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Teachers' Jobs Aren't as Tough as Others'

October 13, 1985

In "Teachers' Salaries Rising but Still Fall Short" (Labor, Sept. 11) Harry Bernstein unswervingly follows the union line. He quotes salaries in dollars per year, with no mention of time at work or fringe benefits. Teachers work only 185 days a year, as opposed to about 250 for most in private employment, and their hours per day are fewer.

They pay no Social Security taxes, and yet most eventually qualify for benefits, either through a spouse's employment or through minimum outside work. Some even qualify for minimum Social Security benefits through investment programs.

They also enjoy a more than liberal retirement program, to which they pay, but less than actuarily required. The California State Teachers Retirement Fund is currently underfunded for future liabilities by $11 billion. Yet it still pays quarterly extras to current retirees, confident that the taxpayers will ultimately pick up the bill.

EDWARD G. LOWELL

Tarzana

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