Ditch raises to save jobs?

June 2, 2010 2:10:13 PM PDT
Pay raises or layoffs?

That's the question now facing the biggest teachers union in the country. And for New York City teachers it should be a slam dunk.

But nothing is ever easy.

Mayor Bloomberg today said he wants to avoid laying off 4,400 teachers - and hurting the more than 1 million students in the City - by scrapping plans to give teachers a 2% pay raise.

Now the teachers are protesting. Hard to blame them, or anyone, for being angry about not getting raises. But the taxpayers who foot the bill for all this can easily say, "join the club." Who's getting raises these days? And with the public funding well not just dried up, but seeking moisture deep beneath the surface, is it better to have a job for everyone and forgo raises, or get raises the nearly 80,000 teachers but have 4,400 of your colleagues lose their jobs?

I know how I'd feel knowing that my raise meant 5% of my fellow workers lost their jobs.

Is this just more political wrangling by the Mayor? And if it is, what toll will it take? Or is this the real deal? We'll have the latest, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the latest on the dual crises playing out in the Gulf of Mexico and in Israel. The oil's still flowing in the former; the tensions still mounting in the latter.

And in our health alert tonight, we're taking a closer look at coffee. Full disclosure: Coffee may be my biggest indulgence. But I've often wondered why, when I drink my umpteenth cup of Joe at 9:30 at night to help me stay alert for the 11 p.m. newscast, I don't truly feel the effects of the caffeine.

Certainly not like that first cup in the morning.

And I have always wondered why I can hit the pillow and fall asleep in a nanosecond less than three hours later.

Now I know.

A new study shows that coffee drinkers build up a tolerance for caffeine - much like users of any other drug. And the punch and alertness we coffee lovers look for may not be happening.

Ug.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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