That's a bit of a skewed view of the situation Jordan....
First off, 90% of the time teachers aren't striking to get some elaborate raise. Most often, it's to avoid losing things they already have. When they are striking for more money, it's usually for a cost of living adjustment.
Secondly, teachers get paid shit. Most garbage truck drivers make more money with better benefits than most teachers. Teachers need to spend a lot of the money they earn on education, both paying off the student loans they acquired in becoming a teacher, and paying for the ever continuing education they are required to take to keep their certificate.
"They have benefits... and they're not going to starve." Come on dude, that's a bullshit excuse. That's like saying "Homelessness isn't a problem, they can sleep in bus depots."
Better off paying teachers less? Where the fuck did you get that from? It has more negative consequences than positive ones. Can you say morale?
The idea of it just becoming a career isn't too far off - they pay administrators much more than they do teachers. There are a good number of people who go straight to the top without putting in years of making shit wages.
Also, the shitty pay keeps a lot of people that would have been excellent teachers from doing it. Take a look at Bethel's salary schedule
Let's see here, at an MA+45 and five years teaching you clear $40k a year. Or, a PhD and three years teaching. That's not going to attract a lot of people who would have otherwise been great teachers. $90,000 plus in education to start at $38K a year? Fucking shit man, no wonder there's a shortage of qualified teachers.