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The Crippler
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

As a true Walker fan you only saw what you wanted to see. I was extremely respectful of your wife and her chosen career path. I pray she does not have to chose a different career path when her contract is up in 2012. My fear is that she will and all that experience and wisdom will be replaced by someone forced to take far less. What a loss for all involved. You two are a few of the lucky ones. With the contracts MPS already has in place you won't feel these effects for a few years yet.
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 294
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Just noticed a piece in the Kenosha paper that Walker's budget proposal will include big cuts in state aids to school districts. No surprise there, but it went on to say that if districts are unable to make up this shortfall through their own budget cuts and, of course, staff reductions, property tax increases could result. That'll be interesting, if it happens. So, with collective bargaining rights gone, seniority would no longer be a factor in deciding who's laid off during staff reductions. We wonder how districts will decide? Maybe the most experienced and highest-paid teachers will be let go. Hopefully, the job creation plan that the governor did talk about when he ran will include a few for those folks. Can't wait to see what happens next!

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\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5385
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The Waupun School District extended their retirement notice deadline to the end of this month, instead of Feb. 12th. So far, 14 teachers have notified them of early retirement.

A sign of things to come?
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

JimandLinda wrote:
The Waupun School District extended their retirement notice deadline to the end of this month, instead of Feb. 12th. So far, 14 teachers have notified them of early retirement.

A sign of things to come?


Look on the bright side, that could free up some spots for some fresh perspective and new energy:

http://walworthcountytoday.com/news/2010/jul/19/teacher-job-openings-hard-find-and-high-demand/
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 294
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:51 pm Reply with quote Back to top

School districts do often achieve staff reductions through attrition. Not being familiar with the situation in Waupun, I couldn't say if that would be the case there. I do know if I was 50 years old with 25 years of experience and found myself out on the street looking for another job, I'd have a hard time looking on the bright side.

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\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Captain and Mate wrote:
I do know if I was 50 years old with 25 years of experience and found myself out on the street looking for another job, I'd have a hard time looking on the bright side.


Wait...I thought they were retiring. Now they're out on the street? I'm confused. Oh well.

Hey, I said I wasn't going to comment on this because I thought it was a bad idea. Guess I lied, sorta like calling in sick when you're not and then getting a fake doctor's excuse besides...
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

gotta run wrote:
Guess I lied, sorta like calling in sick when you're not and then getting a fake doctor's excuse besides...

I had to read this twice. At first I thought you meant "fake doctor". Laughing

I just pity the taxpayers that are going to have to foot the bill for all these office visits. After all you do have to visit the doctor and they get paid generally when you need a doctor's excuse.

On a side note - I talked to someone that used to be on Iowa's state medical examiners board and they had a very interesting opinion on this. A few of the terms used was unprofessional, unethical, and illegal along with "putting their license on the line".
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 294
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Captain and Mate wrote:
I do know if I was 50 years old with 25 years of experience and found myself out on the street looking for another job, I'd have a hard time looking on the bright side.


Sorry I was unclear. What I meant was a situation where a district reduced staff not through seniority (staff with the least seniority are laid off first), but rather let the highest-paid teachers go first to save the most money. This was mentioned in a previous post in this thread and would be, in my opinion, a distinct possibility if the budget repair bill becomes law. I only have experience in one school district (my own), but here, a 50 year old teacher with 25 years could, technically, take early retirement. The only catch would be they'd get nothing since they'd be too young and would not have enough years of experience to receive retirement benefits, either from the district or from the Employee Trust Fund. Another teaching job is out of the question regardless of this hypothetical person's skill level because any district would hire someone younger first.

On another note, I've seen an astounding lack of empathy in some of the posts here and elsewhere. These are real people who have families, kids in college, debts to pay, just like everyone else (private sector included). I guess it's easy to have a cavalier attitude when you're not the one being affected. Yes, times are tough. Yes, others are making sacrifices. Those who are listening have heard teachers and others say they are willing to make sacrifices, too. The quality of the educational system in this state is at stake here. I'm sure these comments will be soundly criticized, but I feel very strongly about this issue and stand by everything I've said.

_________________
\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:51 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Captain and Mate wrote:
I guess it's easy to have a cavalier attitude when you're not the one being affected.


Actually I think the attitudes here are anything but cavalier. I see passion behind the arguments on both sides. Obviously I don't agree with one side (that goes without saying for anyone involved--you have one side or the other most likely), but I do empathize for many reasons, including having my own family, having worked in a union shop, and having been a teacher, albeit for a very brief period of time.

What amazes me is to what extent the union has sold its members down the river in this case. Much fanfare was made about the "concessions." Let's see...what concessions were offered? Salary and benefits--things that will directly cost employees. What concessions are off the table? Anything related to collective bargaining and not having to pay membership fees--things that will cost unions.

For those who want to talk about the "little guy" not having a voice, look no further than the "Big Business" that has become today's unions--more political machine than protector, and a structure that instituionalizes mediocrity by rewarding seniority over merit.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Gosh dang it, I said I wasn't going to say anything and I made a liar out of myself, and this is exactly why. I really don't need to waste my time going back and forth arguing about this here. It's not going to change anyone's opinion. What's the point....I'm done
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 294
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think we know where we stand here. Over and out.

_________________
\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5385
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:31 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I appreciate the opinions posted here, whether I agree or not. Hearing both sides, and coming to an agreement somewhere in the middle (as a group) would be a radical idea, wouldn't it?

Let's call it "collective bargaining" and see how long it lasts.

Or we could try the opposite! "No more discussing both sides of the issue. Just do as the majority says and deal with consequences, whatever they are. As long as the budget gets fixed, nothing else matters."

Like I commented previously... history is being made in Wisconsin, but who knows what the longterm outcome will be.

This household has 1 county employee and 1 self-employed worker. We are watching and waiting, but no sick days are planned.

We are also checking out dual citizenship for a country in Europe. Might as well be ready!
 
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The Crippler
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:52 am Reply with quote Back to top

Hey, do you think I will be able to ask for a refund of the portion of money I spend at most businesses that goes to their corporate lobbying efforts? Just following the logic here and it makes sense...

Oh wait, I am sure there is no corporate money going toward lobbying, none of the passed tax breaks will ever mean that there is more to spend for their causes...What was I thinking, sorry for the post.
 
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Johnny Cache
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The Crippler wrote:
Hey, do you think I will be able to ask for a refund of the portion of money I spend at most businesses that goes to their corporate lobbying efforts?


Not that I know of. But you do have every right NOT to do business with those that upset you. For a list of those, just read some of the signs in Madison. You have that choice. Now flip the argument. Does my wife have a choice NOT to be in the union?


This is a good discussion, and one that was inevitable. Yes, there will be a lot of sad stories and I'm sure they'll be front and center in the news. My family will be affected by whatever is eventually passed. I'm concerned for my brother, who has 4 kids and a wife that works part time. I'm deeply concerned for my S-I-L that is a single mother with 2 kids. But this is a situation where I think everyone needs to think with their heads and not with their hearts.

Itís obvious where I stand, but Iím really trying to understand some of the arguments for collective bargaining. The repair bill states that the public employees will still have the right to organize. Yes, I realize that itís only for wage concession and not for benefits or work rules. But it also states that a public employee would now have a right NOT be part of that organized effort. Iím really looking for answers here to better understand.

Do you feel a public employee should have a right NOT to be part of an organized group?

The question I asked earlier and have yet to see a response:

Do you feel public employees should be a protected class and have employment protections not seen in the private sector?

That question has been the #1 concern throughout this thread. Yes it would be horrible if experience and years of dedication was brushed aside to protect the bottom line and I would be pissed if I were replaced. But itís something that the majority of workers in this state live with. What makes public service special? When itís mentioned that you are different and should be treated better than all other workers, you are going to upset a lot of people.

In the many states that don't have collective bargaining for public workers, have their public employees been treated like crap? Is there a lack of qualified employees to fill all of those positions? Are there job openings? I doubt it.

Letís take some of the heat away from the teachers.

STAFF: (salary and benefits) DPI Database

Arrowhead - Bus Manager - Kopecky - $169,525
Arrowhead - Principal - Wieczorek - $152,519
Burlington - Bus. Manager - Smet - $148,512
Burlington - Asst. Principal - Burling - $122,601
Germantown Ė Asst. Principal - Dave Towers - $123,222
Elmbrook - Burleigh Elementary - Principal Zahn- $142,315
Madison - Asst Principal - McGrath - $127,835

UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN STAFF (2009) (salary alone):

Michael Knetter - Prof of Bus - $327,828
Carolyn Martin -Chancellor Mad- $437,000
Hector Deluca - Prof of Nutritional Science - $254,877 (really?)

MADISON GARBAGE MEN (2009) (salary only):

* Garbage man, Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.
* Garbage man, Tatman, earned $125,598
* 7 Madison garbage men made over $100,000
* 30 Madison garbage men made over $70,000

MILWAUKEE CITY BUS DRIVERS (salary only - Source WTMJ)

136 Drivers made more than $70,000
54 Drivers made more than $80,000
18 Drivers made more than $90,000
8 Drivers made more than $100,000
Top Driver made $117,000

The average private bus driver makes $9-13 an hour (about 20,000 yr) with no pension, or healthcare.


Now it was mentioned earlier that June and I are two of the lucky ones. We are fortunate that her contract goes until 2013, but in no way, do I feel we are lucky. I feel weíve worked extremely hard, been dedicated and made sacrifices to get to where we are. We both worked and paid our own way through college and graduate school. Maybe we weíre lucky to have parents that taught us to respect others, have a strong faith, work hard, be responsible, appreciate what you have and that life will have some rocky roads. Blessed, yes. Luck, no.

In my opinion, the lucky ones are the tens of thousands of public workers that are able to retire after 30 years of service at age 55 with a nice pension and health benefits. Show me that in the private sector.
 
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The Crippler
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hey Johnny,
I would love to be able to pick and choose who I do business with but unfortunately I have no choice in many situations. Do you have a choice in your electric company or gas company? Do you have a choice in the type of fuel you put into your car? Do you have a choice in going to a grocery that is not associated with the Wisconsin Grocer's Association?
I know, I guess I really do have a choice in that I could get rid of it all and live in the woods hunting (illegally) animals to feed me. Eventually, I would think I would get arrested for vagrancy or illegal hunting and then you will be supporting me. Very Happy

Do you know how much money public utilities and oil companies put into supporting candidates I do not support? Well, lets provide an example directly from the big news of the day: Straight from the Milwaukee Journal

"Koch Industries' political action committee was one of the biggest financial supporters of Walker's gubernatorial campaign last fall, giving $43,000 to his political fund.

David Koch also gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association last year, and Koch Industries contributed another $50,000. The RGA spent $65,000 on ads supporting Walker and an additional $3.4 million attacking Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker's Democratic opponent."

That's interesting, yet you insist that I be ok with this, but that you are not ok with other PACs supporting candidates you do not agree with.

Lets face it Johnny, after today's events, it is only about breaking the unions so they can not campaign.

Your examples of waste are interesting but they are not entirely correct. Your school district examples of are of individuals who are management and exempt from union membership. I can guarantee that they will all get nice bonuses when their employers have extra money to spare. The UW employees you mentioned are also exempt and if you compare there salaries to other universities you will see Wisconsin lags behind. We are having problems attracting top talent. The Milwaukee bus drivers get overtime because your governor, who used to be your county executive, instituted furlough days and hiring freezes. This did little for the finances but set him up as a champion of the tax dollar. By the way, did you know that the supervisors of those bus drivers are Walker appointees? Yes, appointees.

Johnny, I am an executive with a large not for profit that relies heavily on public funding. I have never gotten a bonus, I have layed off staff when times were tough and I hire additional people when I start seeing overtime in order to keep my costs in line and be a good steward of the public's money. If you think that the unions are blocking Milwaukee County from hiring additional bus drivers to curtail the overtime you are totally incorrect. Why would a union pass on any effort to have additional workers hired and pay additional and new union dues? Walker has blocked the additional hiring only as an illusion of being a fiscally prudent individual.

I will leave my argument with you conceding another one of your contentions. I do believe WIsconsin should be a right to choose state. I have no problem with that. Why not have a choice? In fact, what makes this country great is the right to choose. A right to choose state would allow the unions and employers the right to earn their "membership" by actually working for employees to join their ranks. Employers could offer perks for employees to say with them and unions could offer perks by actually working harder to earn their membership and dues. Please understand this, I am not agreeing to union busting, a right to choose state would still allow all bargaining rights to those who choose to remain in the unions.

So Johnny, I have now conceded to your two major points for this bill. (Making financial concessions on benefits and not needing unions for all) After your governor's major gaffe today would you concede that this is simply about getting rid of the major political force opposing republicans during election time?
 
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