The nerve of these greedy bastards! Just because teachers determine the quality of citizen our country has is no reason to give them things they earned! Cripes!

When students return Thursday for the first day of school across Wisconsin, many familiar faces will be gone, as teachers chose retirement over coming back in the wake of a new law that forces them to pay more for benefits while taking away most of their collective bargaining rights.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press under the state’s open records law show that about twice as many public school teachers decided to hang it up in the first half of this year as in each of the past two full years, part of a mass exit of public employees.

Their departures came before the new law took effect, changes pushed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature that led to weeks of protests at the Capitol.

The ensuing exodus of teachers and other state employees has led to fears that the jobs might not be filled, and that classroom leadership by veteran teachers will be lost.

  1. Faxon says:

    Gee. I guess they can easily afford to retire. Now, why do you suppose that is true? I imagine they are all getting a fat retirement deal, aren’t they? And who pays for that?

  2. tcc3 says:

    #1 The taxpayers of Wisconsin. In exchange for a careers worth of service.

    Maybe instead they could not afford to work for a hostile employer that took away benefits, the right to bargain for better conditions, mandated more hours for less pay, and removed the barest amenities such as microwaves and refrigerators in break rooms.

  3. tcc3 says:

    #4 Teadud’s Privatization broken record spins again.

    You’ve played this one before. You cant dance to it.

  4. jbenson2 says:

    Just consider the source of the article.
    Uncle Dave’s favorite news source: Huffington Post

    By the way, AOL and Arianna Huffington are going the way of the Dodo bird.

  5. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    jbenson, I’m confused…are there errors in the article?

    HuffPo will survive if it’s good enough. It will fade away if not.

  6. Nobody says:

    While it really is unfortunate that there wasn’t enough money left in the budget to keep the status quo, these laws could potentially help out school kids a lot. The sad truth is that there isn’t enough money to go around and either the kids or the teachers need to make some sacrifices. I think it should be the teachers. Mike Shedlock has done some further analysis on this topic for anyone who is interested.

  7. notatall says:

    “Just because teachers determine the quality of citizen our country has is no reason to give them things they earned!”

    It’s times like this when I’m glad I did a few years of raman and mac & cheese so I could afford to keep my kid away from those entitled assholes who ‘determine the quality of citizen our country has.’ Especially since she now has no problem eating the lunch of people who got trophies for just showing up to government union schools.

  8. notatall says:

    Attention government union employees: Please enjoy the time you spend in line to take a big bite of the giant shit sandwich all of us (who pay your salaries) in the private sector have been chewing on for the past few years. We’ve kept a seat at the table warm for you.

  9. What? says:

    It is about values.

    And trophies have negative value (unless made out of silver, and they can be melted down).

    For example, my company has a popularity contest every year. Everyone votes for who are most popular. The winners get a free meal and a nice cash prize. Unbelievable.

    We can’t be happy with our values, so we have to be rewarded differently.

  10. chuck says:

    What!? You mean that teachers are only in it for the money? And when they were actually “forced” to pay for things that most people already pay for themselves, they quit?

    That can’t be right. Matt Damon says that teachers aren’t in it for the money. They’re doing it for the children!

  11. Jason says:

    Go watch “Waiting for Superman” and get back to me all you union loving leftists…

  12. What? says:

    Learning should be computer driven. Teaching individuals to overcome obstructions should be a group experience.

    I think the system is what’s messed up.

    Teachers’ energy is wasted trying to keep the little monsters’ attention. That’s what a computer should do. Teachers should act like a boss during group activities, set goals, monitor progress, shift workloads to achieve the greatest effect, etc.

    You’re doing it wrong!

  13. sargasso_c says:

    Your kids have no future without a basic education and your economy is built on sand without new knowledge and the intellectual means to find it.

  14. tcc3 says:

    #17 sargasso_c

    Its easier to control an uneducated populace that can’t think for themselves. Think of the money saved on propaganda!

  15. chris says:


    Yeah, you can get proper sex-ed in a Catholic school. You’ll be talking about it for years, mostly to your therapist.

  16. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    K-12 teachers have the lowest average SAT scores of people in any professional occupation, and are near the bottom in terms of GRE scores.

    Now why should these people get perks above and beyond what the private sector get? When was the last time you heard someone in the private sector receiving a pension, whose company is now not bankrupt because of it? Pensions are a very antiquated, impractical, and unsustainable way of saving for retirement. Why do they even still exist? We are not living in the 50s anymore.

  17. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    By the way, teachers certainly do not “determine the quality of citizen”, parents do. And if you think we have a problem of completely worthless, selfish, drug-addict welfare parents today, just wait until you hear liberals’ solutions!

    Kind of reminds me of this!

  18. tcc3 says:

    #20 What is “antiquated, impractical and unsustainable?” Corporate greed and mismanagement is the problem, not the pension itself. A pension used to be a fairly common perk for a lifetime of service.

    If you don’t like your compensation, perhaps you should band together with your fellow workers and demand better? Penis envy over what another worker negotiated for resolves nothing.

    Comments above are the reason compensation has remained flat for the last 40 years – We let them do it to us.

  19. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    This story is pretty ridiculous and a sad statement for unions and teachers in Wisconsin. Before they passed the law, many teachers were up to be let go. But now some of those teachers protesting are willingly retiring, despite their early pleas that they would never be able to retire if it passed. And now they have a balanced and sustainable budget, as well as miraculously paying 50% for health insurance from the private sector from the kick-back plans the unions were making them get. Sounds like a win-win-win for the people of Wisconsin.

  20. tcc3 says:

    An argument against unions I see often is “If they don’t like the pay/conditions, they should just go find another job”

    That is exactly what happened here. Yet they are vilified again for not being committed enough.

    You don’t want them to organize, and you expect them to continue working at a job where they feel they are being treated unjustly. Maybe we should just enslave them and have done with it.

  21. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    #22 tcc3
    In the real world, if you have any real talent or are of value to your employer you can negotiate for yourself. Unskilled labor will not be able to negotiate much because they are a dime a dozen unless the economy is very hot. Unfortunately, government does not work like the rest of the world. You are just there because government dictates that a position needs to be created. You are not any more of value when you perform better, so teachers are treated as all government employees are – like unskilled labor. This is because of collective bargaining in that all teachers will get the same regardless of ability. If teachers have to negotiate for their salary themselves, the administrators can pay more for better teachers, and in turn their schools may eventually do better in the terms that they will be judged – graduation rates, test scores, students going on to good colleges, etc. And better pay for better performance may some day attract more than the lowest performers on SAT and GRE.
    Do you think teachers should be treated as professionals or unskilled labor?

    Pensions are impractical today. There is nothing wrong or evil about them, but very few people work at one place their whole life anymore, and with life expectancies continually increasing their costs just do not make sense. Fortunately we better choices like IRAs, 401ks, and for teachers, 403bs. These give you control of your future, and allow you to move wherever you want throughout your life as you see fit without being stuck working at one place in hopes of getting a pension some day.

    I would rather have control of negotiating my own salary, and over my own retirement options. Wouldn’t you?

  22. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    #24 tcc3

    I don’t think people are vilifying teachers for not being committed enough. It is just that their reasons for protesting were specious. In the end, most people will do whatever they think is best for themselves, even if they grandstand and pretend like they are martyrs during protests.

    I don’t blame them for protesting and trying to keep their benefits, but in the end I think those actions combined with their current actions and the current state of things in Wisconsin show that their arguments were wrong and the free market will create better results than unions ever will.

  23. Drive By Poster says:

    “… and that classroom leadership by veteran teachers will be lost.”

    Given that many of the “veteran” teachers are burnouts counting the days, weeks, months, and years until they can retire, and doing a lackluster to indifferent job of teaching kids, the loss of such “veterans” will by and large be the kids gain as they will be replaced by teachers who are not burned out or are less burned out.

    BTW, one of the traditional trade offs government union employees have made was lower pay & compensation in exchange for job security. It’s freaking hard to fire government employees, especially federal employees – I recall reading about how a postal manager spent well over a year in red tape trying to fire a genuinely obnoxious deadbeat who had managed to hide his flaws during the probationary period.

    Their pay may or may not have increased much, but the compensation has skyrocketed compared to the private sector workers over the decades. You need look no further than how deep in the whole so many governments are regarding the level of funding for government union benefits. I’d be more sympathetic if the bureaucracies behind the front line union members was as lean as private schools’. As it is, any government bureaucracy you can point to is bloated like a balloon with staff.

  24. philgar says:

    “That includes 4,935 Wisconsin school district employees who started receiving retirement benefits, up from 2,527 teacher retirements in all of 2010 and 2,417 in 2009.”

    Wisconsin school employees is not the same as teacher retirements. School employees could be administrators, janitors, gardeners or bus drivers. Great job misleading readers.

  25. Breetai says:

    And the people continue the Red vs Blue phoney rigged football game while the bankers run off with their government


  26. MikeN says:

    Even Bill Maher isn’t supporting the teachers unions, complaining about how .1% of teachers manage to get fired.

    I’m sure lots of people will be in line for decent wages for 9 months of work.

  27. noname says:

    I am of mixed opinion here. Yes, unions have done this great good, but; they have also due to corruption and greed done harm.

    Do teachers get paid well, yes the In 2009 Wisconsin teachers rank 24th in the country in average pay of $48,743.33. I know for fact, that is typically more then what un-tenured associate profs make after 4 years of demanding graduate work.

    I’ve had some unfortunate experiences working with Union-ed workers. Everything has to be filled out in triplicates, negotiated and approved to get any new tasks done. A non-Union-ed person wouldn’t dare be so uncooperative and glad and willing to take on a new task, all to demonstrate their worth to the company. Do companies abuse their workforce, you bet-ya they do with relish sometimes.

    So, I have mixed feelings and take it on a case by case bases.

  28. noname says:

    One other thing I forgot to add to my #31 post. Back when American negotiated all these trade agreements to facilitate open markets and free trade with our partners around the world, we had this golden opportunity to improve the working conditions and wages for worker all over the world by requiring countries to legalize unions, and enact environmental standards to trade as a precondition to trade. However, big company lobbyist squashed those requirements, citing them as onerous to business.

    Well, without those worker rights and environmental protections in other countries, it’s been a middle class race to the bottom every since!!

    By kowtowing to business and republicans alike, Americans are becoming a third world country, after giving up our hard won and worked for inheritance as a free and neighbor caring nation!

    It all now just a dog eat dog world, all for profit and capital gains for the rich!

  29. Arg! says:

    This blog’s comments tend to be fairly balanced. In this case however, those sympathetic to teachers’ unions seem to be quite outnumbered.

    Maybe there is still hope.

  30. President Amabo says:

    Poor teachers being asked to come into line with regular employees elsewhere. Oh the horror,


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