Regarding "Teachers wise to compromise on pay" [Editorial, Jan. 31]: If people feel that the misery of Long Island taxes are entirely because of teachers' salaries then think again. The average salary of a public schoolteacher in Nassau and Suffolk counties is $70,685, according to the website LongIslandSchools.com.

That number is high, but I don't think it's extreme. Perhaps it's the high number of public school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties (124) and the red tape that binds every one of them. The bottom line is administrative redundancy. We must consolidate and trim.

Stop blaming the workers. Some U.S. auto manufacturers tried to do the same thing with the latest financial crisis, blaming the woe of our country on autoworkers making about $29 an hour. Automakers, too, got fat with regard only for themselves. Wake up, people.

Richard Liverano

Centereach

This is in response to "Senior teachers are heart of school" [Letters, Jan. 31]. The writer said that if school districts offered no reward for seniority, then senior teachers would be able to "look for the highest salary and leave the district without any sense of loyalty." That's not entirely accurate.

Senior teachers are being paid well over $100,00 a year. Most have accumulated the maximum number of sick days allowed by contract. In our school district, if a teacher retires in the first year of eligibility, that teacher receives $40,000 plus half of accumulated sick days at full pay. For senior teachers who leave, this can amount to over $100,000.

Most districts have no interest in hiring teachers at other than entry-level salaries. This, combined with the loss of substantial retirement incentives earned over many years of teaching, would make it most unlikely that senior teachers could leave for higher pay.

David K. Winslow

Brookhaven

Editor's note: The writer is a former principal and teacher in the South Country School District.

I'm a public employee who's tired of all the whining from the private sector. When I first started doing clerical work in 1968, no one wanted public employees' jobs. I was paid $129 every other week.

I am not one of those employees who will be retiring with a $165,000-a-year pension. I will be lucky to receive $35,000. I would like to collect the pension I worked hard for. Yes, I am sorry for the private sector workers' loss of investments, but I lost investments, too.

Let's all work together in this horrible economy, because it's going to get worse, and we poor people have to stick together. Instead of punishing the hard workers, how about going after the abusers of the system?

June Votava

Yaphank

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