By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) — Wisconsin teachers in the St. Croix Falls school district went before the district’s school board Tuesday night to defend their decision to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed collective bargaining cutbacks in Madison.

St. Croix Falls Superintendent Glenn Martin said the district made the decision to close the schools after 50 to 60 percent of the teachers called in sick Friday to protest in Madison. Martin said the decision was made late Thursday night after the district realized it couldn’t find enough substitute teachers to make up for the absences.
“We come before you guilty as charged,” said eighth-grade language arts teacher Chris Wondra, who spoke on behalf of all the teachers Tuesday night.

The teachers stood behind him in solidarity as he spoke before the board about what he called a difficult decision that divided the school.

“This is a fact that weighed heavily on our hearts that day, still, we are not sorry that we went,” said Wondra.

Wondra said instead of staying comfortable in St. Croix Falls, teachers protested to stand up for all their students, and to teach by example.

“This is collective bargaining, this is negotiation: what we teach our students to do every day,” said Wondra.

Shawn Gudmunsen, a middle school music teacher, said he went to Madison to fight for his students, family and all public workers.

“Fifty years of Wisconsin history erased in one week,” said Gudmunsen.

Walker said as many as 1,500 workers could lose their jobs by July if his plan isn’t enacted, and has said that layoffs could begin as soon as next week if protesters and politicians don’t come to an agreement.

The reality leaves livelihoods and emotions at stake. Many of the teachers cried during the board meeting. Some gave standing ovations when parents and citizens spoke in support of the teachers. All seven people who testified before the school board supported the teachers’ decision to protest.

“These teachers stepped forward and did a magnificent thing,” said Loreen Clayton-Morrell, of St. Croix Falls. She urged the board to pass a resolution in opposition of Walker’s plan.

The board went into a closed session to discuss possible disciplinary action against the teachers for calling in sick Friday. A decision has not been made. The school board says it plans to consult legal counsel before reaching a decision.

Comments (101)
  1. Mike says:

    “Wondra said instead of staying comfortable in St. Croix Falls, teachers protested to stand up for all their students” This had nothing to do with students, this had everything to do with overpaid teachers!

    “This is collective bargaining, this is negotiation: what we teach our students to do every day,” This is not negotiation, this is legalized blackmail pure and simple! Unions will not stop till they bankrupt the states just like they did to GM!

    1. Amy S says:

      Umm…GM is doing better than ever before, so that was a REALLY stupid comparison. I understand that people who are uneducated, such as yourself, do not believe in the value of teaching. Those of us who want to retain GOOD teachers in a job that is already very difficult on a day to day basis do not agree with you whatsoever. Teachers aren’t overpaid, but politicians sure are. Why aren’t they cutting their own pay in half to save the budget?

      1. Tom says:

        Amy S

        I agree with you. Teachers are not paid enough considered what they have too deal with. And you right about GM. Without that GM worker there would be no GM care to drive. Amy S lets just face it conservatives just dont get it and never will.

      2. Erik says:

        Amy, GM is actually a strong comparison. In May of 2009 74% of GM’s 54,000 UAW workers voted to approve major concessions to reduce GM’s labor costs. Why? GM was on the brink of disappearing. If GM were to go away so would 54,000 jobs. Smart move.

        I don’t hear any one saying Teaching has no value. What I hear is labor costs are a major component of Wisconsin’s costs and there just isn’t enough money to go around. The difference is Wisconsin can’t just disappear, they are forced to either cut costs, including labor costs and/or raise taxes. Taxes are already near the highest in the country so it is logical to pursue reduced costs.

        The poor economy takes it’s toll on everyone. To me it looks like Teachers want immunity from financial reality.

      3. Ann says:

        I agree with you wholeheartedly, Teachers are NOT PAID ENOUGH period! I’m not a teacher, but I have children who need to be taught by highly qualified, talented teachers who can afford live a decent lifestyle, so they to do their good work.

        Then, this is about collective bargaining! Walker is mandating – and I hate that style – if this goes through – you are looking at one more mile toward the race to the bottom!

      4. Bob says:

        Teachers who started the union movement in the 60’s claimed it was to keep th US at the top of the world. This did not happen but dropped the US to the 20’s in all subjects. Wen a profession has to join a union, Its the death of that profession. What I’m saying is pay them for the goods they provide. If they want better pay when the test scores come up and not before.

      5. ALN says:

        What about those of us who want to be able to fire BAD teachers? What do you propose as a solution?

        And last I heard, he wanted to take away all bargaining rights EXCEPT wages. I’ll admit–I haven’t been keeping up on this. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me, but I think we all need to look at the entire proposal before we stand behind it (or not).

    2. anna says:

      Overpaid…that’s hard for me to hear because teachers are the core of our children’s education and an important step in your child’s future. Plus, they are the ones that have to discipline, give guidance and be a mentor…this is all the better reason to say they are underpaid. I also believe that we would get more quality educators if we would pay them more. Many good teachers quit and do something that pays more money. My sister-in-law quit being a teacher because her salary was too small to have paying daycare fees for 2 kids. This is really sad because she is a smart, well educated person. She now does at home daycare so a least she can still use her great skills. Something else that the general population is unaware of is that most teachers spend around 20% of their salary on teaching materials. You may also think that teachers are over paid because they get summer vacation and their workday ends at 3:30 every day. But, what many people don’t realize is that teachers work way past 3:30. It takes time to grade papers and prepare lessons. Many teachers work well past 5:00 in fact. In addition to working late, being a teacher requires participation in extra curricular activities. Some school districts require teachers to attend all of the home football, basketball, and baseball games. Many people also believe that summer vacation is still 3 months, and that’s not true either. The only full month teachers get of summer is July. Many teachers work till mid June and start back up in mid August. Also, I know a lot of teachers that teach summer school during their summer break because they need the extra money or have to go back to school themselves to keep up their education.

      1. Randy says:

        Let the school pay for my Master’s degree and work up the union scale and both my brother and his wife bring in $72,000 year. They have been teaching for over 15 years and lesson plans are already in stone. Couple extra days in the summer to get the classroom organized is not so bad. They will retire with full medical benefits for life and live off of 85% of the last 5 year average. Now with Social Security and TSA income, they will make more in retirement at age 55 than they do working currently. Not a bad career choice. Yes they started out on the bottom, but like any private industry you need to work your way up the ladder.
        20% of their pay towards supplies and teaching materials?, come on Anna

      2. Bob says:

        Let me guess Anna, your a teacher? If not, your just an idiot. Teachers have no pressure to perform and don’t work until 5. My sister is a teacher and is done and home by 3:30 every day and spends evening watching TV, working out, or reading. She grades papers and other work during the day. They don’t teach for 8 straight hours.

      3. Matt says:

        Anna-If a teacher made $30K/year(very low end of teacher salaries) and spent 20% on classroom supplies it would be $6,000. If any teacher is spending this much money on classroom supplies they shouldn’t be the one educating my children. For the most part lesson plans are carried over year to year and how much grading could an elementry teacher really have to do, a couple spelling tests and math quizes. Highschool and even some middle school teachers to spend much more time grading, but really what did you do in 2nd grade that was heavily graded?

      4. Olaf says:

        Teachers are the one that hve to discipline, give guidance and be a mentor? My mother was the one who disciplined me, gave me guidance and was my mentor. My MOTHER taught us to respect others, teachers included. It starts at home !

      5. J.S. says:

        I Agree with Anna. My roommate is a teacher and is sometimes there until 7:00 at night on a Friday! Yes, younger teachers put much more time into the job, and the longer you’ve been teaching, the less time you need to stay to plan.

        It’s unfortunate that teachers have to continue education to get paid a higher and more reasonable salary. Not like corporate where their Master’s program where a portion of this is paid for. Yes, we may be making more the more years we work, but we are also paying off all the school loans we have because of it.

        I’ve met many people who do not understand what teachers do and many others who appreciate teachers and all their hard work. It’s too bad people in our society aren’t more open minded. It’s also unfortunate that there are people on this website who are debating this topic in such an immature way by putting other’s down. I feel for those who are not compassionate for others. That’s probably why they are not teachers!

    3. Hannah says:

      The teachers LIED!! They called in sick and ran off to protest in Madison instead of being in the classroom…that is called ‘LYING” ! They have set a very bad example for the students by lying and then telling the students that they are doing it for them…BULL!!! All the teachers that called in sick and were NOT, should be fired!!

      1. anna says:

        Well, lets just remember how this all started. Good old Governor Walker doesn’t set a good example either by never mentioning the budget cuts that he wants on the union members when he was running for office….that would be LYING too! His ass wouldn’t be sitting in office right now if he would have brought this up and teachers would be teaching right now instead of fighting for their rights.

      2. sunsudo says:

        you can’t yell at them…. the union rules say so………… they don’t even have to have 50% or more of the class pass the state tests to keep their job…… what other job do you know of that can be held with an over 50% fail rate

      3. Jon says:

        @sunsudo “what other job do you know of that can be held with an over 50% fail rate”……um just off the top of my head the weather man!! He can be wrong 100% of the time as well as every other blasted person on the 6:00 news for that matter and still collect a very hefty paycheck. Give me a solid five minutes and I could compose a list a mile long of all the jobs in this country you can do poorly and still get paid. Dude use that fabulous thing in your head called a brain…just for kicks and giggles.

    4. Ryan says:

      Mike. Proving again that idiots behind the cheddar curtain actually can read. Even if it is only what comes out of a CrackerJack box.

      Looking forward to your ill-bred spawn mowing my lawn for me – they won’t be smart enough to do anything else.

    5. William Sinclair says:

      Mike, the teachers aren’t asking for more money. They just want a say in how the schools are run.

    6. that guy says:

      Let us for a second consider teachers to be babysitters. So for a second, just assume that all they do is watch the kids and keep them out of trouble. they work 180 days a year for 6.5 hrs a day, coming in at a grand total of 1170 hours of work. Now, lets assume that there are only 30 students in each class, a low estimate for the high school level. The national median income for teachers is floating around 42-43k depending on whether they are elementary, or secondary. So, when all is said and done they are being paid 43,000/1,170/30 per student they are “babysitting.” This comes out to a mere $1.22 per hour. I don’t know the last time you tried to find a sitter, but if you ever tried offering one $1.22 per hour to watch your kid I’m pretty sure you’d get laughed at.

      1. Eric says:

        By that logic, the fact that I’m a company commander in the US Army in charge of babysitting 112 Soldiers 70 hours a week comes out to 76000/3640/112 or $.18 an hour. I don’t know if you’ve ever found a sitter for $.18 an hour but you’d get laughed at. I also don’t get collective bargaining. I don’t get a union, and if I get ordered to work for a year straight in a war zone and I don’t want to I would go to jail. I would stand on my head and spit pennies for a year to have the opportunity to work only 1170 hours a YEAR. I work that much in 4 months.

    7. Dan says:

      I agree get rid of unions! All they have ever given us were 5 day work weeks, paid vacations, family medical leave act, workers compensation, safe work place, and sick time. I mean these benefits would have totally have happened if left up to the corporations. Look how good those non union countries are doing. They like it so much they put their kids to work.

      And a better comparison would be Ford, look at how that unionized work force just drove that company into the ground. Oh yeah that’s right they didn’t. They helped Ford not take a single dime of my money. Maybe GM’s problem was the big wigs, that had golden parachutes, who were unable to actually lead their company. But it’s far easier to blame the working folk than the guy in charge.

      When you allow the unions to fall you are asking for your own way of life to be diminished. Cases in point, sticking with the auto industry, foreign automakers here in the states pay their employees just above the union wage set at the big 3. This is an incentive to keep the unions out. But really the unions are their just not represented because every time their wage or benefits become better these non union plants match or go a little better. That is what happens for all of our jobs when the unions use collective bargaining. And in the case of public sector unions, collective bargaining keeps the politicians honest. Unless someone out there thinks a politician will keep his word without a written contract.

    8. Kelly S says:

      Mike, I’ve been reading your comments along with others. Overpaid? The teachers in St. Croix Falls are operating on a contract that’s two years old. The board has refused to give in to any cost-of-living raise. The only way to get a raise for many, has been by taking money from savings or taking loans to spend thousands on graduate credits to make lane jumps. Over paid? You have got to be kidding. The best you can hope for in this district are half years of insurance when you retire. Other districts do much better than this. Three months off? Ha!!! Most are working either teaching summer school, or construction jobs, or taking classes for that lane jump. Notice I said most. No, not all teachers work late. Many teachers I know work until 4:30 or five o’clock not only checking papers, but preparing lessons as well. Even most teachers who have been at it for years still spend time looking for new material, checking websites, creating power points, and so on. I also know many who take home work to check at night or on weekends. Compound that with the parent phone calls, student staffings, emails to parents, and staff meetings outside of the school day.. I am saddened by all the comments from those who haven’t a clue about what really goes into teaching. I am saddened by people who think teachers are overpaid. Contracts are negotiated per district, not state wide. I guarantee you, the teachers at St. Croix Falls don’t make anywhere near what a teachers in Madison or Milwaukee make. I am willing to bet that they are willing to make whatever sacrifices are needed to give the best education they can to their students.

  2. And that's what I have to say about that says:

    The teachers and politicians are behaving like immature children.

    If they won’t do the job they were hired/elected to do, they deserve penalties up to and including losing their position.

  3. HAHA!!! says:

    American Federation of Leaches, Criminals, Ingrates, and Oddballs

  4. OH YA says:

    A man walks down the road, but stops at a peculiar sight. Two union guys are working by the side of the road, but the first is simply digging holes while the second is filling them up. Curiousity gets the best of the walker, so he asks the men what they are doing.
    “We’re a post-hole crew,” says the first.

    “But what about the posts?”

    The other union guy answers, “we’re a three man crew — Bob digs the holes, I fill them, and Charlie puts the posts in, but he’s out sick today.”

  5. Demoflat says:

    Fire them all!

  6. tiredandretired says:

    FYI, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards has spoken out AGAINST Walker’s proposal. They know that it’s wrong.

    1. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

      @tiredandretired No they are just passing the buck so they look good

    2. Jay says:

      The first sentence in the WASB’s response posted on their website says “Governor Walker’s proposal will provide school boards with flexibility in containing benefit and wage costs.” So I wouldn’t say they are totally against it. Although the rest of the statement appears they’re trying to take a neutral stance, I sense a little bit of posturing.

  7. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    If this had happened in the private sector they would have been fired. Why does the Council have to seek legal council? Because of the contract, fire the bums

  8. J says:

    OVER PAID???? Walk a mile before you give an uninformed opinion Mike!

    1. J.S. says:

      AGREE! Apparently that man doesn’t have children either. If so, he might care about education.

      NOt sure if I have ever met a wealthy teacher…

  9. naomi says:

    Oh when the Saints…come Marching in…Oh when the Saints come marching in…Kudos to all of you and your Bravery!!!

  10. karen says:

    What would happen to the students if they played hooky for a day. They would be giving detention and have to make up assignments – maybe even more punishment. Teachers are supposed to teach our children. This example shows students it is okay to break the rules. At the least they should be docked pay for that day.

    Walker is trying to balance the budget. Everyone has to help – EVERYONE!

    1. Hannah says:

      I agree, Karen! Plus the teachers lied about being sick!!! If we did that in the private sector, we would have gotten fired!! Now you know where the hearts of the teachers who protested are…..! There are some good dedicated teachers who care about the students! But I don’t like it when some take off and lie about being sick and then go protest. That is telling the kids it’s okay to lie and call in sick!! What a very bad example the teachers are giving to the kids!

      1. Mary says:

        Do you have any idea what you are talking about? Do you care about our children and their education? How do you know what the teachers called in and said? Where you the one they called??? Some of the teachers were physically and emotionally sick because what is going to be happening to education. I am not a teacher, but I completely back them 100%. You should look at the bigger picture and not worry about what they called in and said when they went to fight for education. I do not want my children in classes with 50 other kids and one teacher. I have a four year old in 4K and love it. Say good-bye to the 4K. What about all the schools that will forced to close and some kids will be riding on a bus for 50 miles one way. Think about it and maybe you will see what is really happening. Stop pointing fingers at people. We need to join hands and work together!!!

      2. Marie says:

        Either the teachers admit defeat and get back in the classroom so that they ALL can still have jobs, or they continue to protest and cost at least 1500 of their peers to lose their jobs. It is an economic reality that people across the US are having to face paycuts and teachers should not be allowed to hide behind their union contract in order to avoid it. I think it is ridiculous that they are so up in arms over being asked to help pay more towards their retirement and healthcare – that is a battle the average non-government worker faces every day in this down economy! At least in the end they will still have jobs and benefits!!

        And by the way – those Democratic senators hiding in IL should be recalled and their seats opened up to new elections. You knew when you were elected that it was a tough job – suck it up and do it or step down and let someone who will fill your spot!

  11. madmamaof3 says:

    I hope they do get disciplined, they let my child and every other child down. I know parents with children in all 3 schools and each and every one had something fun canceled because of a bunch of idiotic teachers, instead of my child being happy because of no school, I had to see her upset all day because she wasn’t able to have her winter fun day. I understand this may not be the best thing for the union worker, but going to Madison and saying they did it for the students is bull, it was all about them, always has been, always will be.

    1. JB says:

      winter fun day?? What’s that? A day where teachers do not have to teach, but just sit back and do nothing?? And they say teachers are overpaid….. HOGWASH!!

    2. Mary says:

      Maybe you could have stepped up to the plate and had a family winter fun day with her and told her that the one at school would be re-scheduled. Then she would have two winter fun days. Funny how if we use our brains we can get through this instead of blaming other people. I got a better idea why don’t you home school your kids and then they would never be disappointed again because you are perfect.

    3. A current Teacher says:

      All your students will be LET DOWN when they get replacement untrained, unskilled and uncommitted teachers in the future. Careful for all that you are asking for. And seriously spend some time in a school volunteering.
      Too many comments on here are completely outdated. Including teachers retiring with full medical benefits. Oh. the superintendents will get life time full benefits, but then again that is a non union negotiated contract.

      1. justathinkin says:

        “All your students will be LET DOWN when they get replacement untrained, unskilled and uncommitted teachers in the future.”

        So let me get this straight. The only way a teacher can be trained, skilled and committed is if they belong to a union? Wow!! We are full of ourselves now aren’t we?

      2. sunsudo says:

        take a look at what the kids grades are on the state tests and you might have a point but over 50% in the state are below standard…. the teachers should be fired for not doing their jobs instead they are out protesting hmmmmmmmmmmm

  12. bill says:

    Fire them all!

    Replace them with people that actually care about the kids they “teach”

  13. J.S. says:

    Does anybody realize that the state officers are not included in this? The governor did this on purpose, othewise, who would be there to control the people? Pretty sad that the governor is afraid of taking away police officer’s union rights, but doesn’t care about teachers and education.

    Unions have been at the forefront of fighting for things like smaller class size, access to the arts, and other student centered reforms. In a bottom line world these are usually the first things to go. Unions do benefit the students and not soley the teachers!

    1. Bill says:

      Keep throwing your tired pro public union BS out there, here’s a hint …. its not selling!

      Trying to scare taxpayers with “access to the arts” as a first thing to go? seriously? You must be a union worker because you’re just not trying that hard

      1. J.S. says:

        That’s right, lets only have core classes in school and teach to the test. No art, no physical education, no music, no band. Sounds like kids will be so motivated to go to school and learn. And yes, the arts and specialist are the first thing to go! Speaking of the health reform, lets cut physical education and then see the health costs skyrocket as students become adults and are not active. Great idea. Obesity won’t cost us a thing.

      2. Stacy says:

        Just an FYI. Those overpaid art and music teachers. You may want to give them a thank you for being the people that inspire the entertainment business in this country. Our entertainment business is our largest export largest money maker in the country not even food cars or technology bring profit like our song and dance and film. But just get rid of those teachers they do nothing for this country. Hope you are educated enough to read the sarcasm.

    2. justathinkin says:

      Hmmm… smaller class size = no improvement in student performance.
      Smaller class size does however require more teachers which makes the unions stonger. Very interesting.

    3. Marie says:


      Newsflash – unions have nothing to do with whether my school has smaller class sizes, access to the arts or other “student centered reforms”. It’s all up to the taxpayers who are asked year after year to approve referendums because we have school boards who can’t manage their money and unionized teachers costing the state too much to help fund the programs!

  14. PaulD says:

    Young men and women are in Afghanistan willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and these spoiled brats won’t give up any of their plush benefits to help the state of Wisconsin. Fire them all, there are others who would willingly take their place.

    1. TG says:

      Paul! Agreed….wish there was this much outrage about the men and women we are lossing in Afghanistan and Kuwait. Or for that matter the Governement requiring our soldiers to stay overseas past what the Military Contract demands…only because there are not enough people in the military and since no WAR has been declared we can’t implement a draft. Where are the teachers? Certainly NOT calling in sick to protesting certainly NOT teaching our children history or the consitutional or even what truely matters….what they are doing its brainwashing our children by cramming thier own personal agenda’s down students throats, that is not what they were hired to do…fire them.

  15. Leroy says:

    Everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie. How about quit having so many kids; less people to need to eat pie… bring this world into a healthier state and QUIT overproducing ourselves, then we’ll never get to this state again — what are we, cancer?

  16. JB says:

    I know a lot of PRIVATE companies in the past few years that have had wage freezes do to the economy. Some are still frozen, yet they still hike up health insurance, etc. You do not see them out protesting do you? NO, because they would be F-I-R-E-D!!!! Get your rear to work and just be happy you have a J-O-B!!!!!

    1. Holysmokes! says:

      Well stated JB, well stated!!

  17. John says:

    Couldn’t they protest on the weekend OR after school? Or are those times not convenient?

  18. Whirly says:

    AMY S writes “Umm…GM is doing better than ever before, so that was a REALLY stupid comparison”

    GM is doing great because they laid off thousands of employees, cut pensions, and restructured their entire organization. Exactly what Gov Walker is trying to do without the layoffs. But if layoffs is what the teachers want, so be it.

  19. Dave says:

    The reporter even uses the union lingo, “solidarity”. Glad to see Lindsey is so objective since the entire piece was slanted from the union viewpoint. These so-called teachers should be charged with fraud for stealing sick time and admitting to it.

    And they teach “collective bargaining and negotiation” to their students every day? Not history, math, science, or English?

  20. Holysmokes! says:

    The battle in Wisconsin involves many public sector people. Respectfully,the teachers are the ones that seem to be the major complainers about having to pay more out of their overpaid paychecks. I know teachers both in MN and WI, and believe me they have it made. Fantastic benefits, pensions to die for, hours that are a joke. They all keep saying “but we really do work alot of hours”. The average person in the private sector really doesn’t know how many days most teachers work. Because of MEA break, Christmas vacation, every government holiday, spring break, and all the others, it is very hard for most people to be able to justify what their tax money is really paying for. This is difficult for many of us to feel OK about what we pay these people, when in reality so much is kept secret, and when they use their “collective bargaining” technique which is “give us our raise and increase our benefits or we will strike” parents especially panic thinking what will I do with my kids? So, they are given what they want to eliminate all sorts of problems. That has always been looked upon as very unfair by most of us taxpayers, that may not be getting a raise this year due to economic slowdowns. The teachers as well as all public employees have to see the unfairness in this kind of “collective bargaining. No matter what your political direction, you have to see this as a major problem in EVERY state, not just Wisconsin. I hope this happens in Wisconsin, and I am sure that in time all states will realize that in tough times, we have to share the pain in all public sector jobs, just like we do in the private sector.

  21. Geno Larson says:

    I work for a comapny where there is no collective bargaining I pay 60% of my health care plus put my own money into a HSA–so why can’t these workers and all law makers do the same and I agree with Amy S. I don’t see them taking any pay-cuts or freezes –my wages have been froze for 5 yrs now plus a 8% pay cut for 3 and no chance of getting it back.–back in 94 I lost 30% got some of that back —also the boys and girls in Washington should be doing the same and have to use health care plans just like the rest of us and also put there own money into a 401K and loose 30% of it or more and to use Social Securtiy to live on just like I’m go to do if there is any left when I get there–there is a need to change . Maybe the states and washington should go to the Wall Street Bankers for a lone!!!!
    Geno L. Minnesota

  22. Whirly says:

    I don’t want to single you out Amy S. but look into it, the ridiculously high wages garnered by the union for not even high school educated assembly line workers, along with a great benefit package IS what bankrupt the auto industry.
    Yes, uneducated people compared to some very well educated teachers, not apples to apples, but the union is what we’re talking about.
    I do support your view of politicians being way overpaid. I also disagree with Walkers plan to NOT including police, fire etc. He needs to cut across the board if he wants this to be viewed as politically fair.

    1. Hannah says:

      Whirly. I think I know why the governor did not include the police and fire. I would think the fire and police would be in Madison protesting and if the police and fire people were in Madison instead of protecting their towns, it would be a life and death issue!

      I also think that some people on this “chat” should go back to school and learn to spell and do sentences right! I can’t even read some of these comments!

      1. Jon says:

        @Hannah. Yes by all means don’t cut the police force or the fire fighters….as we may not be “safe” – instead lets just sacrifice our children. Ugh. I weep for the future.

  23. Melissa says:

    At least the Governor can be voted out. Try firing a bad teacher. Yes, there are bad teachers! You would think educators could understand simple economics. I think their behavior is equivalent to a child who has always been told yes, but has now been told no. This is nothing but a huge temper tantrum.

  24. SHAME ON YOU says:

    Only in the public sector can it be considered commendable to get your way by abandoning your day-to-day responsibilities at work. Teachers are behaving irresponsibly toward their stakeholders – their students and parents.

    Being a good teacher to my sons is a separate issue from advocating a position on your pay and benefits package.

    I’d fire you for leaving school on a school day. You are doing a disservice to my kids. I am embarrassed that I have to explain your behavior to my boys.

  25. TS says:

    I’ve never felt so good about home-schooling my children. Why do people find it so easy to trust a stranger with their child’s education. Blame the system – that’s a better solution.

  26. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    Once again I will ask this question, and I hope I get a response. If the WI teachers are so great, why is the USA behind in standings of other countries? and why are Catholic and Home Schooled children rising in popularity? And why every few years does the bar get lowered in standards for public schools? No teacher has answered this why?

  27. Bob says:

    Why do we spend a fortune on education and our students fall farther behind, money isn’t the answer…..If you dance you gotta pay the fiddler…..

  28. Jimbo says:

    I hate to beat up on Anna but her comment about “teachers are the core of our children’s education” is tatamount to the problem. Parents should be first and foremost in taking up this mantle.

  29. Randy says:

    Walker and Thompson. These are the 2 best Govenors Wisconsin has ever had. Tommy took on Welfare and everyone thought is was cruel to pick on the poor. Wow, they actually went out and got jobs once the benefits ran out. Now Walker is taking on the drunken party the unions have been on over the past 20 years. Unions have served their purpose but labor conditions are very different today than they were in the 30’s. Thanks yes to Unions, but this does not guarantee their existence forever. Private non-union companies have taken care of their employees as they know competiton will take them away if they dont.

    1. I like says:

      Everyone should read Randy’s comment. Well put.

  30. Erik says:

    WI Teachers probably feel ‘solidarity’ with protesters in Greece.

  31. Mary says:

    I work for a union company also. I did not have a pay raise last year due to the economy. I have to pay more for my health benefits every year. My retirement plan has been changed so I am actually responsible for more of my contributions and my own retirement. I cannot strike if our contract is not agreed upon. I receive 3 weeks vacation per year, not 12. I work most holidays. We cannot close down because people don’t want to come to work in protest of anything. I don’t believe the govenor is asking anything more of the public workers that has been asked of anyone else in the past couple years in order to keep their jobs. Its about time some starts to reduce the unsustainable spending that is going on in our government. It has to start somewhere. Let the issue go before the tax payers that pay your salary and see what happens. Be appreciative that you are still employed and have any benefits.

  32. jon says:

    “Walker said as many as 1,500 workers could lose their jobs”. Yeah, scare tactic. Otherwise it would have said will lose their jobs.

  33. Mark from Osceola says:

    Five states without collective bargaining and their respective ACT/SAT rank are Virginia (44th), Texas (47th), Georgia (48th) North Carolina (49th) and South Carolina (50th). Wisconsin and Minnesota tied for 2nd.

    1. John says:

      That’s an out and out lie. I looked up the 2010 ACT national scores and Virgina ranked above Wisconsin which was far from 2nd place. In fact none of the disinformation you list is even remotely true.

      Frankly any teacher that walked off the job should be disciplined in some way or another. They may not need to lose their job but they should be suspended or have something else done to them.

      What they did is ILLEGAL in this state. They broke the law and their contracts doing this.

      The people of this state are sick and tired of having more and more of their paycheck taken away from them to pay for the public sector workers getting better benefits and paying next to nothing for them.

      Why should my family have to suffer so that these teachers don’t have to pay their fair share? I pay more for health care, I pay ALOT more for a 401k then they do for their pensions. Yet here they are once again asking for us to pay more so they don’t have to pay themselves.

      Lastly there is no such thing as a right to collective barging. This is something the state put into effect and the state can take away at will. Or at last could do if those cowards and traitors would show up and do their job.

      How they can call themselves democrats and talk about the democratic process when they run away and intentionally defy the will of the people… Which is the whole point of the democratic system is beyond me. They should be recalled ASAP.

  34. roneida says:

    No pay. If most workers are absent without an excuse they are no longer workers..this applies to elected cowards who run and hide instead of doing their duty and voting…. The teachers’ unions have ruined education..many of them do care about the students but the left wingers will fight and claw for 180 days of work per year of 61/2 or so hours work.. No measurement or standards, full health insurance and full retirement as soon as possible with raises every year and raises for the retirees. Why aren’t they made to live on Social Security and their own supported 401k or IRA like we workers???

    Because they will bllindly their Democratis/Socialist politicians and faithfully guarantee their focused votes for lifetime security.

  35. sharon says:

    The teachers have already agreed to pay and benefit cuts. So no one can criticize them on that. They want to keep their collective bargaining rights. The governor says it’s about the budget but demands the pay cuts and the bargaining right be eliminated. If the teachers lose shame on the governor and shame on Wisconsin. Fighting Bob must be turning over in his grave.

  36. Ed says:

    Illinois is shutting down have of there schools so it wont be a problem for Teacher replacements in Wisconsin

  37. SUSAN says:

    Mark from Osceola comments are a flat out LIE!!!!!!!

  38. hercme says:

    Well now I’m convinced. It is not just Fox that is biased in their coverage. I see CNN his leading their pack as well. Where is the story CNN of R.I. issuing layoff notices to all of their teachers in Providence? Where is the Union outrage? Fire these teachers and lets abolish the public school system. If they were a business, and seeing what the results we have produced over the past thirty years (ranked 17 in reading and math) – they should be out on the street!

  39. sunsudo says:

    only a teacher can have over 50% of their class fail the state tests and still keep their job what other job do you know that you can fail at and demand more pay……….. bring up the grades and i might support the teachers union but as long as they are failing our children i don’t want to hear it. it’s just like them to lie and run away from their jobs like thier lib dem leaders who ran out of the state throwing their temper tantrum.

    1. jon says:

      @sunsudo “what other job do you know of that can be held with an over 50% fail rate”……um just off the top of my head the weather man!! He can be wrong 100% of the time as well as every other blasted person on the 6:00 news for that matter and still collect a very hefty paycheck. Give me a solid five minutes and I could compose a list a mile long of all the jobs in this country you can do poorly and still get paid. Dude use that fabulous thing in your head called a brain…just for kicks and giggles.

      1. Erik says:


        It’s funny to me that you are proud to compare teacher success rate to that of a meteorologist’s. You sum up sunsudo’s point nicely.

        Seriously… that’s funny.

  40. Bfdude says:

    First, I bet not one of the legislators makes less than any of the unionized teachers (even the highest paid), lets cut their salaries first.
    Second, What I have heard is that there was no attempt to ask the unions for concessions… in private industry, this is unfair labor practice.
    Third, Teachers are the lowest paid persons with a masters degree in their chosen fields. It’s not even close.
    Forth, It is all fine and wonderful that these new bargaining rules will go into effect, but how will it save Walker a dime between now and Jun 30th? He will still have to honor the pre-existing contracts for the life of those contracts. The unions will not be able to negotiate new ones the same way, but the existing ones are still binding and will be upheld in Federal court. Who is lying now?

  41. Eric says:

    The government let wall street steal the pensions and then bailed them out. Now that they make record profits and still no one in jail. They blame the unions and then give tax breaks to the richest Americans at 30 billion!! Now the republicans want to remove help for the poor. Guess he who owns the gold makes the rules.

  42. GJMama says:

    So, according to the teachers, collective bargaining is what they teach their students? Really? So, the students all get the same grades, test scores and extra credit based on only what some students do? The students are not taught that their grades and test scores are based upon each of their own individual efforts and accomplishments? Under performing students can have their grades ride the coat-tails of those students who are actually doing their jobs? I don’t think so. I think what ticks off the majority of non-union people is the fact that raises, benefits and tenure are based solely upon time served rather than job performance. Merit based systems are what we in the private sector have to do, and sorry public employees, but like it or not, we the people ARE your employers. Our taxes, pay your salary. Yes, you pay taxes too, but the majority of Americans are public sector employees.

  43. Job says:

    I guess in WI it’s OK to cancel school to protest and to honor the Packers in a parade…. No wonder they lag behind in education.

  44. Swiehl says:

    I am a worker in the private sector. I was doing great in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I was laughing at my teacher friends, shaking my head in wonder about why they do what they do for such little money, but then would say, “Well, you chose that profession. Why should you get paid more just because the rest of the economy is thriving.” Fast forward 8 years. The Republican economics have driven the economy into the ground. Now, how dare teachers take home those large salaries when I’m unemployed? How dare anyone still have a job when I am unemployed? Instead of looking at gaining back some rights in the private sector, I am going to go after public employees–yeah–that will help me! Well, I’m off to WalMart to work for $9.00 an hour now, but it’s okay–I know those CEO’s can’t afford to give up their corporate jets to pay me anymore.

  45. Kids says:

    All I can say is WOW!!! I am employed at a school district. I work 5 days a week, 12 months a year. I just feel that the public is not seeing/understanding the whole picture. I think that no one realizes the impact this is going to have on the entire state. I am not a “teacher” but this is effecting me also. I am ready to scrunch my budget even more to put money into my retirement right along with scrunching my budget to make ends meet in our current economy. But this IS about the kids and what is going to happen to the quality of education. This will mean layoffs, possible pay cuts, larger classroom sizes, which will mean less one on one, this could mean programs being cut, things that are good for the students – music, the arts, sports, the things that allow our students to express themselves, give them confidence and the sense of belonging. People go into education because they love working with kids – seeing them grow and flourish into fine young men and women. I am scared to see what may happen to the quality of the education in the State of Wisconsin. I am thankful to have a job, I love my job and I love working with kids.

  46. Michael Cluney says:

    All over the world people are demonstrating their rights for freedom, democdracy. Wisconsin teachers demonstrate for what is so important for them. Meanwhile our children — all of America’s children — face terrorists every single day: gangs, sex-offenders, drug-dealers, child abductors. Who demonstrates for themj? Go to Presidential Proclamation for National Child ID Kit Day.

    After you selfishly take care of your own personal needs of course.

    No wonder America’s children face child predators alone.

  47. Kyle Moore says:

    Doing this for the kids?? How does a teacher paying for or not paying for their benefits affect me as a student? I have to pay for my benefits so why shouldn’t they?

    Face it. The state of Wisconsin like so many others is flat broke. The teachers are being asked to pay as much for the benefits they receive as every other worker in Wisconsin. The teachers can do that, or they are going to start seeing massive layoffs in the schools. If the state cannot get the money from this new bill, they will have to make cuts elsewhere. This means schools will have to start canceling after school programs, and they will have to start getting rid of the teachers themselves creating larger classes and less student teacher interaction. Again I say how does this help the students?

    I am all for collective bargaining (which this bill does not end anyway), but it drives me crazy that all these teachers are claiming they are protesting for the students. It seems like a few teachers did have valid points against this new bill, and they had every right to protest. For the mass of teachers that followed, it seems like they are protesting just to protest. Half of them do not even realize the real issues that surround this bill. Again, I am all for collective bargaining (and Walker’s new bill), but it seems like a lot of these teachers are protesting to get out of work and to follow their peers. And when they claim this is for the students, it is either because they do not understand what they are protesting for or they plan on protesting further if the bill is passed which disrupts the students even more.

    Detroit closed more than half of its schools this year.
    New Jersey had to lay off half of its police force.
    Wisconsin teacher’s have to pay for their benefits????

    It does not even compare. These teachers should be greatful that they are still working. It could be a lot worse.

  48. Eric says:

    In the US military, if I were to skip work under a fake illness to go protest at the white house I would be charged with a crime. If I were to get all of my peers together to bargain for my wage to be increased, I would be charged with a crime. I get paid as per the budgetary needs of the country and there is absolutely no reason that a teacher under full benefits being paid by the state can’t do the same thing. Its embarrassing that teachers think they are entitled to collective bargaining simply because they are unionized. Speak to public safety officials who are in unions and discuss with them their collective bargaining capabilities because they are nil.

  49. A Young says:

    I am not a teacher ( I work for a non profit in school districts ), but I do see what teachers deal with.

    Many teachers work hard and genuinely care for their students- also many put in a lot of additional hours for ball games (they are all required to attend so many) as well as club sponsors and planning and implementing of other additional extracurricular programs. Also, many put in long hours grading papers and making lesson plans (what many of you don’t realize is that while they get some planning time it is often not enough).

    I also know that people complain about test scores – but what they don’t take into account is that these tests often change as do the curriculum the teachers are required to teach. Now they have little say and without collective bargaining they would have none. I get a letter from my sons school every year telling me that the benchmarks for the school have risen again so that may be reflected on the test scores, which is also something that people fail to take into account.

    Also, without collective bargaining school boards (I can only speak for where I live but are always with people who have no idea about education and may only have a HS diploma- which I disagree with I think that they should at least have to take a few education classes and perhaps spend some time substitute teaching) would decide even more and the director of schools could up and decide to fire people for no real reason and put in someone he/she knows.

    I personally think that the less you give teachers (respect and pay/benefits) the harder it will be to retain people who are well educated. In TN we have a shortage of math, science, and foreign language teachers so they set up a program allowing highly qualified people to come in and teach (they had to take so many education classes and some other things to become certified in X amount of time) and I have witnessed firsthand that not one of them placed in the schools I work at stayed more than a year. Why? They said it was the hardest job they have done and one in which they got the least respect for (they complained about parents and students). They complained about the long hours and low pay and do you know what they did… went and found higher paying, less stressful jobs.

    I do think however, that the teachers who used sick leave instead of annual leave (or whatever term they use) should be in trouble for that was dishonest and isn’t allowed in any job.

  50. Jamie says:

    So what would happen if the entire Student body made a stand for the teachers and didn’t go to school? When I was in school we would have stood with our teachers and protested with them. I’m not sure what has changed in those twelve years, or if it was a cultural thing. wrong or right, we would’ve done it.

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