At Labor Day I give thanks to our teachers’ unions.
Through their advocacy, teachers have gained a voice in securing their rights. Dignity and fairness for our teachers is fundamental to public education. Our union leadership has helped California’s teachers gain the right to be heard. We teachers have spent our lives serving the cause of education. We concern ourselves with the sacred duty of leading children into competency and independent living. Our retirement system is not perfect, but it enables us to enjoy some security in our older years. Our unions continue to fight to keep this benefit for future teachers.
Any teacher who has worked in other state systems faces an unfair hurdle in CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) because participants automatically take a permanent 40 percent cut in Social Security regardless of how many years they may have worked outside California. This is one reason I must return to the workforce to supplement my income at the age of 64. Without union support, teachers would have even bleaker circumstances than they now face.