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Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2011

Town Talk: UPDATE Santa Fe drug development firm moving to KU; New wage data shows we all should have been doctors; salary info Lawrence teachers already have noticed; more construction for Kasold

September 1, 2011

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News and notes from around town:

• UPDATE: Another high-tech pharmaceutical company is moving to the incubator facility on Kansas University’s West Campus. KU officials announced this morning that Gyrasol Technologies is moving from Santa Fe, N.M., into space at the Bioscience and Technology Business Center on KU’s West Campus. The company — which was founded by a KU graduate — is bringing two employees with it, and recently has hired two new employees. The company is projecting to add 12 employees over the next two years. Gyrasol specializes in helping pharmaceutical companies predict which drugs will work for cancer patients. The company is led by Susan Burgess, who received her doctorate in pharmacology from KU in 1980. She said she had long been aware of KU’s growing research status in drug development fields, but she became interested in moving her company when she learned that local leaders had built a new 21,400-square-foot incubator and laboratory facility for private businesses on West Campus. The multi-million dollar incubator facility was built using a combination of public funds from the city, the county, the university and the state’s bioscience authority. The incubator facility, which is less than 2 years old, now has 52 employees and has leased 66 percent of its space. Those numbers don’t include the recent announcement that animal health sciences firm Argenta is finalizing a lease for the facility, which is expected to include 27 jobs over the next five years.

• All right, I get it. I should have learned how to handle a scalpel instead of a pen. I should have learned how to stick my fingers in someone’s mouth instead of … I’m actually not sure where I’m going with that one. But I’ve been looking at newly released wage data from the state, and it is clear why those folks who were studying to be doctors never hung around with those folks who were studying to be journalists. We ran a brief article recently from the Associated Press that said orthodontists were the top wage earners in the state, according to the 2010 Kansas Wage Survey from the Kansas Department of Labor. So, I got to wondering what the situation was in Lawrence. The report provides some wage data for all of the state’s metropolitan areas. What I found about Lawrence is that three of the top five professions in terms of average annual wages are in the health care field. And just for fun, I show what they make in Kansas City, Topeka and statewide: They are:

  1. Physicians and Surgeons: $225,700; K.C., $182,301; Topeka, $213,850; statewide $169,940
  2. Dentists: $192,590; K.C., $146,986; Topeka, $140,360; statewide, $157,930;
  3. Chief Executives: $124,250; K.C., $161,869; Topeka, $148,110; statewide, $139,340
  4. Sales Managers: $92,540; K.C., $116,473; Topeka $70,350; statewide $102,700
  5. Pharmacists: $91,820; K.C. $103,073; Topeka, $92,230; statewide $103,270

Yeah, I know what about those of us who are squeamish around blood — don’t think CEOs and sales managers don’t enjoy a little blood letting. Here are some average annual wages for other professions of interests in Lawrence:

  1. K-12 teachers had an average wage between $39,950 to $41,990, depending on what grade level they taught. Kansas City ranged from $42,408 to $47,744. Topeka ranged from $43,080 to $47,160. Statewide ranged from $41,490 to $44,360.
  2. Retail sales managers in Lawrence averaged $34,310. K.C. $38,073; Topeka, $31,270; statewide, $34,980.
  3. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants averaged $34,930. K.C., $39,969; Topeka, $34,170; statewide $37,320.
  4. Plumbers in Lawrence average $42,900. K.C. $52,893; Topeka, $47,380; statewide, $46,440.
  5. Firefighters in Lawrence averaged $42,530. K.C., $44,320; Topeka wasn’t listed for some reason. Statewide, $36,190.
  6. Police and sheriff’s officers in Lawrence (remember that when this study says Lawrence it really means all of Douglas County) averaged $53,540. K.C. $52,759; Topeka, $36,610; statewide, $42,310.

If you still have the stomach for more numbers, the entire report can be found here.

• If none of those numbers cheered you up, maybe this will: There’s more road construction beginning in Lawrence. Work is expected for the next five weeks on Kasold Drive from Trail to Peterson. The project will include a complete repaving and also will remove the cement median and replace it with a combination of stamped concrete and vegetation. Traffic likely will be reduced to one lane in each direction for much of the project.

Comments

Rae Hudspeth 2 years, 7 months ago

Town Talk.. what's up with Auto Exchange? they've moved back to the place on S Iowa and closed down the E 23rd lot? Will they still have a service dept?

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bootlegger 2 years, 7 months ago

Wheres my welfare check; who's my daddy?????

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Jane 2 years, 7 months ago

After teaching for a few years, why do teachers still have to come up with 'new' lesson plans? I would think that the material would remain the same unless said teacher moved to another grade level. I also wonder why (I know the degree req. are different) elementary ed teachers are paid less than grades 7-12 teachers. Seems to me the elementary years are the most important to a child's successful education. I have the utmost respect for teachers and think they should be paid more than they now receive.

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BruceWayne 2 years, 7 months ago

hey Town Talk- any word on the Auto Exchange on 23rd? All vehicles gone as well as signs.

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BruceWayne 2 years, 7 months ago

hey Town Talk- any word on the Auto Exchange on 23rd? All vehicles gone as well as signs.

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lawrencechick 2 years, 7 months ago

You have to love living in a country where professional athletes and hip hop stars make more than a teacher, firefighter, social worker, and police officer combined would make in a lifetime.

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handley 2 years, 7 months ago

You who think teachers are paid well or over paid. How many of you go home from your job or do nothing or have a second job for extra money. Teachers do a lot of extra work 3 to 4 hours 2 to 3 times a week foot ball basketball socker tennis track band and many other school related things and don't get any extra pay for.

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Timothy Eugene 2 years, 7 months ago

The only teachers I have ever known to gripe and complain about their salary and benefits are always in the Teachers Union, and always, always Democrats. I can honestly only recall 1 teacher who ever griped about her salary that wasn't. This is the usual rhetoric from the liberal posters on here. Teachers get a very decent wage. If you are a teacher spending so many countless hours after school grading and doing other school work, it means you aren't very organized. The only gripe I would bring up is the stupid requirements of getting Masters hours in order to renew your license. Doesn't make you a better teacher, just pads the pockets of KU and other universities where you have to take the classes. More Unions and Democrats at work.

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Curtis Lange 2 years, 7 months ago

Thank you baby Jesus for the Kasold construction! Living off Peterson, I HATE HATE HATE taking that section of Kasold to 6th St. Can't wait!

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madcow 2 years, 7 months ago

lol at people who think $39,950 to $41,990 is an acceptable amount to draw talented teachers into the classroom.

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 7 months ago

Our City Commissioners must be mad. They were all voting to make Lawrence a retirement community. How upset they must be that instead we have a high-tech pharmaceutical company coming our way. With any luck maybe the new employees will bring their parents to live with them.

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calendar 2 years, 7 months ago

Teacher salaries, and to a lesser extent, firefighters and police, are under attack because those who want to cut taxes for individuals and corporations--like the Koch brothers who help finance the Tea Party and other anti-tax groups--see education as the largest cost item in the state budget. So, if you denigrate educators, you can make the argument that education spending needs to be cut. It's no accident that undercutting teachers and their rights is a national trend.

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overthemoon 2 years, 7 months ago

South Korea, whose education system is beating the socks of the US, pays its teachers on a par with doctors. How we compensate our public employees speaks volumes about our eroding values as a county. (and I don't mean 'family values' or other BS that has no meaning other than separating the 'us' from the 'them')

But these numbers aren't really clarified. For the medical professions (where are the nurses?) is this personal income or business income before or after taxes and insurance and all that stuff that Doctors say are jeopardizing their country club memberships? Also, what are the averages over the past 10 years? Will we see that Kansas has experience the national income profile...incomes in the top 20% rising dramatically while the lower 80% has stagnated or decreased? How do these numbers compare with national averages and cost of living indexes?

And if those executive secretaries were to strike for a month or so, would their bosses who make 4-5 times their salary even be able to function? I'm guessing many businesses would grind to a chaotic halt without the 'secretaries' that make the place run.

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volunteer 2 years, 7 months ago

I believe the teachers have a pile of money that they negotiated to be placed in a nice early retirement program INSTEAD of the salary schedule, which skews the comparisons with Topeka and Kansas City.

And didn't a recent LJW article report that 5% of Lawrence teachers' workday time is for "collaboration?" (Flavor of the month educationese term)

A high school teacher last year told me his department just used that time for grading or planning except for the first week of school. Which is fine with me, Lord knows they NEED a time for a cup of coffee and to mark their papers so they can spend only ONE hour outside of the duty day instead of TWO grading papers and such.

But stop the fiction.

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Andini 2 years, 7 months ago

Will they be adding a sidewalk on the stretch that is missing one on Kasold?

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lawrencelifer59 2 years, 7 months ago

Most people don't average 60+ hours a week like teachers do during the school year either. It is just not possible to get all the grading and lesson planning, meeting with parents and students, meeting with other teachers, etc done from 8:00 to 5:00 and the overflow must be done nights and weekends without additional pay.

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fan4kufootball 2 years, 7 months ago

Teachers not only get paid they get 2-3 months off during the year if you count summer months and the extra days off during the school year (spring break, Christmas break, etc). Most do not get that benefit - most work all year long for the same annual wages.

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hipper_than_hip 2 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence is the land of low wages.

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DRsmith 2 years, 7 months ago

Cops and teachers get paid. Not sure why they are always crying.

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