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Chicago public school teachers on strike


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#31 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

Every time I read about events like this, or public education, it disheartens me to see that two of the main problems continue to receive no attention while both sides try to address the symptons (budget, results, etc) rather than the causes.

Like mykevermin said in another thread, the textbook industry is a racket; then there's 'teaching to the test', among other things.

If they would only start addressing these issues, I feel like education could start to improve and even become streamlined, saving money while better preparing students for the modern world.


Addressing causes like poor home environments,etc are difficult.

As far as preparing students for the modern world goes, I think our schools do a very poor job. It seems that the skills and tendencies they reward aren't what people actually need.

#32 slidecage

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:24 PM

Don't even know how to respond to the first part... 'Obesity is a problem so we're gonna assume all you kids are fatasses and not give you lunch or breakfast, even though we're probably the only place you can get/afford any. Sorry'

Where the Fuck do you live? You don't realize keeping kids in school in CHICAGO for god's sake will keep them off the streets/out of trouble?


if they are SO poor and cant afford daycare they couldnt afford SUMMER Camp so what did they do all summer... Just having the news on this morning i already seen 2 or 3 race type stories on this already ..


one had a 14 year old black girl saying i only showed up for school cause i have no where else to go ... the reporter then comes on and goes While white students dont have to worry cause private and charter schools are open
WOOOO I STINK

#33 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:26 PM

So there are thousands of student advocates (in the form of their parents and others), but teachers don't deserve anyone to advocate for them(their union)?


It seems like everyone should have a fairly uniform set of goals:

well-educated children (or a well-educated society for those w/o children)
reasonably-remunerated teachers

I think the teachers unions tend to introduce a different goal: protecting teachers from any possibly negative effects or consequences

I don't think that most parents really want to stiff good teachers, they just don't want to overpay the bad ones. My daughter's teacher last year, for example, was fairly poor at classroom management, consistently distracted, and was not particularly effective. I don't think that she should be paid as well as other teachers who are objectively better at their jobs. I don't think that standardized tests are the best way to measure teacher success, but at least it is relatively easy to implement.

#34 Javery

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:44 PM

It seems like everyone should have a fairly uniform set of goals:

well-educated children (or a well-educated society for those w/o children)
reasonably-remunerated teachers

I think the teachers unions tend to introduce a different goal: protecting teachers from any possibly negative effects or consequences

I don't think that most parents really want to stiff good teachers, they just don't want to overpay the bad ones. My daughter's teacher last year, for example, was fairly poor at classroom management, consistently distracted, and was not particularly effective. I don't think that she should be paid as well as other teachers who are objectively better at their jobs. I don't think that standardized tests are the best way to measure teacher success, but at least it is relatively easy to implement.


Exactly. I don't have a problem with paying good teachers a good salary but there should be consequences if they suck just like every other job out there. I don't think standardized tests is a good measuring stick though - shouldn't the principal know who the bad teachers are just like any boss in any other setting knows who the good and bad workers are?

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#35 RealDeals

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:47 PM

if they are SO poor and cant afford daycare they couldnt afford SUMMER Camp so what did they do all summer... Just having the news on this morning i already seen 2 or 3 race type stories on this already ..


one had a 14 year old black girl saying i only showed up for school cause i have no where else to go ... the reporter then comes on and goes While white students dont have to worry cause private and charter schools are open

Gee IDK, stay at home, play outside, hang out etc. You know like kids usually do. Problem is I, and I know this is crazy so bear with me, believe kids should be in school during the school year and actually have someplace to go without their parents worrying about them. Yeah, I'm a racist commie...
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#36 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:06 PM

They actually use those student evaluations?


They are the sole way teaching is evaluated at almost every university. That's all about teaching that goes in your tenure and promotion packets.

#37 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:09 PM

OMG. Wow.


Keep in mind its going from 5 hours of in class time to 6.5 hours of in class time. Not that they were only at work 5 hours and now only 6.5 hours. It doesn't factor in meetings, prep time before and after the teaching hours, grading things after the day is over etc. etc.

I know you hate teachers as you've posted nothing but negativity about how you think they're overpaid for the amount of work they do compared to you etc., so no need to rehash that shit again.

#38 camoor

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

I hear you dmaul and I'm more sympathetic then I used to be, but I still think that teacher's unions give unions a bad name. They are overpowered and don't serve the interests of the students or even the best teachers. They are easy pickins for folks who want to privatize the entire system.

#39 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:59 PM

They are the sole way teaching is evaluated at almost every university. That's all about teaching that goes in your tenure and promotion packets.

Hmm, I remember at my old school instructors actually evaluated each other as well. Guess it varies, good to know those surveys had at least some impact. I figured they were pointless because students would down rate an instructors evaluation on the basis that the class was "too hard".
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#40 chiwii

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

The average Chicago Public School teacher's salary is over $70,000. That's for 9 months of work. They also get a great pension and benefits. They are either the highest paid or the second highest paid teachers in the country (ahead of or behind NYC, depending on the data being used), but the cost of living in Chicago is nowhere near the COL in NYC.

These teachers certainly aren't underpaid, but they want more - a guaranteed 4% raise every year for the next 4 years.

#41 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:04 PM

I wouldn't teach for all the money in the world, anyone who thinks it's easy it naive as all Fuck.
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#42 KingBroly

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

The average Chicago Public School teacher's salary is over $70,000. That's for 9 months of work. They also get a great pension and benefits. They are either the highest paid or the second highest paid teachers in the country (ahead of or behind NYC, depending on the data being used), but the cost of living in Chicago is nowhere near the COL in NYC.

These teachers certainly aren't underpaid, but they want more - a guaranteed 4% raise every year for the next 4 years.


That does seem pretty outrageous. But I'm curious to know where Chicago ranks in terms of education standards vs. other US cities (NYC, LA, Miami, Philly, etc.) that could give some proper perspective into their salaries.
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#43 Javery

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:18 PM

Keep in mind its going from 5 hours of in class time to 6.5 hours of in class time. Not that they were only at work 5 hours and now only 6.5 hours. It doesn't factor in meetings, prep time before and after the teaching hours, grading things after the day is over etc. etc.

I know you hate teachers as you've posted nothing but negativity about how you think they're overpaid for the amount of work they do compared to you etc., so no need to rehash that shit again.


I certainly don't hate teachers - I just don't like the union and their sense of entitlement. I'd be all for every teacher in NJ getting a huge raise (20%? 30%? 50%?) if they disbanded the union and did away with tenure and the pension and $0 healthcare plans.

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#44 slidecage

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:25 PM

I wouldn't teach for all the money in the world, anyone who thinks it's easy it naive as all Fuck.


my cousin tired to become a teacher but failed the final test . Her parents were pissed that they wasted all that money sending her to school for 4 years for nothing
WOOOO I STINK

#45 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:28 PM

I wouldn't teach for all the money in the world, anyone who thinks it's easy it naive as all Fuck.


I don't think that teaching is an easy job, but there are lots of jobs that aren't easy. The relative difficulty of a job is not the only issue that determines how much the job is "worth".

#46 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:30 PM

I hear you dmaul and I'm more sympathetic then I used to be, but I still think that teacher's unions give unions a bad name. They are overpowered and don't serve the interests of the students or even the best teachers. They are easy pickins for folks who want to privatize the entire system.

Teacher's unions aren't really supposed to serve the interests of students though, that's not what they're there for.

Edited by Clak, 11 September 2012 - 06:38 PM.
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#47 irideabike

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:32 PM

Teacher's unions aren't really supposed to serve the interests of students though, that's not what they're their for.

Correct. That is what the school's board is supposed to be doing...which is usually filled with retired teachers/administration.
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#48 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:37 PM

I don't think that teaching is an easy job, but there are lots of jobs that aren't easy. The relative difficulty of a job is not the only issue that determines how much the job is "worth".

Nope, there's also the relative danger level (pretty low for the most part), amount of training needed to enter the field (pretty high in most areas), experience of the employee, lots of things, including the difficulty of the job. No way in hell would I teach for what some teachers are paid. Lets face it, teachers are taken for granted like a lot of people.
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#49 chiwii

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:45 PM

Teacher's unions aren't really supposed to serve the interests of students though, that's not what they're their for.


This might be true, but is it acceptable?

Most of us are appalled when a business owner or corporation ruthlessly tries to make as money as possible, with no regard for the workers, the environment, etc. Why is it acceptable for a teacher's union to ruthlessly try to get as much money for its members, with no regard for the students, the school system's budget, or the taxpayers?

#50 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:45 PM

I hear you dmaul and I'm more sympathetic then I used to be, but I still think that teacher's unions give unions a bad name. They are overpowered and don't serve the interests of the students or even the best teachers. They are easy pickins for folks who want to privatize the entire system.


I agree. I noted in my first post that unions need to give up more, have less strong tenure etc. But that has to come with better evaluation systems etc. so teachers aren't getting fired for factors they can't control (i.e. kids not hitting test scores as there students were a few grade levels behind when they got them).


Hmm, I remember at my old school instructors actually evaluated each other as well. Guess it varies, good to know those surveys had at least some impact. I figured they were pointless because students would down rate an instructors evaluation on the basis that the class was "too hard".


Of course it will very by university/college. Research universities are huge (so too many instructors to have peer evaluations regularly) and don't place a lot of emphasis on teaching so it's just not a priority.

Smaller universities, and teaching focused colleges will be more likely to do more rigorous evaluation of teachers as that's their main goal.

At research universities the main goal for faculty is publishing research and brining in research grants (as universities skim a ton off the top of these).


I certainly don't hate teachers - I just don't like the union and their sense of entitlement. I'd be all for every teacher in NJ getting a huge raise (20%? 30%? 50%?) if they disbanded the union and did away with tenure and the pension and $0 healthcare plans.


Fair enough. Honestly, tenure isn't really needed for teaching jobs IMO as long as there is some other protection for academic freedom so say schools in the south aren't firing people for teaching evolution or any other controversial topics that fit the curriculum.

That protection is needed, but there needs to be a way to weed out ineffective teachers.

At the college level, the same is pretty much true--though the protections of academic freedom are more important. Curriculum isn't as set (lots of elective courses on whatever a professor's interests are) and knowledge generation requires people to be able to pursue their own research agendas and not be punished if their area is controversial or out of the mainstream in their field.

But even there, as I said before, there needs to be a way to weed out the do nothings who get tenure or promotion to full professor and just waste resources as they stop being productive. At a research university that can be done by just requiring minimum standards of productivity to keep tenure at each 5 year review.

I suppose the same can be done for teaching universities and k-12 of requiring continued demonstration of teaching effectiveness to keep tenure. But again that's trickier as its harder to quantify teaching effectiveness. Where as research it's just publishing enough in decent journals, applying for and getting grants etc. which can be quantified.


As for the other issues. I agree on pensions. Pensions are just a bad idea IMO, and should be replaced by 401k type plans with a generous match. Health care I'm indifferent on. Giving them 0 or low premiums is a way to help compensate for salaries often being lower than many could get in private sector jobs.

I don't think that teaching is an easy job, but there are lots of jobs that aren't easy. The relative difficulty of a job is not the only issue that determines how much the job is "worth".


A big problem in the world today (and pretty much always) is job wages don't reflect the importance of the job to society.

Teachers are incredibly important to society as they have a huge collective influence on the future as they're training the future generations. Yet the highest paying jobs go to things like investment bankers, litigation lawyers, entertainers, athletes etc.

Now I'm not saying teachers should be millionaires, but they should be getting paid more like prosecutors, civil engineers and other key personnel in the public sector at the very least. And with that we should raise education standards for being a teacher (since those other positions often have more than just college degrees). Require a Master's degree that's focused on HOW to teach, to back up the college education that should give them the subject area knowledge in the areas they will teach.

#51 camoor

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:05 PM

I agree. I noted in my first post that unions need to give up more, have less strong tenure etc. But that has to come with better evaluation systems etc. so teachers aren't getting fired for factors they can't control (i.e. kids not hitting test scores as there students were a few grade levels behind when they got them).


I agree. I find the whole topic very frustrating because education is currently a big mess and it in the scene it seems that there are very few players who don't have an ideological axe to grind.

After a certain age I think the kids should either be given an education or vocational training. Policy keeps trying to force all of the kids into a general learning curriculum, let's face facts that some kids were born to be plumbers or electrical engineers.

#52 chiwii

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:10 PM

A big problem in the world today (and pretty much always) is job wages don't reflect the importance of the job to society.

Teachers are incredibly important to society as they have a huge collective influence on the future as they're training the future generations. Yet the highest paying jobs go to things like investment bankers, litigation lawyers, entertainers, athletes etc.

Now I'm not saying teachers should be millionaires, but they should be getting paid more like prosecutors, civil engineers and other key personnel in the public sector at the very least. And with that we should raise education standards for being a teacher (since those other positions often have more than just college degrees). Require a Master's degree that's focused on HOW to teach, to back up the college education that should give them the subject area knowledge in the areas they will teach.


I disagree that teachers should be paid the same as prosecutors and civil engineers. The education and skills required for a teacher are nowhere near those required to be a lawyer or engineer. I'm not just talking about the degree requirements. I'm talking about the specific knowledge that needs to be understood and put into practice.

I also disagree that teachers should need a Master's degree. Some of my best teachers were a few years out of college, with only a Bachelor's degree. I'm not convinced that additional teaching education does much. It seems like the best teachers just have a good combination of knowledge and enthusiasm about their subject, dedication to their job, and a natural talent for interacting with their students.

#53 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:20 PM

Because pay is also a measure of one's worth to society. Which if you look at the highest paid folks in the country, yeah....
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#54 Commander0Zero

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:20 PM

I love how they said children are overweight and fat YET they are opening up the schools for breakfast and lunch... and they go if they didnt the wouldnt have anything to eat... like they never had food all summer

and also love how they are on tv now saying ALL OF THESE KIDS Have nowhere to go WHERE THE HELL DID THEY GO ALL SUMMER THEN

sick of people playing the fucking race card as well .....

heard on tv that all of the black students cant go to school cause of the strike but this does not affect white students cause they go to charter schools ..... ummmm at least here that is 80% the other way...



Some of these children are in disadvantaged neighborhoods and the best quality Breakfast and lunch they get is at school. Schools have done alot all over the country to address the nutrition of the students frankly far more than parents. Let me add it's alot more expensive to eat healthy than you think. As far as where the kids are going now. They probably had care givers that were paid in the summer. During school they are not needed and you can't just drop your kid off when needed alot of times there is a wait list or it's full during this time of year. You realize that the parents that have this issue are hard working people right? And here is some reality , African-American students are more likely to be in the public school system as opposed to say private/charter schools. No race card it is what it is.
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#55 dohdough

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:24 PM

This might be true, but is it acceptable?

Most of us are appalled when a business owner or corporation ruthlessly tries to make as money as possible, with no regard for the workers, the environment, etc. Why is it acceptable for a teacher's union to ruthlessly try to get as much money for its members, with no regard for the students, the school system's budget, or the taxpayers?

Maybe because the system doesn't allow for them to get even a living wage otherwise? And even WITH union protections, their benefits are constantly on the chopping block because the first budget cuts will almost always go towards education funding of which teachers are a big part of? No amount of union arm-twisting(lolz) can keep a school open or a program funded if city hall is looking to shut it down. Teachers unions also have a history of making lots of concessions and aren't even as close to being as ruthless as you characterize them to be.

I certainly don't hate teachers - I just don't like the union and their sense of entitlement. I'd be all for every teacher in NJ getting a huge raise (20%? 30%? 50%?) if they disbanded the union and did away with tenure and the pension and $0 healthcare plans.

Pensions are also funded through employee contributions and are mandatory in many states. As for healthcare, it should be free to everyone anyways. Not to mention that the private sector used to have benefits that beat the shit out of what the public sector is giving today and started cutting them down even as business was booming. Having that crab mentality only helps capital stomp on labor.

And would you be happier about healthcare costing them $0(I'd like a source for that one) if there was UHC?

#56 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:33 PM

I also disagree that teachers should need a Master's degree. Some of my best teachers were a few years out of college, with only a Bachelor's degree. I'm not convinced that additional teaching education does much. It seems like the best teachers just have a good combination of knowledge and enthusiasm about their subject, dedication to their job, and a natural talent for interacting with their students.


While that's true, there clearly aren't enough people who are just naturals at it.

If not a master's degree, then much more of a BA/BS in education needs to be focused on how to teach. Why I say master's, is I worry that will eat up to many credit hours at the undergraduate level and they will thus suffer in terms of gaining the expertise they need in the topic areas they'll teach.

As for the first part that I didn't quote, I don't think teachers need any less skill or knowlege than lawyers.

Lawyers are memorizing knowledge in their area of law, and have to have the oral and presentation skills to present that to people who don't understand it (clients and juries).

Teachers have to have knowledge in their topic areas, and the oral and presentation skills (and other teaching methods) to present that to people who don't understand it (students).

Engineers, doctors etc., fair point. That's more specialized knowledge and skill sets required than teaching or legal work.

#57 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:38 PM

Pensions are also funded through employee contributions and are mandatory in many states.


The main issue I have with pensions is companies (and their current employees) shouldn't foot the bill for retired employees.

I much prefer a 401k type system with a generous match/employer contribution combined with employee contribution. The school system then is still contributing a lot toward retirement, but aren't stuck with an ongoing bill when someone retires in their 50's after 30 years and lives to 100.

I had a choice between a state pension plan and a 401k type plan (357b or something like that) with my job and opted for the latter. I want more control of my money, and I don't plan on staying in this state long term anyway.

The 401k type plan is pretty generous here as well. I have to contribute 5% (going up to 6% next year) of my salary to it each paycheck, state contributes 9.24% of my salary each check. Can't complain, been here for 3 years and last I looked my retirment account was around $35k already.

K-12 teachers should get a similar retirement package to that IMO.

#58 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:39 PM

Not to mention that juries are usually well behaved, not throwing shit at each other or trying to choke each other to death. Any with the patience to deal with kids deserves whatever pay they're able to negotiate IMO. If it's more than XYZ profession makes, fine. If you can wrangle a classroom full of kids 5 days a week and not kill one of them, you deserve the best.
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#59 chiwii

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:52 PM

Maybe because the system doesn't allow for them to get even a living wage otherwise? And even WITH union protections, their benefits are constantly on the chopping block because the first budget cuts will almost always go towards education funding of which teachers are a big part of? No amount of union arm-twisting(lolz) can keep a school open or a program funded if city hall is looking to shut it down. Teachers unions also have a history of making lots of concessions and aren't even as close to being as ruthless as you characterize them to be.


The CPS teachers are already making a living wage.

We're in a recession. Benefits are being cut, facilities are being closed, and people lose their jobs. Why should teachers be immune to the effects of the recession?

I think that it's ruthless for civil servants to go on strike. We're not talking about workers that need food stamps because they make so little, don't have health insurance, work in dangerous conditions that management refuses to address, etc. These teachers make great wages compared to the citizens of their city and compared to other teachers in the US, they have a great pension plan, and most have very secure jobs.

Despite this, they're on strike, depriving kids of an education because they want more money and more job security with less oversight.

#60 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:00 PM

If you can wrangle a classroom full of kids 5 days a week and not kill one of them, you deserve the best.


Once again, that argument can apply to any profession.

If you can load garbage bags all day without passing out or throwing up, you deserve the best.
If you can hit a 98MPH fastball, you deserve the best.
If you can optimize the flow of tcp/ip packets through the routers and find the problems with the BGP config, you deserve the best.
If you can serve demanding patrons with a smile, keep their drinks refilled, and not complain when they grab your ass, you deserve the best.


Some jobs pay more than others. Is that right or fair? Maybe not, but there's no way to make outcomes OR opportunities completely equitable.