MADISON, Wis. (AP) — No resolution appeared imminent Monday to the stalemate over union rights in Wisconsin, leaving Senate Republicans resigned to forge ahead with less-controversial business such as tax breaks for dairy farmers and commending the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl.

As the standoff entered its second week, none of the major players offered any signs of backing down in a high-stakes game of political chicken that has riveted the nation and led to ongoing public protests that drew a high of 68,000 people on Saturday. Thousands more braved cold winds and temperatures in the 20s to march again on Monday, waving signs that said “Stop the attack on Wisconsin families” and “solidarity.”

The 14 Senate Democrats who skipped town Thursday to indefinitely delay a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bill stripping most collective bargaining rights from nearly all public employees remained missing in action for a fifth day.

“You have shut down the people’s government, and that is not acceptable,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said during a brief meeting Monday setting the agenda for Tuesday’s Senate session.

Two of the missing Democrats participated by phone from an undisclosed location.

“You’re not in negotiations. There is no negotiation,” Fitzgerald said, cutting off one of the Democrats on the phone. “You need to get back to the floor of the Senate and offer any ideas you may have on final passage. That’s where we’re at. There is no negotiation.”

Both the Senate and Assembly planned to be in session on Tuesday to take up the bill, but at least one of the missing Democrats needed to show up for a vote to be taken in the Senate. Assembly Democrats planned to offer dozens of amendments that could push a vote into Wednesday or later.

Although Tuesday’s list of items, including the resolution honoring the Packers, is largely bipartisan, Fitzgerald hinted that he might try to push some more controversial ones later, even if the Democrats aren’t back. Among the possibilities is a vote on the question of whether voters should be required to show identification at the polls.

The Democratic senators taking part in the scheduling meeting urged Republicans to accept the offer made by the unions under which they would accept paying more for benefits as Walker wants but still retain their collective bargaining rights.

Another compromise offered by Republican Sen. Dale Schultz would remove collective bargaining rights just for two years

“It’s time for all of us to move forward,” said Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay over the phone to the Republicans.

Walker has rejected both offers, saying local governments and school districts can’t be hamstrung by the often lengthy collective bargaining process and need to have more flexibility to deal with up to $1 billion in cuts he will propose in his budget next week and into the future.

“It will never get to me because other than that one state senator, all the rest of the Republicans are firmly behind our proposal,” Walker said in an MSNBC interview on Monday, calling it an unacceptable short-term fix.

The emergency plan he wants the Legislature to pass would address this year’s $137 million shortfall and start dealing with the $3.6 billion hole expected by mid-2013. The benefits concessions would amount to $30 million this year, but the largest savings Walker proposed comes from refinancing debt to save $165 million.

That portion must be done by Friday for bonds to be refinanced in time to realize the savings by June 30, the end of this fiscal year.

Walker said not passing the bill by Friday would make even deeper cuts necessary and possibly result in laying off 1,500 workers over the next four months.

Thousands of those affected and their supporters marched on the Capitol for a seventh straight day. Hundreds of them have been sleeping in the rotunda every night and several districts have had to close after so many teachers called in sick. The Madison School District was closed Wednesday through Monday but was expected to reopen Tuesday.

Districts in central Wisconsin were also closed Monday, but that was because of 10 to 12 inches of snow. Milwaukee schools were shut down for a pre-scheduled midsemester break. Those closures, on top of Monday being a previously scheduled furlough day for state workers, resulted in another large crowd Monday but an official estimate was not yet released.

At noon, guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine took to a stage on the Capitol steps to fire up the crowd. He said he flew in from California to lend his voice to the protest.

“The future of workers’ rights will be decided in Madison, Wisconsin,” he said. “You’re making history here.”

He joked that he could hardly play the guitar because his fingers were numb. He sang a song with the refrain, “For the union men and women standing up and standing strong!” Each time he repeated that lyric, the crowd roared.

Walker’s plan would allow unions representing most public employees to negotiate only for wage increases, not benefits or working conditions. Any wage increase above the Consumer Price Index would have to be approved in a referendum. Unions would face a vote of membership every year to stay formed, and workers could opt out of paying dues.

The plan would also require many public employees to cut their take home pay by about 8 percent by contributing more of their salaries toward their health insurance and retirement benefits, concessions the unions have said they’re willing to accept.

But Walker and Republicans are showing no willingness to budge while the Senate Democrats say they are prepared to stay away for weeks if that’s what it will take.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (67)
  1. Dan says:

    I thought they already had enough GOP votes… That’s why the Dems refuse to vote…

    1. Holly says:

      You have to have at least one Democrat there in order to have the vote. That’s why the Dems all skipped town so that the Republicans could not vote to pass it.

      1. Wimpy Dem's says:

        It’s a pretty cowardly tactic.

  2. shirley says:

    I’m sure this isn;t the same views that a lot of our republican ‘s think is o k. I think Walker is leaving many people wandering , why the middle class.

    1. Matt says:

      I think this is import to remember, here is what FDR said about public unions. “… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … ”

      The same FDR that brought us The New Deal, Social Security, TVA and many others. FDR is considered the ultimate lefty and if he doesn’t even think that public unions should be in place, how could anyone think it’s a good idea.

      It just takes a budget crisis to actually get anything accomplished.

  3. Just Asking says:

    How much would WI save if the eliminated pensions and health benefits for all elected government officials?

    1. Econ Prof says:

      I dont know, but if this bill doesnt pass, 6000 teachers will get laid off. Many of the bad ones will still be there.

      1. Chris says:

        They don’t seem to want to hear that… maybe a taste of reality will bring them around… If they are so concerned about the students, they would not allow the lay-offs and would take concessions… But, they are more worried about their pockets and that is all that matters!

  4. Arthur Thomas says:

    Why do the teachers get free healthcare and other insurance and a free retirement bank account paid for by the taxpayers at a time when we are in a recession? The teachers should pay at least 75% of the cost of their benefits and be taxed on them as a Cadillac Benefits. The rest of us live by a lower set of standards and we dont get summers and a lot of other “holidays” and “work” days off.

    1. Teacher Lady says:

      Teachers do not get “summers off”!!! This is a gross misconception! We work a 9-month contract and are paid for 9 months of work. Most districts offer us the option of receiving 24 paychecks a year rather than 18 so we receive checks through the summer–but it is for 9 months of work! Many teachers work other jobs in the summer or take classes for credits that are needed to renew teaching lecenses.

      Also, teachers do not get “free” benefits. I don’t know where you received your information! Money is taken out of my check each payday for health insurance and pension. Of all state employees, teachers are on the bottom of the ladder. After 15 years of experience and a master’s degree, I only bring home $2400 a month and some of my hard-earned money goes to pay for classroom supplies that the district won’t pay for but that are still needed. At my current income level, I will never own my own home, be able to help my children pay for college, or realize many other parts of the American Dream!

      Please check your facts before you write about a topic on which you obvioudly have very little knowledge!

      1. John says:

        Teacher Lady

        Care to share the amount of money that is taken out of your check for health insurance? – I’m guessing not. I’m also going to ? your 2400.00 take home figure.

        ” Teachers in Kenosha Unified on the average earned $53,860 annually, according to data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 2008-09.

        At the high end, Unified teachers earned $79,322 annually. According to the state data, the average total experience for a Kenosha teacher was a little more than 11½ years.” This is actual Pay. They give the following figures for benefits:

        Madison – $22,890
        Waukesha – $29,308

        Lets assume teachers work 50 Hrs a week for 9 months – Thats 1800 Hr’s ( With all the days off during those 9 months I really don’t think they average 50 hr’s a week )

        53,860 / 1800 = 29.92 per Hr. average
        79,322 / 1800 = 44.06 Per Hr.

        That is in addition to Between $22,000 and $ 29,000 in Benefits

        So your $2400 a Month seems rather Low to me.

      2. trahanaja says:

        Then if you believe what you are getting is unfair and hard to get by, why stay in this “hell” of a job? Find another job, you do have a choice – leave this “miserable” life to some one else more appreciative! I work in the private sector, have 2 masters and bring home less than $2400/month…and I am still asked year in, year out to contribute more to your paycheck. Oh, by the way, i do love my job.

      3. GOOD LUCK says:

        You choose to supply your classroom, I know that you also have many options to get the the item that you need. You chose to be a Teacher, after 15 years if you dont like the money then move on, I also work in a school district. You might be one of those under performing educators that doesnt deserve more money but I do know many educators that are taking home 65,000 a year. I also know that some school districts use teachers in many other school programs during the summer months.If you cant afford a home then maybe you should practice better money management, pay your bills establish good credit, and save your money for a down payment!

    2. anon says:

      Because they don’t make much money compared to other college grads. When A teacher can start out making what an accountant makes then I will agree with you.

      1. John says:

        The teacher was free to go to school for accounting and is always free to return to school for it

    3. No free healthcare says:

      I don’t think teachers get free healthcare, they pay as everybody else. sort of. They pay into their healthcare less than what the average person would. One thing not brought up is that they get good health care that they pay less into. If the lose their bargining rights, they would soon get a worse health care plan. Next step is that because they wont have a union the state will tell them they have to pay more for this new “worse” health care plan… the govenor is not really telling the whole story as to his plans. If the govenor gets his way the state employees will end up having below average health care that they will have to pay above average for… the state workers have every reason in the world to contest this bill.

      1. John says:

        Welcome to the avarage Non Union persons world

    4. Former K-12 Employee says:

      Starting salary for a Wisconsin teacher is $25,222, ranking them 49th out of the 50 states. Avg salary is $46,390 which ranks 20th in the nation.

      Their health care isn’t “free”. It’s an insurance policy and they have to pay deductibles like everyone else. They also have to spend hours each night out of their private family time grading papers and preparing lessons. And I won’t mention the evening conferences they are required to attend. So they get 10 weeks off during the summer. They can’t take vacations for 10 months of the year.

      Your “facts” are a bit of a stretch, pal…

      1. mark from says:

        @Former K-12 Sheepel Wrong $69.000.00 Bad spin on this, very bad

    5. brian says:

      why should the farmers get gov. help? they get paid to grow corn, they get paid to when milk prices are down, and plus they get big breaks on electricity, taxes on their farm is less than a the working person get those breaks? NO when they go to sell their farm do they reinburse the tax payers? NO. these teachers are taking care of our kids.

  5. Lora DeLauris says:

    In our school district, the teachers wanted a bonding tax bill passed so the “Children” could get computers. The bill passed and the teachers got the money. No computers for the “Children”. Now they want to pass another bill. Fat Chance of that happening.

  6. Fiji Man says:

    Arthur, I don’t know anywhere that teachers get free healthcare (not sure about the retirement bank account).

  7. Debbie says:

    Please, I would love to have the benefit package they are protesting over. After being laid off for over a year and my husband not getting a bonus for the 2nd year in a row, but we are thrilled just to have a job. Oh and by the way we are both working today!!!

    Why is there no mention of this:

    Madison’s highest paid city government employee last year wasn’t the mayor. It wasn’t the police chief. It wasn’t even the head of Metro Transit.

    It was bus driver John E. Nelson.

    Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.

    He and his colleague, driver Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598, were among the city’s top 20 earners for 2009, city records show.

    They’re among the seven bus drivers who made more than $100,000 last year thanks to a union contract that lets the most senior drivers who have the highest base salaries get first crack at overtime.

    And there was a lot of overtime – $1.94 million last year, $467,200 more than the bus system budgeted for and the most ever for the system – as employees exhausted sick leave and took advantage of unpaid leave through the federal Family Medical Leave Act, officials said.

  8. Jon says:

    I wonder if these whining employees will EVER realize that the average non-government worker has made jokes or comments for years about their situations. The average non government worker, myself included, is not a union worker. I pay into my health plan, and don’t complain. Thank heaven I have it. I have my own 401K plan…that is my retirement, not a pension strapped onto the backs of my fellow MN taxpayers. When my annual review comes up, I may or may not get a raise. The last couple years, there was none. I cannot collective bargain with my company. If I am unhappy with their explanation as to why they need to save money to keep our company going, and keep everyone employed, I could quit, and go look for that opportunity to find a job where I could threaten a
    strike, and have the legislature say “ok, let’s give it to them, so it won’t cause alot of problems”. Understand, I love my job and the company I work for. Reality is that as a society, we have to have limits as to how much you can threaten your fellow tax payers such as yourselves to stop this foolish spending. As I was out shoveling this morning at 5:00 A.M. to clear my driveway so I could get to work, my neighbors who are government workers, waved at me and continued to drink their coffee, after I guess I woke them up. Try to understand why non-union, regular working stiffs that pay dearly to get the same benefits that you do not pay as much for, have a bad taste when you start wanting more.
    Well, back to work, break is over. Oh yea, don’t get me started on the teachers and their claim to be so “poor” If you figure out what they make in salary for the amount of time they actually work, the wage is very good. I would say to call your school today to ask them what they really make, but, oh I forgot, they aren’t working today…..a government holiday!!

    1. Debbie says:

      Agree 100%….and yes I had better get back to work myself.

    2. Agree but not says:

      I agree with you – yet i also agree that goverment workers need a union. We all like to compare private employers with goverment employers as if they are the same when they are not. If you understood the differences between the two you would see why goverment employees woudl need a union.

      1. John says:

        Go ahead and enlighten us. I will be glad to know what you think your differences are!!!!

    3. Ex-middle class says:

      Jon, relax… Pretty soon we’ll all be part time hourly employees with zero benefits and will have to work 7 days per week until we die, just like you do now.

    4. Joanne says:

      The Wisconsin fight is only peripherally about money and benefits. Actually, thanks to the Citizens’ United recent Supreme Court Decision, the number of huge donors to the Republican party has multiplied, leaving only the trade unions as entities large enough to make a difference with campaign ads for Dems. Getting rid of the unions means that ultimately the United State will be a one-party nation like Russia, Nazi Germany, or most of the Middle-Eastern states.

      This should worry everybody in this country, Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, because it means the end of democracy as we have known it. Also, are you sure Republicans want to be ruled by a select few at the top who will run rough-shod over you with no opposing party to stop them?

    5. Word says:

      John is one of the only one’s with common sense in this room. Couldnt agree more.

      Nobody feels as bad for teachers as the teachers themselves. Any teacher i’ve ever talked to about this, goes on in lenght about the inequities they suffer, and general lack of appreciation for teachers. Every other year they throw themselves a pitty party. What the heck did you think was gonna happen when you delcared K-12 education as your college major….that you’d start at 60k a year!!! Either stfu or get a new job!!

    6. Good grief says:

      It’s 6:11 and I just got home from work. I’m a MN public school teacher, and I also got up at 5am to shovel and get to work on time for meetings all day, and grading for the next 3 hours. Please stop assuming. Good grief!

  9. A concern citizen says:

    Teachers don’t get paid for the summer months. Do you get time off from work? Do you help your child with school work and do you go to the after school hours for parent teacher conferences to see how your child is actually doing? The Republicans should be dealing with getting jobs for the ones that are unemployeed as they commented as they were running for office. The Republicans seem to always want to rob Peter to pay Paul. The midddle class and lower class always seem to have to pay the price. Besides WI teachers don’t get paid as much as some states and they will have to take a cut to be able to make it. I think we should really look at the real problem here. Work on getting jobs for people to be able to have an income.

    1. St Paul says:

      Well said. Why are we focusing on Teachers when so many Americans are out of work today?? I just don’t get the Republican policies lately!

      1. Jon says:

        Respectfully, I am focusing on all government employees that are feeling very bad about having to pay more for their bloated benefits paid for by the state. Teachers were brought up because this article stated that teachers showed up in Madision in such large numbers that the school districts were forced to close because none of them were in the classrooms where they were expected, and supposed to be. The comment made by “St. Paul” is a good part of the problem here. He or she just doen’t get it why the Republicans see what the issue is, and are trying to fix it. If your personal bank account said you were near zero balance, would you go out and buy uncontrollably?

    2. 2V says:

      my sister is a teacher. She gets paid a yearly salary, and gets it paid over 9 or 12 months, however she wants to have it paid. She elected to take the 12 month payment. She says her monthly salary is less than other teachers in her school, but she does have an income in the summer. She returns to school on August 12 – works many days til 7 PM, and has a lot of required meetings where she has to be there at 7 AM. You know those parent teacher conferences? Sorry, not a dime extra, and she can count on parents not showing up even for the one hour in the fall and one hour in the spring. The school year will end this year on June 10 due to making up snow days. She thought this would be a good career, but she will quit teaching as soon as her husband retires.

      1. ShutIt says:

        Shut up already. At the end of the day you teach a bunch of snot-nose kids the in’s n out’s or reading/writing/critical thinking (and thats only the good teachers). Yes it is a noble profession…but it isnt rocket science. Get off your entiled butts and find a new job if you dont like what’s happening. The thing is…there is NO MORE MONEY. You cant be broke and keep spending what you dont have….as teachers…this should be an elemtry lesson you teach your students. What a whiney bunch of hack-professionals!!!

  10. like it says:

    Jon your riight on Q. All those state employees are employed by all of us private sector workers. Its time we tell them how much there going to make and how much we want to dump into there retirement. Wake up people them and there unions work for us not themselfs, thats what they signed up for.

    1. Knows the difference between "their" and "there" says:

      @like it… D+ pal, for grade school grammar errors. Judging from your post, I think I’d like my tax dollars back. Your free government-provided education was obviously wasted.

      1. like it says:

        I’m not writing a book here pal…Just trying to get the message across! Go back to work now. I also would like my tax dollars back for not using the public education system.

  11. Dez says:

    State and local employees need to quit raping my pockets to pay for their healthcare and retirement. I am in the private sector and I have a hard enough time paying for my own healthcare and retirement. Maybe the private sector should go on strike and quit paying taxes…then no state or local employees would get a paycheck..after all the private sector produces goods which creates dollars to be taxed which in turn provides the state and local employees with a about that?

    1. Get Real says:

      Great, Dez… hope you take a tax vacation and wind up in jail. I’m sure those government correction officers will take “very good” care of you!

  12. blame the bosses says:

    One thing I don’t understand is why blame the public employees for getting the best deal they can? I don’t care if you are a union person or not, do you not try to get as good a deal as you can when you take a job. The employer sets the pay and conditions, either by just giving them to you if you are not union or negotiating them if you are. If there is a problem wiht the public employees pay and benifits how about blaming the persons who negotiated for the public during contract talks. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT MESSED UP!!!!!!

    1. Chuck says:

      You are right… But only because you hold us hostage when negotiating just like you are now… Too bad the rest of the managers don’t have a backbone like the Governor and hold their ground! Instead, they always fold and over time it accumulates into these outrageous agreements… We are now saying ENOUGH!!!

    2. Steve says:

      I don’t blame them. However, do you blame me for trying to get the best deal for my tax dollars? This deal isn’t the best deal for me.

  13. Al R says:

    Why are the police, firefighters, and state troopers exempt from this bill?

    1. Al Z says:

      Because due to Federal Law they cannot strike, they have binding arbitration. There is “no right to bargain” to take away from them, so you can’t include them in the bill.

  14. blame the bosses says:

    Al R I guess they are important to people, just not teachers and other public workers!!!!

  15. dunnski57 says:

    This action by the Governor of Wisconsin is union busting plain and simple. If the GOP passed it, the amount it would save the state is minuscule compared the damage it would do to the public school system. Meanwhile the big money boys cash in their stock options, negotiate their golden parachutes and laugh that their propaganda campaign via the Tea Party and multiple shell PACS has middle class workers attacking middle class workers.

  16. Matt says:

    Wait a second, what damage would be done to the public school system? Explain me that one please?

    1. dunnski57 says:

      Increased class sizes and a dejected, unappreciated workforce. A question for you – would you be a better employee if you were valued and rewarded by your boss or if you continually hear from politicians, “you suck, you suck, we’re taking away funding, we’re freezing your wages, we’re saddling you with tests that have little or no validity and by the way, “you suck.”

      I’ve taught for 32 years and I can tell you without any reservation or BS that teaching is not what it was when I started. I’m still working hard, perhaps as hard as I ever have – but the criticism and scapegoating I keep hearing the past few years from people who do not know what the h – e -double hockey sticks they are talking about frustrates the hell out of me.

      This situation in Wisconsin has little to do with the budget and everything to do with denying me my right to negotiate my salary and benefits.

      Sorry I rambled, but I wish everyone who is screaming to demean my work would come and spend a week with me. I wish nothing but the best for everyone – good wages, health care, a safe working environment, a secure retirement, but cannot for the life of me understand why people want to punish me for the work I chose. You have been duped, my friends.

  17. mark from says:

    I have a question for the teachers, Why is the USA falling behind the rest of the world, and why is the Catholic and Home Schooling on the way up in WI? Why are the standards dropping every few years in MN and WI? Something is not right! This is not a shot at you, just a question.

    1. Yogi says:

      Mark, I like your stance on this issue. Can you please flip sides on the stadium bill?

      1. mark from says:

        @Yogi not sure what you mean? My stand on the stadium issue is not one red penny of tax payer money. Our government should not even touch this issue. If the Vikings want to go because they can’t get public money. Don’t let the door hit them on the way out.

    2. dunnski57 says:

      ACT scores for Minnesota and Wisconsin are the highest in the nation. China’s top ten percent of this year’s graduating seniors is larger than the WHOLE graduating class in the US.

      In a football analogy – why can’t UM-Mankato beat Alabama??

  18. shirley says:

    If this passses it’s only the beginning people.Unless of course you know corporations or a government who are going to negotiate a respectable contract for your wages, pension, medical, comparable to todays economy. Why do you think these other country’s are protesting their government? Please do your homework on these issues before you tell our teachers, nurses, any of our community service work people what to do.I know some of our very smart republicans are not in favor of this. And it sure isn’t the way to get the republican party in office.

    1. Come on says:

      shirley, you know how I negotiate my wages? HARD WORK… If you are willing to go out and do a hard days work, why are you so afraid of what is going to happen to your wages and benifits? The statement you just made does so much to prove that public union employees are overpaid because the wages you are receiving are not equal to the work being done and you know it.

      Stop being afraid to go out and prove your self worth.

      1. mark from says:

        @ Come on Well said

        1. Jane says:

          Shame on all of you who speak out against haecters fighting for their rights. IF your job you went to school for years for was in jeopardy of being controlled by people who have no idea what goes on in a school you would stand up and fight too.Many haecters work two jobs to support their families. We spend countless hours after school working with YOUR children while neglecting our own families. We spend OUR own money to buy supplies for our classroom because the government keeps taking money away from the schools. We are fighting for the schools, being a teacher is not a job a selfish person takes. We need to quit blaming each other and look to our politicians! They vote for their own raises every year and the NEVER pay for their own benefits, but haecters pay for benefits and don’t get raises every year.One more piece of information for the people who think they know but don’t,Teachers DO NOT get paid in the summer, we choose to get paid by taking less through the school year so we can still get a paycheck in the summer.Everyone had a good teacher they remember throughout school, think of that person when you start talking against the haecters.

  19. Murph says:

    Who would want to teach school in a SCAB state? Wisconsin would be hard pressed to get ANY new hires if there is no union! Interesting in they want to target some but not all public employees.Who sets these dumb legislators salaries?There is a lot of savings on wages ,benefits and expenses just waiting to be reduced there! But of course they won’t hurt themselves or their supporters financially!They should be tarred and feathered! We are headed for unbelieveable civil unrest if they keep this crap up!

  20. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    Go back to work quit crying, they are like bums on the side of the road with there hands out!

    1. dunnski57 says:

      Nice spelling waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. It’s “with their hands out”. Were you skipping your 5th grade class that day?

    2. Joe Hill says:

      you are a moron

  21. Johnny says:

    I am a small business owner, and have many teachers and district people as clients. The district is the largest “business” in the area and hire’s the local people whenever possible for various projects in schools.
    The schools don’t just benefit teachers. Teachers start sending their money to insurance companies and us “little people” suffer also.
    I don’t like taxes as much as the next guy, but be careful what you wish for!

    1. dunnski57 says:

      Bless you Johnny. I’d be proud to support your business.

  22. DLC says:

    I don’t think the teachers commenting are saying that they don’t like their jobs! They are just trying to let you know that they don’t get free health care, and that they are paying into retirement. Salaries are different in every state and even within different counties in the same state, so to say to someone that they are lying about their salary is ridiculous. It is determined by the school board that hires them. Teachers do work late hours, not just 8:oo a.m. to 3:00 p.m.( like most people assume.) Summer is used for continuing Ed. and masters classes, and for some, teaching summer school. For all of you complaining that teachers are overpaid, why would you fault them for wanting to keep what they’ve worked so hard for? Do you tell a lawyer they should be happy with less money, or a bank executive, or a doctor? I think you in the private sector jobs maybe should go back to school and become teachers if you think it’s so lucrative and cushy. We need good teachers

  23. JD FROM ALA says:

    For all those who are against unionized public employees, listen up! Guess where the Social Security Administration Trust Fund has gone? We all paid into it but it’s going broke. EVERY POLITICIAN HAS BORROWED FROM It. Pension funds for ALL workers, union or nonunion, have been under funded for years. Your 401-k fund went down with Wall Street. So, don’t act as though only nonunionzed workers have to hustle.

    Been there, done that, and have the T-shirt to prove it.

  24. Dana says:

    I can’t imagine how tehcaer’s unions have gained so much power. It’s not right, and it’s hurting the education of our children. Teachers, you’re not so special that you deserve the right for me to pay for your retirement pensions. I’m a public employee, and I disagree with this policy so much that I match my pension, dollar for dollar I don’t get the right to not take it.Whatever happened to freedom of choice? Why can’t tehcaers choose to opt out of these unions? They should have the choice and the right to represent themselves if they so choose. The school districts should have the right to fire any tehcaer they want, just like any other job in the private sector. Collective bargaining just hurts the organization, and in this case, the organization is funded by the taxpayer.Stop trying to burden the taxpayer with your entitlements help pay for your own health insurance! Help pay for your own Pensions! Your job is paid for by the taxpayer if a tehcaer is not doing a good job, then they should be fired stop protecting the poor tehcaers!

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