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Is it so wrong for teachers to expect to be paid for a longer day?

In “A lesson from Lawrence” (Metro, Sept. 29), Yvonne Abraham holds the Boston Teachers Union up as a counterexample to the good work she feels is being done in Lawrence, where “teachers had no choice. Some grumbled at the longer day, but few left because of it.”

Abraham seems dismayed at Boston teachers’ unwillingness to work additional unpaid hours. But one can only wonder how Abraham would feel were she told that she now has to write, say, an additional four columns a week, unpaid, or pay for all of her own business supplies and expenses.

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She claims that the Lawrence teachers “who remained were treated like the professionals they are.” Yet most professionals — lawyers, doctors, architects, for example — expect to be paid for the work that they do. And it is hardly surprising, yet hardly an endorsement, that most of the teachers in Lawrence remained, given the tough economic times in which we live.

Kathy Simolaris


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