JG Excerpt:Only three out of sixteen companies pay full health benefits to their employees? Isn’t it time people rise up and boycott the thirteen large companies who are not paying full benefits? In this booming and expanding economy shouldn’t workers demand more benefits and wages - not less?
Not only do the teachers have good coverage, they don't pay any monthly premium, unlike most local workers. A 2005 survey of 16 of the larger local employers-including the school district but not General Motors-showed only three that did not require employees to pay part of the premium.
Well, at least Superintendent Evert agrees. Just a week after the $70.8 million school referendum passed, he picked up a new contract calling for a 3.7% increase in each of the next two years. The Gazette article did mention that the dollar amount of his raise has not been set because it is contingent on health insurance costs which are packaged as part of his salary. Apparently Evert has not made any health insurance concessions. The Gazette article did compare his compensation to the national average and of peer school districts.
JG Excerpt (11-15-06):.....or on March 18th when the Gazette explained that the city council justified giving the city manager a stepped 5% raise for 2007 by comparing his wages to fellow city managers in peer cities. Well, that's okay then.
The average salary for superintendents in the Great Lakes region is $118,374……….. The national average for superintendents of districts with enrollment of 10,000 to 24,999 is $154,714.
Why is it that teachers salary and benefits package are compared to workers pay of other unrelated businesses in the private sector, but the salary and benefits package of school superintendents and city managers are always compared to only superintendents and city managers in peer cities? To be fair, perhaps its time to compare their compensation to the managers of fast-food restaurants and retail stores.
This same analysis comparing Janesville teacher benefits to that of GM workers was played out again on Tuesday in the Gazette's front-page headline article titled, Pay, insurance are key issues.
JG Excerpt:Hear that teachers? If you take the example set by the city manager and school superintendent for fair and equitable compensation for the services you provide, your demands will hamper the schools ability to provide a quality education. Did the superintendent or city manager ever consider how their rising wage expectations will burden taxpayers and hamper production?
Julka noted that General Motors also is struggling with health and retirement costs as it negotiates with unions. GM, like the district, sees these costs as hampering ”its ability to provide a quality product.”
Unfortunately, before you even begin to negotiate, the general public has been primed up to oppose you with this steady drumbeat played out in articles and editorials from your favorite newspapers.
Possibly bored and with nothing else to do, the Gazette editorial staff slapped together a fictional story for the January 21st edition titled “Teachers need reality check on benefits.” You’ve probably conveniently forgot about this editorial and who could blame you? But the last paragraph was meant to put teachers into the wage category the Gazette editors feel match your production.
JG Excerpt:That the Gazette said this through a fictional Mr. Miffed character was very understandable. No Republican or Bush Conservative would sign their name to that when they believe we are in the throes of a booming, low unemployment, profit-taking and expanding economy fueled by those Bush taxcuts. They are trapped in a hellish dichotomy of their own making.
Teachers also must realize that us taxpayers are finding fewer good jobs with generous benefits these days. Look at out many jobs GM has squeezed out at the plant. And new jobs seem to be service work – low paying jobs at big box stores, burger joints and the like. Again, teachers need a dose of reality. I support your efforts to get them to share health care benefits.
And it doesn’t help when a school board candidate and former inside-the-beltway politician has this to say about upcoming negotiations.
JG excerpt:Once again the teachers are being singled out and asked to make concessions or risk being labeled as unreasonable, before they even get started.
"I hope the teachers union comes to the table with the understanding that we need to keep this community together." -- Tim Cullen, school board candidate
Now comes word that you (teachers union) want to keep future negotiating sessions closed to the public. With all the help you’ve been getting from your local newspapers – who could blame you.