Fitchburg teachers reach contract pact - Sentinel & Enterprise

The School Committee approved a three-year contract agreement with the teachers' union that will cost the district approximately $365,954 in raises. Full Story
Sigh

Fitchburg, MA

#21 Dec 21, 2010
Voter wrote:
<quoted text>
I took you literally when you said "You can't realistically run a home off 50k a year, which is what this pay translates to."
A household most certainly can be run on $50K a year. There are more people running a household on less than $50K in Fitchburg then there are above that line.
http://www.city-data.com/city/Fitchburg-Massa...
I was being literal.
And given the rate of short sales, foreclosures and bankruptcies around here...I'm correct.

I'm not sure what that 2009 data suggests in regard to people's incomes and being able to sustain a household.
Voter

Bedford, MA

#22 Dec 21, 2010
And if you're too lazy to click the link I supplied...

The estimated median income in Fitchburg for 2009 was $48,727K.

More people are running a houshold on less than $50k in the Burg.
Paul Harvey

Berlin, CT

#23 Dec 21, 2010
A short term fix "the feds are paying for this" equals a major deficit in a couple years when that one-time money is gone. By the way the "fed" aren't paying for this, OUR tax dollars are!
Voter

Bedford, MA

#24 Dec 21, 2010
You're either not very smart or a troll.

There are more people not in foreclosure or shortselling in Fitchburg then there are in those situations.

Unless you want to argue that the majority of the people of Fitchburg, who, by way of the information contained within my link, are earning below $50K, and are in the process of foreclosure or shortsale of their home. I'll take that bet, let me know where to collect. Renters are most likely going to make up the $50K and under crowd.
The Burg

Fitchburg, MA

#25 Dec 21, 2010
Voter wrote:
You're either not very smart or a troll.
There are more people not in foreclosure or shortselling in Fitchburg then there are in those situations.
Unless you want to argue that the majority of the people of Fitchburg, who, by way of the information contained within my link, are earning below $50K, and are in the process of foreclosure or shortsale of their home. I'll take that bet, let me know where to collect. Renters are most likely going to make up the $50K and under crowd.
As usual when debating and a person gets desperate they resort to old data and insults.
Enjoy your day.
Merry Christmas.

FYI: median does not allow for a "more", but rather equal parts.
The Burg

Fitchburg, MA

#26 Dec 21, 2010
Median divides the population in half. There is no greater half. Half means half. There is above and below the median.

Median doesn't clarify who and what a household can be maintained on. The living arrangements of these households needs to be considered, as well as their debt to income ratio and any assistance received.

When you factor in all the costs that a household absorbs, I'm willing to bet that 50k is not enough. Let me know where to collect.
Damon

Fitchburg, MA

#27 Dec 21, 2010
Taxpayer....don't be bamboozled.....What happened to the projected $5 million school budget shortfall for the next fiscal year?....Where is this money going to come from......Early retirement? Don't be fooled you can't save money if you replace these positions and how about the health insurance premiums for these people and their spouses for time in memoriam.....OMG where are we going with this. Stop hiding the true cost of this contract.
The poor janitorial staff was left out and, believe it or not, they bought it!!!
Voter

Bedford, MA

#28 Dec 21, 2010
You set the bar at $50K, not me nor anyone else in this thread.

The Median income is less than $50K (it's approx $48K)in Fitchburg. Hence, more than half the population in Fitchburg earns less than $50K. I didn't say more than half is below the Median income, did I?

That's how math works. And thanks for clarifying what you are. Clearly you're not a troll. You're just dumb.
The Burg

Fitchburg, MA

#29 Dec 21, 2010
Voter wrote:
You set the bar at $50K, not me nor anyone else in this thread.
The Median income is less than $50K (it's approx $48K)in Fitchburg. Hence, more than half the population in Fitchburg earns less than $50K. I didn't say more than half is below the Median income, did I?
That's how math works. And thanks for clarifying what you are. Clearly you're not a troll. You're just dumb.
So then judging from your reply, you agree that you one run a household on 50k.
And that the median income of 48 is no indication that you can.
Thank you for proving my original post as being correct.
Just Facts

United States

#30 Dec 21, 2010
The Burg,

You really are dumb. Voter provided proof that many people in Fitchburg are running their households earning a median income of less than 50K.

By your own statements, at least half of the residents in Fitchburg are doing so...give it up.

You have lost this discussion badly and you are just digging a larger hole for yourself...you cannot win this argument because you are wrong...plain and simple.

The original discussion was about the 4 lowest step raises being deleted, and replaced by a $ 6,000 increase in salary for new teachers. The article has nothing to do with the fairness of a level of earnings for running a household.
The Burg

Fitchburg, MA

#31 Dec 21, 2010
Just Facts wrote:
The Burg,
You really are dumb. Voter provided proof that many people in Fitchburg are running their households earning a median income of less than 50K.
By your own statements, at least half of the residents in Fitchburg are doing so...give it up.
You have lost this discussion badly and you are just digging a larger hole for yourself...you cannot win this argument because you are wrong...plain and simple.
The original discussion was about the 4 lowest step raises being deleted, and replaced by a $ 6,000 increase in salary for new teachers. The article has nothing to do with the fairness of a level of earnings for running a household.
Are you his lawyer or his lover?
Man O Man

Fitchburg, MA

#32 Dec 21, 2010
There should be some block you can place on people that bicker with each other on these boards about the most foolish points. Here's a tip that I learned in law school and I'll pass it along. It's not about who's right...it's what's right.
__________

I'm glad a contract was negotiated. It's been a long time coming. We can only surmise what the ramifications in 10 - 20 years will be, but for the length of the contract I think it works. As long as it can be supported I am always down with giving teachers more money. People that dedicate themselves to a life of service and giving back should be taken care of.
Just Saying

Worcester, MA

#33 Dec 21, 2010
This is a great deal for teachers just starting out. A first year teacher will get a 17% raise. The logic of this doesn't make much sense to me, those teachers already accepted the agreed-upon pay, and will now get this windfall. This contract leaves a number of long-time teachers without any increase, which will make the teacher-bashers happy.

For the teacher bashers: if this is such a sweet deal, why don't you become teachers?

For the union and the district: why are you handing $6k to brand new teachers and nothing to many that have well paid their dues?
The Insider

Hyannis, MA

#34 Dec 21, 2010
We know its gets us in trouble. If the city started a stabilization fund 30 years ago our funds could get us thru these tough economic times. But we are at the point where we are trying to get thru the next 2-3 years. Ask any department head and they will tell you that they are just trying to get thru tomorrow and the next fiscal year. If the feds pay for it that is good for us. These teachers would have to be hired in 2-5 years because the 16 would be retiring then but the city would have to pay the replacements their salaries plus their step raises. Grants have a slim timeline and the city has to utilize them at every chance they get. There is no guarantee that there will be grants in 2-3 years from now. If we didn't take the grants now they will go to another city that needs them.

The city needs to be careful about giving early retirements, although the grants will pay for these. A pension is based on 80% of the employees salary. The employee funds their own pension based on a retirement of 20 years. If the live longer than the 20 years the city utilizes other deceased retired employees pensions to keep paying for the active pensions. It usually evens out as many employees and their spouses do not outlive their 20 year pension. But an early retirement without having grants involved means the employee did not have to fund 5 years of their pension they will receive aand this means there is a good chance they will outlive their contribution to their pension fund. Too many of these means in 20 years the city will have to find funds to pay the active pensions.
Hmmmmm

Fitchburg, MA

#35 Dec 21, 2010
Just Saying wrote:
This is a great deal for teachers just starting out. A first year teacher will get a 17% raise. The logic of this doesn't make much sense to me, those teachers already accepted the agreed-upon pay, and will now get this windfall. This contract leaves a number of long-time teachers without any increase, which will make the teacher-bashers happy.
For the teacher bashers: if this is such a sweet deal, why don't you become teachers?
For the union and the district: why are you handing $6k to brand new teachers and nothing to many that have well paid their dues?
Will this create dissension among old and new teachers?
The experienced teachers must have agreed upon this right?
Boy it's tough to negotiate things and please everyone isn't it.
I hope this proves to be good for all involved, including the tax payers and students.
Enough

Fitchburg, MA

#36 Dec 21, 2010
The Insider wrote:
I guess some posters don't get it. The feds are picking up the tab for everything in the contract. Contracts are good for 3 years. This contract is retroactive to last year. The federal grants are good for 2 years or otherwise the rest of this contract. The teachers retiring early will allow the federal grant to hire new teachers that they would have to hire within 2-3 years anyways so this way the feds will pay and not the city. The new teachers would have needed to receive the step increases payed for by the city. So the teachers were smart to raise the starting salary and let the feds pick up the tab. The new teachers cannot complain because they will be under this new contract and have already received their step increases that they wouldn't have gotten if they were hired in 2-3 years because there is no city money.
Again, this is good for the city, we are not paying for anything except the early retirement pension that may catch up with us if the retirees outlive their pension. The city hopes that retirees do not live too long or else the pension system starts to hurt the funding of itself. This is the same as social security right now. The city is worried about tomorrow, next year and 3 years from now. They are not worried about 20-30 years from now.
Please! The Feds will pay! Give me a break. Where does that money come from, the sky? Lets shift the money from this account to that account. The tax payer still gets hit. When times are tough you don't go to the boss and tell him you need a raise. Who can pull that off in the private sector. If you don't like your pay check then hit the road. Does anyone see the problem with unions? They were created to protect workers such as coal miners from getting injured or killed on the job. Now it is about $$$$$. Where will it end? We need Ronald Regan back.
Enough

Fitchburg, MA

#37 Dec 21, 2010
The Burg wrote:
<quoted text>
So then judging from your reply, you agree that you one run a household on 50k.
And that the median income of 48 is no indication that you can.
Thank you for proving my original post as being correct.
most households have two earners, not one
Organized

Fitchburg, MA

#38 Dec 21, 2010
Enough wrote:
<quoted text>Please! The Feds will pay! Give me a break. Where does that money come from, the sky? Lets shift the money from this account to that account. The tax payer still gets hit. When times are tough you don't go to the boss and tell him you need a raise. Who can pull that off in the private sector. If you don't like your pay check then hit the road. Does anyone see the problem with unions? They were created to protect workers such as coal miners from getting injured or killed on the job. Now it is about $$$$$. Where will it end? We need Ronald Regan back.
Unions were very much needed back in the day, but they aren't serving the people as they once did.
They paved the way for worker rights, however labor laws pretty much cover things today as an extension of the foundation set by unions. As a union steward in the construction industry for 30 years I can tell you they are a waste of money and time in my field. The training union workers receive at their locals as apprentices can be achieved in many top trade schools today. Comparable healthcare can be obtained at many employers. And as long as you do your job and do it well you don't have to worry about losing your position at a construction company. I know there's all kinds of unions out there, but my experience has been that they are not needed today. They breed the idea that mediocrity is the benchmark for success. Go too fast and you make guys look bad, go too slow and you're not keeping up with the herd. More ex cons, drunks and drug addicts work union than non union. Non union companies don't have to put up with it. Solid outfits run a tight ship. In my local they protect guys by giving them heads up on drug tests, multiple chances for character and performance flaws and just an overall sense that you can do what you want and still get $65 an hour. I'm the biggest hypocrite because I have worked in my field and for my union for most of my life. I've become trapped by the machine and the money and the power. If I could do it over again, I would work at a tech school and teach kids the right way to be a tradesman and build their career on character and skill...not on having $500 to buy a union card and a hardhat.
The Insider

Hyannis, MA

#39 Dec 21, 2010
Enough wrote:
<quoted text>Please! The Feds will pay! Give me a break. Where does that money come from, the sky? Lets shift the money from this account to that account. The tax payer still gets hit. When times are tough you don't go to the boss and tell him you need a raise. Who can pull that off in the private sector. If you don't like your pay check then hit the road. Does anyone see the problem with unions? They were created to protect workers such as coal miners from getting injured or killed on the job. Now it is about $$$$$. Where will it end? We need Ronald Regan back.
My neighbor will not take a recent job offer because she collects more on unemployment. She was making $130K a year, got layed off and collects $90K a year and gets to stay home. Why take a job at $60K a year? 13 more months of being able to collect. I think they should do a study on whom is collecting and refusing job offers and take them out of the jobless rate number. Where else can you do this only in the private sector ! Hmmmm, my taxes are paying for the paper pushers to collect ? Hmmmmm, bailouts for the big companies because their CEO's make all the money ? Where did all that money come from? The sky ? So the private sector doesn't need a union? Now I see why all the private sector workers are sad and unhappy because the harder they work the more money their bosses and owners make except they don't get anything. Too bad you are not in a union.
The Insider

Hyannis, MA

#40 Dec 21, 2010
Just Saying wrote:
This is a great deal for teachers just starting out. A first year teacher will get a 17% raise. The logic of this doesn't make much sense to me, those teachers already accepted the agreed-upon pay, and will now get this windfall. This contract leaves a number of long-time teachers without any increase, which will make the teacher-bashers happy.
For the teacher bashers: if this is such a sweet deal, why don't you become teachers?
For the union and the district: why are you handing $6k to brand new teachers and nothing to many that have well paid their dues?
Most of the teachers are already past the 3rd step increase and are already at the top step.

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