After pushing to secure a 5-percent pay raise for teachers in West Virginia, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has not commented on claims of inflated salaries and left-wing political bias.
“Teachers unions have, as their speakers: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton,” West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They’ve adopted a resolution that forces every endorsed candidate for public office to support free expanded universal health care, free daycare for everyone, and free education.” (RELATED: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice Defends Teachers Pay Raise, Claims It Wasn’t A Union Shakedown)
“That is more of a socialistic agenda. And it seems the Democratic party is going in that direction anyhow,” Carmichael, a Republican, added.
Carmichael claimed in March the West Virginia GOP worked with teachers directly to increase their pay and said union bosses are the real enemy of the state’s classroom teachers.
“We have positioned ourselves to support the teachers in the classroom and all our school service personnel. We have provided the largest aggregated pay increase in the history of the state of West Virginia, without increasing taxes. We recognize they’re underpaid,” he told TheDCNF.
“But I feel we are on the right path — we are supporting our teachers and all our institutions but there is push back at the national level. At the union boss level. I think this is about taking control of the legislature rather than doing the right thing for the people of West Virginia.”
Carmichael said Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, is making almost half a million dollars a year while the teachers she claims to represent are struggling to make ends meet.
“It’s important to differential between the classroom teacher who is incredibly dedicated and the union boss who is oriented towards a more socialist agenda,” Carmichael said. “Randi Weingarten makes $450,000 a year. The average classroom teacher is making in the mid-$40,000’s. Those polices are not what we want.”
TheDCNF sent repeated inquiries to the AFT asking if it had a statement or response to Carmichael’s claims, but it did not return the request for comment in time for press. Carmichael said teachers are not accurately represented by their union counterparts because most of them don’t support a far-left agenda.
“We are focused on generating jobs for our citizens and we believe this is not the right way to go,” Carmichael continued. “I don’t think the average classroom teacher believes that either. I think it’s a Clinton/Obama style agenda that doesn’t create opportunity in our state. President Trump has gone the exact opposite direction and is leading a resurgence of a new economy in our nation. Lower regulation. Lower taxes, more jobs. More opportunity — why would we want to go back?”
“We cannot be more supportive of our classroom teachers,” he concluded. “We have been working with them, to provide the largest pay increase in state history. We did it without a tax increase and we did it all within regular session. I hope people will recognize that.”
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