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HOT TROT
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-11-27
Posts: 83
Location: Deerfield, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

My wife is a teacher in Jefferson County. After all the known hits she will be taking, there will be layoffs. Currently the district stands to lose $500 per child. This equates to losing 8-10 teachers. We can all hope not.
 
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sweetlife
WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member



Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2540
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:52 pm Reply with quote Back to top

From my understanding, the amount that the average employee that would have to pay out of their pocket because of this is $50 a month for a $50,000 per year salary. I may be wrong with that figure, but that is what I heard. I'm looking at this, being in the construction industry for my main job for the past 13 years, no insurance and no retirement, I wish for $50 bucks a month I could have those things.
I am also a volunteer fire department member and usually back the IAFF and local Fire Dept Unions (even though our dept has no Union or full time members) but this time I had to draw the line. I support Gov Walker as our state needs to financially fix its budget problems.

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BigJim60
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Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7211
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

sweetlife wrote:
From my understanding, the amount that the average employee that would have to pay out of their pocket because of this is $50 a month for a $50,000 per year salary. I may be wrong with that figure, but that is what I heard. I'm looking at this, being in the construction industry for my main job for the past 13 years, no insurance and no retirement, I wish for $50 bucks a month I could have those things.
I am also a volunteer fire department member and usually back the IAFF and local Fire Dept Unions (even though our dept has no Union or full time members) but this time I had to draw the line. I support Gov Walker as our state needs to financially fix its budget problems.


I don't know where you got that number from. My understanding is that we're looking at losing 8% of our salary, or $4000 on a $50,000 salary. But the money is not the big issue, it is the loss of collective bargaining. Without collective bargaining, the unions are effectively dead.

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There are three kinds of people in this world ... the wee, the not-so-wee, and the frickin huge. 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8223
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:44 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'll admit I haven't followed the money that close, but if you're contributing to your pension you're not "losing" the money. This is no different than me putting 8% of my pay into our 401k plan for retirement. This is exactly what happened when my employer dumped their pension plan.

$50 / month is a great deal for contributing to a health plan that provides near full coverage. My employer charges me close to $250 / month for a family plan that makes me pay co-pays and per member deductibles > $500 each before they pay anything.
 
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sweetlife
WGA Board Member
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Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2540
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

BigJim60 wrote:
I don't know where you got that number from. My understanding is that we're looking at losing 8% of our salary, or $4000 on a $50,000 salary. But the money is not the big issue, it is the loss of collective bargaining. Without collective bargaining, the unions are effectively dead.


But your not "loosing" the money, more will just be going to your retirement out of your pocket not mine. and a bit more to your health insurance.

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BigJim60
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7211
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

sweetlife wrote:
BigJim60 wrote:
I don't know where you got that number from. My understanding is that we're looking at losing 8% of our salary, or $4000 on a $50,000 salary. But the money is not the big issue, it is the loss of collective bargaining. Without collective bargaining, the unions are effectively dead.


But your not "loosing" the money, more will just be going to your retirement out of your pocket not mine. and a bit more to your health insurance.

Like I said, it is more about the collective bargaining. As for insurance, I don't even take the WEAC insurance. We are covered by insurance through my wife's employment.

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There are three kinds of people in this world ... the wee, the not-so-wee, and the frickin huge. 
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Johnny Cache
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-08-30
Posts: 304
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:28 am Reply with quote Back to top

BigJim60 wrote:
My understanding is that we're looking at losing 8% of our salary, or $4000 on a $50,000 salary


Losing??? This is going towards your pension that you get back at retirement. I suggest that the language of the bill be changed to suggest that the municipalities continue to contribute 50% of the pension(which is still a sweet deal) and that the employee have an option to contribute up to the remaining 50% or more. All formula's then then be calculated based on what each individual employee has contributed to WRS. If someone can't afford to kick in now, there's no reduction in salary. Get that weak argument off the table.

Currently MPS is pumping $470.65/check into my wifes WRS plan (Close to $10k/yr), $28K/yr for our families health insurance, $1k for dental insurance, $126.21 for vision with a salary of $73k. Not bad. And there's plenty of ways to earn much more than that. Milwaukee's teachers aren't doing that bad in my opinion (http://www.mtea.org/Public/pdf/salary_schedule.pdf). That's the '08-'09 tables. The current contract goes to 2013, with a 3% lump sum raise in 2010, 2.5% increase in 2011 and 3% increase in 2012. This relief bill does not tear up this contract, so it may be a while before Milwaukee teachers kick in to their pensions.

We've seen the writing on the wall for the past few years and we're prepared. To suggest that state employee's need time to prepare financially would mean they've had their head in the sand, expected the gravy train to continue, and are a bit irresponsible to their families.

If you've listened to the governor, you'll realize that the upcoming budget will have massive cuts to counties and local municipalities. By dis-certifying the unions he's giving the local municipalities the tools they'll need to help balance their budgets. You think people are upset now? Give it another week or two.

Yes, my wife, brother and S-I-L are concerned about job security, quality of education, class room size... but they feel the union is way out of control. My wife is disgusted that she has to pay over $1100 in union dues to a union that spends a huge portion of it's funds to endorse candidates she'd never support, bargains for health insurance for domestic partners and doesn't make the residency rule a top priority in negotiations. And what can she get back if she requests a refund for the political action portion of the dues? $80. What a joke. She's willing to invest a few hundred dollars in a professional teachers organization to lobby the local and state law makers on the things that are important to her.

A huge problem with this country is that people are spending way beyond their means, trying to keep up with the "Jones" and don't know how to save.

I wish the Packers had a game this weekend. Things were so different two weeks ago.
 
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beezers958
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-03
Posts: 130
Location: Shorewood, WI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:43 am Reply with quote Back to top

If you follow what the state unions have been saying from the beginning, this is not about benefits, but about bargaining rights.

Whether you are union or not, the job benefits you have, have largely come from the struggle of unions. Look at the history of workers' rights in the US and then argue with me.

If you want to go back to the old days (see working in the coal mine) then support our Gov.

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Wow, you got me a new GPS for Christmas and I didn\'t even ask for one! I\'m that obviously obsessed? 
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sweetlife
WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member



Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2540
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

IMPO getting rid of the unions and bargaining rites would be a good thing. it would level the playing field, and trim the fat easier. I say if the state, county, local employees don't like it, let them strike, with the unemployment the way it is, there are plenty of people who would be willing to cross a picket line to feed their families. (and who knows, might be able to do the job better and keep that job in the future) those of you who have the state, county, and local jobs should be happy that you have a job to go to.

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The Crippler
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-04-15
Posts: 158
Location: Walworth

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:11 am Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry guys, my wife came home with a worksheet indicating the changes in benefits would translate to a $528 dollar reduction in her pay per month. She also came home with a letter of non-renewal indicating even with these changes they still expect to lay-off 30-60 teachers. I don't know about you but that loss of $528 per month is a little more than $50 per month and will mean some major belt tightening. Nobody, Republican or Democrat, teacher or Wal-mart cashier, will find it easy to adjust to that much of a loss. PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY: Despite this unpleasant news, we are willing to do our part but feel very concerned about the young teachers, many of them single mothers who will not be able to manage such a loss. I guess it will be their choice to continue in this profession.

What is interesting is that nobody has brought up the real reason this bill is being pushed through. Its not about the money, most realize they have to pay and the unions have conceded this fact. The real issue is about busting the unions who are the only organized political group that opposes the Republicans in multiple print and media adds each election cycle. With the major Democratic PAC out of the way it will be much smoother sailing for the Republicans and their PACs to spread their messages of doom and gloom. If you really think it is about anything else then you really do not understand today's politics and how Walker and his associates are already crafting their re-elections. Every politician, Democrat or Republican makes just about every decision based on whether this will help them or cost them in the next election. It really is not about the people, it is about them.

Please re-read this post before commenting and realize that I said it is not about the benefits for us, or a majority of the people, this is simply about politics, and we all know it.
 
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BigJim60
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7211
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:18 am Reply with quote Back to top

Johnny Cache wrote:
Losing??? This is going towards your pension that you get back at retirement.


Maybe "losing" wasn't the best word choice. How's this? We will be "contributing" 8% of our salary. Contribute is the word that the governor used. At retirement that money will (hopefully) be there for us, but like I said before it's not just about the money. The main issue is that it takes away collective bargaining and weakens the unions.

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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the detailed insight from an "insider," JC. I am also waiting for the other shoe to drop when the budget proposal is actually released.
 
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The Crippler
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-04-15
Posts: 158
Location: Walworth

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:23 am Reply with quote Back to top

Here is the detailed insight that JC has provided. Given his own information provided (Currently MPS is pumping $470.65/check into my wifes WRS plan (Close to $10k/yr), $28K/yr for our families health insurance, $1k for dental insurance, $126.21 for vision with a salary of $73k), under this bill, his wife will now need to contribute the following:

His wife will now need to pay $235.32 per paycheck for retirement. This is her 5.8% share of her salary toward the 11.6% retirement contribution.

She will also need to pay 12% of her health insurance. Based on the provided figures this would be $3360 per year or $140 per check, if paid 2x per month, or $129.23 per check if paid 26 times per year.

What this means for JC is that each check of his wife would be reduced between $375.32 to $464.55 depending on her pay cycle of either 24 checks per year or 26 checks per year.

I would like to thank JC and his wife for willing to kick in their fair share but it leaves me to wonder how they are going to handle the loss of $750 to $900 per month in discretionary income. I would imagine they will scale back purchasing considerably.

I would also like to point out the most important part of this budget fix that will impact Mrs. JC. This is simple economics. Currently, from information provided, Mrs, JC earns $73,000 per year as an educator in MPS. I am sure she has worked very hard to reach this status and has advanced degrees to prove it. I commend her dedication to her career.

However, this is what the stark reality will be. MPS has a huge budget gap, lets say that gap is around $5,000,000. All it would take for MPS to close that gap would be to fire MRs. JC and her $73.000 per year salary + benefits, and hire a new teacher starting at $30,000 per year. Guess what? MPS didn't actually reduce class sizes or downsized, they just got rid of the highest cost goods for a cheaper alternative. Its like 2 stores offering milk for sale but one store offers it for 1/2 the cost of the other. Where do you go by your milk?

Lets do the math: 73,000 minus 30,000 = 43,000. Take the $5,000,000 dollars MPS needs and divide that by 43,000 and you only need to locate and replace about 100 teachers (with benefits) in MPS making Mrs. JC's salary. I would think that would not be a difficult task giving the sheer numbers of MPS educators.

Too bad Mrs JC doesn't have seniority left as an argument for not letting her go, but as it was stated earlier, this is the way business operates.

Thank you for doing your part, as I stated before, we are willing to make that sacrifice too, but adding the insult of losing the position on top the huge reduction is something that does not seem right. Good thing Mrs JC doesn't have to worry about this scenario until 2013. Start saving, oh wait, that might be a little difficult to do...
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

I appreciate that insight as well. As someone who is now self employed I have no one else paying for my benefits and I'm paying for benefits like unemployment (twice the rate most people do because I pay both the employer and employee share) that I am not eligible to collect. So It's difficult to wrap my head around some of these concepts, and this insight is all very enlightening.
 
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Johnny Cache
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-08-30
Posts: 304
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Let's see, we'll go with the number you came up. $235.32 for pension. I guess if we really need the money to pay bills, I could cut back on my self directed 401k contribution.

$3360 for Health Insurance? I guess I'll finally have to look at getting health insurance with my company instead putting it on the backs of the 5 million tax payers of the state. Taking me off her plan, will reduce her number but increase my health insurance. Last time I looked, I think the employee only cost at our company was around $10K, so @ 25%, my $2500 portion could save us some money. I guess I'll have to look at co-pays, deductibles, drugs and co-insurance to see which plan I'm better off with. So let's just agree that the health insurance bite won't be as bad as advertised.

The math for eliminating 100 teachers in Milwaukee is off. Look closely at starting pay for a teacher with a BA. To make up the hypothetical 5 million budget gap, you'd have to get rid of a few more. Wait for the state budget in March. A $5 million budget gap in Milwaukee would be probably be a good thing.

As I said earlier, June Carter and my other family members are concerned about job security, quality of education, class room size... there's no doubt about that. But is a union the only way to secure those? Are you suggesting to the 5 million taxpayers of this state, that we should guarantee all public service their jobs but not have the same guarantee? Do you think it is a basic right that everyone be guaranteed a job? That's part of the problem. There are a few crappy teachers out there. Do they deserve that guarantee too?

We hold out hope and optimism that Milwaukee and the other 1000+ municipalities will want to keep their high educated and experienced teachers and find other ways to trim there budgets.

I found this amusing:

The Crippler wrote:
the Republicans and their PACs to spread their messages of doom and gloom


The Crippler wrote:
Too bad Mrs JC doesn't have seniority left as an argument for not letting her go, but as it was stated earlier, this is the way business operates.


Sandlanders started out the thread with a reminder to be respectful, civil and no name calling. It's been pretty tame and yet I see the tell tale labels of Dictator, Doom and Gloom and suggestions that Walker will take us back to the Coal Miner years. There's plenty of labels I could use for Union, but will have to give it some more thought.
 
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