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TEACHERS: Furloughs, not pay cuts

Letter by Teresa Weydert, Tacoma on April 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm with 97 Comments »
April 14, 2011 2:31 pm

Re: “Teacher wages, bonuses on block” (TNT, 4-14).

I am willing to do my part, but an outright pay cut? Really? So I still continue to work the same amount of hours but at 3 percent less pay?

State workers have their 3 percent reduction through furloughs. I would rather take the furlough.

Let’s quit doing everything on the backs of the teachers (pay cuts, wage freezes, larger class sizes). If I’m not going to get the pay, I’d rather have the day off. Perhaps the furlough days can be scheduled for the fall and I can go work at the fair!

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  1. GHTaxPayer says:

    Teresa is correct. Cutting teachers and other state workers that make under $75k annually isn’t the answer. Eliminating their pensions and replacing it with a 401k where the state kicks in a max of $300 per month in matching money is the answer.

  2. tree_guy says:

    The teachers union has been endorsing Democratic legislators and our Democratic governor for several years now. How’s that seem to be working?

  3. Yeah, Sue1234. How does one go about obtaining a quality education in America? Somewhere along the line, you also missed the boat. Until parents
    have the right to choose what school their children attend, America will continue to have an inferior education system. All our future needs for scientists and engineers will have to be brought in from other countries. Right now our schools are merely breeding grounds for left-wing radicals.

  4. tree_guy says:

    “Republicans hate education because none of them have one, huh, tree guy” sue.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/04/14/on-the-backs-of-teachers/#ixzz1JXhiy4qY

    What did I say in my comment that indicated that I hate education or that I was not an educated person? If you really believe there are not some well educated Republicans you are woefully misinformed.

  5. Yeah, Publico. You libs are still steaming over the results from the 2010 election. If you thought that was bad, wait until 2012.

  6. GHTaxPayer says:

    USCHA is completely correct. We need a voucher system for parents that want to send their kids to the best school of their choosing. Our public schools are failing miserably even though we Americans spend MORE per student THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY – yet our students finish in the bottom half of civilized countries for math, science and geography.

  7. To GHTaxpayer:
    I’d hate to think what you are teaching your son to call women and gays. What filth spews out of a child’s mouth was put in there by a parent.

  8. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Republicans are well educated. Most Republicans gave up on government (not public) schools years ago and send their children to private schools, like obama does. Where they learn math and science not how to use a condom and read books like “Heather Has Two Mommies”.

    Will someone give Ms. Weydert a crying towel and tell her to man-up? She needs to suck it up and take her lumps like everyone else. Furloughs will require a shortening of the school year and requires a change to the state constitution and will never happen. Even though bought and sold democrats that are owned by the teacher’s union want to shorten the school year.

    If she doesn’t like the backroom deal her union made with the Guv. She should opt out of her mandatory dues payments to the union. Oop’s that would cause her to get fired in this state. Too bad.

  9. Fibonacci says:

    uscha
    So, vouchers are the answer huh? Do you have any idea how much private high schools charge? Lakeside in Seattle is $25,000 per year. I think Bellermane is over $12000 per year. What kind of voucher are you thinking you will get? News flash. Private schools don’t have a better curriculum than public schools,they just control who they let in. When I taught in a pubic high school I had students all the way from wearing an ankle bracelet because they were on house arrest to a student that got a PhD in nuclear physics from MIT. Gosh, imagine that, and a PUBLIC school at that.

    Maybe what we should be trying to do is get the best we can for ALL students, not just the wealthy. OH wait, you belong to that party that only cares about the WEALTHY right?

  10. Fibonacci says:

    uscha
    What is YOUR answer to why the Democrats got so many votes in 2008? Do you have any idea of how it works? It is a pendulum that swings back and forth. Things go bad under one party and people elect the other. When the Republicans get back in office and botch things up again they will be voted out. Think that clown governor in Wisconsin would win if the note were today?

  11. Hey Fibonacci. I don’t need an answer for 2008. The year is 2011. Are you aware of this! For GHTaxpayer: “Good going!”

  12. frankiethomas says:

    Ask any cop in town what high school has the most drugs. It isn’t any of the public ones.

  13. “GHTaxPayer says:
    April 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    And my 11 year old son and his friends have a great nickname for liberal democrats – Flying Butt Kissers ! ”

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 11 year old humor is about par of the Rush Limbaugh crowd.

  14. Sorry Teresa,

    RCW 28A.150.220 section 3.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28A.150.220

  15. My spouse’s grandson needed help with arc welding for metal shop. His worthless sperm donor, aka father, wouldn’t help, even though he welds. A teacher is mentoring him on the side.

    The same teacher is encouraging him to take AP Calculus. The teacher has volunteered to mentor him there also.

    These worthless teachers are overpaid, right?

  16. Fib….did you happen to see Walker’s chat with Congress? He tried to lie his way out of questions and got drilled….but good.

    “Today Scott Walker finally admitted in a Congressional hearing that all the baloney he tried to sell Wisconsin about unions and how busting them was necessary to save the state money was a lie.

    KUCINICH: Let me ask you about some of the specific provisions in your proposals to strip collective bargaining rights. First, your proposal would require unions to hold annual votes to continue representing their own members. Can you please explain to me and members of this committee how much money this provision saves for your state budget?

    WALKER: That and a number of other provisions we put in because if you’re going to ask, if you’re going to put in place a change like that, we wanted to make sure we protected the workers of our state, so they got value out of that. [...]

    KUCINICH: Would you answer the question? How much money does it save, Governor?

    WALKER: It doesn’t save any. “

  17. firemannotfirefighter says:

    I love how fibo only sees PROBLEMS and then defends the very people that are cutting the education system. You list the MOST expensive private schools, what are some of the prices for the lower tuition schools? And since it is Illegal (we will get to that in a minute) in Washington to have Charter Schools, maybe that might help bring down the cost?

    About that word Illegal, I know that BOTH you and x-6 are in favor of illegal teacher strikes and illegal firefighter strikes, so how about we just say screw it, and set up a Charter school illegally? I mean if your okay with the illegal strikes, then logically you would be okay with the illegal charter schools right?

    I also LOVE how you talk about that 1 teacher. Yeah, and that 1 teacher probably deserves to be paid more, unfortunately, because the WEA won’t recognize his actions as deserving of a raise, even though he is putting in more hours and making a bigger difference in a students life, he is treated and paid the same as the Morton Teacher who liked to touch his students.

    Here is how we fix the teacher problem. 1 Teachers will be paid on a YEARLY basis and will work the ENTIRE year! 2. Teachers will be FIRED and lose their teaching cert for striking. 3. Teachers pay will be based on estimated workload (variable and will take a while to actually look at, but could be done). Teachers who have higher workloads are obviously going to be paid more than teachers with much lower workloads. 4. Teachers will also get Merit pay, and Merit deductions based on the average over a period of time. 5. School Buses will STOP making stops within a mile of each other. WALK, the kids need the exercise anyways. No school bus stop for grade 6th and up with 2 miles of the school (yeah I know oh the weather, poor kids boo hoo.. Yeah, the greatest generation actually walked to school in the snow, sleet, rain and cold days. They created this great nation and made it what it is today. Pass it on). Finally, cut the administrative staff in 1/2, across the board. We will institute charter schools (Usually raises the level of public schools too) and we need to look at the certification process. A Masters Degree doesn’t mean you are any better of a teacher than the next person. Let’s start looking at why other countries are kicking our students butts. You think it’s because they have a Masters Degree? Or is it that they embrace education reforms and look at new and innovative ways of teaching.

    Oh and before Fibo and x-6 goes all “You are a Republican tea bagger a-hole”, then I think you should read President Obama’s (Yes, THAT President Obama) Race to the Top. Most of MY ideas, are already laid out by HIS administration

    http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html

    I support President Obama’s Race to the Top and also thought that Sen. Ted Kennedy”s No Child Left behind was a good plan, poorly executed. Yes, my little Liberal nut jobs, NCLB, was the brain child of Sen. Ted Kennedy!

  18. bobcat1a says:

    Fireman, go ahead and set up your illegal charter school. Feel free. No one will care.
    How about we add to your above list that teachers will be paid prevailing hourly babysitting rates for the children in their care.

  19. Olemag, I believe GHT’s boy would be surprised to find out what he supposedly calls Democrates.

    Yes GGT, I am calling you a lier.

    Charter School and Vouchers – the right wing’s attempt to bring separate but equal education back to America.

  20. There is no irrefutable evidence that charter schools and voucher schools do better when placed side by side with kids of the same demographic. Meaning, white middle class charter school kids do pretty close to the same as white middle class public school kids.

    Also, go ahead and set up a private school or a charter school. Bring on the competition to public schools. Realize that #1, parents have to choose to go there, #2, parents will have to pay additional money to go there in most cases because the voucher may not cover the costs, #3, parents have to get their kids there on their own.

    Oh, guess what, with gas topping $4 a gallon, how many parents can afford to drive kids to school? Not the ones you claim to want to help. The poor families can’t barely get to work much less drive their kids across town to a new voucher school. You really think that is the solution to the problem? Show us the evidence where voucher schools and charter schools have outperformed the public schools of the same socioeconomic grouping.

  21. letsworkitout says:

    Race to the top money is a joke. A one time lump sum that once it gets to the districts has little impact. It is a bribe by the federal government to get the state governments to conform to what he wants. The race to the top money does absolutely nothing to better education. It is like the “stimulus” plan, it is there to try and make him look good. Neither have any legitimate gains in the big picture.

  22. “About that word Illegal, I know that BOTH you and x-6 are in favor of illegal teacher strikes and illegal firefighter strikes”

    I’m just for equal rights for all workers. After all, this IS America…….

    I thought you guys were all about the Constitutition??????

  23. Oh…and Firey…….

    I don’t walk lock step with President Obama. Walking lockstep is a GOP requirement. We Democrats actually have the audacity to tell the our party leaders that they are wrong sometimes.

  24. “Teachers will be paid on a YEARLY basis and will work the ENTIRE year!”

    It’s always nice to see Firefighter on his time off. He is at the station for 24 hours, sleeping one third of it, and then gets two days off. Or does the station have wi-fi?

  25. GHTaxPayer says:

    SPOTTED 1 and all the other misinformed –

    Vouchers will pay more than enough to send your children to a GREAT charter or private school. Public school spending per student is almost TRIPLE what most private, charter and parochial schools charge for tuition.

  26. It’s interesting how the right wants to use public money to fund their private education.

    If private education is such a great deal, why do so many conservatives still send their kids to public school?

  27. Vouchers avoid the problem of fixing the low performing schools.
    You just want a voucher so that you can try and avoid a “failing” school.
    Schools only fail us when the parents and administrators lose their focus on the quality of education of our children and get into hissy-fits about funds.
    Parents must also expect nothing short of excellence in the classroom out of their kids.

  28. tree_guy says:

    Sue, you may be highly educated but there’s little evidence of it in your postings. Your sentence construction is horrible. Furthermore, someone needs to show you how to construct a paragraph. Lastly, the word don’t has a hyphen in it. If you are the new spokesperson for the left then the right has nothing to worry about.

  29. commoncents says:

    Eliminating their pensions and replacing it with a 401k where the state kicks in a max of $300 per month in matching money is the answer.
    —-

    Really? Care to enlighten us about costs of this plan versus the current plan? Don’t forget administration costs, compliance monitoring costs, plan design, and setup costs. Also, make sure you let us know how much monthly is currently being contributed on behalf of the average employee and how underfunded TRS Plan 3 is.

    I think you may be suprised by what you find.

  30. Naslund19 says:

    As a conservative Republican school teacher, this debate is actually really simple. Teachers should be contributing more to their retirement in the form of a 403B retirement fund. This would lower the states burden on the pension issue.

    When it comes to charter schools I find the entire debate laughable. Everyone can say charter schools are great and most are and here’s why. Little Johnny doesn’t want to follow the rules of the school he is easily removed and sent back to his public school. Secondly, charter and private schools are typically sought out by parents who actively involved in their child’s education. Trust me if a public school teacher had 30 prepared, hard working, inquisitive students in their class they would rock the state test as well. If you want to see why education is failing don’t look at the person who spends 6 hours a day with your children. Go look at yourself in the mirror. Parents are the true determining factor in a child educational success. Not long ago I say a grant where schools would take children in at 6 AM, take care of all their needs before school, educate them for 6 hours, have an after school program, feed them dinner and the day would end at 8 PM. The fact this grant exists is a testament to the issues there are with parenting today. Be an active parent and child will thrive in school regardless of where they attend.

    And as far as liberals being more educated, that may in fact be true. They are typically the only ones who can stomach the leftist drivel that comes out of college professors mouths. Finishing college as a conservative and Christian was a war everyday.

    Who ever said earlier about teachers supporting democrats for office you are right. Everyone of them promising to make education a priority while having a the knife behind their back that they will use to slash education and stick education in the back.

  31. FLASH! Hey libs, did you get your latest liberal lines from your Messiah? According to him, if we tackle the deficit problem, 50 million people will lose their health insurance. Haven’t heard from you libs, yet. C’mon, deny more of the truth. Hey Sue1234, obviously your ideology won’t let you face the truth. If you have found an intelligent liberal (that includes you) where is this person
    hiding. How did you discover this rarity?

  32. Here is a list of the contribution rates. Note the huge increase for 2011-2013.

    http://osa.leg.wa.gov/Actuarial_Services/Funding/PDF_Docs/ContRates2-7-11.pdf

  33. GHTaxPayer says:

    If Liberals are so much better educated, why can’t they perform the basic task of BALANCING A BUDGET and why did they all fail the ECON 101 test of thinking that Obama’s Stimulus would create any jobs ?

    And why did these geniuses believe Obama when he promised to “cut the federal budget deficit by half in the first two years of my presidency” ????

    What brainiac believed Chris Gregoire when she claimed that increasing state spending by 32% in a recession WOULDN’T lead to a $5 Billion budget deficit ?

  34. BTW, UAAL stands for Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability. The state cost has just exploded!

  35. “What brainiac believed Chris Gregoire when she claimed that increasing state spending by 32% in a recession WOULDN’T lead to a $5 Billion budget deficit ?”

    Where are coming up with the 32% number?

  36. “GHTaxPayer says:
    April 15, 2011 at 9:04 am
    If Liberals are so much better educated, why can’t they perform the basic task of BALANCING A BUDGET and why did they all fail the ECON 101 test of thinking that Obama’s Stimulus would create any jobs ?”

    Considering that Paul Ryan is projecting 75 years to balance the budget, I’d say he doesn’t have an answer either……or is just a better BSer.

    Stimulous. Jobs. Hmmm….we were losing jobs by the 1000s and now unemployment is going down, but the Stimulus didn’t create jobs????

    Who has a math problem???????????

  37. fatuous – that is a number from the Evergreen Freedom Foundation that was anally rectified (pardon the pun) and has been said enough times to make believers of the TEA Bag crowd.

    As seen on a bumpersticker yesterday:

    “Paddle faster, I hear banjo music”

  38. “Vouchers will pay more than enough to send your children to a GREAT charter or private school.”

    As a parent whose son graduated from Bellarmine……hahahahahahahaha

    Since it costs about 12k to put a kid at the Big B and about 9K to put them in a public school, it appears the math challenge is increasing on the Right side of the forum.

  39. Why won’t urchin show us his birth certificate and law degree from Harvard?

    Of course, Obama isn’t really a liberal……

  40. “Naslund19 says:
    April 15, 2011 at 8:35 am
    As a conservative Republican school teacher, this debate is actually really simple. Teachers should be contributing more to their retirement in the form of a 403B retirement fund. This would lower the states burden on the pension issue.
    —————————————————————-

    As a Liberal who knows about organized labor and knows that the teachers negotiated retirement benfits in lieu of wages, I ask the question…..

    “Why don’t you teach at a private school where you’re not forced to take that union wage and benefits and you can create your own retirement account?”

  41. “And as far as liberals being more educated, that may in fact be true. They are typically the only ones who can stomach the leftist drivel that comes out of college professors mouths. Finishing college as a conservative and Christian was a war everyday.”
    —————————————————————–

    Have you considered that your “faith” got in the way of the realities of education? You’re going to be challeged in the sciences when your answer to everything is “God says so”.

  42. Hey X_zero, where is this secret weapon you and other libs keep babbling about? You and others like you continue to speak of intelligent Liberals. Where are they hiding? I can’t get an answer from you libs. Does anyone realize that the first Liberal was Christopher Columbus. “He left not knowing where he was going, got there not knowing where he was, left not knowing where he’d been and he did it all on borrowed money.” “Yeah, that’s a lib.”

  43. commoncents says:

    fatuous – yes but those rates explosions are not due to TRS 2 & 3 which is where the of teachers reside. Those rates are for TRS 1 (5,000 people!)…and are largely due to the failure of the legislature to properly fund TRS 1 in earlier years. The plan design is sound. The cost and operation of it is sound. It’s simply the funding mechanism that is not. You simply can’t fail to adequately fund a pension plan simply because it’s 100% funded. Blame for that falls on the feet of the legislatures who chose use that money elsewhere. Don’t blame the vehicle, gun, or plan for a problem….blame the operator of said product.

  44. “yes but those rates explosions are not due to TRS 2 & 3 which is where the of teachers reside.”

    The table clearly states TRS 1, 2 & 3. So unless you can provide some verifiable information that shows otherwise, I’m going with the state actuary’s web site.

  45. The far-right cronies on here are hilarious. It really is class-warfare people. The six or seven constantly unemployed hill people on here who believe that charter schools and the right are good and then the rest of us who actually have productive jobs and contribute something to society without wanting to pad the uber-rich’s pockets.

  46. commoncents says:

    On the page you cite the Row is titled Plan 1 UAAL which clearly refers to Plan 1 and not Plans 1,2, and 3 otherwise it would have stated Plans 1, 2, and 3. Right? In addition. if you actually look at the Actuarial Report instead of a website you would see the following verbiage..

    PERS Plan 2/3, SERS Plan 2/3, TRS Plan 2/3, PSERS Plan 2, LEOFF Plan 2, and WSPRS:
    The Aggregate Actuarial Cost Method is used to calculate the contribution rates. Under this method the unfunded actuarial present value of fully projected benefits is amortized over the projected earnings of the active group. The entire contribution is normal cost, and no UAAL exists.

    In addition you would see this…

    PERS Plan 1, TRS Plan 1, LEOFF Plan 1, JRS and Judges:
    Funding (Actual Contributions): A variation of the Entry Age Normal (EAN) Cost Method is used for PERS Plan 1 and TRS Plan 1. The contribution toward the UAAL has been developed in the valuation as a level percentage of expected future covered payrolls which will amortize the UAAL over a rolling ten-year period. PERS Plan 1 amortizes the UAAL over all PERS, SERS, and PSERS payroll, including projected system growth. TRS Plan 1 amortizes the UAAL over all TRS payroll, including projected system growth. The UAAL rates have contribution rate ceilings effective 2009-2015. After 2015, PERS Plan 1 has a minimum UAAL rate of 5.25%, and TRS Plan 1 has a minimum UAAL rate of 8.00%. No contributions are required when the LEOFF Plan 1 is fully funded. JRS and Judges are funded on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    In addition, the solvency test clearly shows that TRS 1 is 84% solvent as of 2009 and TRS2&3 are 100% solvent.

    Further, in the Actuarial Certification Letter itself you will find this language…

    All retirement system Plans 2 and 3, WSPRS, and LEOFFPlan1 are fully funded asof the latest actuarial valuation. The 2009 Legislature enacted a new funding method for PERS Plan1 and TRS Plan 1. The new funding method is based upon a variation of the Entry Age Normal (EAN) cost method. Provided the state and participating employers make the contributions required by the funding method, they will fully amortize the PERSPlan1 and TRSPlan1 unfunded actuarial accrued liability, as provided by law.

    So, per the Actuarial Report for 2010, Plans 2 and 3 are fine…it’s Plan 1 that is at issue. And, again…why is it an issue? Because the legislature failed to fund it adequately – not because of plan design!

  47. commoncents says:

    Here is the cite for the data that I have provided

    http://www.drs.wa.gov/administration/annual-report/cafr/cafrActuarial.pdf

  48. firemannotfirefighter says:

    “As a Liberal who knows about organized labor and knows that the teachers negotiated retirement benfits in lieu of wages, I ask the question…..”

    x_6, you are professing KNOWLEDGE? You were just trying to convince me and everyone here that Firefighters and Teachers are able to LEGALLY strike. You were refuted at EVERY point and now you want to talk about your knowledge again? Your credibility is beyond lacking, it’s gone!

    “I’m just for equal rights for all workers. After all, this IS America…….

    I thought you guys were all about the Constitutition??????”

    Yeah, and our laws are based on the constitution. Firefighter and teacher strikes are ILLEGAL! That’s according to the RCW, Case Law AND the Opinion that you posted from the ATG. I know facts seem to get in the way with your opinions, but they are facts after all.

    “There is no irrefutable evidence that charter schools and voucher schools do better when placed side by side with kids of the same demographic. Meaning, white middle class charter school kids do pretty close to the same as white middle class public school kids.”

    spotted1, REALLY? You want to check out the Harlem Childrens Zone and then get back to us about your No refutable evidence statement.

    I love how these FAR LEFT nut jobs are so quick to pigeon hole people who disagree with them. Let’s see, I am supporting President Obama’s Race to the Top and Sen. Kennedy’s NCLB… Yeah, I am really in lockstep with the right. Silly Liberals, Facts are for thinking people!

  49. Tree-guy,
    What elite private school taught you English?
    ‘Don’t’ is a contraction of ‘do not’ and contractions use appositives to conjoin the two words.

    GHT,
    Why didn’t conservatives even try to balance the budget under Reagan and Bush2?

    My College History advisor was the Chair of the County Republican Party.

    Fireperson,
    Many conservatives support NCLB. Most teachers (that I know) accept it as an unavoidable, unfunded, mandate that does more harm than good.
    In practical terms, NCLB allows teachers to pass problem students along to some other teacher.

  50. mr_sandman says:

    Naslund19- Thank you for your comments. I know we have differing political views, let’s leave it at that. The disipline that we had going to school growing up no longer exists. Parents must teach their children the basics of respecting their elders. Especially in school, if our future generation cannot respect, they will never learn what is needed to be succesful in society.

  51. I see the usual rightists have once again sharpened up thier crayons.

  52. Grammar school.

    Nut-jobs should have a hyphen.

    benfits should be benefits.

    Constitutition should be Constitution.

    Childrens should be Children’s.

    advisor should be adviser.

    Don’t should have an apostrophe.

    Had enough? I make mistakes too. So what? Does that make me a nut-job? I doubt it.

  53. How can we expect our children to learn to respect one another, mr_sandman, if we can’t show respect for each other, here?

    How can our children respect their teachers when they hear their parents constantly complaining about how terrable they think the teachers are?

  54. You are one of the teachers who has the entitlement attitude. I have no doubt you wouldn’t have a job if adminstrators had the ability to get rid of the bad teachers. Seriously whining about a 3 percent pay cut? Grow up and be thankful for your summers off, your cush benefits, and your out of control pension plan that is ultimately sucking our state dry.

  55. I agree with the letter-writer, TMell. If the state is short of cash, they should cut back through furloughs, and not expect the employees to take wage cuts.

    When you lower yourself to telling those with whom you disagree that they need to grow up, you’ve lost your argument.

  56. Thank you commoncents for correcting my misunderstanding.

  57. TMell I happen to know this teacher, you sir or madem are an idiot. This individual works hard never complains and does a first class job. If your going to insult someone do your homework first then you won’t look like the fool you are

  58. MarksonofDarwin says:

    fatuous,

    I read the first link you provided on charter schools, and in my research of this subject, I have seen the same conclusion in many studies. Namely: there really isn’t much difference between public/private/charter school test scores.

    What I DID find on the subject, which I found the most compelling, is the fact that students in charter schools and voucher participants were more likely to **graduate** from high school. This is especially true for traditionally “disadvantaged” students.

    So, this skews the numbers in *favor* of public schools.
    Students who drop out of school are most likely to be the worst performers academically. Their predictably low scores aren’t (can’t be, really) taken into account for public schools, which boosts their overall test scores.

  59. Oldman, ummmmmmmmmmmmm, this teacher just wrote a letter to the editor complaining about a 3 percent pay cut. Your second line of your comment is disproved by the letter you are responding to. She is complaining about a proposed 3 percent cut, like her 4 months a year total time off isn’t enough already. How about dumping the teacher in service days, etc…..

  60. “I am willing to do my part, but an outright pay cut”. Oldman, that is whining. And I DON’T know this teacher. My opinion of her is based on her letter only. Maybe she is only being a whining, sniveling, ungrateful individual in this letter. Maybe she is professional and a first class teacher typically. If you’d like me to rephrase my comment, adding “based on this letter only” to the front of my comment, I happily amend it.

  61. I wonder if TMell is willing to give up his Harley……

    How much of a pay cut should we pass along to TMell in the name of “saving the country”?

  62. Now wait….you’ll see a comment about “earning his toys”….as if the teachers didn’t earn their money that is now being cut…..

  63. “Yeah, and our laws are based on the constitution. Firefighter and teacher strikes are ILLEGAL!”

    Where does the Constitution say THAT???????????

    It doesn’t. Some state legislators and a few Congressional reps got together, along with some special interest funding and created an anti-labor law. It has nothing to do with freedom for all workers.

  64. “NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after taking office.[4] The bill, shepherded through the Senate by Senator Ted Kennedy, one of the bill’s co-authors, received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.[5] The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45),[6] and United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002.”

    According to Firefighter…..”Ted Kennedy’s law”….LOL

  65. commoncents says:

    TMELL – Do you read the posts before you post yourself? Really? I explained in very clear detail how the the vast majority of people are in a plan that is fully funded. TRS1 is the only one of the three plans that is currently underfunded. There are approximately 5,000 teachers in this plan. It is currently 84% funded. So there are 62,000 teachers in this state who are in pension and retirement plans that are fully funded. 7% of employees in a plan that is 84% is hardly “out of control” as you state. I’m not saying that it won’t require excess contributions to make up for legislative stupidity but it’s nto an out of control plan.

  66. I’m still trying to find someone or something to demonstrate how teachers and firefighters are classified (by law and contract) as “public employees” thus being liable to the RCW.

    So far it appears that they have their own bargaining units and negotiate with districts and municipalities, which would not necessarily make them inclusive in the terminology of the RCW.

    Could it be that this is just Right Wing rhetoric that is being cooked up?

  67. firemannotfirefighter says:

    x_6, Why don’t you ask your former western regional firefighter v.p? Really are you so IGNORANT that you don’t know how to read? I have already posted the RCW that the definition is posted in.

    “Public employee” means any employee of a public employer except any person (a) elected by popular vote, or (b) appointed to office pursuant to statute, ordinance or resolution for a specified term of office as a member of a multimember board, commission, or committee, whether appointed by the executive head or body of the public employer, or (c) whose duties as deputy, administrative assistant or secretary necessarily imply a confidential relationship to (i) the executive head or body of the applicable bargaining unit, or (ii) any person elected by popular vote, or (iii) any person appointed to office pursuant to statute, ordinance or resolution for a specified term of office as a member of a multimember board, commission, or committee, whether appointed by the executive head or body of the public employer, or (d) who is a court commissioner or a court magistrate of superior court, district court, or a department of a district court organized under chapter 3.46 RCW, or (e) who is a personal assistant to a district court judge, superior court judge, or court commissioner. For the purpose of (e) of this subsection, no more than one assistant for each judge or commissioner may be excluded from a bargaining unit.”

    Public Employer means: “Public employer” means any officer, board, commission, council, or other person or body acting on behalf of any public body governed by this chapter, or any subdivision of such public body. For the purposes of this section, the public employer of district court or superior court employees for wage-related matters is the respective county legislative authority, or person or body acting on behalf of the legislative authority, and the public employer for nonwage-related matters is the judge or judge’s designee of the respective district court or superior court.”

    And Firemen fall under Uniformed Member: (14) “Uniformed personnel” means: (a) Law enforcement officers as defined in RCW 41.26.030 employed by the governing body of any city or town with a population of two thousand five hundred or more and law enforcement officers employed by the governing body of any county with a population of ten thousand or more; (b) correctional employees who are uniformed and nonuniformed, commissioned and noncommissioned security personnel employed in a jail as defined in RCW 70.48.020(9), by a county with a population of seventy thousand or more, and who are trained for and charged with the responsibility of controlling and maintaining custody of inmates in the jail and safeguarding inmates from other inmates; (c) general authority Washington peace officers as defined in RCW 10.93.020 employed by a port district in a county with a population of one million or more; (d) security forces established under RCW 43.52.520; (e) firefighters as that term is defined in RCW 41.26.030; (f) employees of a port district in a county with a population of one million or more whose duties include crash fire rescue or other firefighting duties; (g) employees of fire departments of public employers who dispatch exclusively either fire or emergency medical services, or both; or (h) employees in the several classes of advanced life support technicians, as defined in RCW 18.71.200, who are employed by a public employer.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=41.56.030

  68. firemannotfirefighter says:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=41.56.120

    Same section of the RCW. Sersiouly x_6, how did you pass kindergarten? Do you need to take a civics 101 class? I would much rather debate your fictional brother than you, because I am betting that he can at least read and knows something about which he speaks!

  69. So…..how do teachers fit? Are they “uniformed personnel?

    If you haven’t figured it out, I’m making you support your claims. I stipulated that my brother has been many years retired (fictional in your mind), thus laws could have changed. I will concede that you have demonstrated their connection…..but I’m not buying teachers as per your RCW.

    Now, that being said…..with all your griping about teachers making too much, or getting too much, I spoke tonight with the husband of a union teacher and they pay $1800 for health care for a family of five. Compare that to what your bargaining unit has done for you.

    As to your alleged previous post of the RCW….I was probably ignoring you by then. You are a taker. You’ve got yours and you want to bitch about anyone else that gets theirs.

  70. I notice you didn’t have anything to say about “Ted Kennedy’s law”….speaking about a civics class….or would that be History?

  71. I’ll try this once. Commoncents. So, a portion of the retirement is considered “funded”. Cool. So the budget says this debt is funded to what? 84%. Is that the number? We have to cut spending. We have to start being responsible as a state.

  72. alindasue says:

    TMell,
    I can’t help wondering – all debate about what constitutes a “public” employee aside – if you were in a similar situation where your boss/company forced you to take a 3% pay cut while expecting you to do the same amount of work (or more, since class sizes are also being raised by the budget cuts), would you honestly just sit there and accept it without complaining or “being a whining, sniveling, ungrateful individual” (your words)?

    I highly doubt it. Based on your frequent comments – and that’s all I have to go on since I don’t actually know you – I suspect your complaints would be loud and considerably less graceful than Ms. Weydert’s letter is. So, I suggest you just “suck it up” (again, your words) and accept that Ms. Weydert is justifiably unhappy about being required to do more work for less pay and it is her right to say so without putting up with abuse from people like you.

  73. “We have to start being responsible as a state.”

    I agree, TMell. We have a responsibility to pay our bills. Regardless of how inconvenient it is. Let’s do the responsible thing and raise the revenue necessary to pay those who have earned their negotiated pay and benefits.

    It’s irresponsible to tell someone else that they have to lower their pay because we don’t like having to pay, and self serving to tell them that they, somehow, are personally responsible for our debts.

  74. alindasue says:

    “I agree, TMell. We have a responsibility to pay our bills. Regardless of how inconvenient it is. Let’s do the responsible thing and raise the revenue necessary to pay those who have earned their negotiated pay and benefits.

    It’s irresponsible to tell someone else that they have to lower their pay because we don’t like having to pay, and self serving to tell them that they, somehow, are personally responsible for our debts. ”

    Polago,
    I’m not generally into “cheerleading” comments. In fact, on the whole I find them rather annoying, no matter the political pursuasion. However, to your above comment, I do have to say a resounding “Amen!” You just put into coherant words what I have been thinking all along. Thank you.

  75. My pleasure.

  76. So, what are the students supposed to do when the teachers take a furlough day off?

  77. alindasue says:

    PHollar,
    I don’t think the point of the letter was that Ms. Weydert and other teachers want to work fewer days. The point of her letter was that teachers were being asked the same number of days for less pay. At least the other state employees got a few relaxation days off to go with their decreased income.

    Since teachers are being told to do more work (increased class sizes are also resulting from the budget cuts) for 3% less in wages, I feel she is perfectly justified in wondering where her “furlough” days are. Students are required by law to attend school a minimum number of days. As a result, the teachers are required to work the same number of days regardless of any state budget issues.

    If they can’t cut the work days, the state has no business cutting their wages.

  78. “So, what are the students supposed to do when the teachers take a furlough day off?”

    There’s no law against studying at home. Is there?

  79. Do either of you (Polago or AlindaSue) realize that teachers work on an annual contract? It is subject to change, and a change is being made. AlindaSue-I am paid on commission. Coincidentally, in 2008 I made less money than I had since 1997. I didn’t complain to anyone. I understand economics, and understand running at a loss. I didn’t choose to pay myself at a level that would have hurt my company, running into the red. That’s what our state has been doing. In business, they would be out of business. A 3 percent pay cut is very modest. 8 to 10 percent would be more appropriate. If you don’t like your pay, go work for a private school(Oh, wait, they pay less, have less benefits, no pension, and require more of their teachers). See, when you compare private to public, you realize public school employees are very well compensated.

  80. “TMell says:
    April 16, 2011 at 9:35 am
    Do either of you (Polago or AlindaSue) realize that teachers work on an annual contract? It is subject to change, and a change is being made. AlindaSue-I am paid on commission. Coincidentally, in 2008 I made less money than I had since 1997. I didn’t complain to anyone. I understand economics, and understand running at a loss.
    ————————–

    Your inability to generate more commissions is based on market, as opposed to your effort? Why can’t we judge you by the “outcome of your efforts”, regardless of marketplace. That is exactly what you wish for teachers.

  81. WOW…..Polago!

    I just scrolled up and read your comment.

    You hit a homerun!

    “It’s irresponsible to tell someone else that they have to lower their pay because we don’t like having to pay, and self serving to tell them that they, somehow, are personally responsible for our debts. “

  82. It’s fascinating to read Tmell’s choices that he so generously provides for others.

    Teachers have another choice and they already exercised it. They organized.

  83. The revenue is out there TMell. We have a responsibility to come up with what it takes to pay our bills. We seem to think that if we cross our arms and say “no more taxes” that somehow the debt will go away. That’s childish.

    I stand by my statement.

    “It’s irresponsible to tell someone else that they have to lower their pay because we don’t like having to pay, and self serving to tell them that they, somehow, are personally responsible for our debts.”

    Man up and pay your bills. That’s the only way to get out of debt.

  84. “If you don’t like the teachers in our public school system, send your kids to a private school. If we all sent our kids to private schools, there would be no need for public schools.”

  85. alindasue says:

    TMell,

    Yes, I am aware that the teachers work under contract. I am also aware, from personal experience as a DSHS paid caregiver, that our state legislators are very adept at violating (or forcing mid-contract renegotiation of) those contracts.

    Right now they are forcing teachers to take a 3% pay cut without any compensation for that cut. I don’t know if the teachers are currently in a new contract cycle (it doesn’t sound like it), being forced into a mid-contract renegotiation, or are just being told they are taking a pay cut regardless of the contract. Whatever their current contract status, the state is cutting funding for schooling from all directions, yet teachers are still expected to acheive the same or better results despite fewer resources and lower wages.

    Since you work on commision, I’m going to assume you work in sales where most of the commision jobs are. I understand you made less. The economy’s been bad and people bought less. That’s how commission works. When the economy is better and people buy more, you earn more.

    Now, since I’m assuming you work in sales, I’m going to base my example on sales. Let’s say people are buying less so you make less commision, like you are now. Then your boss realizes he spent too much opening more store branches and on private retreats for the managers and sponsoring college scholarships at his Alma Mater and now he faces a slight increase in his B&O tax and an increase in utility costs, so something has to give. That something turns out to be a 3% drop in the amount of commision that you are paid for each customer who buys from you.

    Now, new store branches and manager retreats and college scholarships are all valid things to spend money on, but you’re still going to wonder why he’s still paying for those thing while making you take a pay cut. Likewise, stadiums and tunnels and tax breaks to “encourage business” are all valid things to spend money on, we all have to wonder why those are still being paid for while teachers who do a vital job in our schools are being asked to do the same teaching with fewer resources and less pay. Is that still so hard for you to understand?

  86. terwey53 says:

    People must get the impression that teachers kick off their shoes in the summer and do nothing. Most are taking and paying for (out of their own pockets), workshops/classes or working other jobs to make ends meet. Also, teachers don’t leave their work at the end of the school day. They will arrive early or stay late (go by any school and see all of the parked cars in the parking lot) or they take work home with them. The majority of teachers work hard because they believe that they make a difference in each child’s life.
    Teachers have lost COLA, are facing a freeze on step increases even after paying for classes to increase their step level, are facing increases in class size and of course a 3% decrease in salary. How many days does that equate to? Would any rational person say they want to work for free?
    The question raised about what do students do if teachers take furlough days is simple to answer. Their parents take care of them just like teachers have to take care of their own kids! Not all teachers’ children are in the same school district that they work in. They have to provide for child care just like everyone else. The difference is thay don’t view schools as free baby sitting services because they know the value of what their children are receiving!

  87. Here in the Idaho the new education plan calls for using the funds formerly designated for teachers’ salaries to provide a computer at every desk AND give “deserving” teachers merit raises…..

    That’s what happens when you put someone in charge of education who has absolutely no training or experience in education. “Oooooo! Technology! So much better than people!”

  88. Can you imagine if your income became less and you went out and told all of your debt responsibilities that they just needed to accept less money?

  89. How can we furlough teachers without furloughing students?

  90. xring – there are days that teachers are required at school when students are not there. Maybe those could be the furlough days. I’m wondering when the Legislators and Senate are going to take a pay cut.

  91. commoncents says:

    Tmell says
    I’ll try this once. Commoncents. So, a portion of the retirement is considered “funded”. Cool. So the budget says this debt is funded to what? 84%. Is that the number? We have to cut spending. We have to start being responsible as a state.

    ———

    That is for TRS1, Tmell. There are 5,000 active teachers in TRS1 and most are within retirement age. Membership in TRS1 is limited to those that had already established membership in a retirement plan prior to 1977. Pretty safe to say, and the actuarial report backs it up, TRS1 population is not growing. TRS1 is the one that’s funded at 84%. TRS 3 is funded at 100%. Legislature has already made TRS3 almost fully a DC plan. The DB portion pays 1% of pay per year up to 30 years. The contribution required to make that payment is just about the same amount as a match and has been relatively stable over the years.

    I agree that spending must be cut. I wouldn’t have a problem with a pay freeze. I also wouldn’t have a problem with an increase in medical premiums. But, the retirement plans are not the answer. They are not cadillac plans anymore, they are fully funded and stable, and screaming about a plan that’s been closed to new members for 30 years is just plain silly.

  92. commoncents says:

    oh and to answer your question – 10 bill is 84% funded so there is a 2 bill unfunded liability. It’s a lot to be sure. But the bill is not due yet. 2 things need to happen. Contribution rate needs to increase and the economy needs to get better. Our legislature did the stupidest thing possible during 2004-2008 when the market was performing poorly. They failed to fund. So there was no new money coming in to help offset the losses (ie dollar cost averaging). The beauty of this is that it’s a pension plan and they have time. People do not take 100% withdrawals from pension plans. They have a plan to fund over the next 10 years. Making a change to plans 2 and 3 or creating a new plan will not impact TRS1 and the funding obligation one iota.

  93. spotted1 says:

    What will a teacher furlough look like?

    Will the children be at home the full day? Which means the parents must pay for day care or stay home from work. Or worse, leave their kids unattended?

    Will only part of the teachers go to work? Meaning 50 + per class for those days?

    Will administration supervise the kids while the teachers are out? That should be interesting?

    How does a teacher furlough day improve educational test scores? How does it have a positive impact on schools?

    Are you prepared to support, by paying for it or skipping work, when you child is not at school? Great idea….

  94. Those pesky teachers seem to be more valuable than we thought, according to spotted1.

    Maybe on furlough days the parents can fill in. How many parents will it take to fill in for one teacher?

  95. KARDNOS:
    Some of those days are Learning Improvement Days (LID) where teachers are required to attend various state/district meetings. The teachers I know would rather be back in their class rooms with their students.

    The only way Legislators will ever take a pay cut is if WE The People mandate it.

    As I posted on a related thread, in those countries whose students outperform US students, Teaching is an honored, well paying profession.

  96. Commoncents: The state has a giant pile of revenue. “funding” any one thing results in the giant pile being smaller. “Funding” another results in it being smaller still……the current benefits and pension plans offered to retiring state employees are too much. The unfunded liability of our pension plans is our single biggest budgetary issue.

    AlindaSue-our governor, if she had the moxie, could declare a financial emergency, and RE-OPEN closed, agreed up negotiations. Its in the agreed upon negotiation that this right exists. We have a bonafide financial emergency, and if she had any ethics, she would upset her base and do the right thing for the state. A 3 percent cut is nothing. Darn, the teachers have gotten that much with all their days off for “planning” etc…..some districts now do half days on Wednesdays, because the half day qualifies to the required 180 days…..its nuts, and it needs to be balanced. And yes, that means trimming salaries and benefits before the golden egg laying goose is totally cooked and useless to all…..including those teachers

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