What attacks on their salaries forget: Teachers matter

There are 20 comments on the Newsday story from Jun 15, 2009, titled What attacks on their salaries forget: Teachers matter. In it, Newsday reports that:

Stephen M. Bongiovi is a retired Seaford English teacher and adjunct at Molly College.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

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Teachers

New York, NY

#1 Jun 15, 2009
The average full-time worker works 2,000 hours per year to earn their salary (40 hours/week). Teachers work 180 days a year. Assuming they work 8 hours a day (which is generous) that equals 1,440 hours a year.

So let’s assume both the average worker and the teacher each earn $50,000/year. That means the average workers earned $25/hour and the teacher earned $35/hour.

I know teachers will say “but we work from home developing lesson plans and grading papers.” Well I have two arguments for that:

1) As I recall in High School the most classes a teacher had was 4 in a day so that meant they had 5 periods of down-time to grade papers and develop plans. So instead of hanging out in the teachers’ lounge, that time can be spent more wisely.

2) Most young professionals will learn, there is no 9 to 5 job anymore and if you want to maintain your $50,000/year job you need to pay your dues which means working late hours to the tune of 50 to 60 hours a week without additional compensation.

So in conclusion, Long Island teachers are very well compensated. This may not be the case in other states but here it’s a nice pay day as seen in the example above.

“But what about the additional education requirements we need as teachers that we have to pay for? Our compensation should reflect that.” My response to that is “Have you ever met a medical intern/resident? They make close to nothing for working 80 hours a week for 2 to 5 years and the chances of them earning big dollars afterward are minimal these days. Do you want their Medical School bills? Same with Law school students, there is no guarantee these graduates will even have jobs.
Teacher

Brooklyn, NY

#2 Jun 16, 2009
Actually, the average LI teacher teaches five periods a day, works a duty period,(anything from hall, detention, office, study hall or cafeteria duty) has two prep periods and one period off for lunch. Furthermore, the school has the authority to utilize 10 prep periods a quarter with meetings.
But I pose a simple question: if you want to lower the salary of these teachers who have obtained several degrees and years of experience; where do you want them to live? Cause they certainly will not be able to live on Long Island and pay the same taxes you do.
Teachers

New York, NY

#3 Jun 16, 2009
The taxes would not be so high cause the salaries would be lower. I have the same issue with Police Salaries. Does one have to live on Long Island to teach on Long Island...no. There are many that work in NYC that can't afford NYC so the live elsewhere. So your argument does not hold water.

Plus there are many affordable places to live on Long Island so long as one lives within their means.
Pfluger the Union Monkey

Boston, MA

#4 Jun 16, 2009
The writer seems sincere, and poses the ultimate question: How much should teachers be paid?

However, when he writes:

" Whatever raises, benefits and pension plans teachers receive have been negotiated and agreed upon with boards of education comprised entirely of elected representatives of the citizens of the community in which they teach"

I would strongly, strongly disagree. School boards negotiate the contracts in private negotiations, with little or no imput from the public. Negotiations are an exercise in incrementalism: How much the existing scale of steps and ladders should be increased, with some other minor tweaks.

The annual budget vote is an exercise in futility, because taxpayers have zero say in the main cost drivers of the schools budgets: salaries and benefits. The boards have done a dismal job of balancing the ability of the taxbase to fund the salaries and benefits. They have a one-sided perspective.
shameless-li

Denver, CO

#5 Jun 16, 2009
Teachers wrote:
Plus there are many affordable places to live on Long Island so long as one lives within their means.
and where might that be?
and are they safe neighborhoods?
the middle class is being pushed out, the rich can afford to live in nice area's with security, the very poor just don't care about anything.
it has nothing to do with living within your means.
Pfluger the Union Monkey

Boston, MA

#6 Jun 16, 2009
Oh, and of course, the writer completely IGNORES the value of the gold plated pensions and benefits, including subsidized health insurance (sometimes at 100%).

These pensions alone, when discounted to net present value, are worth upwards of $1 million. And that's a mathematical fact.

Further, the $100K teacher is NOT a rarity on LI. Far from it. There are many articles on this that can be easily obtained with a simple google search.
Pfluger the Union Monkey

Boston, MA

#7 Jun 16, 2009
Teacher wrote:
Actually, the average LI teacher teaches five periods a day, works a duty period,(anything from hall, detention, office, study hall or cafeteria duty) has two prep periods and one period off for lunch. Furthermore, the school has the authority to utilize 10 prep periods a quarter with meetings.
But I pose a simple question: if you want to lower the salary of these teachers who have obtained several degrees and years of experience; where do you want them to live? Cause they certainly will not be able to live on Long Island and pay the same taxes you do.
Keep the salaries (even raise the starting salaries) in exchange for elimination of unnecessary tenure, elimination of post retirement medical benefits, and conversion of your defined benefit pension plan to a defined contribution plan.

Same prescription for the other big unions, like the PBA.
Busey

Melville, NY

#8 Jun 16, 2009
Teacher wrote:
Actually, the average LI teacher teaches five periods a day, works a duty period,(anything from hall, detention, office, study hall or cafeteria duty) has two prep periods and one period off for lunch. Furthermore, the school has the authority to utilize 10 prep periods a quarter with meetings.
But I pose a simple question: if you want to lower the salary of these teachers who have obtained several degrees and years of experience; where do you want them to live? Cause they certainly will not be able to live on Long Island and pay the same taxes you do.
Maybe my taxes wouldn't be the highest in the country if you losers weren't being so dramatically overpaid.
Teacher

Brooklyn, NY

#9 Jun 16, 2009
That's right... I can work and serve your community as a mentor and help to raise and guide your children but because I have a passion for educating I shouldn't be your neighbor or be able to provide my kids with the same education and opportunity your children receive from me.
SHUTTHEPFLUGERUP

Newark, NJ

#10 Jun 16, 2009
Pfluger the Union Monkey wrote:
Oh, and of course, the writer completely IGNORES the value of the gold plated pensions and benefits, including subsidized health insurance (sometimes at 100%).
These pensions alone, when discounted to net present value, are worth upwards of $1 million. And that's a mathematical fact.
Further, the $100K teacher is NOT a rarity on LI. Far from it. There are many articles on this that can be easily obtained with a simple google search.
Well, then post some of these "facts" you speak of monkey boy! We're all waiting! Don't just show $, but the amount of time it takes, real examples of pensions, not the phony bs you post!
Teachers

New York, NY

#11 Jun 17, 2009
shameless-li wrote:
<quoted text>
and where might that be?
and are they safe neighborhoods?
the middle class is being pushed out, the rich can afford to live in nice area's with security, the very poor just don't care about anything.
it has nothing to do with living within your means.
90% of Long Island is safe, its not Detroit here.

90% of Long Island is Safe, its not Detriot here!
Teachers

New York, NY

#12 Jun 17, 2009
SHUTTHEPFLUGERUP wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, then post some of these "facts" you speak of ****! We're all waiting! Don't just show $, but the amount of time it takes, real examples of pensions, not the phony bs you post!
Here is a Report of teacher salaries by School districts. Its a big report so just search for you school ditrict to see hwo many teachers are paid what

http://emsc33.nysed.gov/irts/pmf/2007-08/2008...
Pfluger the Union Monkey

Boston, MA

#13 Jun 17, 2009
SHUTTHEPFLUGERUP wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, then post some of these "facts" you speak of ****! We're all waiting! Don't just show $, but the amount of time it takes, real examples of pensions, not the phony bs you post!
I've posted them over and over and over. You can spout off all you like. People that are paying attention know the deal.
Pfluger the Union Monkey

Boston, MA

#14 Jun 17, 2009
They hate when I post facts, so they attack me. Its cool with me.

Its despicable that the utter contempt these union monkeys have for the taxpayer. Some are so mission focused, that they live in a bubble, and truly believe that they deserve these riches for what they do. Others are just greedy bashtards, in it for their own benefit.

Deutsche Bank released a report today saying that housing prices in the NY metro area will delince by 41% from today's levels, based on their econometric models, which include affordability. Taxes are the major issue. But the unions don't care. They all just want theirs.
teacher teacher

Elizabeth, NJ

#15 Jun 18, 2009
The union monkey is ignorant and obviously quite unhappy with his career. Why isn't educating the future of America important and valued by you? In the business world a person with a Masters+ degree makes a nice salary, why is that ok? Educating children is the most rewarding and invigorating experience! I, as well as many of my colleagues live, teach and breathe education. That is not a simple 40 hour a week job. And for your information not all teachers get gold plated pensions and medical for the rest of their lives. Educate yourself!
Hard Times

Jacksonville, FL

#16 Jun 18, 2009
No one is addressing the fact that many students graduate from public high schools functionally illiterate, still ignorant of grammar, history and geography, and unable to calculate sales tax or tips. How much bang for the buck are the LI taxpayers, and indeed, taxpayers across America, getting for the biggest chunk of their property tax money? Why aren't students learning? Is anyone to blame? Is everyone?
broke

Elizabeth, NJ

#17 Jun 19, 2009
Teacher wrote:
That's right... I can work and serve your community as a mentor and help to raise and guide your children but because I have a passion for educating I shouldn't be your neighbor or be able to provide my kids with the same education and opportunity your children receive from me.
I appreciate what you do - yes. Do I think that it should be at the cost of living here on LI? Not really.

Articles this morning said unemployment is at an ALL TIME high on both LI and NYC.

Teachers claim they have many degrees. You must be educated enough to understand the state is in turmoil financially. We are in a recession.

I'm not saying to give up everything but everyone, including teachers, should be doing their fair share to curb spending.

If you have read any posts from the state comptroller the pension system has lost BILLIONS.

As an educated person - I ask you only one question - Where will the money come from to pay for all the pensions/ benefits/ salaries if the system is losing $?

Answer:
The taxpayers - articles have shown that within a short amount of time - about 2 years - taxes will need to go up on average 15-20% JUST to pay for pensions/ benefits/ salaries.

That WILL NOT have anything to do with paying for ANYTHING else!!!!

All I'm saying is, I think it is very fair for everyone to share the burden.

People are losing their jobs, foreclosing on their homes, getting pay freezes.

I'm not sure why teachers think they are above others? For example: Commack school unions ALL gave concessions EXCEPT for teachers! How sad is that!!!!

Everyone who pays taxes should be shown respect. Teachers are not the only ones who have a job that may touch lives and influence people.

Everyone should respect everyone else.
Pfluger the Union Monkey

Boston, MA

#18 Jun 19, 2009
teacher teacher wrote:
The union monkey is ignorant and obviously quite unhappy with his career. Why isn't educating the future of America important and valued by you? In the business world a person with a Masters+ degree makes a nice salary, why is that ok? Educating children is the most rewarding and invigorating experience! I, as well as many of my colleagues live, teach and breathe education. That is not a simple 40 hour a week job. And for your information not all teachers get gold plated pensions and medical for the rest of their lives. Educate yourself!
Ignorant? Ha. You are full of rhetoric. Not qualified to be teaching students.

Look up OPEBs and underfunded public pensions. Sorry that you have to resort to name calling, teach.
Realist

AOL

#19 Jun 20, 2009
SHUTTHEPFLUGERUP wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, then post some of these "facts" you speak of ****! We're all waiting! Don't just show $, but the amount of time it takes, real examples of pensions, not the phony bs you post!
Hry Pfluger, I think Ed Burke has a new name, boy you really get under his skin
Realist

AOL

#20 Jun 20, 2009
teacher teacher wrote:
The union monkey is ignorant and obviously quite unhappy with his career. Why isn't educating the future of America important and valued by you? In the business world a person with a Masters+ degree makes a nice salary, why is that ok? Educating children is the most rewarding and invigorating experience! I, as well as many of my colleagues live, teach and breathe education. That is not a simple 40 hour a week job. And for your information not all teachers get gold plated pensions and medical for the rest of their lives. Educate yourself!
1. You are not educating today, you are teaching to state standard tests. If your Union had any balls, they would stand up to the politicians and tell them to take the standard tests and stick them where the sun doesn't shine so you could go back to educating. But your union wants this type of system because you the teacher only need to produce the results required by the state, which are not that high. Lets turn the clock back to when I was in school, those were teachers, who by the way also worked the cafetria and playgorund, punched in on a time clock and punched out. We had 35 to 40 kids in the class and we all learned and passed. High School, we had more kids in the class and guess what, we all passed although we had 3 tracks, something you can't do today. And that was from 1962 to 1976.

2. Not all people in the business world with Masters degree plus, make a nice salary. The difference here is you only know about the ones who have been successful, the duds have been shown the door, something that can't happen to a teacher after three years. The achievers produce revenue for the company they work for and are compansated for it. By the way, most in business are not getting raises or bonuses this year, are the teachers?

3. I am happy you live for education and commend you for it. Not everyone likes their job,and thanks for teaching those kids how to pass the tests. And I am sorry but you do have a less than 40 hour a week job.

4. Please tell us who the have nots are in your last comment regrding the gold plated pensions, I would like to see that.

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