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and hysterical lying!
Read Ann Althouse.
Unlike Ann Althouse I did my mere 5 minutes of homework, and went back to the original source which was the Appleton, Wisconsin Post-Crescent.
There I found the following two quotations:
“The Kaukauna School Board approved changes Monday to its employee handbook that require staff to cover 12.6 percent of their health insurance and to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to the state’s pension system, in accordance with the new collective bargaining law, commonly known as Act 10.”
“In April, the school board rejected a proposal from the Kaukauna Education Association to extend the union’s contract and incorporate pension and healthcare concessions along with a wage freeze, a move the union projected could save the district about $1.8 million next year.”
In other words, the Union was perfectly willing to make similar concessions on it’s own for potentially, an even greater surplus.
This whole matter started as mere cynical and politically expedient union breaking. It remains mere cynical and politically expedient union breaking.
I don’t mind a little research, but it’s been how many years now that I have been the sole commenter who actually does the very easy research, quotes the sources, and seldom calls anybody an hysterical liar until I’ve investigated the facts?
Check your math – a swing from a $400k deficit to a $1.5m surplus is a total savings of $1.9m, which is greater than the savings projected by the union under their proposal.
The proposal was also made in April, after the collective bargaining law had passed. To say that the union was “perfectly willing” to make concessions is grossly disingenuous. The rejected proposal was as much a product of the “cynical and politically expedient union breaking” as the budget that prevailed.
Also, quoting a second hand claim from a newspaper does not constitute exhaustive research. Without more details on the union proposal there is no way to gauge the extent of the concessions or the accuracy of their predictions.
The proposal may have traded short term concessions for long term considerations. For example, an increase in pension contributions may have been offset favourable changes in pension calculations. Or the wage freeze may have been offset by increased mobility between pay grades.
We also don’t know how realistic their projections were. They may have been premised on overly optimistic estimates of pension returns or health care costs, unrealistic estimates of workforce attrition or any number of other factors. And even if the numbers were on-paper accurate, they are any number of tricks that may have been employed to inflate numbers. For example, if they reduced short term funding requirements on the pension fund (in anticipation of higher future contribution) would constitute “savings” without reducing the operating budget.
Please, Joseph, don’t try to take on Althouse. Those who do tend to come out looking bad, based on the Althouse pieces I’ve read on Instapundit. I know Buddhists don’t lie, but is there anything in the code about being grossly disingenuous? Union-breaking? Really? Based on their continuous goon-like behavior, I’d say the unions are still there.
While we’re at it here is today’s Columbus, Ohio Dispatch on the equivalent law in Ohio:
“They dubbed it the “million-signature march” and then delivered, literally.
“We Are Ohio, the coalition leading the effort to repeal Senate Bill 5, directed a parade of thousands through Downtown yesterday that culminated in the delivery of nearly 1.3 million signatures to the secretary of state to place Ohio’s new collective-bargaining law on the November ballot.
“The exact signature total – 1,298,301, or an amount equal to nearly 1 out of 6 of Ohio’s 8 million registered voters – obliterated the previous state record of 812,978 set in 2008 on a proposed casino for Clinton County.
“It’s a virtual lock that enough valid signatures of registered Ohio voters were collected to place the law before voters on Nov. 8, because only about 231,000 are needed to trigger the referendum. It’s up to county boards of elections to validate signatures in each county, and Secretary of State Jon Husted will validate the total by a July 26 deadline.
“Meeting the threshold of valid signatures also would stop the law from taking effect until after the November election.”
In Ohio, we’re going to take it down, in the legal and correct way, and then put a stake in it’s heart. For good.
Please, Joseph, don’t try to take on Althouse. Those who do tend to come out looking bad…
Doc, I’m sorry we can’t bet a cup of coffee on it, but I doubt very seriously that Counselor Althouse will respond to me at all. Though I haven’t done it in quite a while, this is not the first time that I have called her out on either ignoring, eliding, or evading relevant fact. I’ve never heard a peep out of her. Ever.
For the record, Appleton, WI had 78,086 people in the 2010 census, a mere 321.5 violent crimes per 100,000 population, and a mere 7.3% of its families below the poverty line. It even will shut down its entire transit system for the July 4th Holiday. Sounds like idyllic America to me.
The second largest employer in town is the Appleton Area School District. The district spends $9,403 per pupil and has 16 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. It had a grades 9-12 dropout rate of 1% in 2005. And it even has a full 16 charter schools under it’s purview.
This hardly sounds to me like a school system on the brink of collapse due to the rapaciousness of it’s teachers union.
Recall Elections are scheduled on July 12 and August 9 in Senate District 2 – Brown, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano and Waupaca Counties, which includes Appleton. So we will soon get to see what the voters there think of it all.
Don’t ignore the fact that the school district is not just saving money but they are also hiring more teachers and reducing class sizes – not something the teachers proposal would have wrought.
We may never do evil that good may result.
Elizabeth Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos. She is an award-winning writer and a regularly-featured columnist at [Read More...]
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