WA lawmaker to teachers: I chose work in private sector - KPTV - FOX 12

WA lawmaker to teachers: I chose work in private sector, fund your salaries

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Washington State Rep. Liz Pike, file image Washington State Rep. Liz Pike, file image

A Washington state representative is not talking about her Facebook post directed at teachers because she believes the post speaks for itself.

Rep. Liz Pike of Camas wrote an open letter to Washington educators on Facebook, explaining why she supports the suspension of cost of living increases for teachers.

She wrote any teacher who is unhappy with their pay should look for a new job.

"If I had the opportunity to choose my career all over, I would have opted to get the necessary degree and teaching certificate so that I too could enjoy summertime off with my children, spring break vacations, Christmas break vacations, paid holidays, a generous pension and health insurance benefits," Pike wrote.

"Instead, I chose to work a career in private sector business so that I could be one of those taxpayers who funds your salaries and benefits as a state employee in a local school district."

The statement has offended teachers who say their request isn't about greed.

"I just want to tell her that teachers are hardworking people and we had to go to a lot of schooling to do this and we still have to go to schooling to continue to do it and we have to pay for a lot of that, and when we're getting cut after cut after cut, it's hard to survive," said local elementary school teacher Tim Kelly. "We're not greedy. I don't make a lot of money. As a matter of fact I work a second job throughout the year just so we could barely get by."

Kelly said teachers are not getting raises and his take-home pay is shrinking as insurance premiums increase.

When contacted Tuesday, a member of her staff said Pike is not doing any interviews about her Facebook post, but she stands by what she wrote and feels the comments should stand on their own.

However, Pike is planning a "meet-up for constituents" from 4 to 6 p.m. July 5 at her legislative district office, 415 N.E. Cedar St., in Camas.

Pike concluded her open letter by writing, "To every excellent teacher in Clark County. Thank you for the great work you are doing in our classrooms. Enjoy your summer!"

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