Wis. Teacher Reacts To Controversial Budget Bill

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (WCCO) — Jarrod Hamdorf has been a math teacher for ten years. His wife’s been a Spanish teacher for nine. They both have master’s degrees. Even though they’re established in their careers, they’re both considering leaving the field.

Governor Scott Walker’s budget plans calls for teachers to pay much more toward healthcare and pension plans. Hamdorf figures that would cost him and his wife approximately $10,000 combined. The couple makes around $90,000 per year. They have a toddler now and another child on the way.

“If it was just the $10,000 pay, you’d just make do and move forward, but I can’t, I don’t, the uncertainty that’s coming out, you don’t know what’s coming down the road,” said Hamdorf.

He’s most worried that he and other teachers may lose collective bargaining rights. With plans to tie teacher wages to inflation, Hamdorf wonders if he’ll ever be able to get a raise.

“I don’t want to leave teaching. I really don’t,” said Hamdorf, as his voice choked up. “But if I have other talents, I mean, I’m just naive to not look at other stuff.”

Hamdorf got a lift Thursday morning when students showed their support for him and his colleagues at New Richmond High School.

“They cheered, they chanted my name, which was a first for me,” said Hamdorf, who showed off a note he received. “The kids got together and made thank you notes for us. Every teacher got one.”

Hamdorf respects Governor Scott Walker’s idealism, even if he doesn’t agree with the conservative’s ideas. He feels Walker’s plans to change how school are run are a case of “too much, too soon.”

“We don’t know what’s going to be the ramifications of changing how we do it,” said Hamdorf. “We don’t. Maybe it’s gonna make it better, maybe it’s gonna make it worse, but it sure seems like we’re cutting down the tree for a few limbs that need to be pruned, doesn’t it feel like that?”

Comments

One Comment

  1. Steve says:

    There is no sympathy on my end for teachers who are complaining about losing there collective bargaining arrangements. I was paying $10,000 dollars a year for health care for my wife and I when I was working for minimum wages after getting laid off. The unions are part of the problem with most states and there budget deficits. Time for everyone to share in the cuts

    1. RJ Calhoun says:

      Right on, all government employees are LAZY and not worth their outrageously inflated salaries. In my opinion teachers are the lowest of the low, they barely do anything and get 4 months a year off summer + every obscure holiday they can dream up. I hope that teachers face more and more financial strain.

      1. km says:

        Seriously? That’s about as intelligent as saying anyone with the last name of Calhoun is LAZY and not worth their outrageously inflated salary. If their initials are RJ, they are also the lowest of the low.

      2. Jocque says:

        Excuse me? but teachers do an extremely large amount of work. I am sorry, but you sir, are stereotyping the teaching profession. Teachers don’t have enough time in the day to do what they do now. I don’t know if you have children, but teachers are preparing our nation of children for the future. Someday, they will be running the country. Without teachers, our country would get no where and the quality of education, which is already far behind developed or developing nations like China, and Japan, would decrease therefore deepening the crisis and choking off the educated and intelligent individuals who run this country and make a difference everyday

    2. Lisa says:

      I agree with you Steve. My company pays for more than half of my health care premium but I still pay more than $10,000 and I make less than half what Jarrod and his wife make and support a disabled husband. No sympathy what so ever.

      1. Single Mother of Two in Wisconsin says:

        When is anyone going to look at the big picture? It’s ALL UNION WORKERS NOT JUST TEACHERS!!!

    3. Single Mother of two in Wisconsin says:

      So your saying that if you were a part of the Union you would not be angry that this is happening? I don’t think your right! I am a single mom with two children that is below poverty level of income and I don’t feel that anyone should be punished because they are in a Union!! They do their jobs! Mail Carriers are Union workers, so your saying that you would not be mad if your mail carrier didn’t deliver your mail? This is just the tip of the iceberg, what about cops, firefighters, factory workers? Yeah just think about how many people work for the union!!

    4. liarsteve says:

      Steve you were paying 10,000 dollars on a income of 20,000 dollars tops. Why don’t I believe.

    5. gabbyt says:

      I agree with you. They are just being greedy. Isn’t it enough that they have a good job? Why should they be so priviledged to pay so much less than people working in the private sector? I say, if they strike, fire them all! I’ll drive to Hudson for a cushy government job and gladly pay 12.5% of my healthcare!

    6. bob says:

      The Republican/Tea Party movement seems to be intent on destroying the very freedoms that the United States has labored so long to establish.
      It was a great thing while it lasted but I guess the downslide was inevitable.
      Fear and ignorance are a hard force to stomach though.

    7. Teach says:

      First of all, before you post something for everyone to see, I’d make sure your spelling was correct. It’s “their” not “there.” A teacher would make sure you knew that.🙂

  2. Marty says:

    You gotta be kidding me. Many families in this country barely make $30,000 and they have to pay for their own medical. These teachers will be just fine with this cut. It may be a little drastic but we need to make cuts somewhere. I know many families that are unemployed and they are still making it and somehow paying for their kid’s college. I’m sorry, but these teachers need a reality check of how bad this economy is. As for New Richmond teachers, you shouldn’t be whining. You got a brand new 96 Million dollar school, maybe you should asked for more pay.

  3. Kayla says:

    Poor teachers…oh poor teachers. It must be tough to contribute so little to your benefits and then actually be asked to do something. I’ve paid thousands of dollars in taxes, and all while being a single person paying my own benefits and copays, etc.

    1. Single Mother of Two in Wisconsin says:

      So your saying you can be a teacher when these teachers quit because of stupidity!! If it weren’t for them you wouldn’t even have a job or know how to read and write so what now? Yes poor teachers is right!! They teach us everything we know, did you forget about when you went to school? I have two children in school and they love their teachers and I know I work full-time and can’t afford to quit my job to teach them at home, so if their teachers quit it would seriously make me angry because our governor is ignorant!!

      1. Marty says:

        Let me tell you something Single Mother, they may teach us everything we need to know, but do they deserve that much pay. Do they deserve it when my family makes enough just to put food on the table. I’m sorry in this country we are always united. We go through good times equally and bad times equally. Just because teachers educate the next generation doesn’t mean they get to be above my hard working family in this economy. Think about it.

      2. Lisa Knutson Zeller says:

        This is for Marty, believe it or not teachers are really not paid the “big bucks” you think they are. I know plenty of teachers who have to work two jobs just to make ends meet. Now tell me where are the big bucks?? Oh wait that is right the big bucks are located at the government level and the coporate level not down here at the middle class working level. You should be ashamed of yourself for speaking so poorly of teachers. But then again maybe you didn’t have teachers to teach you anything and that is why you are so ignorant!

      3. Marty says:

        Wow Lisa, are you really talking down to me like that. You just made me look like the bad guy in this whole things. I’ll tell you this, I know a lot of teachers that don’t have two jobs and still do extremely well. Drive around a staff parking lot one day and look at some of the vehicles they drive. When you just called me ignorant you made yourself as low as possible. All I said in my comment is that everyone is hurting in this economy, so should the teachers. I’m sorry if I’m too stupid to make it sound better.

  4. big dogg says:

    90 k a year I am paid well and my wife does ok and we don’t pull that. I put 7% to my 401 K, my wife does 5% and pays 11% to medical. Time to face the facts you just don’t want the gravy train to end. Get the job done Scott…

    1. Susan says:

      I agree 100%. Let’s get the job done and make all state workers, including teachers, pay their fair share. I’ve been a single parent, working in healthcare for the past 35 years. So many people excuse the amount that teachers are paid by saying: “You couldn’t pay me enough to do their job.” Well, I know there are darn few teachers out there who would have ever been willing to work weekends, nights and holidays for the kind of money that I make……and I’m not an entry level employee. I currently pay 20% toward my health insurance (and consider that a gift) and I’m paying more into a 403b for my retirement. My employer pays 3% toward my retirement……not 100%. Teachers, state and county employees need to join the ‘real’ world. It’s tough out here. Thank you to Scott Walker. He’s a very brave man!

  5. elmo says:

    Hmm? I have a Masters, and was laid off in ’05, and last year I made 12,000. Health care? What is that?

  6. Huk Fin says:

    Those complaining about teacher pay are overlooking the fact that this is a profession that requires a college degree and continuing graduate credits beyond that that teachers must pay for out of their own pocket. Additionally you need to realize that if the base salary for a teacher with a masters is $45,000, this is about $15,000 less than the national average salary for a master’s degree. The fact is that teachers are underpaid, grossly under-appreciated, and unfairly vilified by an ill-informed public.

    1. tiredandretired says:

      Huk, you are absolutely correct, on all points expressed!

      1. RJ Calhoun says:

        Wrong, teachers are grossly overpaid for they’re LAZY lackadaisical bums, I hope there is a little financial stress in their futures!

      2. Go Teachers! says:

        Where do you get all of your information? It seems like you have a lot to say. If your so hung-up on how teachers are lazy, then maybe you should look at yourself. I do not understand you can even say things like that. You are not a teacher. You do not understand anything that they go through. How can you say they are lazy? If you think that teachers are lazy, then every single person who works in an office is just as lazy.

      3. RJ Calhoun says:

        THOSE WHO CAN, DO…THOSE WHO CAN’T, TEACH! They are very lazy and generate nothing worthwhile and are simply drains on our money. I hope the teachers get what they’ve got coming…I hope they get straight bamboozled in the next legislative session!

      4. L says:

        So therefore you just called me lazy. I am a student teacher. I take 18 credits and work 2 jobs which equals almost 40 hours a week and somehow I am lazy. I spend at least 30 hours a week writing lesson plans and i am lazy? You can not really comment on anything involving teachers. If you have never been in their position or have gone through that experience then you will never know.

    2. Shelley says:

      Agree…..most people would never cut it in the classroom. I know I wouldn’t. I’ve spent 23 years working in classrooms as a technical specialist from early childhood special ed thru high school special ed as well as the full range of regular ed. From what I’ve seen, it seems that many parents gave up their parental responsibilities to the teachers.

      1. Justin Samuels says:

        Mr. Hamdorf is an incredible teacher, and having to teachers leading his household i can only imagine how this must affect him. Those of you above that stated above what can only be deemed by the most objective reader as insulting comments on people that are doing something great an making an honest living would do better to discuss such things somewhere else. Teachers have an extremely difficult job, not only must they teach, but to do so you have t connect with hundreds of children in a considerably short amount of time. Without quality teachers the future of our country as a whole would be absolutely hopeless. Children spend 3/4 of their weekday in school, listening to teachers and soaking up everything they say and do. It is a large part of this to instill certain values in our youth, grant them access to the knowledge they yearn for, as well as reach out to some students that need more assistance and not simply disregard them. You show no respect for what teachers do everyday. I assure you the terms fat, and lazy are an immature thing to say in regard to someone you know nothing about. And especially to broadly generalize a group of people by an occupation they share and then go on to verbally assault them and degrade what they spend there life doing. Teachers deserve our respect, and moreover they deserve are support.

    3. Billy says:

      Does the average person with a masters degree only have to work 9 months out of the year? If they worked 12 months it would come out to 60,000 per year and that is not including their health insurance, pension, or any other benefits!

    4. Jocque says:

      Huk, you are completely right. I agree 100%

    5. Susan says:

      And teachers make that amount in approximately 7.5 months, when you deduct summers and holidays. Teachers are causing themselves to be ‘vilified’ when they are the ones doing the most protesting. We hear all the time of the terrible plight of teachers………what about health care, what people working to build your home, build the school……they aren’t necessarily required to have a BA/BS or a masters but on the other hand, they do work that wouldn’t be done by teachers. You’ve probably complained in the past about having to pay time and half or double time to get a plumber or electrician to come to your home for a late night or weekend repair. Could you get a teacher to work weekends, nights, holidays? NO! It’s the greatest scam in this nation. ‘The best full-time pay for a part-time job.’ A quote from a retired teacher.

  7. Troy says:

    I work in the private sector and I’m guessing most of you that are commenting do as well. I think most of you are missing the point. The teachers that I know are not complaining about the loss of wage, they are more concerned about their loss of their collective bargaining rights. Honestly, I don’t blame them. The Union has been around for 50+ years, and it’s their to protect the rights of the worker. Private sector lets be honest. We love the freedom of not being tied to a wage. I would hate it. However, I know that I’m taking that risk. I always find it a bit interesting when times are good and the private sector is booming we want nothing to do with the public sector “I make more money than a teacher”. However, when times are bad we love to hammer on the public sector and say they are on “gravy train”. I bet you wouldn’t be saying that if our private sector was making our pockets full, not tied to a wage!

    1. tiredandretired says:

      Thanks, Troy, for being objective and fair.

      1. Shelley says:

        Exactly….and what most people don’t realize is that school district pay for support personnel is not on the high end, but they attract people for the benefits. Most support people would make more money in the private sector.

      2. underpaid says:

        I am a support staff personal for a local school, we make less than 18,000 per year and we receive no health benefit or any type of medical benifits for that matter, we get 4 days of holiday pay per year, and do not get paid through the summer and have to seek other employment through out the summer to make ends meet. lets not confuse support personal with teachers or their income and benefits.

      3. Support staff says:

        I too am on the support staff and we get little for benefits and what we do get we have to pay for. But without the collective bargining we would be in worse shape please no matter what your stance is don’t let Governor Walker take that away from any of us!!

    2. Barb says:

      I think teachers are underpaid!

      1. Marty says:

        If you think teachers are underpaid should we raise taxes to give them more pay, putting more stress on families that are barely making it as is?

    3. Mike says:

      Amen to that! You hit the nail right on the head with your comment.

      1. Mike says:

        That should’ve been under Troy’s comment..

    4. Sheila says:

      Thank you Troy! Back in the early 2000’s when the private sector was booming, everyone would look at teachers, chuckle and shake their heads at the low salary, and then say, “Well, you chose that profession.” Now when things are bad, we are looked at as evil and lazy. Would these people be okay with tying the good times in the economy to teacher’s wages so that in the boom times, teacher’s could get a little of that “gravy” as well?

  8. Didn't drink the kool-aid says:

    $90,000 for TWO GRAD DEGREES & 19 yrs experience. How is that overpaid? It certainly doesn’t dound like a gravey train to me. In the private sector you make $45000 right out of college with an undergrad degree. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE & UNDER WHAT ROCK DO YOU LIVE?

    1. Marty says:

      What job in the private sector makes $45,000 off the bat with an undergrad degree?

      1. nikole says:

        Nursing. An RN with a two-year degree can make 45,000 easily working in a hospital…right off the bat. It really isn’t fair to say that teachers are lazy. I’m guessing those who are saying it probably have no children in the public school system.

      2. Marty says:

        I never said teachers were lazy, and thank you for showing me a job that makes that much.

      3. nikole says:

        oops sorry. I didn’t mean to say you said they were lazy. Some others did. I was just commenting towards them.

    2. Susan says:

      It’s a lot of $$$ when you figure in the fact that anyone in the private sector making that kind of $$$ is working no less than 2080 hours per year. A teacher works approximately 1300 hours per year so if we do the math, that equates to a little over $69/hour between the 2 of them. I thinks that’s pretty nice and I know many couples who would gladly ‘settle’ for that amount and would happily pay part of their own retirement and insurance.

  9. Marty says:

    How many jobs with masters degrees get 3 months off, get full benefits, and make 45,000 a year. Like we are all hurting, are teachers so much better than farmers, construction workers, factory workers, bank tellers, clerks, etc. That they don’t need to be affected by the economy?

    1. Michelle says:

      That is not true. Most people think that teachers get 3 months off or even 4 months off, but it is completely false. As a second year teacher I make 31,000 a year and never got my first summer off.

    2. Lori says:

      Farmers. Oh now thats an idea. How about we cut all the federal give-me’s that the farmers get. Its not called welfare. But its the same. Incentives. Subsidies. lay your land aside and the federal gov. will pay to you not do anything. There you have it Gov….go after those Dairy Farmers in your state.
      That should bring in the big bucks. You’re the Dairy State!!!!

      1. Marty says:

        Here’s the thing though, Farmer’s already barely make anything. $13.00 per hundred weight for milk I bet you don’t even know how bad that is.

      2. go farmers says:

        http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/annual_values/by_area/10?tab=prices

        Take a look at milk prices since 1992, compare those to the cost of living and the cost of a gallon of milk at the store and tell me that farmers don’t get a raw deal.
        How about the cost of equipment for farming. Or the price of fuel to run just the tractors? When I started driving in 1992, gas was about .76 a gallon, I don’t remember exactly, but I remember the fit my dad threw when it hit 1.00! All I know is that gas today is 425% higher than it was then at $3.23/gallon. Now milk prices as illustrated on chart in the link I posted, have gone up just 123%. So you think this is fair for farmers Lori? No reply is necessary, just remember that when you go to the store and buy milk next time, that back in 1992 it was probably less than a dollar a gallon too, and now it is around $4/gallon, do you think the farmers get the increase passed on to them, it wouldn’t seem so.

    3. Sheila says:

      Marty,
      When you figure in farm subsidies, many farmers are doing quite well. When you figure that construction workers work about 4 months a year then collect unemployment, they are doing darn well for 4 months of work. Factory workers, bank tellers and clerks don’t get paid that much–you’re right. But they also chose not to go to school to get an advanced degree–their choice.

  10. Lexie says:

    It should not be able ow much teachers get paid. As a future teacher I am expecting to get paid 30,000 a year with my undergraduate degree. This teacher and his spouse both have their master’s degree. They therefore get paid more than others. You also do not know if he is coaching any sports or in charge of any clubs around the school, they get paid for that as well. It is not about how much they are getting paid. It is about the teachers losing their collective bargaining rights. Many govermental jobs rely on the Union. The Union is about protecting their workers and making sure that everything is fair. Again, it is not about how much money they make, but taking away someone’s Union rights.

    1. Susan says:

      Lexie, it’s always about the money……don’t fool yourself or try to fool anyone else into thinking otherwise……it’s ALWAYS about the money. The union’s ‘interest’ in the employees is all about their money. Come on…..don’t be naive! It’s ALL about the money.

  11. James says:

    A teaching degree is one of the easiest degrees to obtain. They put in about 6 hours a day teaching, and have all the days the students have off; plus the entire summer. I worked in the public school system for many years, its a scam. The tax payers are the ones to suffer in the long run ! It’s time for a change.

    1. Ms. Teacher says:

      I’d love to know what you taught and why you left. As I mentioned in my comment below, I work far more than 6 hours a day. I go into work on some days off, and I would often go to workshops during the summer. The ones who really care about their job (teacher or not) are willing to put in the time to do a good job, regardless of how much they’re being paid.

      1. RJ Calhoun says:

        THOSE WHO CAN, DO…THOSE WHO CAN’T, TEACH! They are very lazy and generate nothing worthwhile and are simply drains on our money. I hope the teachers get what they’ve got coming…I hope they get straight bamboozled in the next legislative session!

    2. L says:

      If you really believe that teaching is one of the easiest degrees to obtain then I do not think that you have your facts right. It is just as difficult as any other degree. Plus if you add in about the $400.00 for all the licensure exams, the $30,000 dollar a year tuition, the TPAC during student teaching…i am sure it is about as difficult as becoming a nurse. You should check the requirements at your local university and see what they say.

  12. Melody says:

    I have my degree in Elementary Education. I went to an expensive Lutheran College outside of Chicago. Why did I do that?? So I could become a Director of Christian Education and work in churches. Lutheran Colleges=high tuition. Working in churches (at the church itself or as a teacher in a church school)=far less pay and benefits than what public teachers receive. The last two churches I have worked in (both in Western Wisconsin) took a blow when the economy went south a few years ago. As a result, they weren’t bringing in the donations as they were prior to the economy going south. The result: they needed to make cuts. At both churches I received a substantial cut in pay. At one of the churches I also took a substantial cut in benefits (at the other church I had no benefits at all). I’m not sure why those in the public sector feel that they should be treated differently than those in the private sector. When the money isn’t there, it isn’t there. As for collective bargaining: bull. Get rid of the unions and the great teachers will probably see an increase in pay and benefits because the unions won’t be there to protect the bad teachers who are sucking up $$. There would also be money that they aren’t paying in union dues for the greedy people who lead the unions. Teachers have to realize that Union leaders aren’t in it for the good of the teachers. They are in it for themselves. If throwing more money into education actually worked, we’d have the smartest people on the planet living here. We don’t.

    1. Susan says:

      Amen! The US spends more money on education than any other nation and yet we rank around 25th in results. Why is that? It’s because the teachers’ union protects that lousy teachers and the students and their education pay the price for that.

      Anyone who says “It’s not about the money.’ is either naive, stupid or a liar. It’s ALL about the money–both for the teachers and their union. Fire them all–including the lame Democrats in Madison who fled the state. Get back to work!

  13. Ms. Teacher says:

    I would love to know how teachers are lazy. I’m a teacher and I just got home from working a 13 hour day. In fact, that is the 3rd time this week. (I realize I’m maybe not the norm, but I am FAR from lazy!). I’m currently making less than what I should be making, but I was so happy to have a job this year (after being unemployed last year), I jumped at the opportunity.
    And while, we don’t “work” during the summer, we are required to go to workshops, get our classrooms ready, plan lessons to prepare for all the upcoming curriculum changes, and stay caught up on the ever changing education world.
    The kids are changing and it’s getting more and more difficult to JUST teach. We don’t get to necessarily do what we truly love to do, because so much gets in the way of that. I LOVE what I do and am glad that I’m teaching, but at what cost are people going to realize that we aren’t just glorified babysitters. Part of why the country is the way it is right now is because of budget cuts. We are short changing our children and the future. Yes, something needs to be done, but at what expense?

    1. Marty says:

      Ok, I understand know that teachers do have a lot to do in the summer and all teachers work extremely hard. But all I’m trying to say is every in this economy had to take cuts, no these teachers to make cuts like the rest of us. I know it sucks and its not fair but it has to been done in order for everything to work out in the end.

      1. Ms. Teacher says:

        I agree that changes need to be made, but there are some drastic changes that are being made. We are really doing a disservice to our children. Would I love to be paid more? Absolutely, but I’d rather have a job and be able to TEACH my students. That’s why I took a large paycut this year. I was just happy to have a job. Everyone is hurting right now, and it just plain sucks.

      2. Single Mother of Two in Wisconsin says:

        It’s all union workers not just the teachers!!! So now do you feel that way?? Yeah that’s what I thought! Your mail carrier will take a cut, your firefighters, the police, factory workers, and etc. EVERYONE IN A UNION WILL BE AFFECTED!! So look at the whole picture!!

    2. WI Teachers are Selfish says:

      Please quit your job. if you feel the hours are to long and the pay is to low. I know we can find somebody who can fill it and be happy.

      1. Ms. Teacher says:

        I believe you’re missing the point of what I was saying. I love my job. I’m lucky to have the flexibility to spend extra time doing what needs to be done. Do I have to stay late? No, but then my students would suffer, the test scores would go down, and then where would we be? I work hard, and that was my point. A few people were saying that teachers are lazy and I wanted to let them know that I’m a teacher and I’m not lazy. I’ve gotten nothing but terrific evaluations, I work hard, and I do everything I possibly can to help my students grow as members of our community. Most of my parents appreciate the extra things I do to ensure their child’s getting the best education I can possibly give them and the parents who don’t appreciate it are probably expecting me to parent their child so they don’t have to. I accept the challenges that we get, but I don’t always want them! Every single job has it’s pros and cons, and this is one of them. And like I said, I would love to be paid more, but obviously I’m not that concerned otherwise I wouldn’t have taken the job. It’s because of my love and passion for teaching that I make these decisions.

  14. Pension anyone? says:

    I don’t think it’s all about the pay, what about the pensions? Seems to me like $45K a year without having to contribute to a 401(k) isn’t too bad. In the private sector this is the same as a $60K job. Remember too this pension isn’t at risk like a 401(k) in the stock market, it’s guaranteed. Maybe some teachers can comment.

    1. Lmd says:

      I have taught for 8 years with a masters degree, working year round for a montessori school. I make 43,000 with zero benefits. Not even a discount on my daughter’s tuition!! What’s pension? What’s health insurance? I do it because I love children and want to contribute. I’m a great teacher and sadly, he good ones in the public sector may take these cuts to weed out the ones who do it for a 9 mo work year and government employee benefits.

  15. Abby says:

    Mr.Hamdorf should keep his head up and stay strong because we students at NRHS love and care and most important support our teachers in every way possible. No one wants our teachers to leave us, because then whats going to happen?! Students will start to drop out of school and never be able to get a REAL job. Im not just speaking for myself im speaking for most of the students that want to save our teachers jobs!!

    1. Susan says:

      It’s easy for students who don’t have to pay taxes, mortgages, health insurance to ‘support’ the teachers who do everything they can to influence the minds of their students. Wait until you are in the private sector. This isn’t a matter of people not respecting or appreciating what teachers do. It’s more a matter of teachers not respecting or appreciating what the rest of us do….Teachers and their unions have no idea of how bad it is out here for the rest of us. Ask any teacher that you’re supporting “Would you be willing to work weekends, evenings, nights, holidays to take care of sick people for the same money that you make?” If they were to answer truthfully, they woud say “Hell know!” Public school teachers have quite literally ‘held up’ the tax payers of this nation thru their demands for more and more $$ and benefits. Teachers have no sympathy for those who didn’t go into teaching and the amount of $$ that we don’t make. There’s no reason they should expect sympathy from us.

      Teachers shouldn’t expect to have the taxpayer pay for their retirement AND health insurance benefits. Who’s paying the retirement and health insurance benefit of the taxpayer????? It’s not the teachers or the teachers’ union….you can bet on that!

      1. Teach says:

        I think people should stop generalizing and stereotyping public workers, especially teachers. As a teacher, I totally respect and admire everyone who has a job. It’s not easy for anyone. I agree that there are some teachers out there who aren’t in teaching for the right reason, but it’s very hurtful when you lump us all into one category. i spend many hours a day teaching, I prep over the weekend so I am prepared for my kids come Monday, I spend my summers working a second job as well as preparing for the upcoming school year, and I spend any free time I can with my family. I also care for my parents who have many medical issues on weekends, evenings, nights, and holidays for absolutely no pay.

        I understand your frustration, and anyone else’s frustration with public workers, but please be considerate and don’t lump us all into one group. There are many honorable and hardworking public employees out there.

        Thank you, Abby, for your support. Thank you Susan for you insight.

      2. Teach says:

        P.S. Just wanted to let you know, Susan, that after your comment on February 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm to Justin Samuels about his spelling….you might want to check your own as well. In your previous comment here to Abby, you’re the one who wrote “Hell KNOW” instead of “no.” We all make mistakes, and it only makes ourselves look worse when we can’t admit our own.

  16. bob johnson says:

    I think anyone with a clue understands good teachers are very important and for the most part there pay is fair.The big issue is there benefits package including health care & pension plans what they have and what they have to contribute for these types of benefits is unheard of in the real world.

  17. cliff says:

    Either there is more to this story or there’s a bit of distortion here. The average teacher salary in WI for 2009-2010 was $52,604. They presently pay 2% for their pension and approx. 5% for their excellent healthcare coverage. They work 9 months a year and have more days off than almost any other profession. They hours are good. The working conditions and atmosphere is good. Now they have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to maintain this gravy train, including holding our kids hostage.

  18. Muhtadi says:

    My combined household income is $50,000 and our family med plans runs about $9,600 /year. Plus we work 80+ hours a week and don’t get summers off and currently have no one (we cannot afford it) paying for any pension/retirement plan.

    You wanna trade?

    My wife can speak Spanish (not sure how she managed to do that without a master degree).. I only have a bachelor degree but I am more than qualified to teach k-12 math.

  19. Justin Samuels says:

    In addition to what Abby said above, Mr. Hamdorf is an incredible teacher, and having to teachers leading his household i can only imagine how this must affect him. Those of you above that stated above what can only be deemed by the most objective reader as insulting comments on people that are doing something great an making an honest living would do better to discuss such things somewhere else. Teachers have an extremely difficult job, not only must they teach, but to do so you have t connect with hundreds of children in a considerably short amount of time. Without quality teachers the future of our country as a whole would be absolutely hopeless. Children spend 3/4 of their weekday in school, listening to teachers and soaking up everything they say and do. It is a large part of this to instill certain values in our youth, grant them access to the knowledge they yearn for, as well as reach out to some students that need more assistance and not simply disregard them. You show no respect for what teachers do everyday. I assure you the terms fat, and lazy are an immature thing to say in regard to someone you know nothing about. And especially to broadly generalize a group of people by an occupation they share and then go on to verbally assault them and degrade what they spend there life doing. Teachers deserve our respect, and moreover they deserve are support.

    1. Susan says:

      I must question the education you are receiving from your ‘excellent’ teacher when your final statement ends with ‘and moreover they deserve are support.’ And I won’t even mention all of the missing punctuation in the rest of your statement. It’s very sad. I’m sorry that you’ve not had a REALLY good teacher to teach you the basics of reading AND writing……just teachers who want to influence your political beliefs. That’s really sad. You need to get a job and learn about life out here in the real world and then see if you are so supportive of your teachers…..especially when your poor grammar, spelling and punctuation keep you from a good paying job.

      1. Justin Samuels says:

        Susan, I would like to apologize for my errors in punctuation, as well as the incorrect context usage of “are” and “our.” My comment was in no way intended to generate anger on any individual’s behalf, as it seems to have done in this case. I am somewhat astounded that you were so quick to demean someone who has yet to even complete their education. I have held numerous positions and jobs in the workplace, though i will admit i have much more to learn and experience as im sure you’ll readily agree with. My point was simply to state my opinion that this bill does carry a negative effect on people with families to support. I’m sorry you felt the need to defend yourself as a healthcare worker with condescending and degrading remarks toward me. I am only 17 years old, it simply isnt neccesary. God bless you ma’am.

  20. mj says:

    whats the real reason for this whole issue ? cost ! and what are the big expenses ? the lavish benefits that the teachers in Wisconsin recieve ! at the tax payers expense !

    1. Single Mother of two in Wisconsin says:

      Really? What lavish benefits are they getting at taxpayers expense?? I think none!! Most of these teachers are buying supplies out of their own pockets for our children. They teach our children and without them what are we going to do?? Are you going to quit your job to be a teacher, PROBABLY NOT! HUH? It’s not only about teachers it’s all union workers!! So your saying your mail carrier should quit because of this too?? Or the firefighters or policemen and women? Think about it and realize what is actually going on here!! Look at the big picture!!!

      1. Susan says:

        Buying supplies from their own pockets? Give me a break……it’s darn few who still do that. That is a fantasy perpetuated by teachers and is very RARELY true. I know of a school district where the kids who bring in a box of tissues receive ‘extra credit’ for doing so. I call that buying a grade, don’t you?

        You say it’s not just the teachers but why is it the teachers who are making the most amount of noise? My brother is a postal worker, a federal employee and therefore not part of this issue. Firefighters are also not part of this issue. Get your facts straight before you comment. A good teacher would have taught you that.

        Their benefits are lavish when you compare them to the private sector. I’m paying 20% of my health insurance premiums….teachers pay 5%. My insurance is 75/25 coverage. Teachers have 100% coverage. My employer pays 3% of my wages into my retirement account—I pay approximately 15% and yet my retirement checks will pale in comparison to a teacher’s retirement.

        I would gladly leave my job to return to school to be a teacher but then would a teacher EVER consider doing my job as a nurse? Not a chance! Would a person who went into teaching ever consider doing a job that required working days, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays, etc? No! As I’ve stated in a previous post, teaching is the best full time pay for a part time job.

  21. Jake says:

    Lets not forget ALL of the employees affected in the teachers union. this includes janitors who makes 12 dollars per hour and will suffer the same % cuts. Don’t get me wrong, a degree should be accompanied with a higher pay scale and teaching is different then cleaning a floor, but maybe step back and read your facts before making “lazy” or “Overpaid” comments. My good friend has worked at a school in Hudson for over a decade and will be getting a second job to make up for this possible loss in pay. I don’t think this article helps in any way to show the real affects this bill will have on the teachers union. There are multiple different ways to look at this and judge it from your computer, maybe, just maybe you should do some research before announcing your expert views. Don’t forget that if you were smart enough to graduate High school, a few of those “6 hour a day” workers and the “summer off” people helped mold you to the person you are today. Maybe look to the “state paid” school administrators who get 90k plus a yer with 5k to 10k a year bonuses with the same level of degree that aren’t getting pay percentage cuts and health care increases. I mean we gotta keep things fair rite? I get union busting and making people do their jobs but remember, no matter what sector, public or private, lazy overpaid people exist. In closing, I find it hard to believe one single teacher in the state of WI became one for the money.

    J. Marshall
    Mechanic and small business owner

  22. mjo says:

    You need to realize this is not just about teachers. This is happening to ALL state employees, including support staff. You know, the one’s you use to call secretaries, clerical, mail clerks, janitors, etc. who do not make even close to half of the salaries being reported. It’s not just about benefits, but also about workers rights. Also, remember that a lot of our teachers work in rural areas and are not paid these salaries. Too bad you haven’t read the bill to find out what it really is about.

  23. mjo says:

    One other thing I forgot. Heres a little tidbit from the Wisconsin Journal —

    “Amid the boisterous crowds at the Capitol accusing Republican Gov. Scott Walker of something close to putting all public workers in shackles and making them work for Chiclets, my sympathies turn toward a young state workers’ union and rural northern Wisconsin.

    It’s easy to overlook home care workers, who do a lot of the grunt work of taking care of low-income elderly and disabled people in their homes.

    Like other unionized state workers, they had a contract up before the Legislature in December. And like those other contracts, theirs was torpedoed by a pair of Democratic lawmakers.

    What’s different is this was the home care industry’s first such agreement — their 5,500 union members having only joined the Service Employees International Union last year. And it provided no benefits and a wage floor of only $9 per hour starting in 2013, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin spokeswoman Christine Lamitina said.”

    Yea they are affect too. Are you next?

  24. WI Teachers are Selfish says:

    Scott Walker For President.

    He and his wife make $90,000 combined and he’s upset. My good that make a million doolars every 11.11 Years. They are rich. I can only dream about me and my wife’s combined income being $90,000.

    Instead our combined income comes in around $55,000, and I am subsidizing this part time worker, i mean teacher. Quit complaing accept the fact that your ability to hold the state and tax paying private sector employees like me hostage.

    Please do quit, I am certian with the unemployment rate that it would not be that hard to find qualified workers to fill your role. You lousy parasite on society.

    1. SIngle Mother of two in Wisconsin says:

      No Wisconsin teachers are not selfish that is a very ignorant thing to say!!! Do you even have children of your own to speak this way about teachers? Do you remember all your teachers in school and what they did for you? I do and the teachers that I had in school were wonderful and I would not be the person I am today without them. These teachers have our children for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and they teach them everything. Is that something you can do, I don’t think so. The teachers earn their salaries and it shouldn’t be changed in any way. There are more than just a couple teachers thinking about quitting because of this, are you going to take their place, I THINK NOT!! So why are you commenting negatively when you know what your teachers taught you?? You wouldn’t even know how to spell or write or read if it weren’t for school teachers so look at the big picture and quit being so selfish!

      1. Marty says:

        Here’s the thing, teachers became teachers so they could teach children. If you talk to teachers most will say it is the best part of their job. Complaining about a pay cut is selfish. If these teachers love their job so much they will take this cut and get over it. If they quit, then they aren’t as great as they appear to be.

  25. Steve Zurbey says:

    When my employer TOLD me that I was getting a 10% reduction in salary and I needed to take 5 days off with out pay I had no leg to stand on. Teachers complain about the job that they’re doing, teachers are under contract to work 180 days a year, no more or no less. They’re required to be at work for 7 hours a day, no more. The 7 hours includes, 2 hours during the day to “plan”/grade papers. 1/2 for lunch, 1/2 for recess and 1 hour for “specials” (Art, band, gym,etc) Teaching is the only occupation that is paid on the number of credits you have earned! nothing to do with job performance. Your are also given “step” increase after every 10 years your given a 10K raise, so a teacher with a master working 180 days a year, 7 hours a day makes 80K. On the side of health care, ask any teach if they use the health care that the district offers, you will find that 95% of all teachers take advantage of the low cost health care that us tax payers provide. People in the private sector work 50+ hours a week, and get paid for 40. They have 3 weeks vacation, that are consumed by the holidays that schools are closed. If teachers have it so bad, find another job!!! You’ll realize how good you had it!! No teachers are “required” to work summers, this is optional!! Also, to obtain a master in teacher, you can do this in one year. Another point, if I didn’t show up for work, i’d be fired!! But law makers live by a whole different set of rules!!

  26. F on your report card says:

    dont let the door hit you in the ass….99 percent of long term union workers fail and become disenfranchised with life outside the protection of the union…they cant survive having to work to achieve…”.WHAT i have to pay for part of my healthcare and pension plan…it aint fair why should i…just raise taxes and i”ll be happy”…a tipical response from a union leach…..

    1. Frustrated says:

      And you need to go back to school and learn about sentence structure. But wait you aren’t union so what does it matter to you what people are fighting for you for as you won’t be able to understand it any ways.

  27. Parent says:

    As a parent of two young boys, I am deeply concerned about this proposed bill. My children have wonderful teachers that go above and beyond everyday. They spend countless hours of their personal time and money from their own pocket…i am appalled at the comments made here. I don’t have a degree and work hard and make more money then an average teacher…and I know what they do is deserving of more pay. I can’t imagine my sons teachers as lazy…they are wonderful, shame on some of these people posting in here!

    1. Ms. Teacher says:

      I agree with you and appreciate your voice as a parent on here. Thank you for your support!

  28. merks says:

    Well lets see the unions win this one and all the benefits are paid by the taxpayers.
    Then in a couple of years when the state goes bankrupt because of the underfunded pensions, all the contracts will become null and void with drastic cuts in benefits and pay!
    Lets see how the teachers union feels about it then! it’s either some pain now or excruciating pain later!

  29. MN teacher living in WI says:

    I live in Wisconsin and am a teacher in St. Paul so this legislation will not affect me as a teacher. I grew up in New Richmond and know many New Richmond teachers. The last word I would use to describe any of them is lazy. I am highly offended that people consider teachers to be lazy. To those who appear to be so ignorant I invite you to spend a day, or even an hour in my classroom. If my personality was “lazy”, teaching is the last profession I would have chosen. Summers off??…if I want. Usually I choose to work summer school because the 9 months of pay I get otherwise doesn’t support the activities my children like to do such as dance class. However, in all honesty, part of the reason I chose to be a teacher is so that I COULD have more time with my family. I have the option to be with my kids in the summer and I don’t feel ashamed about it. I work HARD when I am there. I do my best to live a BALANCED life. I do my job well, and I still have time for my family. I planned it that way. I know teachers who do work 80 hour weeks, and believe me there is STILL work to be done after that. I just choose not to do that because I need to keep my sanity. By no means is teaching a GRAVY train! When I leave school at night, I am not “done with work” as are people in many other professions. I have correcting, report cards, reading, research, planning, preparing and simple things that many other professions have “assistants” for. ( I have no assistant. I make my own copies, send my own mail, prepare my own newsletters each week, make my own phone calls to parents and other teachers. ) Influences outside of my control are constantly a part of my classroom and are constantly a part of what makes a district a successful one or a failing one. Teachers are pressured by principals who are pressured by superintendents and school boards who are ultimately pressured by governments to accomplish more with less resources. Who elects these governments? Unfortunately people like Steve and RJ Calhoun who make assumptions without any concrete evidence. Teachers are often set up for failure as the expectations for leaving no child behind go under funded. Each year we are expected to do more and each year we are given less to do it with. The more a school or district is considered failing, the less resources it is allocated. I just itemized my taxes. This year alone I spent $1500 on my own classroom. I don’t have a classroom budget. I buy my own pencils, pencil sharpeners, folders, notebooks, crayons, classroom library books and anything extra that I might need (I realize this is not true in all districts). I work in an area where students don’t bring many supplies. Tell me…do you spend $1500 a year to have the supplies necessary your job appropriately? That is of course ON TOP of the continuing education credits I must take to keep up my license.

    So once again I say, and I am absolutely serious, come and spend a day with me and then tell me I am lazy. Go into a school or a classroom and get an idea of what is really happening.

    The ignorance of some of the above comments are actually detrimental to the way the public views our profession.

    Teaching is about the children. It’s about the future of our country…bottom line! If you want what is best for the future of our country it has to start with education. If great teachers like Mr. Hamdorf are considering leaving education so he can support his family, our society is doing a HUGE disservice to our youth and future!

    To those of you who think teaching is glorified babysitting…..I was just doing some math. I have been in my district for 10 years. I gross approx. $50K a year including medical WITH teaching summer school. I net much less. Divide that by 12 months and get approx 4100 a month. Divide by 4 weeks of school (not 4.5 because we get too many unnecessary days off) for approx $1000 a week or $200 a day. Now divide that by the 21 students I have each day (I’m lucky, some people have 36 kids) to get approximately $10 per student per day or $50 per student per week.

    To put my 4-year-old in daycare I must pay $198 per week. I know very well that the money I pay for that daycare is going to education, nutrition and love and caring for my child. I gladly pay it to make sure my child is getting the best she can get while I work.

    School teachers get paid less per child than a daycare does!

    If we don’t invest in our youth by creating a profession that is stable and able to support families education does not have a very bright future.

    1. Ms. Teacher says:

      WELL SAID!

    2. Lisa says:

      Very WELL said but only a teacher can say it that great!

  30. Single Mother of two in Wisconsin says:

    Without teachers are all of you people going to teach my children!! Hello get a life and think about it. If the teachers quit because of this how are our children going to learn? Why should we be punished because we have a stupid governor? I think that things should stay the way they are and the teachers have the right to protest this, it’s just plain stupidity in my eyes. The teachers at the school my children attend are wonderful and are helping my children in many ways. I don’t want them to quit because of a Republican Governor that doesn’t know squat. I have a full-time job and a single mother of two, I can’t afford to quit my job to teach my children at home, then I would be living off the state and I don’t want to do that, I want to work and earn a salary like every other person out there. I work hard at what I do and don’t feel I should be punished just because this governor has problems with union workers. The union has been around for longer than he has even been around so just leave things alone. I could go on forever about his because it is wrong and for those of you out there that feel it’s fine and dandy must be just as ignorant as our governor. I hope he gets kicked out and he deserves the punishment he gets for being so stupid.

    1. Marty says:

      Ok if we leave things the way they are, Walker will have to increase taxes. Do you want to pay more in taxes?

      1. Jake says:

        From the comments you have been making, I have to wonder if you have read the entire article. I am going to assume you’re an intelligent guy so I don’t think there is any way you have. Your comments are all related to the BUDGET and FINANCIAL aspects of this bill. What the article says, and what I have heard many teachers specifically agree with, is that the issue for them is NOT paying into pension/health care. That is reasonable. The issue is the uncertainty it brings into their careers.

        I agree that the system is extremely far from perfect. We need better teachers and unions often protect poor performers. However, giving someone LESS incentive to do something is not going to result in improved performance in the field. Teaching quality as a whole will decline, and the problem will become worse rather than solved.

  31. educatedliz says:

    Citizens please consider that this is not only about pensions and health insurance. It also goes beyond collective bargaining rights. This is about the legislative process. This bill is being rushed through with little public input or debate. You may not support unions, but this is only the beginning. You can be certain that something you care about will be negatively impacted during this administration, and perhaps then you will pause and realize that the protesters were fighting for us all.

    1. educatedliz says:

      Do you care about innovation? Scott Walker rejected federal dollars that would have contributed toward a light rail line that would have ultimately connected Madison and Milwaukee to a multi state line.

      Do you care about the environment? Scott Walker appointed a woman with strong ties to the construction industry to run the DNR. He also rushed through a bill that allowed a builder to construct on a wetland (the builder must replicate the wetland, but does not have a deadline in which to do so, nor is there a designated location.) This sets a precedent for future elimination of wetlands. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford has stated, “Any environmental regulations and permitting programs that are viewed as hindering business will be subject to review, we have to take a hard look at what is going on with permits,”

      Do you fish? Do you like clean water? “Republicans will be reviewing and possibly reducing the scope of new rules that regulate the amount of phosphorous released into the state’s waters by farmers, sewage treatment plants and businesses.” (http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_25c1abee-04bb-11e0-9d4c-001cc4c002e0.html)

      Do you know anyone who is elderly, disabled, or living in poverty? Within the budget repair bill is a provision which gives the Governor the ability to make sweeping changes to medical assistance programs. “changes to the programs would need to be reviewed only by the Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee, a significant shortcut compared to the normal legislative process and public vetting required.”( http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/health_med_fit/vital_signs/article_979fd798-385c-11e0-b233-001cc4c03286.html )

      So realize this, this is not about unions. It is about having a voice in your government. It is about standing together for a better future, not tearing others down because you have accepted the 5 minute news segments without informing yourselves.

  32. beth says:

    In Texas anybody can be a teacher, very little qualifying….a shortage of teachers here, A right to work state…..an education system that puts football above all else…..this will be your state next if you aren’t careful!!!

  33. KC says:

    Are you kidding me? This isn’t just about Teachers!! My husband and I both work for the state, I make $12/hour and he makes barely $14. We ALREADY DO pay towards our retirement and insurance, with this proposed bill, we would be losing a $1,000/month between the two of us. In comparing our insurance costs to people we know who work in the private sector, we pay the same as most of them. We both are hardworking, and both work another part-time job to make ends meet. WAKE UP PEOPLE!! Not all state workers make a ton of money and have FREE BENEFITS! That is what Walker would like everyone to believe. If this bill passes, other states will try the same thing, we will have no rights left at all.

  34. LK says:

    Wisconsin students currently score at or near the top on national tests like ACT, SAT and others. We get what we are willing to pay for. Our children are the future – they do not deserve to be short-changed.
    As a former teacher, I put in more documented hours (evenings, weekends and summer days) than many of my non-teacher friends. Teachers today are expected to do much more than basic teaching tasks.
    While the pension for a retired teacher is good, I have taken a cut each year I have been retired. My lifestyle is far from lavish, and I am helping to support myself with a part-time job.

  35. Jocque says:

    What people don’t realize is that it’s not the pay that has them up in arms, it’s the collective bargaining rights. Even now, teachers don’t have enough time in the day to do everything they do and get paid for it. How would you like it if your child turned in an essay for English class and didn’t get it back for two months because the teacher had to take all 100 of them home to grade as a result of her preparatory hour gone from the day? How would you like it if all of the sudden class sizes went from twenty to twenty-five? What about those great teachers who will leave the teaching profession? Bottom-line, it’s not all about the money.

    1. Marty says:

      Teachers should very well know that things like that will happen with their job. You don’t take a job not knowing anything about it do you?

  36. Lisa says:

    I know Jarrod and his wife as I work in the same school district as them. I watch everyday how the teachers not only in this district but other districts through out Wisconsin struggle just to be able to one prep time of 30 minutes during the course of a week to prepare to teach the leaders of tomorrow. I know all the teachers in this district have families they take their family time and use it to prepare to teach the children/leaders of tomorrow what they need to learn. Without good teachers where does that leave today’s children…in the streets now who can afford to live like that? It is NOT about the money people have to pay in for insurance, it is not about who is going to pay what it is about the nations children and who is going to be teaching them, it is about that county employee who only makes $20,000 a year plowing our roads so those teachers can get to school to teach the children, it is about that postal worker who only makes $15,000 a year who makes sure that your family gets those packages at Christmas time. It is about that librarian making $10,000 who helps put on after school programs for the children of the community, who helps you find the information you need to help you out. It is about those prison workers who only make $15,000 a year who keep the child molester, criminals off of the streets so we can all feel safe.
    What people are not realizing is this bill affects EVERYONE – Union or NOT it will affect you in the end. If Governor Walker passes this bill he takes away everyone’s power to survive and to be able to live the American Dream. You maybe against unions but you need to remember how many of those union people affect your life and your childrens lives. You may not agree with how much people are making but until you walk a mile in a teachers, county workers, postal worker or a librarians shoes you have NO room to comment!
    The teachers in the district that Jarrod, his wife and I work in are all top of the line teachers from the elementary schools all the way up to the high schools and if anyone had any common sense they would thank teachers because without them…you would NOT have the job you have or the education you have to read this posting. So intead of bashing them why not thank them and support them!!!

  37. Lisa says:

    my dad works his ass off everyday of the year, lasting on about 3 hours of sleep a night if he’ lucky. Despite his hard work he hardly makes half of $90,000 per year. Even with the $10,000 cut, if my family had a good $80,000 a year, trust me, we’d be doing a hell of alot better than we are now.

  38. taxed enough says:

    Those of you complaining about private sector professions earning more money than teachers, think about the barrier to entry. You can’t complain about nurses, doctors, engineers salaries because of the skill level and training they must to have to qualify for those jobs. In engineering you need to be in the top 10% to even qualify for engineering school. The average doctor – top 5% to qualify for med school. 70% of the “top” students qualify for an education degree. That’s why they now want the retired math/science professionals to teach math and science. It’s not getting done by the teachers.

  39. MN teacher living in WI says:

    @ Marty: I personally am not opposed to paying more taxes if it means a better education system. That said, I’m not opposed to a temporary wage freeze, health insurance premium raise or hiring freeze. The key word is temporary. Walker is trying to take away collective BARGAINING RIGHTS forevermore in a very underhanded way. This isn’t about today’s salary, this is about the right for people to bargain for a salary change now and in the future. There is a difference that people aren’t seeing there. Your comment stating “teachers should know things like that will happen with their job” is ill informed. In order to do our job in any sort of successful manner we NEED prep time and we NEED smaller class sizes..otherwise it becomes crowd control. It becomes similar to telling a dentist he must fill cavities but he doesn’t get a drill. This isn’t about things that are simply “nice to have” and expendable. Please please please inform yourself about the profession.

  40. Jon says:

    Collective bargaining, collective bargaining,that’s what the protest is about, pure and simple.Walker should not dictate,negotiate with these people.they realize adjustments need to be made.I’m glad they make a decent wage, teaching kids, putting out fires, and public safety are tough jobs. Let’s not demonize these people for being in a union.

  41. taxed enough says:

    “This isn’t about today’s salary, this is about the right for people to bargain for a salary change now and in the future.”

    @ MN teacher, This “bargaining” right was WRONGLY given to teachers by John F.Kennedy, and can also be taken away at any reasonable time.

    JFK and his unionization of all public employees was THE SINGLE WORST thing ever done for this country. It was done strictly to reward the union for supporting Kennedy’s election. This back-rubbing democrat/union alliance has never stopped, and has thus brought us to where we are today.

    The Wisconsin law is NOT taking away the unions’ right to bargain for salary. It’s time for all public employees to realize that there is no money left. You work for the private sector. The private sector is out of money, the private sector has cut back.

  42. MN teacher living in WI says:

    @ taxed enough:

    Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

    South Carolina -50th/ North Carolina -49th/ Georgia -48th/ Texas -47th/ Virginia -44th

    …If you are wondering, Wisconsin is currently ranked #2

  43. Tj says:

    There is a lot of anger here. Let’s remember who got us in this mess…Wall Street. How come the govt isn’t trying to get them to contribute to this recovery? Contributions to the GOP maybe?

  44. KEL says:

    Why are so many people angry at teachers and public employees because they do not have something, healthcare that they want? They do not have that benefit because their employers refuse to offer it in a humane and ethical way. Instead the employer whines about the taxes and their low profits while they alone decide how much they will give yes give as in charity to their employees as compensation for the work the employees do to allow the employer to have the lifestyle they believe they are accustomed to. Employers are the issue here not public employees.

    I am sorry that all of you who pay an exorbitant amount for you healthcare do not have unions or have employers who are too lazy to negotiate with the healthcare companies. That is where true healthcare cost savings will come not by forcing employees to pay more. That is the lazy way, the way of employers and government administration like Walker in Wisconsin.

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