SEARCH BLOG: EDUCATION and GOV. WALKER
But then, in my opinion, Governor Walker's administration went way too far. He became a communist. He wanted something for nothing. He wanted to change the rules so that the rewards of others' labor and effort went to his administration. He was no longer operating under conservative principles; he was operating as an unprincipled conservative.
This will explain it:
The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) General Counsel Peter Davis has confirmed that a new rule recently approved by Governor Walker, together with Act 10, will prohibit school districts and other governmental bodies from including most so-called "add-ons" in the pay scales of new contracts. While years-of-experience add-ons largely will be preserved, additional education, advanced degrees and most other add-ons will be prohibited from being put in the contract.
This will hit all public sector workers hard, but will teachers the hardest.
Davis agreed and said that a commonly used "guesstimate" for the effect of the changes was that about 30% of the wages actually paid to teachers would not be counted as part of the total wages. [source]No, it doesn't quite explain it. You have to understand that teachers, as most professionals, are normally paid based on experience and qualifications. Some jobs require just the basic qualifications, so pay is set based on those basic qualifications. Pay increases come over a period of time as experience and working knowledge increase.
But some jobs require special skills and knowledge. You don't go to a general practitioner for delicate brain surgery; you don't ask a teacher with basic skills to teach deaf children with learning or physical disabilities. Yet under the new "Act 10" legislation, that is exactly what Gov. Walker's administration is demanding. Teaching positions that required advanced degrees were paid a premium for that knowledge and skill. Now, although the knowledge and skills may be necessary, those teachers will no longer receive the "add on" pay that should be attached to the skills. Try doing that with your brain surgeon.
As an example of how this will play out, below is the pay scale for the Monticello School District's teachers. Previously, the maximum a teacher could earn in the district was $52,927-- which is what someone who has a Masters degree, 24 hours of college credit and 12 years of experience is paid. Under the new rule, the maximum a teacher will be able to earn in future contracts is $38,167, which is the maximum for a teacher that has the minimum educational requirements, but many years of experience.
Sorry Governor Walker, but as a die-hard conservative, even I find that unprincipled. I'd say Wisconsin has swung the pendulum just a bit too far with regard to teachers' pay and benefits... especially using a technicality like "add-ons" to take away legitimately earned pay. That is classic redistribution of wealth.
So, Governor Walker, don't call yourself a conservative anymore. You're giving us a bad name.