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Voice: Check the facts before soliciting help from the community

January 17, 2002

Dear Mr. Thomas James Hepburn:

So you are looking to the community of Imperial for assistance in getting a pay raise? Well, I am a member of the community and I surely don't support you.

Yeah, at first I was behind the teachers. Give the poor teacher a pay raise. They deserve it. How can that school board be so cheap as to not even give the COLA?

But whoa! Wait a minute! I found out your organization was offered 8 percent and you actually, that's right you, stood up in the boardroom and turned the offer down and informed the board that the teachers were very upset with the offer.

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Then to top that one off, your organization just came off a two-year contract that consisted of an 11 percent pay raise.

Now I know how you teachers are so smart because you went to college and all that. But you are trying to tell the community that you have not received the full amount of the state COLA. I would like to challenge anyone in this valley to tell me that the state gave their business a 5.5 percent COLA two years in a row. I am very positive the state is not giving 8 percent this year. The federal government is only giving a little more than 4 percent.

We might just be a bunch of parents to you but we are also working members of this community. Let's get this straight now. I work 240 days a year to earn my salary and you work 180 days. So tell me who is making more per hour if both of us make $35,000 per year. Oh, sorry. I forgot you're not a math teacher. Go ask one.

With the economy in the dumps and the governor making huge cuts in education, your group actually has the nerve to demand more money. The only ones that will suffer are the students, because when the cuts come down, where are they going to cut? Because you and your group want more, that means there is less for the students, right?

I was very concerned when my children came home and told me the teachers were all wearing black clothes and on the days they weren't wearing black they wore black ribbons. You cannot tell me that has not affected their education.

Obviously you are more concerned with money than the education of your students. You are so concerned with the fact that teachers are leaving for higher-paying jobs with different school districts. Open your eyes and brain. They get paid more because they are bigger school districts and they get more money from the government for the average daily attendance, so they can afford it!

I could go on and on but it just makes me angry that you can compromise my child's education with your greedy, self-serving attitude. One thing I really wish you would do is check your facts before you try to solicit support from the community.

ELYDIA GONZALEZ

Imperial

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