Benefits vs. jobs

Wisconsin’s controversial law limiting public employees’ bargaining power will enable a district to hire more teachers to cut class sizes, reports the Appleton Post Crescent.

As changes to collective bargaining powers for public workers take effect today, the Kaukauna Area School District is poised to swing from a projected $400,000 budget shortfall next year to a $1.5 million surplus due to health care and retirement savings.

The Kaukauna School Board approved changes Monday to its employee handbook that require staff to cover 12.6 percent of their health insurance and to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to the state’s pension system, in accordance with the new collective bargaining law, commonly known as Act 10.

Increased staffing also will make it possible to “identify and support students needing individual assistance through individual and small group experiences,” said the school board president.

Teachers will have less take-home pay, but more teachers will have jobs.

Via Ann Althouse.

Milwaukee Public Schools is laying off 354 teachers. In all, 519 staffers will be laid off and 500 vacancies will not be filled. Class sizes will increase and old textbooks won’t be replaced. If the union agrees to contribute 5.8 percent of wages to retirement benefits, the district can save 198 teachers’ jobs.

About Joanne


  1. “Can save” does not mean “will save.”

  2. More jobs at lower pay is what benefits unions, not teachers. There’s no evidence it helps students.

  3. Good luck trying to recruit excellent math & science teachers.

  4. tim-10-ber says:

    And the quality, education, training of these additional teachers will be…what?

  5. if they pay every teacher a dollar they can have a teacher for every student and still save money!

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    The responses seem to be that the choice was between paying teachers and their union bosses big money, or being mean to the kids and not paying big money.
    The actual choice is paying somewhat less to the teachers versus going broke and paying nothing to the teachers.
    Obama’s stash isn’t bottomless, no matter what they tell you in ed school.

  7. Richard Aubrey says:

    I get a Milwaukee talk show around here. Turns out the Milwaukee contract went through, with some urgency (aka “rammed through”), before the law took effect. It means that the teachers get laid off and all that. It also means the union gets the mandatory dues withdrawal for, I think, thirty-three months. Which they wouldn’t get if the contract were negotiated after the law took effect.
    It’s for the children.

  8. What happened was the teachers made concessions and then were screwed by the Republicans, led by Walker, who did not campaign on anything having to do with collective bargaining. Wisconsin was running a surplus until his corporate tax giveaway.

  9. Richard Aubrey says:

    Is “screwed” the same as keeping your job?
    I have followed some organizing campaigns in our area over the years. Not biggies. One businessman said that if his workers organized, he was taking the biz to Kentucky. The union bosses decided to all his bluff. He’s in Kentucky, the 35-40 guys are out of work. It appears that calling the businesman a greedy son of a bitch is every bit as good as having a job.

  10. Richard Aubrey says:

    Oh, yeah. A state surplus is not the same as having, say, your pension fund funded. Different accounts. And some of the funding for schools comes from local taxes where the state surplus or deficit is irrelevant.

  11. SuperSub says:

    The whole point of Act 10 was to alleviate the stress on local taxes by giving school districts more leeway in negotiations. State surplus or not makes no difference.

  12. Richard Aubrey says:

    You know it and I know it, but there has to be a way to drag in corporate tax giveaways.

  13. Here’s the deal, which you would understand if you had been paying attention: Walker mentioned not one thing about ending collective bargaining for state employees, was elected, and then declared that because the state was in deficit (a deficit he caused), collective bargaining had to go. He keeps shifting the rhetoric, like the lying sack of crap that he is.

  14. RIchard Aubreyq says:

    Mike. I get AM 620. Want to start over?
    Unfortunately, it looks as if things are getting better.