I'm responding to the Sept. 9 letter "Strike-Happy Pa." from Bob Ebitz of Greensburg. I feel compelled to answer his questions:
1.) "Does receiving more money make a person better at his or her job?" No. People who work full-time jobs should not live in poverty. Public school teachers want to be paid a professional wage for professional work.
2.) "Do you show up at your work's front door for 180 days a year, or 250?" A public school teacher's hours and days at school are only a part of the time they put into their profession. In addition to the actual school time, teachers take student papers home to check and evaluate, develop lesson plans, develop curriculum guidelines, take additional graduate and professional development classes in evenings and summer school, sponsor after-school activities and clubs, coach a variety of athletic teams, chaperone during and after school field trips, attend school board meetings, conduct after-school parent-teacher conferences and tutor students to help them succeed, plus many other things too numerous to list.
3.) "Ever hear of Pennsylvania being called the strike-happy state?" No. Fortunately Pennsylvania public school teachers are working with collective bargaining agreements with various school districts and associations.
4.) "How many years now have our companies gotten workers from other countries to fill jobs rather than your neighbor's kids?" Our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., have allowed foreign workers to displace other highly qualified American workers.
5.) "Should we do what was done years back with the Federal Aviation Administration employees?" No. Why would you want to risk the safety and well-being of America's future?
The writer is a retired member of Boilermakers Local 154 and a retired secondary social studies teacher.