I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Obscenely Generous"

That's how the Star-Ledger describes modest pensions and insurance that lets you take your kid to the doctor without running up your credit cards:
Here’s where we stand: The governor and Sweeney have already agreed to a tough reform that would save huge sums of money by trimming benefits and requiring public employees to contribute more.
The new terms would apply not just to state workers, but to the much larger army of teachers, cops and firefighters whose obscenely generous benefits are a key driver of property taxes. [emphasis mine]
Let's leave aside the fact that public workers already have mandatory contributions to their pensions. Let's leave aside the mandatory amount taken out of teachers' paychecks for health care. Let's not consider that, in reality, every public worker pays for 100% of their benefits. Let's not remind ourselves that the average NJ pension is less than $27,000 a year. We'll even leave aside the idea that deferred compensation SAVES taxpayers money.

No, let's instead consider this (p.14):
The United States is far from the Singapore minister’s standard. According to the
National Association of Colleges and Employers, teachers earn a national average
starting salary of $30,377. That compares with $43,635 for computer programmers,
$44,668 for accountants and $45,570 for registered nurses. None of these occupations
are among the leading professions, which provide starting salaries that are even higher.
Not only do teachers make markedly less than other occupations requiring the same level
of education, but census data shows that teachers have been falling farther and farther
behind the average compensation for occupations requiring a college degree for 60 years. 
The average earnings for workers with college degrees are now 50 percent higher than
average teachers’ salaries, which is a very long way indeed from the Singapore minister’s
Anyone here want to agree with the S-L about how "obscene" teacher health care is?


CommutingTeacher said...

As a NJ teacher, I reject their proposals unless they are coupled with a plan for the insurers to keep their increases below 2% caps per year and also that contributions are no more than the 20% or less that is paid privately. Without insurer caps, and new higher employee contributions, they will feel emboldened to increase premiums more than before.

czarejs said...

Yup.... to the Star-Ledger being middle class Americans is being obscene. MADNESS SHEER MADNESS!!

Duke said...

CT - you got it. Caps for me; caps for thee.