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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker should rein in teachers union

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Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:20 am, Wed Mar 9, 2011.

Oh, that bad old Gov. Scott Walker picking on the poor defenseless teachers in Wisconsin. Gee, he wants to take away their Viagra (cost to taxpayers, $780,000) and their sexchange operations courtesy of the taxpayer.

The Wisconsin taxpayer pays Milwaukee public school teachers 74.2 cents for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in wages. According to the manager of financial planning for Milwaukee public schools, the average Milwaukee public school teacher salary is $56,500, but with benefits, the total package is $100,005.

The district's contribution for pensions and Social Security total 22.6 cents for each dollar of salary (teachers contribute nothing) and the school district pays the entire premium for medical and vision benefits, and more than half the cost of dental coverage. Teachers can retire in their 50s and their entire premium in effect in retirement is paid until they are eligible for Medicare, and then retirees cover only the growth in premiums after they retire. Overall, the school districts' contributions to health insurance for employees and retirees total about 50.9 cents on top of every dollar paid in wages.

"In Wisconsin the teachers union doesn't just bargain for more health dollars. It also bargains to require that local school districts buy health insurance through the union-affiliated health-insurance plan, called WEA Trust. This gives the union (not the state) ultimate say over health benefits. It also costs the state at least $68 million more annually than it would if schools could buy the state-employee health plan — money that goes to the union outfit" (Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 25).

"What these numbers ultimately prove is the excessive power of collective bargaining. The teachers' main pension plan is set by the state legislature, but under the pressure of local bargaining, the employees contribution is often pushed onto the taxpayers. As the costs of pensions and insurance escalate, the governor's proposal to restrict Collective Bargaining to salaries — not benefits — seems entirely reasonable" (Robert M. Costrell, professor of educational reform and economics at the University of Arkansas, WSJ, Feb. 25).

Phyllis Roche


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 3:48 pm on Thu, Mar 10, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    As a representative of this publication, Ms. Anger really should not be commenting (plus I did not see the POINT of her comments but to lay out how much money she and her husband have). Also, I wonder why Ms. Anger's column, "Women of a Certain Age" has no ability to receive comments - maybe because it is the worst written column in the LNS and adds nothing but "gossip" value?

    My point - that Ms. Roche, who has been sending LTE for a good 20 years or more never composes her own submissions. They are consistently "lifted," as in PLAGIARIZED from other publications without Ms. Roche giving credit. Yes, I've checked many of them and they are taken word-for-word.

    Bottom line...Ms. Roche likes what she reads - agrees with it - submits it as her own thoughts and writing. That is just plain wrong.

  • Charles Nelson posted at 1:05 pm on Thu, Mar 10, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 259

    Well, Ms. Bobin, heres a quote for you, properly attributed.: "All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."- Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That's right, the most Socialist president in history before the 2008 elections, was against public employee unions. He knew that it wasn't in the best interest of America, and he was right.

  • posted at 8:15 am on Thu, Mar 10, 2011.


    What IS Joanne point? Doesn't do much good to "grade" other comments without stating an opinion. Mine? I contribute 20% TO A 401K. My husband has a federal pension. Yea...a pension (now a dirty word) but we still pay out big bucks for our own medical, dental and supplemental retirement accounts. That pension is subject to freezes and increased medical share placed by congress. You pay your own way in this world. Even with now vilified pension systems, a free ride is simply not in the best interest of the national economy. Wake up! Who on earth believes that everyone should pay more so others can continue to pay nothing. Where on earth is that fair? Oh that's right...its fair right here in our ever-increasing socialist structure.

  • Gerald Krein posted at 10:15 pm on Wed, Mar 9, 2011.

    Gerald Krein Posts: 20

    So Joanne, what is your point? Have you fact checked Ms. Roche and have something to say about the article. Do you have information that disproves what is said in the article? I don't really care where the info comes from as long as it is accurate.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:15 pm on Wed, Mar 9, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    As usual, Ms. Roche's letters are basically plagiarized from whatever JBS garbage ends up in her mail/email box. She obviously does not check any of the claims made in these "articles." The first half of her letter is taken word-for-word from a Robert Costrell article (also taken from the WSJ), but without the credit.

    Please, Ms. Roche, either stop writing nonsense, or do the research and write an original letter based on your own ideas and FACTS.


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