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  • The Pathetic Teacher’s Union in Danville, Illinois

    You know, there’s not much that pisses me off beyond my normal pissed-off-ishness. One thing that drives me crazy though, is unions. What pisses me off even more than unions, are teacher unions. Let me tell you about the Danville Education Association (DEA, and yes, part of the NEA) and what they are, obviously, not happy with.

    District #118 would like to have a pay freeze for teachers due to financial problems. From a PDF on that site:

    The Board’s August 16th proposal provided for a freeze of most of the employees’ salaries at the 2009 – 2010 level. Exceptions were made for employees who are taking advantage of the previously negotiated retirement incentive or those employees completing additional college hours and/or certification(s). The Board’s proposal also:
    · Maintains insurance benefits and costs for all employees, even though insurance costs continue to rise for the district’s self-insured fund.
    · Retains major language items in the current contract beneficial to the DEA, including retirement benefits, length of the work day, and layoff procedures.

    [...]

    District teachers are by far the highest paid in Vermilion County and their salaries are among the top in the Big 12. Teachers have increased their earnings by 53.8% over the last 11 years. But, property values are down. Tax revenues are down. The state is facing up to a $13 billion
    deficit. Currently, the state owes District 118 $2.9 million and the proposed 2010–2011 district budget indicates a $2.4 million deficit. The 2010 – 2011 district budget deficit could go higher if state finances do not improve. We need to be fiscally responsible in these perilous times

    Fiscally responsible would be nice. Now, let’s see what the DEA wanted:

    In contrast, under the DEA proposal:
    · 70% of the teachers would receive raises ranging from 2.47 to 6%
    · another 7% of teachers would receive raises ranging from 1.36 to 2.29%
    The DEA’s proposal would provide raises to teachers making up to $75,000. Additionally, the DEA demands that these raises be given to all teachers regardless of their job performance.

    “Over a two year span, these raises alone would cost the district more than $1 million in new money. The cost of new money equates to as many as 20 certified staff positions,” said Heather McKiernan, Director of Business.
    “What the DEA is telling the public is misleading. We were surprised to hear the DEA expressing concern over losing retirement benefits and their insurance costs going up when we have already proposed to keep retirement incentives intact and to pay all increases in insurance costs. The teachers will not pay one penny more for the same insurance benefits,” Denman said.

    So that damned DEA has been distorting the truth to the public to try and meet their own greedy ends. Fucking. Pathetic. Wanna see what is proposed by the Board, and what the DEA will get to have if they take a pay freeze? Check it out:

    • Salary Schedule – The Board proposed to freeze the automatic salary increase (Step) and maintain staff at their current 2009 – 2010 salary excluding employees who complete additional college hours and/or certifications(s). Such employees would move horizontally on the salary schedule per the current collective bargain agreement. In future years, step will be negotiated.

    If the freeze is accepted by the DEA, the Board will agree to the following:

    • Insurance – Although insurance costs to the District increased by 31% over the last two years, employees would not pay any additional cost for health insurance for the employee or the employee’s family. Individual employees will continue to pay no premiums for individual coverage. Insurance benefits and costs to the employees remain the same as in 2009 – 2010.

    • Retirement – Retirement incentives will remain intact. Extra-curricular payments will remain for those continuing extra-curricular assignments.

    • Sick Bank – In response to DEA’s request to change the employee sick bank, the Board Countered with:
    • general pool for employees who have donated to the sick bank and a waiting period to use the benefit
    • maximum number of days each person may donate and a maximum number of days each person may draw from the sick bank

    • Nurses – The District will continue to maintain four full-time certified nurses. With attrition, they may be replaced with Registered Nurses. The Board has offered to increase Registered Nurses’ salaries from $27,300 to $35,000.

    • Laptop Computers – The Board has proposed to make no-interest loans to teachers so that they may purchase personal laptop computers through a payroll deduction plan.

    • Employee Access to School Buildings – The Board has proposed to increase employee access to school buildings before and after school hours.

    I mean, what the shit? That first bullet for the DEA about insurance should be enough for them to jump up and damned down. Instead, what did they do? Negotiations were held a final time on a Sunday, leaving parents clueless to whether their child would be in school the next day or not. We all went to bed not knowing what to expect. Furthermore, this is still towards the beginning of the school year. Why in the hell didn’t they do something about this crap during the summer? I’ll tell you why:

    The Danville Education Association doesn’t give a fuck about teaching children.

    Go ahead, take a look at what the contract was. It’s pretty awesome. Stuff like duty-free lunches, seven hour work days, plus an hour away for planning. There are a lot of other great, nifty things too. Have a look if you’d like. Needless to say, that whole “teachers don’t make enough” BS is a tired and worn out statement. It’s very, very false, and if I know these freaks like I think I do, I’d say a union started that craptastic saying years ago.

    This is why unions are absolutely useless now. They don’t care about a damned thing. There is MASSIVE unemployment in the country right now, and these unions want to squeeze the life out of the tax payers. “Wait what? The workforce has been dramatically cut back due to a bad economy? Huh. Anyway, give us more money. We need more money to teach your kids. Think of the children, you want them to get an education, right?!” #^%$@^%^T%$&#^&Q#$%#$ I HATE THIS SCUM. As an aside, look at the main page of that site, and just look at how they shill for Democrats.

    But, we are taking matters into our own hand. Instead of our son sitting by waiting on the teachers to be done whining, we are going to enroll him in a private school. Permanently. It’s going to cost us more, but at least he won’t be sitting around waiting for the damned DEA to quit acting like children. Everyone is financially fucked right now. Sorry, teachers, but if you can’t hack it, get into a different line of work.

    I say they should fire the whole damned union, and make-up the time it takes to higher more talented teachers in the summer.



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