Lets answer some of your concerns- you are correct public employees negotiate these salaries and benefits! They negotiate them with the entities they work for which you are correct are government agencies, that is their employer! Which means it is the taxpayers!<quoted text>
Yes, you're right their pension was negotiated by collective bargaining, but, lets realize something. When a public union collective bargains against its employer, just who are they negotiating against? Wait, think about it, yes that's right, they're negotiating against the government, which is you, me and even themselves.
Now, answer me this. Since they had these rights to negotiate, why didn't the union leaders demand that the legislature fund these pensions over the years or when negotiating with the local boards did they not demand that Administrators salaries be no more than x% of the top teachers pay? The unions donate large sums of cash to these people, so why didnt they put the screws to them? They all knew the pensions were not being funded, so why did they let it happen? Here's why, because the gravy train was rolling during those years. As long as the raises kept coming, they ignored the looming pension fiasco. Higher salaries for union members, mean more dues for union leaders.
The front line teachers do a good job and kudos to them, but the lip service that the union gives about it 'being for the children' has to stop. If they were truly concerned about the kids, they would have not let this happen in the first place.
If you have been watching the plight of education in this state - you would know the Teachers Organizations & School Districts have made many trips to Springfield to get the Legislature to better fund education! That has gone on deaf ears! Politicians only seem to jump on the band wagon when it is election time and to this point no one will jump on this! Adminstrators Salaries are also negotiated as the market determines! Their are now state laws restricting the size of raises that a school district can give to both Teachers & Administrators, since pension benefits are usually determined by the average of the last 4 years salary calculations! For this system to change you would need to get on a school board & be very fiscally responsible! In many districts as we see from the newspaper articles, school board folks may not be the most fiscally responsible people! Have you gone to your school board to question their budgets? Each year they must have a open session to discuss budgetary items - opening it up to the public for comments.
Many people & organizations donate to our elected officials - right or wrong they are all looking for some advantage - that is how our system works. We can see it here in our own town! If we want that changed it is the taxpayers that must force change & until that happens the system will keep barrelling down the road.
So why did they not put the "screws" to the folks that did not fund the pension funds - great question, but the answer is once the folks are voted back in - all the discussions stopped! I once heard some politicians talk about the inequities of school funding - Northern suburban districts with the higher property values invest much more per students education than do the south & southwest suburbs - and these politicians wanted to change that process, well it has not changed, not enough votes!
So blame the Teachers & their unions, and some people want to talk about the compensation they have for a 9 month job. Go up to your local city council and try to get something you don't like changed, you will see what the teachers, school districts and unions are dealing with! You want to blame them for not getting this problem to change, then you are missing the issue here - anyone can point fingers at people for not pushing for change or correcting the problems! Where were you when it needed correction!