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New York State: A union’s effort to hike wages

June 9, 2014

New York state residents already pay a high price in taxes. Unfortunately, one of the groups that benefits from those taxes wants us to pay more....

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(31)

Escapee

Jun-14-14 3:35 PM

New York State taxpayers already spend MORE THAN ALL OTHER STATES. New York State taxpayers spend twice the average of what most other states spend on education (on a per student basis). And the current tax cap guarantees that those New York budgets can continue to be increased up to an annual limit. Obviously, education spending is way out of control in New York. I don’t think there should be ANY process to increase spending beyond the established limits until some sort of control on the spending is developed. The limits in place now are obviously not effective; we need stricter controls not less controls.

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tjefson

Jun-12-14 6:21 AM

bluecollar, if the unions want to talk fairness, the discussion should begin on prevailing wages for work done on government projects in NY State. Why should the taxpayer be required to pay union scale wages on work done on government projects. In a free market system, the bid goes out for the work and generally the lowest bid wins. Why should the bids to most projects be inflated by the largest cost of the project which is the labor. The public unions are running this state right into the ground. We live in a Republic so the 60% is a safeguard against a simple majority in an attempt to make sure things get done right.

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bluecollar

Jun-11-14 8:31 PM

You guys should check on the facts rather than relying on the Observer's opinion. The lawsuit is not as Mr. D'Agastino would have you think, to get teachers more money. It is based on the idea of one man one vote. Why should it take 60% voter approval to go over the tax cap? If the community wants to do that it should be majority rules. That is what the lawsuit is about. And why should Albany dictate the increase? If the proposed budget is too high, it will get voted down. If Cuomo and Young and Goodell want to dictate, redistrict and make the small schools combine into bigger districts. That would save us money. But that would take backbone, and after all it is an election year. They might lose some votes, not that it would make a difference.

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DKexpat

Jun-10-14 3:56 PM

Breaking news: In a landmark decision today – in California, no less – a Superior Court judge ruled that CA’s laws on tenure, layoffs and dismissal are unconstitutional.

The tenure track currently begins after just 18 months in CA, and the lawsuit noted that in the past 10 years only 91 teachers – out of 285,000 – have been fired (most for inappropriate/criminal conduct), with only 19 – in 10 years – dismissed for unsatisfactory performance.

The union, of course, is appealing.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 9:59 PM

Some facts about the education system in Finland where performance is rewarded accordingly.

Teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates.

In 2010, 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots.

The average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008, compared to $36,000 in the U.S.

However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what other college graduates make. However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what other college graduates make. In the US, this figure is 62%.

There is no merit pay for teachers.

Teachers are effectively given the same status as doctors and lawyers.

Finnish children consistently score at the top or near the top on international standardized testing in reading, mathematics and science.

Neighbor Norway, of a similar size and featuring a similar homogeneous culture, follows the USA system of education and ranks about the same as the US.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 8:56 PM

Escapee, this Teachers Union is against any competition. This type of organization has had various names: monopolistic, socialistic and communistic. Of all the institutions in the U.S., one would think the educational system would be one of the last to be held with this distinction. Any educated person can see straight through these teachers and their selfish ambition. A shameless bunch they are.

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Escapee

Jun-09-14 8:01 PM

Dcronig stated: “I defy you to go find a better deal. You can't.”

I did a little digging on comparative costs. An article published 05/24/2013 in The Huffington Post found that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York State spends more money per pupil than ANY other state. New York spends a little more than DOUBLE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE per student. Yet, the New York State high school diploma rate among adult residents is less than the national average.

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Escapee

Jun-09-14 7:34 PM

Dcronig stated: “I defy you to go find a better deal. You can't.”

If it such a great deal, why won’t the teacher’s union allow a school voucher system so that parents can afford to try to find a better deal? Instead, they sue the state to allow taxes to rise without barriers.

And I’d love to know what numbers you use to calculate $1.30/hr. I get closer to $5.13/(student hr).

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 4:14 PM

Christopher, how much do you think the looters will get a away with before people say enough is enough. There are more of us than you so I like our chances. Of course, following your Karl Marx ideology the government is growing with each passing day. You must consider Kim in North Korea a "real man". Do you remember countries spying on its own people. Hitler was well known to take part in this exercise. No wonder the public schools don't teach history anymore. It would not advance the liberal agenda. Alternative lifestyles are so much more important.

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Christopher

Jun-09-14 3:50 PM

Ah, the old Right Wing "Civil War BS raises its ugly head! Those your buddies out there in Las Vegas, the cop killers? The Clive Bundy worshippers? Sounds about like a lot of your rants. A bit lazy of you to steal lines from JoeyW, don't you think, or did you just forget what name you were posting under?

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 3:44 PM

DKex, most of us are not in the top 5% and this has nothing to do with career choice and everything to do with corrupt politics. There will eventually be a civil war in this country, the private vs the public sector. People will not work for the sake of funding someone else retirement.

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DKexpat

Jun-09-14 3:33 PM

Maybe repeat a course in pension-equivalent annuities? Simply look at a pension’s present value and then how much cash someone would need to buy an annuity with distributions equal to that pension.

Example: Someone retires at 62 after 30 years of teaching with a ‘final average salary’ of $93k. The pension benefit is $4,650/mo or $55,800/yr + COLA. To buy an annuity to match that (NYS-tax-free) lifetime pension at the same retirement age, a private-sector individual would need to have – CASH ON HAND – $952,936 if male and $1,039,144 if female.

That’s cash on hand of +/-$1M to buy an annuity providing the same lifelong benefit (a Single Premium Immediate Annuity partially indexed to inflation on the same basis as the pension above).

“you guys make a bad career decisions?” No sour grapes here, Dc –I’m comfortably in the Top 5%. My point is taxpayers in districts with declining enrollments – and declining tax bases –should not be forced to blindly subsidize a select few.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 2:58 PM

Hey Christopher, I need some medical marijuana to get my mind off the taxes in this state. Where can I get a prescription?

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 2:28 PM

Christopher, you hit the jackpot. Cuomo says he will sign medical marijuana. Now you can light up in public. Tell the friends to stay home though.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 2:25 PM

Christopher, do you let these little friends of yours open the mail around the holidays and spring? This would explain the riddle. They are giving you false information. Does the VA increase your dosage at these times of the year? I am only trying to help.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 2:14 PM

Christopher, you get a raise every day. You forget who pays for your bread and butter. You don't have any idea what it is like to WORK for a living. You better head on over to the VA to keep all those friends in check. You don't want them little devils to angry with you.

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Christopher

Jun-09-14 1:51 PM

"DCronig, your posts are some of the most ignorant I have read on these pages and that is saying a lot..." Yes, TommyJ, it is. You left out Steiner, JoeW and especially yourself.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 1:22 PM

DCronig, your posts are some of the most ignorant I have read on these pages and that is saying a lot. Please explain to me why this NY state teachers union fears charter and parrochial schools and do anything to prevent them from flourishing. Why are the same students who fail in the public school system score in the top 10% of the entire city of NY, if they are fortunate enought to win the lottery to attend one of the charter schools. Why was the new Mayor DeBlasio first order of business to eliminate these successful charter schools. Why is the teachers union threatening Governor Cuomo now because he backed the charter schools. The teachers union is a diabolical organization that could care less about the children and only their own selfish ambition. Yes, a million or multimillion dollar is applicable to the pensions the teachers are being afforded at the cost of the taxpayers.

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Christopher

Jun-09-14 1:05 PM

No, Dcronk, not so. I too was a public employee, and there were many years without raises. When? When the state economy was shot. When you depend on tax dollars for your salary and benefits, you'd better learn that old adage that "you can't squeeze Blood from a Stone". I actually tried to stop certain things, and consolidate for price savings. I was unsuccessful, but I tried. Teacher salary issues always seem to denigrate towards an argument of worth when in truth, the argument is one of affordability. You are making the same error.

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tjefson

Jun-09-14 12:39 PM

We continue to reward a broken failed system. We need vouchers to create competition within the school system. Charter and Parrochial Schools can provide a student with a much better education at about 2/3 the cost. As I have stated before, the teachers union is a disgrace. They use children as bargaining chips to promote their own personal gain. Also, there is no reason for tenure in basic education. Tenure was meant for college universities to promote free thought. Tenure is not necessary in getting a high school diploma. My 7th grade daughter wanted to do a paper on abortion and the teacher said she would not allow it. These schools are turning into an indoctrination into the liberal thought process.

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Dcronlg

Jun-09-14 12:21 PM

Well, we can see who paid attention in class...

No DK, my argument is neither specious or fallacious -- its a direct linear economic assessment of the cost per pupil, as it relates to teachers salaries (yes, the are other costs to be incorporated, and NO, their pensions are NOT like $1M annuities...) and in a larger context, to the unfounded ideological badgering of teachers union quest for higher salaries. The cost per pupil is ~$1.30/hr. Paying someone to teach/babysit/mentor/coach 25 kids/brats at $32/hr IS A STEAL FOR PARENTS. I defy you to go find a better deal. You can't. The example of your pay as a sole function of the number of FTE/direct reports is spurious. Your pay is based on your scope and span of financial responsibilities to deliver -- whether or not it takes 6 or sixty FTEs to deliver. It has no relation at all to educating a child. None.

There's a boatload of resentfulness (wha?...all you guys make a bad career decisions? waaaa...) in these comments.

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Christopher

Jun-09-14 10:26 AM

I agree with each and every point Phil made (holy smokes, did I just sat that!?) with a couple of provisos. 1), pay by merit is not a bad idea, with a minimum obviously required and the merit part applied for raises and such. 2) There has to be an objective format to determine merit, at least with teachers, that CANNOT be manipulated by Administration, and I have yet to see one proposal that would assure that 100% honesty and neutrality.

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PhilJulian

Jun-09-14 9:33 AM

Could the greed of the unions be any more obvious? Maybe the tax cap was implemented out of recognition that local school budget votes have no meaning or purpose. My personal opinion - (1) pay raises should be based on merit as they are in every other segment of society (2) the entire cost of education should be shifted on to the state because of their broad based taxing authority. (3) The value of a person's home does not accurately reflect their ability to support government or education.

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stangv8

Jun-09-14 9:30 AM

NYS get paid about $1.30/hr per kid? Let's say an average class size of about 25 kids and that comes out to $32.50 per hour.

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joew

Jun-09-14 9:22 AM

I can see Dcroakernig now, scrambling for a dictionary.

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