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?”

  • Steve

    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

    • RJ Calhoun

      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.

      • km

        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.

      • Jocque

        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

    • Lisa

      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.

      • Single Mother of Two in Wisconsin

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

    • Single Mother of two in Wisconsin

      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!!

    • liarsteve

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

    • gabbyt

      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!

    • bob

      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.

    • Teach

      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. :)

  • Marty

    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.

  • Kayla

    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.

    • Single Mother of Two in Wisconsin

      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!!

      • Marty

        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.

      • Lisa Knutson Zeller

        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!

      • Marty

        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.

  • big dogg

    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…

    • Susan

      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!

  • elmo

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

  • Huk Fin

    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.

    • tiredandretired

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

      • RJ Calhoun

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

      • Go Teachers!

        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.

      • RJ Calhoun

        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!

      • L

        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.

    • Shelley

      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.

      • Justin Samuels

        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.

    • Billy

      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!

    • Jocque

      Huk, you are completely right. I agree 100%

    • Susan

      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.

  • Troy

    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!

    • tiredandretired

      Thanks, Troy, for being objective and fair.

      • Shelley

        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.

      • underpaid

        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.

      • Support staff

        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!!

    • Barb

      I think teachers are underpaid!

      • Marty

        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?

    • Mike

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

      • Mike

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

    • Sheila

      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?

  • Didn't drink the kool-aid

    $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?

    • Marty

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

      • nikole

        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.

      • Marty

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

      • nikole

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

    • Susan

      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.

  • Marty

    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?

    • Michelle

      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.

    • Lori

      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!!!!

      • Marty

        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.

      • go farmers


        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.

    • Sheila

      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.

  • Lexie

    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.

    • Susan

      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.

  • James

    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.

    • Ms. Teacher

      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.

      • RJ Calhoun

        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!

    • L

      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.

  • Melody

    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.

    • Susan

      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!

  • Ms. Teacher

    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?

    • Marty

      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.

      • Ms. Teacher

        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.

      • Single Mother of Two in Wisconsin

        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!!

    • WI Teachers are Selfish

      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.

      • Ms. Teacher

        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.

  • Pension anyone?

    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.

    • Lmd

      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.

  • Abby

    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!!

    • Susan

      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!

      • Teach

        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.

      • Teach

        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.

  • bob johnson

    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.

  • cliff

    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.

  • Muhtadi

    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.

  • Justin Samuels

    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.

    • Susan

      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.

      • Justin Samuels

        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.

  • mj

    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 !

    • Single Mother of two in Wisconsin

      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!!!

      • Susan

        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.

  • Jake

    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

  • mjo

    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.

  • mjo

    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?

  • WI Teachers are Selfish

    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.

    • SIngle Mother of two in Wisconsin

      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!

      • Marty

        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.

  • Steve Zurbey

    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!!

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