HomeNewsLetters to the Editor: June 11, 2014

Letters to the Editor: June 11, 2014

Philadelphia’s prized public employees

For those of us who choose to enter urban public education, we don’t expect to get rich. The fact that we serve our fellow citizens and, in some small way, contribute toward alleviating society’s ills is often reward in itself. In exchange, we also like to see every now and then that society appreciates our efforts.

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Unfortunately, the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the School Reform Commission continue to denigrate and degrade us every chance that they get. When we ask for librarians to nurture a childhood spark of inquisitiveness, we get layoff notices and shuttered doors. When we ask for counselors to help guide society’s most vulnerable members through the treacherous waters of American inequity, we are given platitudes about how the money was given away in tax breaks in order to spur economic growth. When we dare point our finger at a government that refuses to invest in our children, they shrug their shoulders and tell us it’s our fault for seeking a decent living wage.

And what of our “ludicrous” wages? Wages so high, they claim, that the SRC is seeking to forego any cost-of-living adjustments and, in fact, demand that we give back 13 percent of it?

If salary is a measure of one’s worth, then society must despise the educators of our city’s youth. Recently, TWU Local 234, the union that represents the city’s bus drivers, was offered an agreement by SEPTA that would give them a 5 percent cost-of-living wage increase over the next two years.

What are Philadelphia educators left to believe? What should we think when one predominantly state-supported entity gets so much funding that it can afford to offer its public employees a 5 percent pay raise over the next two years, but the other expects its public employees to take a 13 percent pay cut? Clearly, there are priorities and these priorities do not rest with our children. Perhaps it’s time the teachers of this city abandon their sense of civic duty and their desire to inspire the next generation. Perhaps it’s time for them to exchange their numerous academic degrees for a driver’s license and a place behind the steering wheel.

Maybe then, we’ll finally get some appreciation.

George Bezanis

Fox Chase

The PPD is broken

Police Commissioner Ramsey, stop running the Philadelphia Police Department the Chicago way. You were given a raise by Mayor Michael Nutter to stay in Philadelphia and take charge and restore respect to the higher command personnel.

Instead, you keep people in high command who have been accused of committing crimes, and you say they only made a mistake. The Pennsylvania Crimes Code would say different, commissioner. When you hear young police officers calling the commissioner and the higher-ups Al Capone and his under bosses, you know there is a morale problem.

Commissioner Ramsey, do the right thing. The men and women of the police department want to look up to their supervisors, not down on them.

The command structure needs to be changed. The PPD needs to clean out the accused criminals disguised as supervisors. We need to restore pride, integrity and honesty to our higher command.

When that happens, the “thin blue line” will be restored to full strength.

Joseph McAllister

Retired P.P.D

Thank You, Comcast

Well Mr. Iaconelli, the day I agree with you has finally arrived. Comcast has, indeed, done us a favor by blocking the inept Phillies from our homes. The greed, however, belongs to the Phillies, and I think they are currently paying the price of reduced attendance as well as reduced TV ratings.

In blocking out more than half the possible viewers, they took less money in order to keep the satellite providers off the grid as well. This is not only greedy but also very shortsighted.

Oh well, things will get a lot worse for the Phillies before they get better, thanks to Mr. Amaro and top management. I, too, will enjoy the Eagles this fall. Go Eagles!

Joe Orenstein


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