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Old 02-28-2010, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Suburbia
8,817 posts, read 15,257,012 times
Reputation: 4517

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lchoro View Post
The employer (taxpayer) is being asked to pick up the bulk of cost of making up the shortfall. They plan to increase the employer contribution from 9.7 to 14.2 percent. FCPS teacher contribution rises from just 3.2 percent to a still lowly 4.0 percent.
Just to clarify, are you referring to VRS contributions here or healthcare costs?

I also have to point out that, while the article compares FCPS employee benefits to those of private employees, FCPS don't receive annuity matching which some private employees receive and the benefits can serve to offset salary differences. Take for example another post here on the NOVA board where a 24 year old asks if he can make it on $60k+ a year. Some people are actually saying it might be tight on that budget. This is the same salary as a teacher with a masters and 10 years in the county.

Last edited by tgbwc; 02-28-2010 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:37 PM
 
12,022 posts, read 11,499,493 times
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In any other field, especially in the private sector, they wouldn't be in the same position after 10 years. They would have advanced to where they would be in an administrative position or they could bring in additional revenues in another capacity, such as research.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Suburbia
8,817 posts, read 15,257,012 times
Reputation: 4517
Quote:
Originally Posted by lchoro View Post
In any other field, especially in the private sector, they wouldn't be in the same position after 10 years. They would have advanced to where they would be in an administrative position or they could bring in additional revenues in another capacity, such as research.
So see, you are comparing apples to oranges. If you know of a way that I could bring in additional revenues for the schools I'm all ears. I guess I could "advance" to a position in HR, but you and I would both agree that they already have too many positions there. Don't get me wrong, I fully realize that the taxpayers pay my salary, and I have never been unrealistic about what to expect therein, but after 17 years I am in no position to take a pay cut after two years of pay freezes.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 30,988,202 times
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FWIW, I'm willing to pay more in taxes for the support of schools.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 10,912,890 times
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It boggles me how much is expected from the schools here. I went to a very good school district in California growing up, and we certainly didn't have violin lessons or foreign language at an elementary school level! (That started in junior high, as elective classes). Nor did we have buses in the morning, or field trips (unless each child brought $10 and we rounded up enough parent drivers).

Of course, it's wonderful that all those opportunities exist, and it probably contributes to the schools being ranked the best in the country...but WOW, it's mind blowing to someone who didn't grow up here. To me, you could remove a lot of these extra programs and I wouldn't think you were missing anything.

Perspective is a funny thing.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:37 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,553 times
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Going back a few pages I bring forward the quote from the article found at [url=http://www.fcta.org/fcta-news-feed/schoolboardurgeshighertaxestopayforpensions]School board urges higher taxes to pay for pensions (Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance)[/url]

“The problem is that while unionized county employees have pensions, most private-sector taxpayers do not. Is it fair to raise taxes to fully fund county pensions when taxpayers rely on 401Ks and those have lost value?”

In this article they mention a union. As a Fairfax County Public Schools IT employee I am not a member of a union.

I don’t think it is fair or correct to say that county employees having pensions is “The problem”. Pensions (and other benefits of course) have enabled the county to retain stable and talented employees who may have otherwise moved on once they got all the experience the job could offer them. Just like many county police officers who endure danger and discomfort because there is a pension, I too have had times of foregoing greener pastures because “at least I had a pension”.

Having a defined pension means you don’t have the upside potential of doing extremely well like someone with a self-directed 401k or IRA. Is it fair then to expect a pensioner to only suffer the downside consequences of economic vicissitudes? They told me what my pension would be when I started 20 years ago and I agreed to it. Is it fair for the county to renege on that agreement?

“Is it fair to raise taxes to fully fund county pensions when taxpayers rely on 401Ks and those have lost value?”

I don’t get the connection between an individual’s 401k and the county pension fund. Not everybody lost money in their retirement accounts. I have a friend who did quite well investing in Wal-Mart over the last 15 years. Is it fair to keep his taxes low to help fund the losses of those who may not have been so savvy or lucky?

Many private-sector employees enjoyed higher salaries during the “boom times” of the last 20 years while county employees, like me, watched on and contemplated returning to the private sector for some of that abundance; some did. I chose to work for FCPS for less money than I probably could have gotten in the “Private Sector” precisely for the retirement benefits.

Private-sector employees are freer to change employers for increases in pay while taking their 401k with them. County employees follow a step and grade matrix that makes it unusual to get more than a %5 to %10 raise even when receiving “big” promotions. Is it fair to reduce the pension benefits that county employees have worked for because other tax payers lost money in a 401k?
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