2/18/11

This is frankly infuriating. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and the State Legislature are trying to pass a bill that will strip Unions of collective bargaining rights and shift a fraction of their pension and healthcare cuts onto them. This is an average of a $153 pay cut per month. The Unions are in uproar about this, frankly it is idiotic.

1. The state would have to fire 6,000 workers if this bill is not passed. So the Unions are essentially sending their lackeys out to campaign for marginally higher wages, and to lose jobs. And before you say, "those teachers get no $, ~$1400 is a lot to them" the average teacher in a city in Wisconsin gets paid $100,000 $100,000!!!!!

Average MPS Compensation Tops $100k - MacIver News

2. The school teachers have all "called in sick" and caused state wide shutdowns of the public education system. OK...that's helping out the students. I say fire 6,000 teachers. Do we really need college graduates to teach PE, Art, Remedial Math, etc.? No.
http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-02182011-mps-clos...

3. It's not like the rights will be gone forever, in a few years there will be a referendum to decide whether to restore the government worker's union rights. But they know the taxpayers don't wanna pay teachers $100k to bitch about low pay and shitty students.
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline...

4. When Jesse Jackson is organizing shit, you know your're in the wrong.
http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=14058089

5. The Democrats in the legislature in Wisconsin ran away to Illinois to avoid passing the law due to there not being a quorum. This happened in Texas too. Hopefully one senator has a conscience or remained in state so they can be forcefully escorted to the capitol. They should all be arrested. If a normal person skipped out on his job for multiple days he would be fired on solid grounds, if Senators do it, it's the democratic and right thing to do...disgusting.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/116434554.html

6. Obama supports the unions....surprise surprise. They forced donations to his political campaign and they are one of the few areas that actually support what he is doing. When what has been happening to the private sector for the past few years (losing jobs, lower wages, etc.) happens to the public....well we can't stand for that. Our ratio of managers to workers in government is like 1:6 vs. like 1:23 for the private sector.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0211/DNC_pl...

DON'T GIVE UP SCOTT I SUPPORT YOU!!!!!!
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/1...

Comments (75)

Best Response
2/18/11

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/14584

Michigan Capitol Convention:

The total compensation of a West Bloomfield teacher grew 173 percent over an 11-year period, going from $47,346 to $129,637, according to information that was presented at a school board meeting in December.

West Bloomfield teachers do not do any premium sharing for health insurance and do not have a deductible in their plan, Andrees said.

I wish I could work 9 months a year, get paid $130k, and have a healthcare plan that pays for everything.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

2/18/11
2/18/11

This pisses me off so much, my blood's boiling. Unions (particularly public sector unions) are one of the most frustrating economic challenges this country faces, because the solution is so simple but will never get implemented.

2/18/11

Thanks for making another thread like this.

The people of Wisconsin, but a majority (52% - 46.5%), elected a Republican, cost cutting Governor and Legislature. Instead of saying your point like an adult and losing like an adult, Democrats have decided to simply flee the state. This is not a dictatorship. This is not military rule. This was what the MAJORITY of people wanted.

Naa, lets just leave the state and hide until a couple thousand protesters go hog wild and schools get crippled from teachers walking out.

Wisconsin has a population of 5.7MM.

1,128,000 voted for the Republican Gov.

The House and Senate seats went to the Republicans. The State legislature went to the Republicans.

But because of 1000+ protesters, people who are not going to lose their job or pay or anything, simply not be able to hamstring the government for pay and benefits and life time employment, something that non of us have, the capital is in a stand still.

I pray to god that this passes. Health care was rammed through. The Republicans did everything they could to stop it, but it passed. You didn't see congressmen going to other countries to avoid voting.

It is Democracy if you are going with the Democrats, but if you vote against their base, it is a Dictatorship.

Wisconsin is the flash point. The enemy has show itself. That enemy is called the public service unions.

2/18/11

I love how little teachers care about the kids. Just close school because we can't collectively bargain. These people don't deserve to be teachers at all. Scumbags, all of them.

2/18/11

Of course if the sensible people in Wisconsin decided to stop paying taxes for these deadbeat asshats, they'd be sent to jail immediately. Yet politicians can just walk out on their jobs and be applauded as heroes.

Then again what does it matter. Someone should just call the Bernak and tell him to take a 5 minute break from making it rain $1,000,000 bills in the club and print the shortfall...

2/18/11

the worst part is for the teachers who don't want to be part of a union. my mom used to teach and started working in a district with a heavy union. she decided not to join and to bargain for herself by actually doing a good job. this lasted for about 2 months while EVERYONE else who worked at the school completely shunned her for not joining their group-o-thugs and trying to earn her paycheck. sickening

2/18/11

Read up on graduation rates for Wisconsin Madison schools. These people are doing a horrible job. I love how Dems simply flee the state instead of stoically losing the vote. How is that listening to the majority of Wisconsin residents. Dems are going to get killed on this issue. Only unions and die hard Dems will vote.

2/18/11

Using state troopers to hunt down runaway Democrats is a huge waste of resources. Get back to your office, do your job, and quit complaining about reforms that are necessary to control your state's budget. Making nice with overpaid and underworked public employees is no way to reform a broken fiscal situation.

It's infuriating to me when people complain about huge state deficits and then don't have any tolerance for cuts in public spending. The pain must happen.

2/18/11

for all the people who are against this bill...i just want to know where they think the money is going to come from

2/18/11

Guys, can we put these political threads on hiatus? We should be focusing on helping high school kids and college freshmen get into KKR or BX.

2/18/11

Nooooooooo, more political threads. As long as it is in off topics it is good to go.

This should be a lesson to all the kids looking for work. Be able to form an opinion and keep up with current events. Bankers like to talk about other stuff than finance.

2/18/11

Even though the teacher's union situation hits closer to home for most of us, I think that the Albert Pujols scenario currently playing out does a far better job of illustrating the brazen reality of union operations, better known as racketeering.

In reply to TNA
2/18/11
ANT:

Nooooooooo, more political threads. As long as it is in off topics it is good to go.

This should be a lesson to all the kids looking for work. Be able to form an opinion and keep up with current events. Bankers like to talk about other stuff than finance.

So true, ANT, so true.

These whining state workers really piss me off too. They should have researched their exit ops more clearly before deciding to teach third grade.

In reply to ivoteforthatguy
2/18/11
ivoteforthatguy:

Guys, can we put these political threads on hiatus? We should be focusing on helping high school kids and college freshmen get into KKR or BX.

this made me laugh. kudos.

2/18/11

I think the governor needs to win in this case. But I think he needs to do something to show he's trying to be reasonable. Meanwhile, all of the media is up in Madison while the Dems are hiding, so time is on the Republicans' side.

He needs to make the case that public sector unions are different than private unions. The public sector doesn't have the same impetus to reduce costs and certainly don't have a monopsony on work.

2/18/11

Apparently, the next time a kindergartener needs to give his teacher an excuse for throwing a tantrum, he can say, "But the teachers unions did it!"

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
2/18/11
IlliniProgrammer:

I think the governor needs to win in this case. But I think he needs to do something to show he's trying to be reasonable. Meanwhile, all of the media is up in Madison while the Dems are hiding, so time is on the Republicans' side.

He needs to make the case that public sector unions are different than private unions. The public sector doesn't have the same impetus to reduce costs and certainly don't have a monopsony on work.

Dude, the Governor couldn't be more reasonable.

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
-Styles P

In reply to eokpar02
2/18/11
eokpar02:

Dude, the Governor couldn't be more reasonable.

He's trying to break the union. Making WI a right-to-work state for public employees would probably be a better compromise.

2/18/11

The Gov is actually being very reasonable.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/41664854

"Governor Walker is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, and he wants state workers to pay one-half of their pension costs and 12.6 percent of their health benefits. Currently, most state employees pay nothing for their pensions and virtually nothing for their health insurance. That's an outrage. "

"Exempting police, fire, and state troopers, Governor Walker would end collective bargaining over pensions and benefits for the rest. Collective bargaining for wages would still be permitted, but there would be no wage hikes above the CPI. Unions could still represent workers, but they could not force employees to pay dues. In exchange for this, Walker promises no furloughs for layoffs. "

These seem very reasonable to me. Taking Police and Fire out of it makes sense also. These people are in dangerous professions and demand different things than a teacher.

Plain fact is this. People elected this government in Wis. The elected government is making changes. Dem's didn't win so they simply left the state.

I'll tell you what. This is a PR disaster for public unions. Going ape shit over something so trivial while large 10% + of this country is out of work makes you look horrible. This is not how elected officials should react.

I hope that along with crushing the union monopoly, Walker adds a rule that says you don't need one Democrat around to do things. This is the biggest joke I have seen in a long time.

Democrats, the party that LEAVES THE STATE and hides, to avoid something that has majority support.

Real hard to feel bad for public unions when this shit is going on.

Remember guys, Democracy means doing what the left wants.

2/18/11

Why doesnt the governer just recall the senators who fleed? If they fail to return they loose their seats and get arrested.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to heister
2/18/11
heister:

Why doesnt the governer just recall the senators who fled? If they fail to return they loose their seats and get arrested.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

  • gnicholas
  •  2/18/11

Because the highway patrolmen are unionized and refused to arrest them.

2/18/11

1) The Police are excluded from this so they don't care

2) They have fled the state, Wisconsin cannot go into Illinois and get people. Ill is also a Dem bastion

3) This will just drag on and make the unions and the Dems look bad. They are basically going against the will of the people because they don't like something. Longer this goes on, the better for the Republicans.

2/18/11

To you guys, he's very reasonable but ANT is a die-hard fiscal conservative. I feel like I fall in the 65th-70th percentile of the political spectrum towards fiscal conservativism, and I agree with Walker, but he's not making a good enough case to the swing voter.

The unions have done a very good job of making themselves out to be the underdogs over the past 72 hours and that they're also willing to negotiate with him.

Walker needs to explain this a little better and maybe adjust a provision or two. By my reading:

1.)WI becomes a right-to-work state for public employees. No union dues collected out of paychecks.
2.)Public service employees prohibited from seeking pay increases in excess of CPI.

I think Walker should maybe rethink some of the provisions of #2. If we really believe in a free market, right-to-work should be all the protection school districts need from unions. The fact is that maybe most teachers in WI might be well-paid, but some might be underpaid. And if the market for teachers heats up, we don't want everyone heading off to Arizona.

So I think the most important version of Walker's bill is #1, and it wouldn't clearly destroy the unions- it would just weaken their ability to get above-market wages and allow employees to make their own decisions about whether they wanted to be represented by a union or not. If Walker does this and the AFSCME is willing to agree to that compromise, it's a huge boon for the Right-To-Work movement and will hopefully spread to other Midwestern states.

IMHO, if workers are earning more than 3x minimum wage, unions risk becoming bullies. There needs to be a provision that a company can become a right-to-work firm if it decides to pay every employee at least 2x minimum wage.

In reply to TNA
2/18/11
ANT:

1) The Police are excluded from this so they don't care

2) They have fled the state, Wisconsin cannot go into Illinois and get people. Ill is also a Dem bastion

3) This will just drag on and make the unions and the Dems look bad. They are basically going against the will of the people because they don't like something. Longer this goes on, the better for the Republicans.

I think time is on the governor's side, but he can't risk looking too cold-hearted in all of this. He needs to keep making the case that Wisconsin is in deep fiscal trouble if it doesn't fix the union situation. And yes, it's a tough pill to swallow for state workers, but everyone in the state has been swallowing tough pills for the past three years, and it's time for unionized workers to follow.

There also needs to be a little bit more of a conciliatory tone.

2/18/11

Honestly, lie to get the scum back to their posts and then ram it through. Unions need to be broken.

Could someone please tell me what injustice, harsh working condition or unfair labor practice is being committed to these poor teachers and government workers?

Unionizing was great back in the day. Now a bunch of paper pushers have realize the power of the mob and have unionized. This isn't some miner dying of exhaustion from a 16 hour day. No need for these guys to collectively bargain.

2/18/11

OP: Amen brother. SB for you.

2/18/11

i disagree i think unions should be able to form and this processes is good for americans i never seen so much white people who eat cheese in 1 place

2/18/11

What they need is Chris Christie

In reply to blastoise
2/18/11
blastoise:

i disagree i think unions should be able to form and this processes is good for americans i never seen so much white people who eat cheese in 1 place

Goddamn you say some hilarious shit dude.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/18/11

Walker could also take a page from Christie's book. He found a way to expose the public sector unions for the greedy fools they are and was able to get his budget passed. One of the biggest keys was that Youtube video of him completely owning a teacher who was complaining about her salary and full healthcare benefits. The guy's a genius.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

2/18/11

I don't believe for a minute the average teacher in Wisconsin makes $100K per year. That link you gave seems questionable at best. If you can cite a more credible authority I will gladly eat my words.

2/18/11

I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

2/18/11

And its not 100k cash, its like 50k cash 50k benefits. For less than 9 months of work, thats what 67k a year if they worked every month? And the benefits are ridiculous, no deductible/contribution healthcare? Ridiculous amounts of sick days? This is idiotic.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

2/18/11

Well the MacIver Institute is pretty well-cited across the news media. Whatever. If you look at Michelle Malkin's website (don't really like her but w/e) it elaborates on MacIvers research and also has a list of the teachers/administrators who have a base salary of 100k or more.
http://michellemalkin.com/2011/02/17/watch-wiscons...

Reality hits you hard, bro...

In reply to prinmemo
2/18/11
prinmemo:

I don't believe for a minute the average teacher in Wisconsin makes $100K per year. That link you gave seems questionable at best. If you can cite a more credible authority I will gladly eat my words.

prinmemo:

I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

1) The $100k figure was for the Milwaukee public system, not the Wisconsin public system.
2) The figures you'll find from indeed.com (and the like) are average starting salaries, not average salaries of all employed teachers. Big difference.
3) The figure they cited was from a school board meeting.

In reply to prinmemo
2/19/11
prinmemo:

I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

That's right, make personal attacks like a real adult...

So what if it's not $100k? I think you're rather missing the bigger argument here.

I personally think is highly highly unethical for these so called teachers to 1) want to free ride through the crisis and let others take the cuts, and 2) simply walk out on the kids for money - doesn't matter how much it is. If you can't dedicate yourself to education you shouldn't be a teacher in the first place.

(And this is not to mention that a major problem with America's public education is that you can't fire incapable teachers as easily as you should be able to)

Oh and I totally loved watching this one teacher (opposing the protestors) scream to the crowd that they're all effing selfish trolls (not his words exactly).

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

In reply to ah
2/19/11

ah:
prinmemo:
I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

That's right, make personal attacks like a real adult...

So what if it's not $100k? I think you're rather missing the bigger argument here.

I personally think is highly highly unethical for these so called teachers to 1) want to free ride through the crisis and let others take the cuts, and 2) simply walk out on the kids for money - doesn't matter how much it is. If you can't dedicate yourself to education you shouldn't be a teacher in the first place.

(And this is not to mention that a major problem with America's public education is that you can't fire incapable teachers as easily as you should be able to)

Oh and I totally loved watching this one teacher (opposing the protestors) scream to the crowd that they're all effing selfish trolls (not his words exactly).

In reply to blastoise
2/19/11
blastoise:

hahaha not much of a story i know.. but he made my day :)

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

In reply to ah
2/19/11
ah:
blastoise:

hahaha not much of a story i know.. but he made my day :)

*huggles* <3

In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
2/19/11
ThaVanBurenBoyz:
prinmemo:

I don't believe for a minute the average teacher in Wisconsin makes $100K per year. That link you gave seems questionable at best. If you can cite a more credible authority I will gladly eat my words.

prinmemo:

I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

1) The $100k figure was for the Milwaukee public system, not the Wisconsin public system.
2) The figures you'll find from indeed.com (and the like) are average starting salaries, not average salaries of all employed teachers. Big difference.
3) The figure they cited was from a school board meeting.

1) I checked and the average salary for Milwaukee teachers (not starting, but average) is around 45K (give or take a few grand). All of the sources I found tended to be old citations - from earlier this year - and from nonpartisan sources.

2) It just so happens that the only times I found average salaries to be above 100K were from political blogs that had an agenda.

3) Given 1 & 2 above, I don't believe this claim is true. Again, if someone can cite for me a specific, non-partisan source then I'd be happy to eat my words. Thus far, I have not gotten any such citation.

In reply to ah
2/19/11
ah:
prinmemo:

I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

That's right, make personal attacks like a real adult...

So what if it's not $100k? I think you're rather missing the bigger argument here.

I personally think is highly highly unethical for these so called teachers to 1) want to free ride through the crisis and let others take the cuts, and 2) simply walk out on the kids for money - doesn't matter how much it is. If you can't dedicate yourself to education you shouldn't be a teacher in the first place.

(And this is not to mention that a major problem with America's public education is that you can't fire incapable teachers as easily as you should be able to)

Oh and I totally loved watching this one teacher (opposing the protestors) scream to the crowd that they're all effing selfish trolls (not his words exactly).

Ant, I actually agree with basically everything you're saying. It is true that teacher's unions often get in the way of advancing education in this country. I also believe that states have to find ways to control spending, otherwise they'll get further into a fiscal hole. Something has to be done. I agree with all of that.

The reason I pointed out that the claim made by the OP about average salaries is wrong is because if we're going to have an honest debate about what exactly needs to be done to fix our fiscal mess we need to be factually accurate. When someone starts making ridiculously false claims then you start to wonder whether that person has a personal political agenda and not a real concern about fixing some problem. Claiming that teacher's make an average of $100K per year makes it sound like resolving this fiscal problem is much easier than it really is.

I don't know. I am a stickler for facts. And I don't like it when either side tries to manipulate facts in order to win a political debate. I prefer intellectually honest debates. Based on what I've read from your posts, I would think you do, too, even if we disagree about how we should resolve issues.

In reply to prinmemo
2/19/11
prinmemo:
ThaVanBurenBoyz:
prinmemo:

I don't believe for a minute the average teacher in Wisconsin makes $100K per year. That link you gave seems questionable at best. If you can cite a more credible authority I will gladly eat my words.

prinmemo:

I found more than a few links TOTALLY debunking your claim how much the average teacher makes per year. Makes me question basically all of your other claims.

If I were an MD and you pulled this on a pitch, I'd fire you.

1) The $100k figure was for the Milwaukee public system, not the Wisconsin public system.
2) The figures you'll find from indeed.com (and the like) are average starting salaries, not average salaries of all employed teachers. Big difference.
3) The figure they cited was from a school board meeting.

1) I checked and the average salary for Milwaukee teachers (not starting, but average) is around 45K (give or take a few grand). All of the sources I found tended to be old citations - from earlier this year - and from nonpartisan sources.

2) It just so happens that the only times I found average salaries to be above 100K were from political blogs that had an agenda.

3) Given 1 & 2 above, I don't believe this claim is true. Again, if someone can cite for me a specific, non-partisan source then I'd be happy to eat my words. Thus far, I have not gotten any such citation.

I'm pretty sure he said it was $100K all in...pensions, healthcare, etc.

2/19/11

I still don't believe it. Like I said, I am willing to eat my words if someone offers me a credible, non-partisan source for this. Up to this point, no one has offered such a source. Until proven otherwise, I am not willing to accept this claim as fact. Nevertheless, I do think there needs to be reform. I just dislike all the lies and distortions.

2/19/11

Yeah, that blog stated $56.5k average salary, $100k for full compensation. And actually, the proof that it came from a school board meeting was embedded in that blog post itself:

The Manager of Financial Planning, at the school board meeting, noted the $100k figure @ 0:48.

2/19/11

I want to see documentation. He could have misspoken. That blog reaks of partisanship.

If it's true it can't be that hard to find a respectable source.

2/19/11

Quite frankly, I don't care if you believe it or not, so good luck with the documentation search. I've got shit to do.

Also, though Deb Wegner resembles a linebacker, I believe that Deb is a "she" not a "he." Show some respect (lol).

2/19/11

lol.

I wasn't asking you specifically to look it up. The fact that no one has been able to document this shows that perhaps people don't really know what they're talking about. That's all. I don't care what you think either way, either. I just enjoy debate, so if you're not into that then that's cool, too. No worries.

2/19/11

For me, I'm just comfortable with the Manager of Financial Planning AT the school board meeting stating the figure. Not only that, she noted that 2010's figured was ~$95k. So, it doesn't require a huge leap of faith to accept that the 2011E number is $100k.

2/19/11

If you assume that their base salary is 45K you divide that by .75 since they only work 9 months a year.

That gets you to 60K

1) That is a good salary for someone with an UG

2) That doesn't factor in increases once you have your masters and any type of bonus, etc.

3) That also doesn't factor in the ridiculous b benefits they get.

The 100K figure was also average salary, not every ones salary.

Honestly, who cares about the 100K figure. Teachers are nearly impossible to fire if they suck, they get amazing benefits and their unions have become far too powerful. This is a necessary check to that power. No one is saying that teachers are going to be forced at gun point to work for 30K a year. Salaries will fluctuate and normalize.

2/19/11

Sure, I don't think it's unreasonable to do that.

If you look up the average salary/income of a college graduate it is about $50K. Many teachers have Master's degrees. Thus, the average salaries of teachers in Wisconsin is basically in line with what you would expect similarly educated folks would get. I sure hope no one is pissed that teachers make about the same as other similarly educated folks make.

Now, of course, we have to consider the other benefits (pensions, health care, etc.). I am sure that health care benefits are comparable to those in the private industry working at large institutions. If you work for a big bank or any other large corporation you will likely get benefits that are similar to those working for state and local government.

I think probably the biggest issue might come from the pension system. On this issue I will admit ignorance, as I don't know what the average college graduate gets in the private sector, so it is hard to compare across sectors.

The one area where I think you might see a difference is in bonuses. Government workers really don't get sizeable (f any) bonuses. In other industries it is normal to expect a bonus that is 10-15% of your salary (obviously not talking about banking).

My hunch is that the pension system is really making it tough for the government. The workers were guaranteed certain benefits and then the markets tanked and all of a sudden the investments didn't make enough money to pay out the guaranteed pension. At that point, the government had to step in and provide it.

I think there is a legitimate debate to be had about what to do here. But I also get the impression that both sides are going apeshit and are being unreasonable.

In reply to prinmemo
2/19/11
prinmemo:

Sure, I don't think it's unreasonable to do that.

If you look up the average salary/income of a college graduate it is about $50K. Many teachers have Master's degrees. Thus, the average salaries of teachers in Wisconsin is basically in line with what you would expect similarly educated folks would get. I sure hope no one is pissed that teachers make about the same as other similarly educated folks make.

Now, of course, we have to consider the other benefits (pensions, health care, etc.). I am sure that health care benefits are comparable to those in the private industry working at large institutions. If you work for a big bank or any other large corporation you will likely get benefits that are similar to those working for state and local government.

I think probably the biggest issue might come from the pension system. On this issue I will admit ignorance, as I don't know what the average college graduate gets in the private sector, so it is hard to compare across sectors.

The one area where I think you might see a difference is in bonuses. Government workers really don't get sizeable (f any) bonuses. In other industries it is normal to expect a bonus that is 10-15% of your salary (obviously not talking about banking).

My hunch is that the pension system is really making it tough for the government. The workers were guaranteed certain benefits and then the markets tanked and all of a sudden the investments didn't make enough money to pay out the guaranteed pension. At that point, the government had to step in and provide it.

I think there is a legitimate debate to be had about what to do here. But I also get the impression that both sides are going apeshit and are being unreasonable.

1. In Wisconsin, currently, teachers don't pay anything towards their healthcare. It's paid for.

2. You are wrong to assume most private industries get bonuses at all. I know a lot that don't.

2/20/11

Teachers make 50K on 9 months of work. You need to account for this.

Yeah Obama, I agree. What pisses me off is people are calling him Mubarak and saying this is a dictatorship. He was elected by a majority of voters. So was a Republican legislature, House Rep and Senator. Looks like the people spoke. Democrats, by leaving the state, have basically denied the people of Wisconsin their right and wish.

The Dems have an obligation to fight this and not to vote for this. What they are doing right now is way beyond what they should be doing. This makes them look really bad. Republicans didn't like healthcare reform and they did everything they could to stop it, but in the end it passed and they sucked on it.

2/20/11

Mr. Walker aims to cut many of the collective bargaining rights from union members, a move he says will prevent massive layoffs but which union members say will take away a basic human right.

Thats from the WSJ....basic human right...WTF!? these are the same fuckers who complain about wall street pay and let 25% of the kids in high school go with out graduating

In reply to TNA
2/20/11
ANT:

If you assume that their base salary is 45K you divide that by .75 since they only work 9 months a year.

That gets you to 60K

1) That is a good salary for someone with an UG

2) That doesn't factor in increases once you have your masters and any type of bonus, etc.

3) That also doesn't factor in the ridiculous b benefits they get.

The 100K figure was also average salary, not every ones salary.

Honestly, who cares about the 100K figure. Teachers are nearly impossible to fire if they suck, they get amazing benefits and their unions have become far too powerful. This is a necessary check to that power. No one is saying that teachers are going to be forced at gun point to work for 30K a year. Salaries will fluctuate and normalize.

Not to mention majority of them are art history or sociology majors who couldn't do anythign else with their life so decided to go to the union and cry about how entitled they are that they produced citizens that are below majority of the developing and developed world

2/20/11

I wonder how long the Democrats will deny the people of Wisconsin what they want?

So glad to know that instead of arguing this and voting against it, they simply leave the state when they don't get their way. I pray to god that the Gov. holds tight and forces this through.

2/21/11

why is it wrong for these guys to want to protect their money and lifestyle but not wrong for big business guys to protect theirs

2/21/11

^^^Barry, their money and "lifestyle" is funded by taxpayers, big freaking difference.

2/21/11

As a free market capitalist, there should be no idealogical issues with collective bargaining. At its core, it's really just negotiating power through supply/demand. Why should labor be any different from any other commodity? If the supply market (labor) wants to consolidate resources to increase negotiating leverage, that sounds like a fairly straightforward business tactic to me.

At the end of the day, I fail to see how taking away collective bargaining rights deals with a deficit. At some point it is less negotiating around fiscal terms in a good faith manner vs trying to attack the supply structure.

In reply to freeloader
2/21/11
freeloader:

As a free market capitalist, there should be no idealogical issues with collective bargaining. At its core, it's really just negotiating power through supply/demand. Why should labor be any different from any other commodity? If the supply market (labor) wants to consolidate resources to increase negotiating leverage, that sounds like a fairly straightforward business tactic to me.

Well the problem is that the state doesn't have much bargaining power to begin with. Unions are ultimately bargaining against people who are being forced to pay for their services.

Yes, there's freedom of assembly and freedom of organization, but the state government doesn't have to help with that, which it is currently doing by having a closed shop.

At the end of the day, I fail to see how taking away collective bargaining rights deals with a deficit. At some point it is less negotiating around fiscal terms in a good faith manner vs trying to attack the supply structure.

It basically caps the growth of the state's labor costs- and moves it more into line with that of the private sector.

2/21/11

I would have no issue with unions if people could opt out. Also, if the government could decide to hire non union workers I would have no issue.

The problem is this. Government unions do not allow non union workers to work there. You cannot decide not to join the union. They are essentially a mob that you have to pay dues to in order to work.

People have the right to assemble and collective bargain. They also have the right to refuse to. Unions don't like this.

In reply to txjustin
2/21/11
txjustin:

^^^Barry, their money and "lifestyle" is funded by taxpayers, big freaking difference.

big business is one of the biggest recipients of subsidiary money from the public, are you kidding me?

2/25/11

Oh my god I just shit myself watching letterman.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB00uJMGIDk

It's long but you will end up pulling out your hair.

2/25/11

Relevant:
Koch Whore: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBnSv3a6Nh4

In reply to freeloader
2/27/11
freeloader:

As a free market capitalist, there should be no idealogical issues with collective bargaining. At its core, it's really just negotiating power through supply/demand. Why should labor be any different from any other commodity? If the supply market (labor) wants to consolidate resources to increase negotiating leverage, that sounds like a fairly straightforward business tactic to me.

At the end of the day, I fail to see how taking away collective bargaining rights deals with a deficit. At some point it is less negotiating around fiscal terms in a good faith manner vs trying to attack the supply structure.

Nice post.

Also, I do think we see a bunch of hypocrisy on this issue. Tons of people are pissed that the government wanted to limit bonuses and overall compensation on firms that got BAILED OUT by the government, but are all about screwing these unions. That, right there, shows where your values lie. You disrespect mainstream workers but support those at the top of the income pyramid. If you were consistent I would have more respect for your position, but you're not.

2/27/11

To be fair, prinmemo, those folks aren't being hypocritical. Technically, those two situations are apple and oranges.

The bailout was a loan/investment, and not everyone who took it (because they had to) wanted to in the first place. Most could afford to pay back the bailout AND pay bonuses to keep the folks they needed to keep.

The current issues are over internal budget failures.

Not saying what is right and wrong, just saying it isn't accurate to call it hypocrisy.

2/27/11

Investors have the right to demand certain concessions - that's why bond docs always have a bunch of covenants. Investors of any kind have claims on the assets of a company. Your distinction is irrelevant.

True, some banks did not need the bailout. Banks like BAML, Citi, etc., certainly did.

In all these cases I believe parties have a right to negotiate, as do the unions. I don't think a lot of the posters here (or WSJ commentators) are consistent.

2/27/11

Individuals can negotiate as they please. Public unions are clearly the enemy. Let's break their backs and start moving forward.

2/27/11

Lol, prinmemo. You can support the rights for bankers to negotiate compensation under TARP, and NOT support the rights for public workers to do the same in distressed areas, and remain morally consistent. Again, the situations are very clearly not apples and apples.

Healthy or not, banks were required to enter TARP. Additionally, when some were able and willing to pay it back, they weren't allowed to at the time. You can't talk about standard investor rights and covenants here, the situations aren't parallel.

As for public workers in specific areas, they're trying to avoid changes to their benefit structure from an employer that is nearing bankruptcy.

One is an issue regarding external parties existing, forcibly, within a program; the other is regarding internal parties within a failing institution.

2/27/11

Individuals can band together and negotiate as they please. Take a look at corporations - they're nothing but the aggregation of capital from individuals. You just happen to favor the aggregation of money and power of those with capital and are against the aggregation of negotiation rights if those rights happen to be exercised by individuals that do not have capital and are instead using their labor to negotiate. It's clear that you favor those with capital. If you were even handed you'd be in favor of anyone getting together to do something collectively, regardless of affiliation or source of power (capital vs. labor).

Hypocrisy at its best!

In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
2/27/11

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2/27/11
In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
2/27/11
5/7/14

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