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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zombie Lies

They never die at the Star-Ledger:
After initial union obstinacy in the face of a deep and prolonged recession, the pendulum apparently is swinging back toward reason.
Thanks to taxpayer anger, salary caps and other cost-containing legislation, it’s sinking in: Public workers aren’t entitled to automatic raises and better benefits regardless of economic conditions or job performance, and a public-sector job without a raise is better than no job at all....
The Star-Ledger’s Lisa Fleisher reported that teachers in 75 districts who settled contracts in the first half of the year received an average raise of 2.03 percent for the upcoming school year — the lowest increase in the 30 years the New Jersey School Boards Association has been tracking the data.
That’s still higher than the average private-sector pay increase, but the insanity has ended. Another 18 districts reopened contracts and froze pay raises.
Is it higher then the pay increase for college-educated workers? Did you think to ask?

Here it is - again:
Over the last 20 years, teacher pay has grown more slowly than the pay of the average worker in NJ (teacher pay rose 150%; the average pay rose 162%).  
The "benefit gap" between teachers and non-teachers is approximately 5% - not enough to make up for the difference in pay.
And then there's this:
Remember, only a handful of unions volunteered wage freezes to save jobs. Others took their raises and allowed colleagues to be laid off. 
And ALL teachers who had a new contract started paying 1.5% towards their health care. So it's not a freeze - IT"S A CUT!

It's also worth noting that plenty of districts where teachers took a freeze still had layoffs.

You just can't kill them...
Gold-Plated Benefits!

1 comment:

thinker said...

My God, it's never ending! Personally, I would have loved to just achieved my teaching certification without having to go back to school to earn a degree. Had I been able to do so, more than likely I'd be employed right now. I guess we only remember that we DEMAND teachers be college educated professionals when it is convenient to do so. I am not arguing that teachers shouldn't be college educated, merely that since they are, how about we treat them as such when discussing wages/benefits, etc.

Seriously, I made more before I went back to school (and had a pension and medical!) than I will as a first year teacher, provided that I am someday lucky enough to eventually land a job. Back then, I also didn't have to worry about repaying those pesky student loans. Again, I wonder what I was thinking in pursuing my dream of teaching. It is sad that our society values teachers so little.

Next, of course, we'll hear about summers off and how teachers work 15 minutes per day.