Chelmsford teachers, School Committee...

Chelmsford teachers, School Committee reach tentative contract agreement

There are 75 comments on the Lowell Sun story from Jan 22, 2011, titled Chelmsford teachers, School Committee reach tentative contract agreement. In it, Lowell Sun reports that:

After more than 21 months of icy negotiations, the School Committee and the teachers' union have finally reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lowell Sun.

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Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#61 Jan 23, 2011
Obi Wan Kenobi wrote:
<quoted text>
Just a quick correction. I went to the Ma. Teachers Retirement site and calculated the retirement for a teacher at the age of 56 with 30 years of experience. The amount would be 48%, not 80% as noted.
When I look at the linked chart, a 56 year old teacher would get 48% or 60% with retirement plus. To get the 80% at 56 the teacher would have had to start at age 20 because it requires 36 years of service. Retirement plus increases retirement benefits for eligible and participating members by 2 percent for each full year of creditable service in excess of 24 years, up to the statutory maximum of 80 percent. Your calculation agrees with the chart, there is no error.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#62 Jan 23, 2011
Oh, on the other link from factcheck. I have read many reports like this. All of them put the public sector ahead of the private sector. The differences are usually large. I imagine it isn't easy to figure these numbers out with all of the variables but the public sector wins out every time. I once saw a chart that listed public/private comparisons by occupation. If I can find it again I'll post it.
Interested Observer

Hudson, MA

#63 Jan 23, 2011
Obi Wan Kenobi wrote:
<quoted text>
Just a quick correction. I went to the Ma. Teachers Retirement site and calculated the retirement for a teacher at the age of 56 with 30 years of experience. The amount would be 48%, not 80% as noted.
With the BLS site, there is an excellent explanation of Fed vs. private on Fact Check. See link below:
http://factcheck.org/2010/12/are-federal-work...
35 years of service are required for the 80%. You can have 35 years by age 56.
Anthony

Tewksbury, MA

#64 Jan 24, 2011
Wondering wrote:
Oh, on the other link from factcheck. I have read many reports like this. All of them put the public sector ahead of the private sector. The differences are usually large. I imagine it isn't easy to figure these numbers out with all of the variables but the public sector wins out every time. I once saw a chart that listed public/private comparisons by occupation. If I can find it again I'll post it.
I thought that public sector employees pay taxes as well. Actually they have no bonuses to pay their taxes from. How about their 401K's-oh they don't have those either. Who pay the for the increase in goods when private sector employees get pay raises? Do we hera complaints about that? Once again it is the public sectot bearing the burden.
Interested Observer

Hudson, MA

#65 Jan 24, 2011
Anthony wrote:
<quoted text>
I thought that public sector employees pay taxes as well. Actually they have no bonuses to pay their taxes from. How about their 401K's-oh they don't have those either. Who pay the for the increase in goods when private sector employees get pay raises? Do we hera complaints about that? Once again it is the public sectot bearing the burden.
In the public sector, I think it is 403-b that takes the place of the 401-k. Of course you hear complaints all the time when prices for private sector goods and services go up or the quality goes down. The difference--you can choose to buy another product or service. Then businesses close and people get laid off. You can't buy a Studebaker anymore. If we had vouchers for the amount we spend per kid to follow the kid to the school where the family thinks they get the best education for the money, then I don't care what you make as a teacher. I can choose to go somewhere else and spend my money if you don't get the job done. Doesn't that seem fair. Competition is good for consumers, isn't it?
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#66 Jan 24, 2011
Anthony wrote:
<quoted text>
1. I thought that public sector employees pay taxes as well. Actually they have no bonuses to pay their taxes from.
2. How about their 401K's-oh they don't have those either.
3. Who pay the for the increase in goods when private sector employees get pay raises? Do we hera complaints about that? Once again it is the public sectot bearing the burden.
1. Public sector employees do pay taxes but they pay them with dollars they got from the private sector. Some public sector employees do get bonuses just like some private sector employees do.
2. Many public sector employees have 403b plans. A version of the 401k reserved for government employees. Most people with 401k plans would gladly swap with a public sector retiree getting 80% of their salary.
3. When prices change in the private sector you always have a choice. You can shop anywhere you want to and you never have to buy anything you don't want. With the public sector we are billed for it through our property taxes. We pay for services that are good or bad, we pay for services we don't use. We have no choice. The private sector always allows you to choose what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. The public sector gets its money from taxes and fees.
Government Workers Greed

Kladno, Czech Republic

#67 Jan 24, 2011
www.reason.org/news/show/public-sector-privat...

Or just Google: Reason Foundataion-comparing-private sector and Government jobs.
Anthony wrote:
<quoted text>
I thought that public sector employees pay taxes as well. Actually they have no bonuses to pay their taxes from. How about their 401K's-oh they don't have those either. Who pay the for the increase in goods when private sector employees get pay raises? Do we hera complaints about that? Once again it is the public sectot bearing the burden.
Taxpayer

Chelmsford, MA

#68 Jan 25, 2011
Would someone tell me why the Chelmsford School Committee continues to allow STEP RAISES into the contract. So when they tell you that the Teachers are only gettinng a ???? per year, don't forget to add on the extra 2% to 3% they will receive for STEP RAISES!!! Even while they were negotiating this contract, they were receiving yearly raises base on the STEP RAISE per year. Why don't we have professional negotiators instead of jokers working for us during nogotiations??
provides opportunities

Manchester, NH

#69 Jan 25, 2011
OOOOh I know! Because teachers are hired at about half salary for their first year...(~32000)it takes 13 years for them to reach the standard salary of a teacher. imagine that? The school committee doles out a little more salary each year. It's like you work at a discount in the early years.....100% work for half the pay .... once you reach "maturity" you don't earn anymore unless you are granted a raise. If you want school committee to stop step increases then you will be paying all teachers at maximum salary and they just can't afford to do that.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#70 Jan 25, 2011
provides opportunities wrote:
OOOOh I know! Because teachers are hired at about half salary for their first year...(~32000)it takes 13 years for them to reach the standard salary of a teacher. imagine that? The school committee doles out a little more salary each year. It's like you work at a discount in the early years.....100% work for half the pay .... once you reach "maturity" you don't earn anymore unless you are granted a raise. If you want school committee to stop step increases then you will be paying all teachers at maximum salary and they just can't afford to do that.
~$32k for a green teacher sounds fair when you throw in all the bennies. The benefits are what's costing, the salaries are fair.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#71 Jan 25, 2011
My guess is four things are going to happen. Full benefit retirement age will rise along with a general rise in retirement age. Teachers and other public employees will contribute more into their retirement plans. Defined benefit plans will change to defined contribution plans. The maximum pension, now 80%, will be reduced. I think these things are inevitable.
Interested Observer

Hudson, MA

#72 Jan 25, 2011
Wondering wrote:
My guess is four things are going to happen. Full benefit retirement age will rise along with a general rise in retirement age. Teachers and other public employees will contribute more into their retirement plans. Defined benefit plans will change to defined contribution plans. The maximum pension, now 80%, will be reduced. I think these things are inevitable.
I think it needs to change to a 401-k like plan with a match of some sort. Perhaps the 6.2% they would pay SS. Then they can retire whenever they want. If it must stay a defined benefit plan then the retirement age needs to be the SS retirement age. Plus the retirement health plan needs to move to medicare.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#73 Jan 26, 2011
Interested Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
I think it needs to change to a 401-k like plan with a match of some sort. Perhaps the 6.2% they would pay SS. Then they can retire whenever they want. If it must stay a defined benefit plan then the retirement age needs to be the SS retirement age. Plus the retirement health plan needs to move to medicare.
The process has begun:
"Under the proposal, the retirement age for most workers would increase from the range of 55-65 to a range of 60-67. For hazardous jobs, it would rise from 55-60 to 55-62. And state troopers would not receive the maximum benefit until 30 years of service."
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0...

Defined benefit plans (DBP) in the private sector are basically history. Companies could no longer afford them and moved to replace them with 401k plans. DBP's were billed as deferred compensation plans. The problem is that they are not self funding. Employer subsidies have grown exponentially in order to keep the plans whole. Many of them have gone belly up and ended up in the hands of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
John Devoy

Westwood, MA

#74 Jan 26, 2011
Interested Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
In the public sector, I think it is 403-b that takes the place of the 401-k. Of course you hear complaints all the time when prices for private sector goods and services go up or the quality goes down. The difference--you can choose to buy another product or service. Then businesses close and people get laid off. You can't buy a Studebaker anymore. If we had vouchers for the amount we spend per kid to follow the kid to the school where the family thinks they get the best education for the money, then I don't care what you make as a teacher. I can choose to go somewhere else and spend my money if you don't get the job done. Doesn't that seem fair. Competition is good for consumers, isn't it?
Great comments. Could NOT agree more!!!
Chelmsford parent

Tewksbury, MA

#75 Jan 26, 2011
I would just love to see my child's Chelmsford
Elementary school open it's doors earlier than 5 minutes before the day is allegedly beginning. When you turn out of the parking lot and there are still oodles of cars that haven't even dropped off their children.. and teachers just arriving in the parking lot.. you wonder what time the day REALLY starts in this particular elementary school..

Do teacher contracts have any provisions about when the day is supposed to start and when they should arrive? Just a question..

Oops.. I digress.

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