Feb
19
2011

Wisconsin Protests Over Benefits?

These fine defenders of democracy called in sick to protest their benefits package. They're on the state payroll.

I’m personally offended over Wisconsin’s union protests. For one, I was raised in Wisconsin, have fond memories of the state, and don’t appreciate the negative press they’ve received. But my anger runs more mainstream than that.

I’m a small business owner and a teacher. I contract coaches from across the country to train academic debaters. I publish books that pay royalties. Many of our coaches take vacation in order to coach at our camps. Though I’m the boss, we’re a solid team that pulls together for the kids.

The 25,000 Wisconsin teachers would have my support, perhaps, if they rallied for higher educational standards. But for benefits? Six-figure incomes for classroom teachers? This is what motivates them to rebel against their school district and their families and ultimately the children they teach?

That’s revealing. These teachers aren’t part of the same team as my coaches. They feel entitled to benefits packages. Sorry, I never felt that way when I was a teacher, and I believe teachers who do should be let go.

I suppose it is the same tantrum that runs in the blood of the democrat congressmen who, when the vote showed they were going to lose, protested by running to hide from their constitutional responsibility to serve the people of Wisconsin. What a spit in the face of democracy.

Americans are hard working and smart, and Wisconsin is full of good people who gag at this kind of petty, childish leadership. This is why they voted in a conservative Governor and statesmen to try to clean up the state’s reckless spending. They’ve got my vote of confidence, and I hope the next voting cycle kicks out the others that ran.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • Beingmadenew

    As a lifelong resident of WI – and former classroom teacher (current home educator and writer) – I say THANK YOU for this! We, the (relatively) silent majority in the state, are sick to death of the antics of the selfish public workers, most notably teachers, this week. There are also a lot of hard-working public workers here who understand the need for the governor’s changes – and their reputations are being dragged through the mud by what’s going on. The governor and conservatives in the legislature will stand firm on this, no matter how long it takes before the runaway Democrats return, but support from other states is nevertheless much appreciated. :^)

    • Anonymous

      Glad you posted. I was a “member” of the union when I was a public school
      teacher in the ’90s. It was forced, as it is forced in Wisconsin. They
      called 98,000 members to Madison and only a fraction showed up. I doubt all
      98,000 are on board.

  • Angela Beltran

    I live in Wisconsin and have never felt more strongly that homeschooling is the right choice. When a childs education has to suffer for issue like theses it is sick. People all over this state are making sacrifices because of the budget. Would they feel better if the children where made to go without? Lets see no school lunches, no gym, no music, hay why not just teach the 3 r’s and send them on thier way. Don’t worry about the kids not getting an education that’s not important at all. After all that’s not your job. No one is saying you should loses benefits. Just let someone else fight for you, you still get a voice over your salary. That’s more then alot of people can say.

  • Heather in MN

    Hi Chris ~ Could you please show me documentation on “six figure incomes for classroom teachers”? The average starting pay for a teacher in WI is around$25,000. Average pay overall is around $46,000. That’s a pretty long way from six figures. Thank God we live in a country where we have the freedom to protest without fear of getting shot, right? Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      http://www.teacher-world.com/teacher-salary/wisconsin.html

      The highest avg earning is $68k, starting in the low $30’s. So, I’m assuming
      upper scale scratches $100k. But, good that you mentioned this. I’m at a
      debate tournament this weekend and wrote this before leaving this morning. I
      should’ve checked that number better, because it is making it sounds worse
      than it is.

      That said, benefits will push the average salaries into the $100k range.

      • Gold

        The average is a 5 figure income. That’s a big difference to a six figure income, as you implied.

        Basically, you lied.

  • Lara_mdm

    It seems like with so many issues we are facing today it becomes completely polarized right versus left. It saddens me greatly.
    I love this blog but try to remain quiet on the political side of this blog. I find it hard to believe that teachers want a six figure income, they just want to make ends meet like every family in America. While I homeschool and never intend to send my children to public school and donthink it should be a viable and healthy place for children to get a quality education if their parents need or want them to go to school. Therefore teachers need support and an income with which thy can support their families! Let’s not vilify a difficult and under valued profession.

    • Anonymous

      We stick with family most of the time, but we can’t ignore politics. Besides, the Right is not being the polarizing ones here, just the Left. If they would have respected the families of Wisconsin and voted, I would have written on something else this morning.

      Thanks for the comment nonetheless.

  • Anonymous

    While I was born in Wisconsin I haven’t been following what has been going on there as close as you but I read a little today and originally was going to come here and say I agree with you 100%(a rare occurance for sure!). When I re-read you post I kind of swayed away to a degree – I agree that I don’t support the current hissy fit but I don’t agree that they are doing it because they feel entitled to benefits, I think they feel entitled to their current benefits package for the rest of eternity. It seems that all Wisconsin public workers (including teachers) are so incredibly worried about there pensions and health care benefits not being protected by the union (not that I believe the union is concerned about what is best for the people they “protect”) that they are throwing a big old hissy fit. As an exempt employee in America I have a hard time mustering sympathy for them. In my 12 years of employment I have seen my health care benefits go from good to “hope you really don’t need to use your insurance”. I have a medically challenged child and with health benefit changes (my husband and I work for the same company) our out of pocket expenses went from 2k a year to 12k+ a year (last year was 22k). Keep in mind salaries have been frozen for two years now so this situation took a good chunk of income away from our family of six. While my husband and I “currently” have a pension we know that at some point we will either be forced to take a buyout out of the pension or the pension system will go bankrupt and we will not receive a pension at retirement. We have planned for this and basically prepared for the worst case situation that we never see a dime of pension money (but in a way its not like we are losing money – we never put a dime in our pension funds – just years of work that we would of done regardless of if there was a pension or not).

    So as with most union disagreements I look to Wisconsin and just simply can’t muster sympathy. But my disagreement with your post is that saying your coaches aren’t the type of people to demand benefit packages. The reality most likely is that while they don’t ask or expect benefits (healthcare, pension, etc) from you the majority have benefits packages from their paying jobs and that is why they can take vacation time to volunteer coach because vacation time is part of benefits packages. Our family goes and volunteers at an animal sanctuary usually two weeks a year and its volunteer work so we don’t expect anything from the organization we help. But if we didn’t have a benefits package from our employer we wouldn’t have the vacation time to volunteer or the money from the little savings we do get from our crummy health care plan to spend to go down there.

  • Rweiss6468

    What is the total package worth, salary and benifits as an average for WI teachers.

  • Ninabi

    Perhaps it would be best if elected government officials led by example and graciously gave up their generous health and retirement packages to show the teachers how it ought to be done.

  • Jennywren_223

    Six-figure incomes? How many cups of extra strong stupid did you drink this morning, Mr. Jeub?

  • Mommy4gts

    I am a single parent and a teacher. I can assure you that I have been teaching for twelve years so far, and I will never come close to a six figure income. I actually laughed out loud at that. I want to see your documentation where you can prove that the “average” salary for teachers in this country is 100,000 or more. At least educate yourself before making ridiculous statements.

  • Nate

    Honestly, I don’t like this bill.

    If educators don’t feel as though they’re guaranteed to get a good salary and benefits (and let’s face it, with that kind of salary it’s all about the benefits), then they won’t go to Wisconsin. A lack of quality educators means that the entire state will suffer. Wisconsin needs to reform its budget, but slashing benefits for teachers will only screw the whole state over.

    Besides, educators are entitles to benefits. I think they are entitled to quality healthcare and retirement plans. I think they are entitled to sick days and vacation days and the knowledge that if they are unhappy with some aspect of their job, they can negotiate without fearing for their job.

  • Pine177

    Hi Chris agree with you. If you ever had a small business you know what the realities that you are faced with on a daily basis. I left the carpet industry at age 40 and became a Registerd Nurse, all I have to do is show up on time and practice my craft in a professional manner. I have to pay for my medical benifits, I have copay for my children , ex wwife and myself. When I leave the Nursing field, I wont have a pention or medical benfits for the rest of my life. This is a diffrent world then it was only 3 yr’s ago, Life coast more. Stop asking tax payers to pay your way through life. signed Joe Argentiero