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
Organized

Fitchburg, MA

#41 Dec 21, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Does she live in Massachusetts?
Reason I'm asking is I was told the maximum amount a person can collect on unemployment is $625 a week.
That does get adjusted slightly for each child you have, but it doesn't increase by $1100 a week I know that.
Insert Sigh Here

Fitchburg, MA

#42 Dec 21, 2010
If your neighbor lives in this state, she's not being honest with you. The most someone can collect on unemployment in Mass is half of their gross. That would bring her down to 75k a year for qualified earnings. There is also a ceiling on that number and I believe right now it's set at 32k a year for a single person. That translates to about 600 a week.
The Insider

Hyannis, MA

#43 Dec 21, 2010
Insert Sigh Here wrote:
If your neighbor lives in this state, she's not being honest with you. The most someone can collect on unemployment in Mass is half of their gross. That would bring her down to 75k a year for qualified earnings. There is also a ceiling on that number and I believe right now it's set at 32k a year for a single person. That translates to about 600 a week.
Wrong
The truth

Athol, MA

#44 Dec 21, 2010
Everyone wants their kids to have great teachers, but no one wants to pay the teachers top dollar. Why don't we focus all these blogs at the companies who stole; yes stole everyone’s money over the last few years. Instead we rag on unions as being overpaid and corrupt which the second part becomes self fulfilling by the very nature of the corrupt companies. Every average worker across the country should be forming and joining labor unions as it is the only chance we have left to fight for good wages. Everyone should re-educate themselves to how politics works now and realize that almost every politician is a lawyer. Whets that say for politics; it has become a lawyer run society which only favors big business who can afford to pay them off. We are being brainwashed by the very people we elect.

They say lets get rid of the bad teachers. I say there is no such thing. The teachers of today were the students of yesterday. What do you think the teachers of tomorrow will look like when 70% of the kids in school today are on some kind of program. Some are on individual education plans and some are on full special education plans. Either one forces the average class of 30 students to all have preferred seating, had written notes for them, graphic organizers, aids to help them with exams; etc. So in a class of 30, about 15 of them need to sit right in front of the teacher. 5 of them need to be provided with written notes handed to them, and the other 10 are the real students who will be the "best future teachers" because any student on a plan now will certainly not be the best teacher. That’s what we imply by saying there are bad teachers out there who can't teach. It's not that they can't teach, it's that they have to waste 75% of their time providing accommodations to the students parents who won't accept their child is not up to par with other students so we give them special treatment to make it all seem equal.

Some day we will realize that every student chooses their own path and will get back to the basics of teaching reading, writing, and math, as well as basic social skills and let the students decide where they want to take themselves in life.

Stop blaming the teachers folks and support them and pay them a decent wage and the rest will take care of itself. Parent your child and stick with the relationship that created the child or take a high school class on proper use of birth protection. The problem is not in the school classroom, its at home, it's on TV, it's on the internet. We worry about seeing Janet Jacksons boob for 1 second when you can watch a girl get banged on nip tuck with a bag over her head? You can type in one nasty word on a search engine on the internet and in seconds be looking at the most graphical sexual images you can imagine. Where have our priorities gone?

Unions? Not the problem
Bad Teachers? Only at home, on TV, and the internet
Teachers overpaid? No way; they are the one smart group still out there that knows how to play politics.

LET YOU KIDS DECIDE IN LIFE WHO THEIR BAD AND GOOD TEACHERS ARE BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER FILL EVERY CLASSROOM ACROSS AMERICA WITH WHAT SOCIETY CONSIDERS GREAT TEACHERS. THEY DON'T EXIST AND EVEN IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH OF THEM.

THE GREAT TEACHERS STOPPED PARENTING THEIR KIDS MANY YEARS AGO.
Insert Sigh Here

Fitchburg, MA

#45 Dec 21, 2010
Maybe the DUA site needs to be updated.

"Claimants receive a weekly benefit of approximately 50 percent of their average weekly wage, up to the maximum set by law. The current maximum benefit rate is $625 a week."

Organized

Fitchburg, MA

#46 Dec 21, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong
The state site says he/she is right.
Organized

Fitchburg, MA

#47 Dec 21, 2010
Insert Sigh Here wrote:
If your neighbor lives in this state, she's not being honest with you. The most someone can collect on unemployment in Mass is half of their gross. That would bring her down to 75k a year for qualified earnings. There is also a ceiling on that number and I believe right now it's set at 32k a year for a single person. That translates to about 600 a week.
The DUA sIte doesn't need to be updated. I had the option to take a layoff this winter and when I looked into it I was told as a single person that earned 128k during the last 15 months, I would be compensated exactly 625 per week, which I was told was the maximum benefit.
For real

Fitchburg, MA

#48 Dec 22, 2010
The truth wrote:
Everyone wants their kids to have great teachers, but no one wants to pay the teachers top dollar. Why don't we focus all these blogs at the companies who stole; yes stole everyone’s money over the last few years. Instead we rag on unions as being overpaid and corrupt which the second part becomes self fulfilling by the very nature of the corrupt companies. Every average worker across the country should be forming and joining labor unions as it is the only chance we have left to fight for good wages. Everyone should re-educate themselves to how politics works now and realize that almost every politician is a lawyer. Whets that say for politics; it has become a lawyer run society which only favors big business who can afford to pay them off. We are being brainwashed by the very people we elect.
They say lets get rid of the bad teachers. I say there is no such thing. The teachers of today were the students of yesterday. What do you think the teachers of tomorrow will look like when 70% of the kids in school today are on some kind of program. Some are on individual education plans and some are on full special education plans. Either one forces the average class of 30 students to all have preferred seating, had written notes for them, graphic organizers, aids to help them with exams; etc. So in a class of 30, about 15 of them need to sit right in front of the teacher. 5 of them need to be provided with written notes handed to them, and the other 10 are the real students who will be the "best future teachers" because any student on a plan now will certainly not be the best teacher. That’s what we imply by saying there are bad teachers out there who can't teach. It's not that they can't teach, it's that they have to waste 75% of their time providing accommodations to the students parents who won't accept their child is not up to par with other students so we give them special treatment to make it all seem equal.
Some day we will realize that every student chooses their own path and will get back to the basics of teaching reading, writing, and math, as well as basic social skills and let the students decide where they want to take themselves in life.
Stop blaming the teachers folks and support them and pay them a decent wage and the rest will take care of itself. Parent your child and stick with the relationship that created the child or take a high school class on proper use of birth protection. The problem is not in the school classroom, its at home, it's on TV, it's on the internet. We worry about seeing Janet Jacksons boob for 1 second when you can watch a girl get banged on nip tuck with a bag over her head? You can type in one nasty word on a search engine on the internet and in seconds be looking at the most graphical sexual images you can imagine. Where have our priorities gone?
Unions? Not the problem
Bad Teachers? Only at home, on TV, and the internet
Teachers overpaid? No way; they are the one smart group still out there that knows how to play politics.
LET YOU KIDS DECIDE IN LIFE WHO THEIR BAD AND GOOD TEACHERS ARE BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER FILL EVERY CLASSROOM ACROSS AMERICA WITH WHAT SOCIETY CONSIDERS GREAT TEACHERS. THEY DON'T EXIST AND EVEN IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH OF THEM.
THE GREAT TEACHERS STOPPED PARENTING THEIR KIDS MANY YEARS AGO.
These "corrupt companies" as you put it are paying the majority of the taxes in this country. The rest is carried by 50% of working people. That leaves 50% getting a free ride. Executive comp is out of control however the top talent does get compensated in this a capitalist society, so if you are looking for socialism, head north. Unions protect lazy people and that's a fact. They brought down the auto industry and many others.
Just Facts

United States

#49 Dec 22, 2010
Organized wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Thank You for being honest...it is a wonderful thing to have the truth given by someone actually involved.
The Insider

Hyannis, MA

#50 Dec 22, 2010
Lets get back to the article here. This is a free ride courtesy of the feds. No matter what everyone will always pay taxes so get over it. At least the city isn't paying the tab for this contract. The teachers being hired are replacing teachers that are retiring. The positions cannot be left unfilled because the teachers and all the departments cannot loose anymore staffing. All departments are below minimum staffing. At least your federal tax money is coming back to your own city and not being spent on a study of red ants in Kentucky.
Phil Is A Buster

Fitchburg, MA

#51 Dec 22, 2010
Anyone saying they're collecting 1700$ a week/ 90k a year on unemployment is exercising their fictional liberties. I work at the local office and I know for a fact that 625$ is the maximum weekly benefit (no kids). Nobody that gets laid off and collects in the state of MA gets a cent more. Not one cent more.
HardTruth

Fitchburg, MA

#52 Dec 22, 2010
Just Facts wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank You for being honest...it is a wonderful thing to have the truth given by someone actually involved.
Wow. From the horse's mouth, so to speak. Being a lifelong union guy I can agree in broad strokes with Organized's post. In the past, their focus was on protecting workers. OSHA and labor laws take care of that now. Their focus today has shifted on making money and trying to organize non union companies to monopolize their areas and field of industry.
John

Leominster, MA

#53 Dec 22, 2010
Just Saying wrote:
This is a great deal for teachers just starting out. A first year teacher will get a 17% raise.
How can a "first year" teacher get a "17% raise? A raise implies that you are making MORE than the previous year. But if this is your first year you made NOTHING last year. So isn't NOTHING to SOMETHING a 100% raise?

Now if you want to say that the starting salary is 17% greater than the previous year, well that is something different.
Archie

Gardner, MA

#54 Dec 22, 2010
John, don't you anything better to do than nit- pick?
John

Leominster, MA

#55 Dec 22, 2010
Archie wrote:
John, don't you anything better to do than nit- pick?
No, not really. Don't you have anything better to do than comment on my post?
Archie

Gardner, MA

#56 Dec 22, 2010
Just thought I'd mention it and attempt to "reform" you.
Insert Sigh Here

Fitchburg, MA

#57 Dec 22, 2010
The Insider wrote:
Lets get back to the article here. This is a free ride courtesy of the feds. No matter what everyone will always pay taxes so get over it. At least the city isn't paying the tab for this contract. The teachers being hired are replacing teachers that are retiring. The positions cannot be left unfilled because the teachers and all the departments cannot loose anymore staffing. All departments are below minimum staffing. At least your federal tax money is coming back to your own city and not being spent on a study of red ants in Kentucky.
Still think I'm wrong?
John

Leominster, MA

#58 Dec 22, 2010
Archie wrote:
Just thought I'd mention it and attempt to "reform" you.
Don't need "reforming"...just pointing out the error in saying somebody got a raise when they didn't have a job last year to begin with. We have few opportunities to actually read facts in here (vs. opinions)...let's not pass up the chance to state fact, or correct a fact. Have a nice day.
Hmm

Fitchburg, MA

#59 Dec 22, 2010
Someone asked about the paraprofessionals at the beginning of this thread.

The FEA is broken into several units. Unit A is the teachers, Unit B is the paraprofessionals. This contract negotiation is for Unit A only. Unit B contract expires at the end of this school year...and to put things into perspective..

Top hourly step on the para contract is: 15.75/h. That equals $17,090 per year.(This category includes almost all paras)

Top step for the very few salaried para positions is $34,000 and change.

And when the time comes, I am sure the school committee will not give raises and someone, somewhere on this commenting board will think that the paras are overpaid city workers with some kind of "miracle" health care and benefit package.
Benson

Gardner, MA

#60 Dec 22, 2010
John wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't need "reforming"...just pointing out the error in saying somebody got a raise when they didn't have a job last year to begin with. We have few opportunities to actually read facts in here (vs. opinions)...let's not pass up the chance to state -fact, or correct a fact. Have a nice day.
Archie's right, you're a nit-picker but won't even admit it.

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