Thom the average teacher salary for wisconsin from the 2010 detail information link that you provided (excel spreadsheet) is 49,093 with an average benifits of 25,750 or a total of 74,844 not the 45,000 that you spoke of on last night free speech. That does not include the administrative salary which would make the salary higher, wisconsin does a neat thing by providing detail salaries of administration and i did not get a chance to read the detail report by district so i do not know if there is detail by teacher but it is public information.

Another small correction the teachers don't pay 13 % in social security, one half of an employees social security and medicare is paid by the employer and the rich do not pay the 1/2 percent to medicare on large income only on earned or salary over an income thresh hpld above 100 K much of their income is passive meaning that most is at the 15% tax rate if it is from stock options etc.

I feel the reason that the teachers are villified is that their salaries and benefits are above the norm for the area that they reside in, certainly collective bargaining got them to that place, based upon the district's ability to pay, perhaps they negotiated too well with no provision for allowing the district to keep reserves, easy for the board to agree to increases when faced with powerfull union negotators.

So regardless of if the salaries are fair and equitable, they are above the average and are perceived as such. The common voter takes issue with public servants making more than they do. So how do we raise everyone to be on a finacial level with the inability to take income from the average middle class or lower if taxes are based upon real estate values and values decline, if taxes are based upon income and middle class income is falling, if taxes are based on small business income and there is smaller small business profits. The profits from large corporations are we find out all smoke and mirrors even borders , circuit city, and large volumne stores cant make it. Multi lateral corporations no longer have as their labor force greater than 50 % of all employed americans ie union employees


Percy Christensen's picture
Percy Christensen 8 years 47 weeks ago

I think we need an organization to counter the Tea Party. How about the Rough Riders to do the things President Teddy Roosevelet did to fight the corruption of politics. He took the big business,big banks & corporations to task & got many laws & regulations to control their greed. They could also clearly point out who got us in this debit situation. We need an active group to counter the Kock brothers Tea Party. If we all got behind the Rough Riders it would work. We certainly need a rallying cry & many small groups to point out wthe ills of what the Tea Party is doing.

Percy Christensen

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 8 years 47 weeks ago
Quote Wisconsin Budget Project: An Economic Policy Institute study released [February 10, 2011] finds that full-time state and local employees in Wisconsin are undercompensated by 8.2%, when compared to the annual earnings and benefits of comparable private-sector workers. The study was conducted by Professor Jeffrey Keefe, a labor market researcher at Cornell University.

The teachers are severely underpaid when compared to private-sector workers with the same level of education. Overpaid teachers are a myth - unless you count Glen Beck - his multi-million salary could skew the national statistics. But Beck doesn't work in Wisconsin though I hear he is working it over now.

The full accounting of the employee compensation package includes what is labelled employer contributions to healthcare, pensions, etc The worker does the work (public or private) and then the employer pays either directly to the employee or for pensions, defers the wages of the employee into a fund usually managed by a third party. It may be legally different for FICA/Medicaid payroll taxes, but in reality those payments are as much a part of total compensation as income tax withheld. The OP here seems to argue they are part of the cost - can those payments be part of the cost and not part of the compensation?

Pulitzer Prize winning reporter David Cay Johnston at tears into essentially all the reporting on pensions -- Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who 'Contributes' to Public Workers' Pensions? -- and Paul Krugman gives him a thumbs up with The Contribution Scam. Wisconsin's pension fund is among the best in the nation - it is essentially fully funded - and it is entirely funded by the employees who made their contributions as deferred wages. What the state employees face in Wisconsin is a pay cut - they have accepted a reduction of total compensation that will drectly reduce their take-home pay by the same amount.

It was Wall Street that took many of the pension funds underwater - see The Truth About Pensions...small simple graph shows the 50 state's pension funds nose dive with the stock market in 2007-2008. State pension funds nationwide would be worth about $850,000,000,000 more if they had just invested in T-bills. Why should the union workers have to take the blame for the mis-management of obviously overpaid six figure non-union administrators and outside consultants?

natp27 8 years 47 weeks ago


Perhaps that seems like a high salary when you compare to the entire population but teachers are University educated, many even have a Masters degree. So, let's compare apples with apples. Teachers earn less than their peers with similar educational backgrounds.

This vilification of teachers seems rather adolescent at first glance but political when you take the time to analyze it. Now, let's talk about tenure, the little tidbit every right wing pundiot (that was a typo but upon rereading it, seems appropriate ;) ) likes to chew on. I am a teacher. And I am around teachers all day, everyday. Yes, some are better than others, some have good years, some have bad years. Not all teaching positions are equal, some teach 1 grade level, others have five preps and five grade levels. Some teach one group, several subjects, some have severely handicapped students, I could go on. Back to tenure... once you obtain tenure, you are in a better position to be heard by the administration. You no longer fear being let go for voicing your disagreement or having your students' rights and your rights respected. Everyone knows that new teachers just sit in on assemblies and listen, make the best of the awful situation the administration (to save them the real work administrating i.e.: finding resources and solutions for very complex problems, after all, we work with children!) has placed them in. So, we tenured teachers, speak up for them while remembering to NEVER hint that the newbie ever complained! That is if you have a healthy team environment. Most teachers I meet like their jobs, are passionate and concientious. But as in any profession, life happens, health issues arise, family issues arise, etc... Often you hear about a bad teacher, and all it is, is a case of a good teacher having a bad year. I was one of those teachers. Well, when I taught in the U.S., as a new teacher, I had no insurance when fell victim to depression. The childhood traumas I had suffered finally caught up with me and 9-11 triggered a reaction inside me that made me unable push through it like I had for so long. As a single mother, I could not afford the medical bills on top of student loans, and I could not afford to end up in the streets. I had to move back home to Quebec, and heal and start anew. You guys lost a great teacher, 'cause, I'm a great teacher, especially since I have tenure! Why? because I use that tenure to help other teachers not just to advance my position.

A school is a micro-community, so if you have an unhealthy community of "I got mine, now screw you", well, it's not going to roll very smoothly. However, if the community is one of teamwork and collaboration not COMPETITION then you'll get a community where everyone feels safe to discuss their faillings and ask for HELP when necessary! If you want better teacher performance, you need to have good leaders, administrators that encourage TEAMWORK not peg teachers one against the other by overloading the team so much that they are now divided. Yes, some teachers fall ill, have personal issues and due to the nature of the job, perform below average some of the time. But when you look at a profession that loses many (not sure about the number, but it's higher than other professions) of its young recruits in the first 5 years, that tells you something about the nature of the work. Back to tenure, tenure is necessary to protect students! We, the tenured teachers are the line of defense against crazy administrative cuts to necessary programs and models that try and duplicate management based on productivity. We work with kids, humans, every year is different; we aren't assembly line workers. As pedagogues, we know our students and the curriculum. Often, administrators aren't even familiar with the curriculum; so, in order to function well, we need to be able to be heard. Those teachers that are so bad, are VERY VERY FEW. They want to abolish tenure so they can get rid of the teachers at the top of the salary scale and replace them with young, inexperienced, lesser paid counterparts. It's about the money, stupid! Always follow the money. A penny saved today is NOT a penny earned tomorrow, NOT in education! You need more money, raise taxes on the very businesses that profit from a healthy well-educated workforce. What they want really is to send home those great experienced teachers who are a pain in the ass to administrators BECAUSE they are looking out for THEIR STUDENTS, not the bottom line! It's NOT about the fact that bad teachers can't be fired, it's about OLD teachers, at the top of the salary scale, that can't be fired!

And , just like you shouldn't judge ALL cops by a few bad cops.... Ummmm... do THEY have tenure?

Let's be real!

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