A case for freezing salaries of state workers - and all public employees - is gaining momentum.
Last week, the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester editorially came out in favor of the wage freeze and four Assemblymen, including one from Western New York, called for teachers to skip pay hikes.
Noting many state workers are due for a 4 percent raise in less than two weeks, the Democrat and Chronicle noted many of these employees do not realize how severe our economic downturn has been.
"The overwhelming majority of state and local government employees were insulated from the worst recession since the Great Depression," the Rochester newspaper's editorial said. "That's because at least 70 percent of them were protected by union contracts.
"New York public workers were asked to make fewer sacrifices than public workers practically everywhere in the country. True, (Gov. David) Paterson talked about seeking givebacks from the state's union workers, and he even mumbled about pay cuts and wage freezes. But he never followed through. Meanwhile, in at least 16 states, across-the-board pay cuts were ordered last year."
Teachers are in the same boat, continuing to see pay increases at a time when colleagues are losing their jobs.
According to the state Boards of Education, nearly 15,000 teaching positions could be lost due to tough budget times, including positions in Silver Creek, above.
Which makes you wonder: aren't unions supposed to protect all workers - not just those at the top of the pay scale?