Wisconsin's Walker Fights $100,000-Plus Teacher Pay Packages

Thursday, 10 Mar 2011 01:34 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had many goals in mind with his budget-repair bill that Republican lawmakers were finally able to pass Wednesday night. One important aim was to prevent teacher layoffs, he writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

Scott Walker, Wisconsin, budget
Gov. Scott Walker says his budget plan will help prevent teacher layoffs. (Getty Images)
Part of his proposal calls for letting school districts base teachers’ employment on merit and performance instead of seniority, as collective-bargaining agreements with unions dictate.

Walker’s column alleges that unions are hiding “behind a collective-bargaining agreement that costs the taxpayers $101,091 per year for each teacher, protects a 0% contribution for health-insurance premiums, and forces schools to hire and fire based on seniority and union rules.”

(The $101,091 figure is a statewide average, including total compensation; actual starting salaries in the Badger State, without benefits, range in the $20,000s and $30,000s.)

Walker notes that, “when Gov. Mitch Daniels repealed collective bargaining in Indiana six years ago, it helped government become more efficient and responsive.” Average pay for state workers rose. “Our budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin,” Walker says. “We can avoid the massive teacher layoffs that schools are facing across America.”

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