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Union curbs rescue a Wisconsin school district

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posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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Union curbs rescue a Wisconsin school district



"This is a disaster," said Mark Miller, the Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader, in February after Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed a budget bill that would curtail the collective bargaining powers of some public employees. Miller predicted catastrophe if the bill were to become law -- a charge repeated thousands of times by his fellow Democrats, union officials, and protesters in the streets.
Now the bill is law, and we have some very early evidence of how it is working. And for one beleaguered Wisconsin school district, it's a godsend, not a disaster.

The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it's all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they'll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.

Of course, Wisconsin unions had offered to make benefit concessions during the budget fight. Wouldn't Kaukauna's money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions and not demanded cutbacks in collective bargaining powers?

"The monetary part of it is not the entire issue," says Arnoldussen, a political independent who won a spot on the board in a nonpartisan election. Indeed, some of the most important improvements in Kaukauna's outlook are because of the new limits on collective bargaining.

In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," says Arnoldussen. "Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor." This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.



Read more at the Washington Examiner: washingtonexaminer.com...




posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:29 PM
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Looks like the law the Republican Govenor pushed might have actually had the right idea with the changes to collective bargaining. At least one school district in Wisconcin has been able to go from being 400 in the hole to 1.2 million in savings from being able to make changes with the unions in an acceptable manner.

A good read and some ffod for thought on this law.
edit on 1-7-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:39 PM
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Union thugs will not like this.

You have been warned.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by Carseller4
Union thugs will not like this.

You have been warned.


Well being the article I posted actually places the Unions in the hotseat for some of their practices I would say they can be upset all they want, but in this case they are why the distrcit was having funding issues.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:57 PM
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Good news!
And I'd like to repeat, the union thugs, fans of thugs, progressives will hate it.

They'll do everything in their power to turn this into a nightmare for everyone else. To hell with the students, to hell with the jobs saved. . . . . . it's just about their benefits!

I'd like to see this dominoe to other states!



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


You'll get your wish soon enough. Then they can repeal the rest of the laws that guarentee worker rights. I'm glad you have a job where you get breaks, a meal period, vacation, sick leave, etc. It cost union thugs their lives less than a hundred years ago for you to be so smug.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


A friend of mine posted this on facebook, and I will give you the same response:

There may be a good feeling now, all of that could have been avoided by not lowering tax benefits for corporations in Michigan. They get much more money government than teachers do, and are probably more detrimental than teachers as well. But not many focus on that (downside of a corporate supported mainstream media). It's like the old joke: there is a union member, teapartier and a CEO at a table with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO takes 11 cookies and says to the teapartier "watch out for that union guy he might steal your cookie.

Gov. Walker should have been recalled

Off topic: when I saw this in my RSS feed I said, I bet Xcathdra made this thread.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra

Originally posted by Carseller4
Union thugs will not like this.

You have been warned.


Well being the article I posted actually places the Unions in the hotseat for some of their practices I would say they can be upset all they want, but in this case they are why the distrcit was having funding issues.


The unions aren't elected. School boards are. They also approve the budgets for the schools...not the teachers or the unions, but the oh so awesome businessmen and women that are for the most part, antichild. If it can save a ten spot annually, people don't care about kids. Take your hate elsewhere.



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