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Today’s number: $105,733

Friday, Sep 23, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Hmm…


…Adding… Just to be clear, I don’t necessarily think that the teacher salary/benefit package is too sweet on paper. They do a very difficult job under often impossible conditions.

But the automobile unions pitched in when the Great Recession nearly wiped out their industry. The CTU could learn at least a lesson or two from that experience.

       

186 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    Cameron is just jealous. He should try living in Chicago on less than &80,000.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    Boy, I bet people are fighting tooth and nail to get those jobs.


  3. - Not It - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:39 am:

    When you factor the two months off for summer, you end up with $91,197.

    I’m also a public sector employee whose had their job eliminated twice in the past five years. My salary is now just above half what I made five years ago, and I have a MPA and student loans.

    Forgive me if I don’t feel sorry for the teachers who are arguing over how big their raises should be.


  4. - old pol - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    Now let’s see the median salary of parochial school and charter school teachers in Chicago.


  5. - Wordslinger - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:42 am:

    A middle-class living wage, health insurance and a pension, for a lifetime of teaching roomfuls of children, day in, day out, year after year?

    What’s this world coming to?


  6. - PublicServant - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    Good to see you back, Word, and perfectly put.


  7. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    Oh yea, people are lining up round the block to apply for those sweet sweet teaching jobs….

    “Superintendent study: Illinois facing “severe, growing” teacher shortage”

    https://capitolfax.com/2016/01/11/superintendent-study-illinois-facing-severe-growing-teacher-shortage/


  8. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    No wonder they want to go on strike


  9. - Aldyth - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    Median means that half of the salaries are above $78,000 plus benefits. I’d be curious about those salaries and the requirements to be eligible for them.


  10. - AlfodgoGonz - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    47th Ward

    I’m an attorney who is employed by the State of Illinois and makes a smidge less than 60k. I live in Chicago and am burdened by student load debt. I also work summers. If these teachers can’t manage on that salary, perhaps they need to take a class themselves.


  11. - Jack - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    It’s a reasonable middle-class wage for an incredibly important job. The disconnect is if you ask a person on the street how much teachers make they’d guess something much lower. And it’s that disconnect that makes it hard for the general public to respect teachers as the professionals they are and that makes attracting the best candidates to the field. There should be more public awareness around this–not because teachers make “too much” money by any means, but to elevate the status of what is arguably the most important profession out there.


  12. - DHSBob - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    Was this study published by the Illinois Policy Institute? You can almost never trust information like this because it is always directed to favor one side instead of being impartial.


  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    AlfodgoGonz, do your clients swear at you, hit you, and throw books at you and then come back the next day to do it all over again?


  14. - chi - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    Teachers should make much more than that. There are not many more important jobs for our society than a teacher.


  15. - Name Withheld - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    ===When you factor the two months off for summer, you end up with $91,197.===

    No. Teachers have an option to either take their salary over the school year, or the calendar year. It’s the same amount regardless. If they take it over the school year, then they don’t get paid during the summer. If they take it over the calendar year - then they get a smaller paycheck each pay period. Either way - they’re taking home the same amount of money at the end of the year regardless of how you split it up.

    Additionally and anecdotally, a lot of teachers I know use their summer for taking classes to keep up their certificates.

    So let’s not imply that the teachers are diving in piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck, especially when many of them pay for supplies with their own money.


  16. - NobodysAccountable - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    Like anything else, as long as you can afford it……….


  17. - Joe M - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    Across all companies, the average CEO pay was $13.8 million per year, the average median worker pay was about $77,800.
    https://www.glassdoor.com/research/ceo-pay-ratio/

    And Cameron wants to take issue with teachers making $78,000 for the important and demanding work they do?


  18. - Jocko - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    How’d they come up with 27K in benefits?


  19. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    There is no shortage of teachers in Chicago. Teaching positions are filled immediately with huge amounts of applicants.


  20. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    Seems about right for a college-educated public employee in the City of Chicago in the middle of their career.


  21. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    Probably the 16% pension match CPS pays plus gold plate healthcare benefits .


  22. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Aldofo, you are severely underpaid. Rather than begrudge another person making a living wage to support one’s family, you should be lobbying your agency or supervisor for better pay. I understand where you are coming from because I was in the same exact boat as you.


  23. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    Median household income in Chicago was $50k in 2015.


  24. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Chicago’s median family income was $59k in 2015.


  25. - steward - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    If it’s the median then that means half make less.

    I wonder why they didn’t publish the mean…


  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Governor Bruce Rauner thought highly enough of teachers in Chicago that with one hand he clouted his denied Winnetka-living daughter into Payton Prep over a worthy child that never got a chance…

    … and wrote an email about the percentage of functioning illiterate teachers in CPS.

    I think if the Governor, or any of the Governor’s supporters want to go after this, they need to keep in mind, as far as a “business decision” goes, Diana and Bruce Rauner must feel Chicago teachers are “worth it”.

    Right? Exactly right.

    So, Raunerites, have at it!


  27. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    With respect to the “concern” about summers “off.” Please keep a couple of things in mind. 1) Teachers do not get vacation days. 2) During the school year, teachers work typically work between 50 and 60 hours a week or more (planning and grading take a lot of time and take place outside of the classroom). 3) Teachers spend a significant amount of time in the summer preparing for the next school year and are required to undertake documented professional development.

    Most teachers easily work 2080 hours/yr, the equivalent of 40 hours/wk/yr.

    You are welcome to argue whether the folks we rely on to teach our children should ear $78K, but please drop the “summers off” stuff.


  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    What is Bill Cameron’s gross salary? How much is his entire benefit package valued at? How much time off from work does he get? Once we know that, maybe we will have to send this highly educated and dynamic individual an application to work in one of the toughest educational environments in America. I’m sure he could provide a huge boost to the quality of the teaching in CPS….and publish his own school newspaper too!!!


  29. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    Thanks to @Wordslinger for your comments, and good to see you back and active. If it was up to me, you would get an award for best week of posting ever!

    To the post- the number and benefits listed was the “median” salary or middle. So, many make more and many make less 50/50. None of the teachers start at $100k.

    What would be interesting is to know how many years of experience and what education level does that median number represent.

    In nearly every field of endeavor experience and education are a significant factor in determining compensation.

    In fact Career builder listed the two factors as a combined #1-

    http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2014/07/15/6-essential-factors-determining-compensation/

    The size of the pool for CPS teachers is not the greatest either. People do read and watch TV. The coverage of CPS has not really been material for an educators paradise highlight film.

    For those that have to live in CPS, the cost of living is substantially higher than in most of the rest of the Midwest, not just Illinois.

    None of that will be satisfactory to the people who simply want educators or public employees to be paid minimum wage and like it. And, personally, I don’t give a hoot about their opinion anyway.


  30. - Federalist - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    Higher salary than for many long time tenured university faculty but that is another issue.

    This is a very good salary and benefits but it is not beyond the pale by any means- particularly if you live in Chicago.

    Nevertheless the number of people making far, far less (even with college degrees) makes this a target for resentment. That is unless they had to ‘teach’ in many of these schools for decades on end.


  31. - cdog - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:06 am:

    This would be acceptable if the school year was changed.

    Twelve months of school, with standard week long breaks, would benefit children, families, and taxpayers.

    I have friends and relatives which are teachers. The entitlement they display concerning their “summer’s off,” benefits, pay, hours worked and effort given, puts them in a very special group of entitled people.

    Start moving these at risk kids and schools to year round. Maybe use a little leverage… COLA? Steps? Sure, for 12 months of work.


  32. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:09 am:

    Let’s see that by years of experience in the teaching profession( not just the years employed by CPS), education, and subject- and eliminate coaches.

    I don’t care how much you’d pay me, I would never be a teacher because I don’t have the patience needed.


  33. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    I think most people will be surprised by the salary and benefit package CTU members get and will be puzzled why they are voting to go on strike

    As several have mentioned, the average salary for Chicago residents who pay these salaries is considerably less.

    For those who question the wisdom of going on strike, recall that the April day of protest (one day strike) was considerably less popular than the 2012 strike.


  34. - TintDancer(FKA Sue) - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    The “free market” will fix this. These overly generous salaries will attract more teacher candidates into the field which will drive wages down.
    Oh, wait:

    http://www.rebootillinois.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IllinoisTeacherShortage_12-10-15_kd-2.pdf


  35. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    I really credit teachers for the very important jobs they do, particularly CPS teachers, who have some of the most challenging jobs.

    I have very fond memories of CPS teachers, and how dedicated many were. Some went above and beyond the call of duty, to counsel some of us and offer advice for problems that were outside of the classroom.

    I can see why teachers are popular and most definitely believe that they should be compensated well.


  36. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Lol @ zumper cited rents of $1800 for a 1 bedroom apartment. The median rent in Chicago is around $1000. That includes all unit sizes.


  37. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    @CDOG-

    =Twelve months of school, with standard week long breaks, would benefit children, families, and taxpayers.=

    There is research to support year round school. It has been happening in some areas of the country for decades (California comes to mind). But the breaks aren’t “standard” as you state and they are typically more than one week.

    For at-risk and struggling learners, the year-round model presents several advantages. Primarily there is less “loss” due to the extended summer break (which was created in part during a time when farm families needed kids to help). Shorter breaks translates to less need for review and less knowledge loss.

    You make a good point there.

    Schools are not responsible to taxpayers per say, that is not the mission but it is part of the politicians narrative.

    Our mission is to educate children. I try to provide good value for the investment. BUt there are many citizen groups that do not pay taxes that also have the right to expectations as well. In Illinois, disabled veterans (depending on their level of disability) are exempt from property taxes. They still have a right to a voice and an expectation as well as the right to vote. We believe we have a responsibility to our larger community to provide an excellent education.


  38. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    ==I’m an attorney who is employed by the State of Illinois and makes a smidge less than 60k.==

    Then you’re not mid-career, which is the comparison point here.

    $78k in Chicago after (20?) years of work and at least one university degree is no life of luxury, friends.

    Shame on whoever says so.


  39. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    Lol @Ron. Get a dictionary. Median vs. Average.


  40. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    I’m very very happy that that is the median salary for a teacher. They deserve that and more in my opinion. Keep in mind THIS IS MEDIAN not AVERAGE. It is right in the middle of what teachers make. (If indeed the numbers are correct as statistics are now a dark art)

    IT IS NOT WHAT MOST TEACHERS MAKE!!!!! MEDIAN folks MEDIAN!

    So haters, please work towards a little self-differentiation. Just because you feel they don’t deserve that because you don’t get that doesn’t mean that your opinion is correct.

    Be happy that teachers are able to have a middle class life doing something immeasurably valuable for their city and state, paying taxes and supporting their communities economically. Volume of money people. Nearly every single dollar gets plowed back into the economic veins of the community. Unlike EDGE tax incentives that go straight into the investor and owner class from the coffers of the state. 215,000,000 dollars last year went to large corporations that barely pay the first nickel in corporate taxes. Those corporate income taxes and withholding taxes should have gone into our coffers but instead never had to be remitted. Here we are worried about people leaving our state. Pshhaaa, let’s just stop the bleeding on corporate welfare.


  41. - Just Observing - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    === The average rent on a 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago is 1,800. ===

    Not even close. The last place I rented in Chicago was around five years ago — my rent was $1,100 for a decently updated, two bedroom condo in west Lakeview/Logan Square area. There are certainly places much more expensive and certainly much cheaper — but no way avg. one bed is $1,800.


  42. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    JS Mill, yeah sure. The one bedroom average is $1800, but the median for all apartments was $985 in 2015?


  43. - Just Observing - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    There are great discrepancies in teacher pay from district to district (especially in the Chicago region). CPS pays very, very well, especially considering the amount of time off (summer vacation, winter vacation, and spring break).

    And teacher jobs are not difficult to fill — particularly in the Chicago region (it might differ elsewhere) — but for every open teaching position, there are scores if not hundreds of applicants.


  44. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    Why do you use zumper as a source of rents? It’s a luxury rental agency that uses there listings only.

    The ACS median rent in Chicago for 2015 is $985.


  45. - pc - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    “plus $27,564 in benefits” … that we are desperately trying to take away


  46. - jerry 101 - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    I would not teach at a Chicago school for only $78k. Not a chance. How many people would?
    Teachers are underpaid.


  47. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    –The “free market” will fix this.–

    That’s right just like the “invisible hand” is going to fix our Rauner devastated private sector social service agencies! s/

    Ounce of Prevention commercial in three, two, one


  48. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    Jerry 101, thousands of teachers are willing to teach in Chicago. Open positions are filled instantaneously.


  49. - Just Observing - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:29 am:

    === Across all companies, the average CEO pay was $13.8 million per year, the average median worker pay was about $77,800.
    https://www.glassdoor.com/research/ceo-pay-ratio/ ===

    Your source is the median worker pay at S&P 500 companies — not the median worker pay in the U.S. which is surely much lower.


  50. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    Two thoughts. First, that median salary seems about right. I would bet the median teacher salary in New Trier or Naperville would dwarf that salary. It’s fair to say that most Chicago schools are a more dangerous place to teach.
    Second, why the animus toward Bill Cameron? He was quoting a statistic, a statement of fact. This was not an opinion piece.


  51. - simple mind - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    Wanted to fact check this, For my local schools I can find the teachers contract on the school disctrict web pages in about thirty seconds. Why can’t I find the teachers contract with salery schedules on the cps or Chicago board of education sites? I thought that it was required of all district web sites to post the contract?


  52. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    I don’t have clients, I work for the courts. As to being severely underpaid, I disagree. I am a young attorney and I think I earn a fair wage.


  53. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    CPS website has an excel file.


  54. - Just Observing - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    === With respect to the “concern” about summers “off.” Please keep a couple of things in mind. 1) Teachers do not get vacation days. 2) During the school year, teachers work typically work between 50 and 60 hours a week or more (planning and grading take a lot of time and take place outside of the classroom). 3) Teachers spend a significant amount of time in the summer preparing for the next school year and are required to undertake documented professional development.

    Most teachers easily work 2080 hours/yr, the equivalent of 40 hours/wk/yr.

    You are welcome to argue whether the folks we rely on to teach our children should ear $78K, but please drop the “summers off” stuff. ===

    1. Teachers do in fact get days off. Not as many as one would get in another job, but that’s because they get around 3-3.5 months off (not just summer, but winter, spring, and other holidays).

    2. Some teachers spend time outside of the classroom with grading and whatnot, but for many, it is minimal or not at all.

    3. Most teachers don’t spend that much time in the Summer preparing. And they don’t have that much PD — often PD is offered during school hours.

    I’m not knocking the profession by any means, but I’ve been around many teachers and I’m just being real.


  55. - James Knell - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    I’ll wait for the comment on investment bankers salary thread…


  56. - Annoin' - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    Is $105K supposed to be a lot in 2016?
    Ballplayers like Stan Musial got $100K in ‘59 & ‘60 It was a lot then.
    BTW face value of a lower deck WS game in STL was $8.00


  57. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:47 am:

    Of course $105k is a lot. The median household income in Chicago was $50,700 in 2015.


  58. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    I am shocked by the percentage of people who don’t think 80k is fair compensation. That’s more than the average combined income for most homes in America. I’d personally consider 80k a king’s ransom.


  59. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    Ron - Citing the median income in Chicago isn’t meaningful unless you break it out by profession and education. Or do you think teachers should be paid the same as part time help at McDonakds? You really think ‘ do you want fries with that’ = teaching algebra to 8th graders and freshman?


  60. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    =And teacher jobs are not difficult to fill — particularly in the Chicago region (it might differ elsewhere) — but for every open teaching position, there are scores if not hundreds of applicants. =

    Your source for this information?

    Ever consider the possibility that the licensure “numbers” may be concentrated areas where the needs are not as high, leaving other areas short of candidates?

    Also the fact the recent licensure changes have put greater limitations on what a teacher is now qualified to teach. This impacts schools ability to fill positions.

    For every New Trier there are ten other districts that have a hard time filling positions.

    And of course Illinois is not simply limited to high paying wealthy suburbs. There is the whole other 95% of the state.


  61. - cdog - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:54 am:

    JS Mill, thank you for your soft ear and kind words regarding year round school. We are in agreement.

    It would be interesting to hear a valid argument against year round school, if there is one.

    Citizens, in a classic sense, should expect this in the 21st century.


  62. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    Teachers don’t make too much money, they should be paid more. What I have a problem with is: tenure and gaurantee pensions.

    I know several teachers very well, close friends. I hear the horror stories about horrible teachers who can’t be let go because of tenure. It is like navigating the tax code written in Chinese to be able to get rid of lousy teachers who happen to be tenured. It is a lousy system and should be changed. With regards to pensions - I don’t believe anyone should have a gaurantee pension/health care funded by taxpayers, period.


  63. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:03 am:

    100% agree with allknowingmasterofracoondom


  64. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    All knowing - teachers don’t get social security meaning taxpayers don’t pay the employer part of that tax. And the IRS won’t let the employer just say ‘ maybe I’ll fund it next year’. So pay now or pay later- which is your preference?


  65. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    Elminate pensions and put teachers on SSI. Problem solved.


  66. - cdog - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    I guess all the peeps agreeing with the CPS salary median, and the retirement funding obligations that go with it, are cool with the property taxes it takes to maintain that.

    I am not.

    (I do acknowledge the horse is out of the barn, but in a near zero growth environment, it’s ridiculous to raise compensation. CTU should try to be part of the needed solutions, not one of the main problems.)


  67. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    cdog, I’m not cool with it. It’s completely outrageous that taxpayers are on the hook guaranteeing investment returns that defy the market.


  68. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    Pay now. Put them in the wonderful Social Security system the rest of us are forced to enjoy. Deal.


  69. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:13 am:

    @cdog- I really cannot recall hearing or reading any research or data based argument against year round school.

    Typically, that also means additional days of instruction and changes to most collective bargaining agreements. Teachers will want more compensation usually (I hear that when ever the subject is broached and that may be based on how the contracts are written these days. This will also be true for teaching assistants.

    Transportation costs will also increase if you add days of instruction since you will transport additional days. That funding is already down by nearly 70% from the state.

    Those are not reasons against year round schools, but they are issues that will have to be addressed on going that way.


  70. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    =Pay now. Put them in the wonderful Social Security system the rest of us are forced to enjoy. Deal.=

    Pay me my equivalent private sector salary (years of experience, education level, responsibilities) now. Put me in the wonderful Social Security system the rest of are forced to enjoy (refund all my pension contributions with interest or investment increases). Deal.

    Fixed it for you. Deal.


  71. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    - Ron -

    Teachers are taxpayers too.

    You’re welcome.


  72. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    I’m sure the city would be much better off refunding the 2% contribution of CTU members and putting them on SSI.


  73. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    “But the automobile unions pitched in when the Great Recession nearly wiped out their industry. The CTU could learn at least a lesson or two from that experience.” Spare me the lame
    “shared sacrifice” arguments. The “Great Recession” was in 2008 and you think public employees should in perpetuity get no cost of living increases? While private sector employees are seeing rising wages?


  74. - PublicServant - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    ===As several have mentioned, the average salary for Chicago residents who pay these salaries is considerably less.===

    The average Chicagoan doesn’t have an advanced degree…

    Another misleading fact, that is irrelevant.


  75. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    My retirement is not taxpayer guaranteed. The taxpayers contribute almost nothing to my retirement at all.


  76. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    What a scam, teachers font need advanced degrees to teach elementary school.


  77. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    When was the last year a CTU member didn’t receive an increase in salary?


  78. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    JS Mill- I’d agree to that. Refund your pension contribution, less 6.2% FICA. Pay you what you can negotiate for 12 months of work. Oh, and there’s no retiring in your 50s with Social Security, more like 65-67. You honestly believe you’d come out on top? Once again, deal.


  79. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    - Ron -

    Go teach if you’re so jealous. No one is stopping you

    That pesky constitution is there to stop the raiding of pensions.

    Gov. Rauner doesn’t think it’s a scam. Bruce and Diana clouted their denied Winnetka-living daughter to be taught by Chicago teachers… so there’s that.

    Happy Friday!


  80. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    ===and you think public employees should in perpetuity get no cost of living increases?===

    Argue like an adult. I never said that. Grow up.


  81. - Just Observing - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    =And teacher jobs are not difficult to fill — particularly in the Chicago region (it might differ elsewhere) — but for every open teaching position, there are scores if not hundreds of applicants. =

    === === Your source for this information?… And of course Illinois is not simply limited to high paying wealthy suburbs. There is the whole other 95% of the state. === ===

    My source is my wife, family, friends, and acquaintances who are teachers and administrators. I know good, educated, trained people where it might take them a couple years just to land a teaching job because jobs are so competitive. One principal I know said a typical elementary school position might have hundreds of applicants.

    As to your 95 percent of the rest of the state — I acknowledged in my original post there could be differences throughout the state. But trust me, there are plenty of Chicago-area school districts not paying big money.


  82. - Daniel Plainview - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    - at least a lesson or two from that experience. -

    What lesson? That even during a massive economic downturn we’re never going to talk about skyrocketing executive compensation or the extreme concentration of capital among those that caused it, and instead that the middle class will just have to suck it up?

    Great.


  83. - GetOverIt - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    I should have kept on teaching, I would have been better off. That being said, I don’t mind teachers making what they make. I also see the contrast between their pay and that of CEO’s and other executives, and the actual value of services rendered.

    However, when my property taxes are increased to provide for teacher raises, pension pickups and other benefits I get a little hot under the collar and demand that the city negotiate hard, but fair, with CTU. CTU only cares about its members; it does not care about student achievement and its not supposed to and I’m cool with that.

    The greater point here (enter dead horse, if that’s possible), is dollars should follow students and not districts; and relying on property taxes to fund education is just not working. We gotta expand the tax base so that everyone is investing in education, otherwise there will never be enough to do enough.


  84. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    Daniel, you’re another one who should learn to stop arguing like a child.

    The auto workers made a big sacrifice to keep their companies alive during extremely trying times. Now, their companies are thriving and that’s been beneficial to the workers. Note the billion dollars the UAW negotiated in capital improvements at the Chicago Ford plant, in addition to better wages.

    So, stay on topic and grow the heck up. Or leave. Suit yourself.


  85. - Jason Horwitz - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    I wonder whether that benefit number includes payments for unfunded pension benefits for previous employees. If so, that doesn’t reflect the actual benefits received by Tier 2 teachers, for example.


  86. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:50 am:

    I cannot speak personally to the quality of CPS teachers. I do know that when I worked at City Hall in Chicago, each and every one of my co-workers with school age children sent them to private school. Draw your own inferences.


  87. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:50 am:

    The current budget for CPS has an operating deficit of 1.1 billion dollars.

    Total annual pay and benefits for CPS is $ 2.4 billion for salary and just over $ 900 million in benefits. For a total of $3,300,427,483.

    Do the teachers really believe there is a net pay raise in their future? A flat contract is much better for them than massive layoffs of the teachers with more seniority and higher pay.


  88. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:50 am:

    I’d really like to look at the breakouts–years of service, education, etc.–of that statistic, because it does seem pretty high to me.

    Also, I’d like to point out that I don’t think anyone is arguing that teachers don’t deserve decent compensation. I think the argument is what decent compensation means.

    For instance, I’m working in a field that basically requires a masters degree for entry and my salary after many years could top out at $75K in the Chicago private sector market.


  89. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    The Illinois Constitution is an abomination to fairness. I am a serf to public workers in this state.


  90. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    Last Bull Moose, I can speak directly to CTU teacher quality. Like with anything, there are absolutely fabulous teachers and there are trolls that are useless. The problem is those trolls can’t be fired.


  91. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    ===The Illinois Constitution is an abomination to fairness.===

    “Backdraft”…

    “See you next year, Ronald”


  92. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    –The Illinois Constitution is an abomination to fairness. I am a serf to public workers in this state.–

    Ron, what’s the ballpark figure that Chicago teachers should be paid that would assuage your envy, anger and serfdom?

    As to your serdom, I’d suggest you take a cursory look at the history of human beings on Planet Earth. Despite the ups and downs, being born a white dude in the United States, today, is about the best starting point offered, to date.

    Try to make the best of it.


  93. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    Fantastic point Lucky, if they want a raise and continue the 16% pension match from CPS, they will simply lose members as CPS is forced to shrink the workforce to make payroll.


  94. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    == My retirement is not taxpayer guaranteed. ==

    Ron, do you pay Social Security and FICA?

    If you do, then you have a defined benefit pension (Social Security) with health insurance (Medicare), disability benefits, and even a bit of life insurance (the death benefit) … all US taxpayer guaranteed!


  95. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    Teachers salaries seem fair enough now. The issue is the obscene pensions and healthcare benefits.


  96. - Winnin' - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:02 pm:

    Spot on, Rich. Spot on. Tired of CTU foaming at the mouth.


  97. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Lol RNUG! I will never get close to the amount back I pay into SSI! And its not guaranteed! In fact, benefits and retirement ages change all the time.


  98. - Earnest - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:05 pm:

    >The issue is the obscene pensions and healthcare benefits.

    Their pension benefits aren’t the issue. It’s the payments we skipped but still owe. Politicians skipped those payments and we let them. If we’re going to be angry, let’s be angry at politicians now who aren’t dealing with this while the hold gets ever deeper. If I were the CTU, I think my response would be, we’re prepared to sacrifice but won’t do so until certain economic stability related reforms are passed.


  99. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    You can tell it’s a super-sweet gig because of all the people battering down the door to have the privilege of teaching in Chicago’s public schools, rite?

    – MrJM


  100. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    And the guaranteed returns and retirement ages as people live longer and longer. Pensions will sink Illinois. End them now.

    The healthcare benefits are obscene as well.


  101. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    =The taxpayers contribute almost nothing to my retirement at all.=

    At Robt the 1st-

    Uh, give me the 12 years of SSI contributions back, with interest, that I made and supplement your retirement years because I will never get that money back. I maxed out several of those years BTW.

    I pay the full the contributions to my pension at 10% (TRS, TRIP combined) so SSI would be a reduction to me. We pay Medicare as well as Teachers Retirement Insurance Program deductions (TRIp) by the time I retire I will have paid in excess of $60,000 in pre-paid premiums for the program, one that is not private sector funded (I am most certainly a taxpayer and pay plenty).

    So you are welcome on subsidizing Medicare for you and others as well. I won’t wait for any Christmas cards though.

    And that subsidy is on top of my federal income tax money that has bailed out SSI over the years. No thanks needed there, just doing my part as a citizen and taxpayer and voter.

    And I will not retire until my 60’s as 60 is the earliest I can receive any pension by TRS rules and will go well beyond that anyway(I started this career later).

    I negotiate on my own, no tenure, no union, just little old me. My contracts are mine.

    I know I would come out on top. Compared to the equivalent executive I am compensated well below the average.


  102. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    Also, to the person I deleted who bemoaned the fact that taxpayers are still owed money from the auto bailout, I’m sorry. I just got sick of hearing silly stuff.

    Why was your point silly? Because it actually made my case. Everybody had skin in the game, including taxpayers and workers. It was worth the price of avoiding a complete meltdown of the auto industry, including Ford’s supplier network, which likely would’ve meant Ford’s destruction. That’s why Ford supported the bailout.

    So, sorry again. But try to think things through and avoid stupid national political talking points.


  103. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    @Just Observing- At least cite something concrete.The teachers you know do little to no hiring.

    What you stated about elementary ed teaching was very true just a few short years ago. Not today except for a very limited number of districts. In Illinois, most of our teachers come out of Illinois universities. That is mainly due to Illinois’ lack of direct reciprocity and specific requirements. Before you say it I will, that is just simply absurd. The IASA has been pushing for changes and we might see some movement now, but Illinois teaching program numbers are down significantly across the Board.

    The candidate pools have decreased significantly, even at the big name wealthy districts. Just a fact.


  104. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    == If I were the CTU, I think my response would be, we’re prepared to sacrifice but won’t do so until certain economic stability related reforms are passed. ==

    And there is the rub! Since the IL SC has not enforced payments into the pension system, how does the current board legally agree to contractually enforceable future payments into the pension system?

    The obvious method would be to issue pension bonds today for the full amount of the shortage and place all the money received in the CTS pension fund. But that has two drawbacks: most likely it will (a) require dedicating a new revenue steam (read new tax) and (b) cost more than just muddling through slowly making up the shortfall (if you question that, see have California uses 2 different discount rates). And even if you do achieve all that, how do you then ensure actuarially proper future payments are made in a timely manner?

    I’ll just note the same issues apply to the 5 state pension systems.


  105. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    =The healthcare benefits are obscene as well.=

    Yes, we should role those back so educators can go to the emergency room for health care. Ask Stroger Hospital how that is going?

    Honestly Ron, you are such a sad little guy.

    Can I help you? Maybe set up a Go Fund Me page for victims of public employee jealousy?

    You obviously didn’t make it in the private sector and now are angry you didn’t get into the secret public employee country club.

    I want to help. Believe me.


  106. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    == I will never get close to the amount back I pay into SSI! ==

    I won’t either … but that’s the way that system works.


  107. - Oneman - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    As my grandfather used to say
    Everyone else is overpaid and you are underpaid

    When it comes down to it as much as the CTU likes to chase magical revenue (Karen Lewis’ tweet when she thought that parking meters in Montreal charged for bike parking and car parking they don’t the bike rings are just there). There is a finite revenue stream for CPS. So more teacher pay is going to mean less something else in CPS be it teachers, administrators or whatever.

    They would argue it’s a false argument but would you rather have more teachers or pay the ones you have more?


  108. - Former IL Resident - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    Out of curiosity, what would the “average” CPS teacher retiring today be drawing for a yearly pension. Say a teacher who worked in the district for ~35 years.


  109. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    Please explain how teachers and other public employees do not already have “skin in the game” by being taxpayers. And I am still waiting for an explanation of why economic events 8 years ago can justify a pay cut today.


  110. - Cathartt Representative - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    Teachers don’t get social security. Though if they worked other jobs, they are paying your social security benefits. Please thank my wife for some very generous donations. The average salary for a CPS teacher is about $64,000. There’s a difference between, mean, median, and average.


  111. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===do not already have “skin in the game” by being taxpayers===

    UAW members are also taxpayers. So, your question is stupid.


  112. - lake county democrat - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:38 pm:

    Once again, this debate is done in a vacuum. To the CTU defenders I ask: how much more are you demanding a typical Chicago household to pay in property taxes to 1) pay the accrued pensions and 2) pay for what they’re demanding in the current negotiations. Give us a figure, not “go sue the toxic swap banks” or “get the state to reform school financing” - those aren’t current options.

    (Median household income in Chicago is $63,000, a pro-CTU comment above notes that it’s hard to live in the city under $80,000. Indeed.)


  113. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    == Out of curiosity, what would the “average” CPS teacher retiring today be drawing for a yearly pension. Say a teacher who worked in the district for ~35 years. ==

    I’ve never looked at the Chicago numbers, but it should be in their annual report.


  114. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    Since CTU members are taxpayers too, any questions that are aimed to at CTU from “taxpayers” seems ridiculous on its face.

    Until it’s realized that CTU members are taxpayers too, making any case that ignores we are all taxpayers is just dorm room ignorance to reality.


  115. - Dread Pirate Roberts - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:43 pm:

    I’m also an attorney working for the State and earning a little under $60k/year. I graduated in 2011. The economy hit jobs in the legal field pretty hard, so when I was first hired, I was happy just to have a job. I will say at first I was mad at this number and I’m not speaking for anyone else in my position, but after consideration, I realize I was just jealous. It is not easy being a teacher, especially in Chicago. I know a lot of public school teachers, they have Master’s degrees and are very dedicated to their students. Just because other fields aren’t being paid competitively, doesn’t mean teachers should be paid less. However, I will say I think these numbers are fair. I would not argue that they are being underpaid, it seems fair to me.


  116. - titan - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    The retired D.Ed. Special Education teacher I know retired after 35 years and gets a bit under $90k (gets no social security, can’t collect on her husband’s social security survivor benefits, and pays for her health insurance).


  117. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    === And I am still waiting for an explanation of why economic events 8 years ago can justify a pay cut today. ===

    It was merely an example of a union doing what was best in the long term for its members, its employers, its communities and its country.


  118. - Former IL Resident - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:47 pm:

    ==The retired D.Ed. Special Education teacher I know retired after 35 years and gets a bit under $90k (gets no social security, can’t collect on her husband’s social security survivor benefits, and pays for her health insurance).==

    Thanks. And wow….


  119. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    The City of Chicago median household income was $50,700 in 2015.


  120. - d.p.gumby - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    I’d like to see any one of you complaining about this survive 2 weeks in a Chicago classroom and then tell us how this is such an “outrageous” salary.


  121. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    It’s easy to say that other people should agree to cut their take home pay.


  122. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===The City of Chicago median household income was $50,700 in 2015===

    And that means what?

    Should LaSalle St. hustlers be capped at $50,700 a year? I kinda doubt you’d agree.

    Teachers should be paid well. I don’t even think they make too much now. All I’m saying is the city is in distress, the taxpayers are being forced to setp up and it’s time the teachers helped out in a truly significant way until the city can get through this horrible patch.


  123. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    Ron:

    I believe you’ve said that about 10 times now. Do you ever have anything to offer anyone besides your ridiculous whining drive by’s about our “abomination of a Constitution” or spewing some inane hateful comments towards public employees? It’s getting really old.


  124. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    It’s easy to say that taxpayers need to pay ever increasing amounts of money for a horrible service.


  125. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===It’s easy to say that other people===

    Yep, it is. It sure couldn’t have been easy for those UAW members, either.

    However, this is a public debate over public money.


  126. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==for a horrible service==

    Go teach in CPS schools and then get back to us.


  127. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    -Former IL Resident -.

    I got curious, so I went and looked at the 2015 Annual Report for the CPS pension fund.

    Statistical Section, page 137. For 2015, 240 people retired with 30 or more years of service (they don’t show 35). Keep in mind that after 30 years, they would have been making high salaries. The average monthly pension is $5,561.

    Interestingly enough, this is down from the previous years … and actually is lower than every year since 2009. So either teachers are now retiring with less years of service or there is less pension spiking than in the past.


  128. - Daniel Plainview - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    - The auto workers made a big sacrifice to keep their companies alive during extremely trying times. Now, their companies are thriving and that’s been beneficial to the workers. -

    Please, comparing a dying private industry to a state and city with the power to levy taxes is the real childish argument. If the teachers make sacrifices, what incentive does the mayor or governor have to explore progressive revenue options?


  129. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    Chicago as progressive taxation for school funding. Property taxes pay for cps. Guess where the vast majority of Chicago’s property taxes are levied? Commercial real estate and expensive neighborhoods .


  130. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===comparing a dying private industry to a state and city with the power to levy taxes is the real childish argument===

    OK, how much do you want taxes to go up? And which taxes?

    And unless you can show me how to get 71 and 36, you can forget about even mentioning a progressive tax. Magic beans ain’t a solution to anything.

    So enlighten us, oh great sage, about the real world taxes that you want to raise.


  131. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    OW a teacher hired before 1996 is not required to live in Chicago and is therefore not necessarily a Chicago taxpayer. There are numerous other exceptions as well.

    http://policy.cps.edu/download.aspx?ID=179


  132. - bri - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    Hi..just wanted to chime in..I’m a 22 year employee of Ford Chicago Stamping..we made sacrifices to help the company but a lot of investments made were for vehicles like the transit (that no one buys)and lot of our high volume jobs like the focus were shipped out to be made in mexico..and new employees are making half of what workers with 10 yrs or more that being said I don’t have a problem with shared sacrifice, i would do it again, it just seems sometimes at the end of it a little unballanced..btw we don’t make 70 dollars an hr, love your blog Rich!


  133. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    Lucky, I’ve always thought at a minimum, Illinois state and local government pensioners should be required to live in state to receive the pension benefits


  134. - Daniel Plainview - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    - And unless you can show me how to get 71 and 36 -

    You’re telling me that if Rauner wasn’t idealogically opposed you couldn’t get there? If CTU caves would he change his mind.

    You act like Rauner is willing to give on something. He isn’t, this is ideological, so what incentive do the teachers have?


  135. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    == I’ve always thought at a minimum, Illinois state and local government pensioners should be required to live in state to receive the pension benefits ==

    A residency requirement while employed is one thing.

    You will probably have to change Federal law if you want to try to enforce it as a condition of retirement.


  136. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    “it’s time the teachers helped out in a truly significant way until the city can get through this horrible patch.” Does anyone believe that this “horrible patch” is some temporary setback akin to a recession? All fingers point to this being a chronic long term structural and mismanagement problem. As the Illinois Supreme Court pointed out in its history lesson, pensions have been underfunded for years. What rational member of CTU would believe that a voluntary sacrifice today will magically counter years of corruption and lead to wage increases in the future?


  137. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===What rational member of CTU would believe that a voluntary sacrifice today will magically counter years of corruption and lead to wage increases in the future?===

    Good point. On the other hand, what else you got?


  138. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    –It was merely an example of a union doing what was best in the long term for its members, its employers, its communities and its country.–

    I think it’s also “merely” a matter of perspective.


  139. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===You’re telling me that if Rauner wasn’t idealogically opposed you couldn’t get there? ===

    Um, did you happen to miss the DOZEN years when Democrats had control of all three branches? Did you miss many of those years (including now) when Democrats had three-fifths majorities?

    Did you also miss the Constitution? The governor plays no official role in amendments. This isn’t about Rauner. It’s about 71 and 36. If they could (or wanted to) pass that thing, they would’ve already done it.


  140. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Unless a Chicago Teacher is a Martian… and never eats, stays, or buys a single thing ever, Chicago or not..

    Like those Raunerites “complaining” about a Chicago bailout.

    Welp, you are now arguing “all” the non-Chicago teachers aren’t “paying”…

    … tell that to the Raunerites, lol


  141. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    Who in the private sector saves 2% of their salary and gets a 16% match?

    Who saves 2% and expects to retire off of it?


  142. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===Who in the private sector…===

    This is the public sector.

    Please, do keep up.

    Thanks.


  143. - Ron - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    More of the same from OW, why do we pamper the public sector


  144. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    == Who in the private sector saves 2% of their salary and gets a 16% match? ==

    You can’t count it that way just because they were smart enough to get to CPS to pick up the employee share; that pickup is part of the employee compensation and should be credited to the employee since, in theory (although unlikely), it could go away in the next contract.


  145. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    I recognize that the public and private sectors are different.

    That pesky constitution is a prime example why in talking about pensions.

    Just because you don’t like reality doesn’t make those pointing it out wrong.

    You’re the same guy arguing that the constitution is… whatever goofy thing you’re calling it today.

    Grow up, face reality, look for answers, and spot being jealous.

    Get 71 and 36, get the constitution amended, and stop yelling at the fluffy clouds.


  146. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    OFFICIAL REPORT: Beware! Impending teacher crisis! Inevitable teacher shortage will be here soon!

    Report date: 1984

    http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED248245.pdf


  147. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    Typical dorm room argument from OW. The main source of CPS funding is property tax, not sales taxes. Martians would only pay to fund CPS it if they were residents of Chicago.


  148. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==I got curious, so I went and looked at the 2015 Annual Report for the CPS pension fund.

    Statistical Section, page 137. For 2015, 240 people retired with 30 or more years of service (they don’t show 35). Keep in mind that after 30 years, they would have been making high salaries. The average monthly pension is $5,561.

    Interestingly enough, this is down from the previous years … and actually is lower than every year since 2009. So either teachers are now retiring with less years of service or there is less pension spiking than in the past.==

    Thanks for the info, RNUG. Just for the sake of comparison, the average SS benefit check today is about $1300, while the max (which would require, among other things, not drawing SS until you’re 70) is $2600 a month.


  149. - Seymourkid - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    CPS teachers took a pay freeze for four years in a row. They also agreed to a longer work day without an increase in pay. Now they are being asked to take a 7% pay cut. How much “sacrifice” do you want?


  150. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===Typical dorm room argument from OW. The main source of CPS funding is property tax, not sales taxes. Martians would only pay to fund CPS it if they were residents of Chicago.===

    Welp, then I ding want to hear a peep when the Raunerites say “this is a Chicago CPS bailout”

    See…

    You can’t, outside the dorm room, have an action without consequences.

    You can’t argue here… it doesn’t matter, Chicago teachers don’t live in Chicago, then play the babe in the woods here… and say you shouldn’t pay for a “bailout” because you don’t live in Chicago.

    Pick a lane. That’s what adults do. Recognize what’s happening.


  151. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    Not a babe in the woods OW, there are property tax increases on the table to fund CPS. There are no proposed state income taxes on the table to fund CPS.


  152. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    –CPS teachers took a pay freeze for four years in a row. They also agreed to a longer work day without an increase in pay. Now they are being asked to take a 7% pay cut. How much “sacrifice” do you want? –

    Exactly so. But they always want more. They won’t stop till labor is totally defeated.


  153. - lake county democrat - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    We should let the kids take over CPS.

    “Ms. Lewis, you teachers make twice as much as my parents?”

    “They work in the private sector.”

    “So what? They work hard too.”

    “Stop being jealous!”

    “But this contract you’re proposing will really hurt us. Plus we have to pay for those pensions - how can we afford all this?”

    “Tough luck kid, the state constitution guarantees those pensions.”

    “My dad told me the state constitution allows us to declare bankruptcy and renegotiate.”

    “Um…um…”

    The point of the median income figure isn’t that teacher salaries should be capped there, it’s to lay waste to the attitude of many of the CTU supporters that raising the teachers’ salaries/benefits largely on the backs of struggling Chicagoans is a righteous cause. They’re ALREADY getting hit with increased taxes, directly (county) and indirectly (like the city’s increase on water taxes), they’re going to get hit with increased property taxes through CPS just to pay for the current contract level and to make up pension deficits. CPS offers them what pretty much everybody but a majority the teachers themselves feel was a generous offer, and they say it’s not enough?


  154. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    == Just for the sake of comparison, the average SS benefit check today is about $1300, ==

    And when you are comparing them, don’t forget that Social Security is not a straight defined benefits plan; it has additional functions and is basically a social welfare program with a retirement component. It covers disability. It is life insurance; not only does it provide a burial benefit and a survivor benefit to the spouse (so does the state), it also pays for minors. And it is deliberately designed to pay greater benefits to the low paid worker … and does it by shorting the high paid worker.

    Bottom line: SS is not designed to provide generous benefits, it is designed to prevent poverty in old age.

    I’ll further note that the way I learned retirement planning, you had a 3 legged stool.

    1) a pension from your job

    2) SS

    3) personal savings, including IRA’s, 401K’s, Deferred Compensation (403b, 457 as examples) plans, US Savings Bonds, investments in the market, and even real estate.


  155. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===There are no proposed state income taxes on the table to fund CPS.===

    Why are you avoiding the “bailout”

    Hmm.


  156. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    @Lucky Pierre - You may want to review the ISBE budget. The state would qualify as a “main source” of funding as well.

    The state does not levy property taxes.


  157. - Former IL Resident - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    ==And when you are comparing them==

    I understand all this, I just wanted to throw the numbers out there as I get the sense from discussions like the one going on here that teachers (who frequently point out that they don’t contribute to/draw SS) don’t understand just how meager SS benefits are.


  158. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    ===The state would qualify as a “main source” of funding as well.===

    “There’s that too, I guess… ”

    - JS Mill -, you are adding logic, along with monies aspect.


  159. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    =don’t understand just how meager SS benefits are.=

    Meager?

    So the new narrative is we want public employees to have “meager” benefits because that is what you signed up for?

    Go it.

    So, can I demand to be paid like a CEO because they get that kind of money? Seems a bit childish to me.


  160. - Not It - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    Name withheld, you missed my point entirely, whic was that this salary level is for working 10 months out of the year. I did the math to show what it would be for working 12.


  161. - Anon - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    Whatever you think of the numbers, this seems like the sort of thing that informed citizens should know. You might say that the media is doing its job when a post like this gets very few comments, because it’s common knowledge.


  162. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    ==Meager?

    So the new narrative is we want public employees to have “meager” benefits because that is what you signed up for?

    Go it.

    So, can I demand to be paid like a CEO because they get that kind of money? Seems a bit childish to me.==

    Projecting much? I didn’t say (or suggest) any of this.


  163. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    ==CPS teachers took a pay freeze for four years in a row.==

    Years ago CPS teachers also received multiple 7% COLA increases that were paid for by diverting pension payments to the operating budget. What comes around…


  164. - DD - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    **Teachers are taxpayers too.**

    There you go banging that drum again. Anyone who is payed by the government is a net tax consumer.


  165. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    @ Former IL Resident

    You did in fact use the term “meager” to describe SSI. I copy and pasted right from your post.

    here it is again-

    “I understand all this, I just wanted to throw the numbers out there as I get the sense from discussions like the one going on here that teachers (who frequently point out that they don’t contribute to/draw SS) don’t understand just how meager SS benefits are.”

    Many educators have spouses that are private sector employees who pay into SSI. It isn’t that hard to understand.

    So what was the point of your post, just to state the nature of the “meager” retirement income supplement for no particular reason? Ok.

    Many who post here want everyone forced into SSI though. Maybe I jumped the gun on you, if so please accept my apologies.


  166. - Cathartt Representative - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:45 pm:

    Zen, teachers haven’t received a COLA larger than 4 percent since 1992. In 1993, 1994, and 2011 their COLA was zero.


  167. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    =There you go banging that drum again. Anyone who is payed by the government is a net tax consumer.=

    Another false narrative.


  168. - Former IL Resident - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:50 pm:

    JS Mill

    Eh, my point was that there clearly are many teachers out there who don’t quite understand the nature of SS (given the fact that they don’t contribute and will not receive it) so I thought I’d put the info out there. Nothing more, nothing less. As I said above, you’re reading far too much into my earlier post.


  169. - Chicago Schooler - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    ==CPS teachers took a pay freeze for four years in a row.==

    100% False. CTU has never taken a pay freeze for 4 years and a row and never taken a contract in which they did not get raises.

    This time is no different. CPS has a pay raise on the table even after phasing out the pension pick up.


  170. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    == Whatever you think of the numbers, this seems like the sort of thing that informed citizens should know. ==

    “Informed” citizens can find it easily enough. Admittedly I’ve had some practice reading the pension system reports, but I found it online in about 2 minutes.


  171. - DD - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:55 pm:

    ** Another false narrative **

    mmmm,no, its not. Public employees are in fact paid from tax revenues.


  172. - steward - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 2:55 pm:

    “=There you go banging that drum again. Anyone who is payed by the government is a net tax consumer.=”

    Only if you assume services themselves have no intrinsic worth. We as a society have government to provide services. We’ve decided someone needs to put out fires, regulate air traffic, test water quality, investigate child abuse, administer means tested social programs, teach kids, ect… Those services have value in and of themselves. We want/need someone to do them. It isn’t a simply business equation.


  173. - Name Withheld - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:03 pm:

    Not It - except it’s not. It’s for working - period. They can get their money spread out across 10 months or 12 months. But it’s the same salary.


  174. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    ===“Informed” citizens can find it easily enough===

    Judging by the looks of things around here today, with all the defensiveness and whatnot, I don’t think many knew.


  175. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:06 pm:

    ==Zen, teachers haven’t received a COLA larger than 4 percent since 1992.==

    But it was 7%, twice, on top of steps, and paid for with pension funds. Every step in the salary schedule today is built on top of of those raises. Did I mention how it was paid for?


  176. - Name Withheld - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    DD - what is your point? That anyone paid by the government is a net tax consumer? Like the contractors used by agencies? Like the corporations who receive tax benefits? Like the vendors who provide services to the state?

    If what you mean is - the state pays for services with tax revenue, be it to employees or contractors or outside vendors, then say so. If you mean something more pejorative with respect to state workers or teachers then say that too. If you mean something else, then please clarify.


  177. - TD - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:11 pm:

    Part of the difficulty is that the CTU will not permit any contract deal that benefits and incentives new or prospective lower-paid tier 2 new teachers, most of whom have masters degrees and student debt. Right now you are frozen at about $53,000 starting with a pension that is worse than SS, a class size of 28-34 (and maybe growing), and having to spend thousands of your post-tax earnings on supplies and books. You work 60 hr/week, no assistants, and spend a decent amount of your 2-2.5 month summer planning or going to PDs.


  178. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:22 pm:

    == , I don’t think many knew. ==

    I’ll admit I didn’t … but it’s also not my school district. If I had been asked to guess, I would probably have been in the general neighborhood.


  179. - Cathartt Representative - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    TD - Not true, a large chunk of their big bargaining team is on tier 2. CTU would love to end tier 2. Why? Because it’s much harder to get teachers to fight for benefits that they themselves aren’t getting. Tier 2 people are also the people still getting steps and lanes and the old teachers still fight for them, but you are right. Tier 2 sucks.


  180. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 3:53 pm:

    Wow, the battle of the CTU median salary! 178 posts. Jeez, You were even pretty involved Rich! I guess that’s what a good blog does is stimulate response.


  181. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 4:04 pm:

    As for the auto bailout…
    =Everybody had skin in the game, including taxpayers and workers. =

    Exactly - the taxpayers, the workers……..
    What about the executives?


  182. - Mama Retired - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 4:07 pm:

    “What about the executives? ”

    Are executives not workers?


  183. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    =** Another false narrative **

    mmmm,no, its not. Public employees are in fact paid from tax revenues.=

    A true false narrative, even a dog whistle.

    People are paid for their work or services. That is not consumption it is remuneration.

    The entire concept is beyond silly. To begin with.

    Let’s say you are the victim of a crime. The police show up at your house and conduct an investigation. Let’s say forensics and the criminal courts are involved.

    At some point, your public services costs exceed the amount you, as an individual, contribute in taxes.

    You are then a net tax consumer? Truly absurd.

    What if you use the library with great frequency?

    The examples are endless, and the term is nearly impossible to quantify.

    But, being a public employee, paid for services rendered, is not an act of consumption. It is the public treasury compensating someone for services.

    A public employee might be less a consumer than those who created this insane dog whistle.

    (tip of the cap to Name Witheld)


  184. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    ===What about the executives? ===

    A whole lot were forced out.


  185. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    =Are executives not workers?=

    Um…………..no.


  186. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 23, 16 @ 4:50 pm:

    JS Mill! God bless you! Thank you for your above post. I never know how to respond but get beaten over the head with it all the time.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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