sector unions, and why do their members pay dues, if it's not 'just' about getting their members more money?
And if the unions do 'good work' and get their members pay increases by striking and keeping the kids out of school, what good are they doing for their fellow citizens and taxpayers (local, state and federal), students and parents?
It makes no sense to me.
But what do I know? I'm not a teacher, a union leader, a city of Dixon resident or an Illinois taxpayer.
That said, I am a U.S. taxpayer. Thus, my money is at stake, even though it's not 'just about money' to the teachers in Dixon.
That's my take.