A Conservative View

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Archive for the tag “Milwaukee”

WISCONSIN-HAS MADE ALL TEACHERS FUTURE ENDANGERED

 

Every teacher in America can thank the Milwaukee school district greed for driving the nail in the coffin for most teachers nationwide. The slaughter of good teachers is well underway here in Texas. Wisconsin should not get all of the credit as California, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, New York, Illinois and others were just as guilty of sticking it to the taxpayer. Unfortunately Milwaukee greed in particular, got in the crosshairs between a new Governor and democratic legislature that captured the headlines and put a well deserved bulls-eye on the teachers and the unions. What has happened in Wisconsin will reshape the future for every school district in America. Fortunately many do actually deserve to be penalized; sadly the ones who have been managed professionally will suffer more.

I like to refer to this as the “Learning Curve Law of Survival”. This law was invented by some government bureaucrat a long time ago. In 1954 I entered management at the ripe old age of 24. To survive working on government contracts I quickly learned that when the government has to reduce costs it never included common sense. The slashing will be an across the board percentage removed from your budget. If you managed your function frugally, you will suffer more than the ones who padded the books. What you make sure of before the next budget axe falls is to prostitute yourself with some cushion. Our U.S. government invented this “Law” and they practice it at every level with precise perfection.

When the smoke clears after the ensuing blood bath to end the union’s destruction of education, the ones who have unionized will suffer as they should. Unfortunately the ones who have been honest will suffer beyond reason.

Let me share some “Facts” from the Milwaukee schools. The average public school employee receives 74.2 cents in benefits for each $1 of their base pay. This is three times the benefits of the average private sector worker. The same ratio probably exists for most teachers in states that have right-to-work systems.

In Wisconsin educators also participate in Social Security. This is not true in all states. In Wisconsin there is also a state pension plan that requires 6.8% of wages being provided by the employer and 6.2% by the employee. Except in Milwaukee the public pays the teachers share also. Milwaukee teachers also enjoy another supplemental pension which the district pays 4.2% of their salaries and the teacher pays zilch. The district also pays 100% of the costs for medical and vision benefits and over 50% of cost for dental insurance. If you forgot my earlier posting, the teachers union in Wisconsin owns the insurance company with near iron clad guarantee of renewal. One other “Milwaukee Perk” is the taxpayer pays 100% for retired public employees.

As I posted earlier there are 98,000 members of the National Education Association (NEA) in Wisconsin. The NEA has 3.2 million members to fund its operations. They have 31 employees that earn over $200,000.00 a year. Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president, receives $397,721in salary and benefits. Guess who gets 98% of the NEA political donations? They currently have $216,000,000.00 in assets.

Unfortunately for the teachers in Texas, the legislature is in process of a budget crisis faced in all but four states. Preliminary information is that they are going to slash education funding over 20% next year. They are not as dumb as a rock as many would believe. They know that the brouhaha in Wisconsin about giving teachers outlandish benefits will provide them with media support and excuses for letting education take the brunt of budget cuts. I am currently in the process of gathering facts for Texas budget cuts. I plan to challenge the legislative wisdom of practicing the “The Learning Curve Law of Survival” if they actually pass any across the board cuts.

The really sad situation, for the entire United States, will be that the real loser will be the children. For some reason they have been omitted from all the media and political attention.

C Brewer

PUBLIC SERVICE UNIONS & DEMOCRATS

 

I created this blog for people who rely upon the main stream media for news on current events. The lack of honest reporting by the media is a shame because an afflicted moron understands you can’t keep printing more money to fund programs that are disasters. Sharing facts and history will hopefully wake up enough voters to stop the runaway train wreck.   

Wisconsin’s looming $3.6 billion 2012/13 budget deficit has thankfully generated nationwide concerns for why we have unionized tax paid employees. It is a fact that private sector taxpayers who fund these unions are demanding that Washington operate with a “balanced Budget”, just like the States have to do by law. 

Wisconsin appears close to imposing economic common sense on the state’s public employee unions by capping their wages, increasing contributions to healthcare/pension plans and eliminating collective bargaining.

Most vocal among Wisconsin’s 300,000 public employee union members are protesters from the 98,000-member teacher’s union. They are now paid, on average, more than $75,000 in wages and benefits. Wisconsin parents should be protesting against these teachers, who are motivated more by tenured job security, than improving student performance.

The latest federal education data reveals less than 40 percent of 8th grade students in the state’s government schools meet basic requirements for math and reading performance. The fact is the state spends more per student ($10,791) than any other Midwest state. In Milwaukee, the average teacher compensation package exceeds $100,000, the graduation rate is under 50 percent and for black children it is below 35 percent. I can’t find a plan to improve this dismal performance to evaluate.

Please read the next sentence slowly.” Government unions face no competition, so there is no impetus to produce or perform at a higher level. To call government union negotiations “bargaining” is insane! 

[Public-sector] unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to grow. Unions use dues extracted from members to elect politicians who favor the unions. Governments are not expected to make a profit, but they need to understand the process. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy ‘negotiations’ with unions. I assume that you are aware that the politicians I refer to are 99% democrats.

During the 2010 election cycle, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees spent $87.5 million in union dues for the sole purpose of electing Democrats. More millions more went to “advocacy campaigns” that skirt the law to promote Leftist candidates. I don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling this helped the taxpayer.

Our business genius, Barack Hussein Obama, whose most vociferous support comes from unions, offered this predictable partisanship: “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they are just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally, seems like more of an assault on unions.” The federal prisons are full of individuals convicted of fraud but Congress, over the years, has legalized graft for themselves and the union supporters.

The government union game hasn’t always been rigged. Government unions didn’t even exist until 1959, when the state of Wisconsin granted public employees “collective bargaining rights.”  Even Franklin Roosevelt understood that permitting government employees to establish unions constituted a corruption of public trust.

Since 1960 the Democrat Party has supported government unions with even more vigor than its support for non-government unions, and consequently, ignored the best interest of the people with their own self-interests. Today 24 states grant “collective bargaining rights” to government employee unions, and the resulting breach of public trust is evident in each of those states, particularly in education. My state, Texas, is a “Right to Work” state where union membership is not mandated. A future blog will explain how Texas teachers contribute to and run their own retirement system. 

In 1979, Jimmy Carter re-established the U.S. Department of Education. The department’s mission was, ostensibly, to promote student achievement in preparation for global competitiveness. Yet, since its formation 32 years ago, student achievement compared to other nations has declined.  In fact, the Department of Education reported that American students when rated with the 32 largest industrial nations ranked 17th in math, 21st in science and 32nd in reading. Wow, what an improvement.

Unions understand the strategic impact of the battle now underway in Wisconsin. “If we lose in Wisconsin, it’s going to be a domino effect,” proclaimed Teamster John Hennelly. “This is just the opening salvo in a war.” Democrats also know this battle is critical to the perpetuation of political dynasties.

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), who decried our nation’s heated political rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shootings, had this advice for the union protesters, “I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.” I guess Obama’s plea for civility was only directed to the tea party?

Hopefully the new House majority in Washington and all 24 States without right-to-work laws will take a cue from happenings in Wisconsin and stop the flow of money to maintain government employee union benefit programs.

Everyone take a deep look at who actually benefits from Obama/Reid/Polosi “shovel ready” projects.

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