Friday, April 20, 2012

Walker Uses Dictatorial Powers To Further Cut Teacher Pay

It's another jaw-dropping new low in Scott Walker and the Right's harsh and exhausting campaign against public employees.

Walker is using the unprecedented, government-wide rule-making power handed to him by a compliant GOP-led Legislature early last year to re-define how wages might yet be bargaining for by Wisconsin's already-punished teachers, thus limiting and effectively lowering their pay, and diminishing their careers by eliminating incentive pay for getting advanced degrees.


Let's discourage teachers from getting more training. That'll help prepare your kids for the world after graduation.

How'd you like that mindset applied to the doctor about to do your brain surgery, or the lawyer writing your estate plan? Advanced training: who needs it? Just pass around that Reader's Digest reprint.

The pound of flesh for being in a union profession already extracted when the infamous bomb was dropped is not sufficient for Walker and the teacher-haters who make up the conservative organizations subsidizing his recall campaign, and for his staffers and advisers who comb the statute book looking for any crack or wordsmithing that might be used to carry out their ideological attack on unionized public workers.

This time his actions comes with an extra BS factor - -  the claim that there is an "emergency" that the rule needs to address. There is no limit or end to the lying.

The Journal Sentinel explains:
For workers in public schools and technical colleges, the revised emergency rule put in place Thursday could reduce the upper limit of their allowed salary increases by an estimated 30% or more...

Early last year, Walker changed state law to give him more control over administrative rules. State agencies - including those not controlled by the governor - must get his approval before writing and implementing administrative rules, which have the force of state law.
Democrats called that change a power grab.

Walker's legislation limited any union-negotiated salary increases to the rate of inflation as applied to the employees' base salaries unless voters approved a higher increase in a referendum...

But Walker's administration ordered changes to the rules that would limit base wages to exclude pay given to workers such as teachers to reflect factors such as having a graduate degree...

For instance, a teacher with a master's degree making $45,000 a year might only make $35,000 a year in a given school district without the extra pay for her graduate degree. That would yield an allowable 3.2% increase of $1,050 a year rather than $1,350.

Under the rule, only the $35,000 a year would be counted as part of the total amount that would be subject to the cost-of-living increase when the teacher's union sought to bargain for one with the district.
And I last year here and even earlier here the dangers of the Legislature's role in enabling the Governor to have near-dictatorial power over state agency rules and operations.
Walker wants to remove state rule-making powers - - a very important state function because Wisconsin rules have the power of law  - - from the legislature to his office.

That's a power grab that upsets the checks-and-balances among the branches of government, blocks transparency and opens the door even more widely to special-interest influence.

And special interest already have more than a foot inside that door.  - - 
A Wisconsin rid of Walker's damage definitely needs that grant of power eliminated. No Governor should have that authority, regardless of party.


Anonymous said...

So essentially what this means is no lane changes for teachers who just obtained their master's degree. This has ripple affects throughout the educational system. Why even try to further advance your training?

Sorry Cardinal Stritch or UWM - no need for your instructors.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon.
It is spelled effects.

Anonymous said...

Walker is still angry that Marquette wouldn't give him a degree so he's going to punish all public employees who have what he doesn't! Hard to believe that he's the son of a preacher man and an Eagle moral compass no CONSCIENCE! He guananteed that ACT 10 would reward the "best and brightest".....lied again as it actually punishes them by not even keeping up with the cost of living!

Anonymous said...

Not only does Walker want to punish public school teachers for furthering their qualifications, but private and parochial school teachers as well. For many of them, their salaries are based as a percentage of the prevailing public school teachers' wages in their community.

With Walker at the helm, teaching is a race to the bottom


Gareth said...

I believe this is all part of Walker's cunning plan to lower unemployment by incentivizing people to leave the state.

Anonymous said...

Friday afternoon deja vu. Really have to love the Republican version of small government with local control. All hail the king. Pathetic. Such a sad day for Wisconsin. @anonymous re spelling: Really? Out of all of this you have to focus on word choice?

Betsy said...

Is this power grab legal/constitutional? I think Walker rivals Charles Dickens' Uriah Heep for sheer evil.

Anonymous said...

In the private sector, in my union structure, if my employer values my skills to the point where I am a more valuable asset for him to operate his company successfully, I can be paid foreman or superintendent wages. Teachers can now be paid above their base pay if they are a valuable employee.
Big error Anon #1- teachers still get a pay raise for continuing education in the salary table and a school board can pay whatever they can afford within that table. The problem under the old system seemed to be educated teachers didn't need to effectively teach but still received the lions share of the pay increases. A teacher getting a $35,000 salary would increase $1000 per year to $36,000 A teacher at the top of the salary table making $80,000 would get a $2300 annual increase to $82,300, higher pension contributions, higher ssi contributions. This creates zero incentive to be a great teacher. Incentive is replace with a new goal, early retirement.
The old system bred failure and crushed opportunities for young professionals trying to enter a classroom.
The system also made good teachers scapegoats for the horrible and lazy ones.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Yes, more damage from the Ftizwalkerstanis, and not just in what they're doing to teachers (disgraceful enough), but it illustrates the brutal power-grab by this incompetent, cronyist administration.

We need to demand that anyone who will replace Walker would immediately propose a bill to get rid of this administrative rule-making and arbitrary measures, and give the power back to the Legislature.

It'd be a great step in returning trust to the Wisconsin political system, and that's one thing the Walker folks do NOT want. They want things to be as screwed up and set up for failure as they possibly can be, so they can sell it off to their contributors in the private sector.

Hardworking Mom said...

Salary table? What salary table? There is no salary table anymore thanks to Act 10. Also, I have yet to hear about any teachers getting raises in the post-Act 10 world. What districts could afford it with Walker's massive cuts to state aid continuing to negativly impact district budgets?

Public workers who get raises nowadays need to be political appointees or cronies of the governor.

"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker established a program that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in merit raises and bonuses to some state workers even as he preached cost-cutting and pushed through a law reducing most public workers’ pay and eliminating their union rights.

An analysis of data The Associated Press obtained through an open records request showed Wisconsin agencies have handed out more than $765,000 in bonuses and merit raises this year to nearly 220 employees.

The awards are meant to reward stellar performance. But they come as the state faces a $143 million shortfall and after thousands of state workers took pay cuts through provisions in the collective bargaining law requiring them to contribute more to their pensions and health care."

James Rowen said...

The only way to get rid of these double-standards and relentless attacks on public employees is to defeat Walker.

Anonymous said...

Let’s not forget that most teachers have to continue their education to maintain their teaching license. Who's going to pay for that?

Anonymous said...

Hey, let's talk about Walker's salary!

Anonymous said...

I love all this bull shit rhetoric. You people are pathetic. Why should public employee's have a union? You don't work for some money monger who wants to pay you shit to maximize profits, rather you work for the public, who has a budget, yup a b-u-d-g-e-t, most democrats don't know what that is so here is a link to wikipedia :, if taxpayers cannot afford to pay you more, then why should the unions force them to? I am a teacher, and I can tell you unions are some of the WORST special interest groups in the country. Why should I be forced to pay into a system that supports someone like our president? This man will spend every last dime you and I have ever worked for, and you people are just complacent to let it happen. Disgusting. History will come to judge you.