Featured Letter: Ridiculous demands from New York’s teachers

10/04/2012 6:00 AM |

To the Editor:

It’s disturbing that the New York State United Teachers Union is preparing a lawsuit against the state and its taxpayers for enacting a 2 percent property tax cap.

Make no mistake, this union is a very powerful special interest group with incredible lobbying strength in Albany. That it would initiate a lawsuit to overturn a proposition that was passed to help the overburdened taxpayer in the state — and specifically on Long Island — is a clear indication of its total selfishness and disinterest in the plight of the Long Island homeowner.

Our soaring property taxes are a direct result of the high salaries and prodigious benefits of the vested rank and file of the teachers union and are the single most significant factor in the declining middle class on Long Island and the region’s economic stagnation.

Teachers are being laid off and fresh graduates cannot find teaching positions, not because of the 2 percent tax cap, but because of the power of the unions that have pushed through salary and pension packages that the taxpayer cannot sustain. If the salaries, pensions and benefits were in line with those in the private sector, the school districts would have been in a better position to retain and hire new teachers.

We all know about the greed and lobbying strength of big business, but the same can be said for the state teachers union and other powerful public labor unions. Pick your poison.

Harry Katz, Southold