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Old 02-21-2011, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Hoboken
19,890 posts, read 18,750,872 times
Reputation: 3146

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bababua View Post
Again are you saying that we do not have more poverty then say France,Finland,Sweden,Germany and a bunch of other countries? Come get some? What? Look at the stats yourself. Just because you are fine doenst mean that our inner cities are not full of poverty and the breakdown of the family structure. 30% of African American children have two parents at home, do you think that helps education in our country? Come on get a grip and smell the coffee.
Are you going to throw out meaningless excuses for teacher all night? I don't believe, as apparently you do, we should abandon our inner cities to the mediocrity enforced by the unions.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:43 AM
 
612 posts, read 1,010,975 times
Reputation: 406
You know, its a shame that the debate about teachers in NJ always degenerates into a childish conversation. As a 2nd year high school teacher, I can give people a unique perspective on the profession. Let me start off by saying that I never planned to be a teacher. In fact, I took the job simply because there were no other jobs out there. I have a PhD in Chemistry and currently teach Chemistry and Physics at a highly ranked district in NJ. I already had several years of teaching experience at the college level and figured it would be a breeze to come in and teach high school. I have to say, anyone that thinks this job is easy, I suggest you sign up to simply substitute at your local school for 1 day. I've worked all kinds of jobs: cook, mechanic, farming. Teaching is easily the most physically exhausting job I've encountered. You are on your feet all day and you have to keep up to thirty kids attention and keep them working at all times. As someone else mentioned on this thread, it's hard enough to keep 2 of your own kids focused for more than 5 minutes. Discovering how to effectively teach the kids the content is equally challenging and I've watched several people crash and burn. I can honestly say, not everyone can do this job and we should be praising the people that do it well.

I was always skeptical of the profession because politically, I lean towards the libertarian school of thought. Unlike other government jobs, as a teacher, you don't have the option of being lazy. If you don't have your students working or if you aren't doing your job well, the parents/students can and will easily make your life a living hell. I have to say, most of my coworkers are ridiculously hard working and do love their jobs. I also think that people fail to appreciate the fact that most teachers have to dedicate several hours of their time to working on lessons and grading at home after school. As far as teachers getting paid too much, most of my colleagues under 30 are making something below 50k. Most of them start off in the low 40s. I really don't think its feasible to expect to attract good teachers into the profession by offering anything lower in this state.

The shame of the teaching profession is the unionization & politics gets in the way of the job. From the start of it, every teacher is essentially forced to join the union. They garnish your wage and take 85% of your dues even if you are not a member. So, in the grand scheme, every teacher basically ponies up the extra $150 it would be to join just in case they need legal representation. I can only speak for the teachers at my school but most of us would gladly leave the union if we had the option of getting all of our dues back. Furthermore, it's apparent in this environment that the older teachers in the union are perfectly content with sacrificing the jobs of the younger teachers so they can get a raise.

As far as tenure goes, the majority of young teachers are against it. We clearly see how it is impossible to hold someone responsible for their job when they can't get fired. There are several teachers at my school who literally don't do their job and don't care. Consequently, they are also the highest paid teachers at the school. We definitely need to find a way to get rid of them.

With respect to pensions, I want out of the system. We all know the pension system is hopelessly insolvent, and as a young teacher, I already expect to get $0 back from the system 25 years from now. What bothers me and should bother everyone else is that we are literally forced to contribute to those pensions and do not have the option of opting out. Right now, the only thing keeping the pension paying out the benefits of retirees is the fact that we young teachers are forced to contribute.

The shame about the whole fiasco between the Governor and the Union is that the only teachers that will lose their jobs because of loss of funding are the young, untenured teachers who are the lowest paid at the school to begin with. We are not purging the system of rottenness. Those tenured teachers who need to be fired will still be there next school year and your young talented teachers are going to be out of a job. This is literally what is happening at my school right now, and I doubt it is different anywhere else.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:53 AM
 
4,156 posts, read 4,174,225 times
Reputation: 2076
Quote:
Originally Posted by bababua View Post
Am I missing something? The average Wisconsin teachers makes 52k plus great benefits. The average NJ teacher makes 57k plus great benefits. The average cost of living in Wisconsin is much much lower. Just by looking at a few homes in the Madison and Green Bay area tells me cost of homes are just about half of that in NJ. Not to mention it seems as if Wisconsin teachers have not payed into their pension until possibly this year. Can someone who bashes teacher pay tell me how NJ teachers are getting over on taxpayers? Relative to Wisconsin, NJ teachers are getting shafted. I know times are tough but it seems as if we actually get a good deal in regards to teaching. Can someone please help me out on this one. I am a bit confused on the numbers.

Just looked up some info on a site that rates cost of living in regards to teachers salary and compensation. NJ ranks 36 in the nation, Wisconsin ranks 28 so I guess I was right. I guess NJ teachers arent getting rich. Not to mention how can it be that teachers in Wisconsin are making 52k per year yet property taxes are nearly nothing compared to NJ? Who is pulling the wool over all of our eyes? Or should I say where's the money?
I don't think the argument is about teacher, yes, union want you to believe it's about teacher, but it is not. It is about union. For starter, union require mandatory membership due. 3 years tenure to have a permanent, cannot get fire position.

I used to think CEO of mega corporation is bad, because they can play golf all day and still make millions. But if they say something stupid to their customer, they would get fired. But with this union contract, the teacher can be rapping in from of their customers (your children), and she still cannot be touch.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
858 posts, read 2,993,225 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoakman View Post
The shame of the teaching profession is the unionization & politics gets in the way of the job. From the start of it, every teacher is essentially forced to join the union. They garnish your wage and take 85% of your dues even if you are not a member. So, in the grand scheme, every teacher basically ponies up the extra $150 it would be to join just in case they need legal representation. I can only speak for the teachers at my school but most of us would gladly leave the union if we had the option of getting all of our dues back. Furthermore, it's apparent in this environment that the older teachers in the union are perfectly content with sacrificing the jobs of the younger teachers so they can get a raise.

As far as tenure goes, the majority of young teachers are against it. We clearly see how it is impossible to hold someone responsible for their job when they can't get fired. There are several teachers at my school who literally don't do their job and don't care. Consequently, they are also the highest paid teachers at the school. We definitely need to find a way to get rid of them.

With respect to pensions, I want out of the system. We all know the pension system is hopelessly insolvent, and as a young teacher, I already expect to get $0 back from the system 25 years from now. What bothers me and should bother everyone else is that we are literally forced to contribute to those pensions and do not have the option of opting out. Right now, the only thing keeping the pension paying out the benefits of retirees is the fact that we young teachers are forced to contribute.

The shame about the whole fiasco between the Governor and the Union is that the only teachers that will lose their jobs because of loss of funding are the young, untenured teachers who are the lowest paid at the school to begin with. We are not purging the system of rottenness. Those tenured teachers who need to be fired will still be there next school year and your young talented teachers are going to be out of a job. This is literally what is happening at my school right now, and I doubt it is different anywhere else.
You have some good points and concerns. If the majority of teachers are against some of what the unions do, then they need to change the unions. Granted the unions march to their own agenda, but the union members can effect changes if they really wanted them.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:25 AM
 
612 posts, read 1,010,975 times
Reputation: 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post
You have some good points and concerns. If the majority of teachers are against some of what the unions do, then they need to change the unions. Granted the unions march to their own agenda, but the union members can effect changes if they really wanted them.
We really can't though. If we made noise at a union meeting about how we don't like what they are doing, we would get a reputation as a "trouble maker" from the older teachers and give the administrators an excuse to can you. The local union is essentially 5 people making decisions from the paychecks of a few hundred teachers. The best way to strip the union of its power is to allow teachers an option to not join and prevent the union from garnishing their dues.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:40 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 21,402,201 times
Reputation: 3730
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post
You have some good points and concerns. If the majority of teachers are against some of what the unions do, then they need to change the unions. Granted the unions march to their own agenda, but the union members can effect changes if they really wanted them.
this is so true. honestly, to effect change, a group of the teachers would have to get together and stand up for their ideas. many of them just participate though, because they receive benefits they enjoy as well. i know it's difficult, but if so many people honestly believe that within the union, there's no reason it shouldn't be possible.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:40 AM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,687,668 times
Reputation: 14622
The correct solution is to do exactly what they are doing in Wisconsin and strip away the right of public employees to unionize and end collective bargaining. The problem with public unions is that unlike private sector unions, the public ones can form PAC's and vote their "managers" in and out of office. The workers at GM can go on strike all they want, but they can't fire the head of GM. The teachers union can go on strike and raise all sorts of hell and they also have the ability to work to vote in candidates that support their position. Public unions are a plain and simple corruption of the public trust...and that goes for ANY public employee.

(I also wanted to add since I didn't have time to read the entire thread)

Bababua made his usual comparison and talked about property taxes. The problem is that education is funded differently in every state. In the case of WI, a large portion of the money comes from the state itself generated through various taxes, primarily income and corporate. Property taxes make up a much smaller percentage of the funding than they do in NJ, hence they are lower. The often overlooked reason for this is Abbott. Virtually all of NJ state money for education gets poured into the Abbott districts leaving the suburban towns to pay full boat. If you look at property taxes in Abbott towns, you will find that they are almost Wisconsin-esque.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 21,402,201 times
Reputation: 3730
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoakman View Post
We really can't though. If we made noise at a union meeting about how we don't like what they are doing, we would get a reputation as a "trouble maker" from the older teachers and give the administrators an excuse to can you. The local union is essentially 5 people making decisions from the paychecks of a few hundred teachers. The best way to strip the union of its power is to allow teachers an option to not join and prevent the union from garnishing their dues.
this is the attitude that helps the union continue though. there was a great story on This American Life a while ago about a facility guy in upstate NY who was doing terrible things all because of his power in the union. and everyone they interviewed said they'd be labeled a "trouble maker"....welll...make some trouble then! (easier said than done - i do realize that). it's gotta start somewhere.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:46 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 4,063,503 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The correct solution is to do exactly what they are doing in Wisconsin and strip away the right of public employees to unionize and end collective bargaining. The problem with public unions is that unlike private sector unions, the public ones can form PAC's and vote their "managers" in and out of office. The workers at GM can go on strike all they want, but they can't fire the head of GM. The teachers union can go on strike and raise all sorts of hell and they also have the ability to work to vote in candidates that support their position. Public unions are a plain and simple corruption of the public trust...and that goes for ANY public employee
Exactly.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:48 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 4,063,503 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
this is the attitude that helps the union continue though. there was a great story on This American Life a while ago about a facility guy in upstate NY who was doing terrible things all because of his power in the union. and everyone they interviewed said they'd be labeled a "trouble maker"....welll...make some trouble then! (easier said than done - i do realize that). it's gotta start somewhere.
No, it's not up to individual union members to do this. No one person should have to go up against their union shop boss. That would just be unwise.

Legislatures passed the laws that created this situation, and legislatures can pass laws changing these situations. So we elect people to do what we want them to do. This is no surprise, therefore, what Walker is doing.
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