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Archive for Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bill limiting collective bargaining for Kansas teachers draws fire

March 6, 2013

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— School administrators on Wednesday said a bill limiting teachers in contract negotiations would make schools run more efficiently, but a standing-room-only crowd of teachers and their advocates said the legislation represented an attack on teachers.

"The 35,000 who teach every day, who work for not enough money, who work for your kids and grandkids, deserve to be treated better," said David Schauner, general counsel of the Kansas National Education Association.

The two sides squared off over House Bill 2027 before the House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee. The meeting ran long, and Chairman Marvin Kleeb, R-Overland Park, said he would continue the hearing Friday.

The measure would reduce from 30 to five the number of issues that teachers could negotiate with local school boards. For example, teachers could still negotiate for pay and sick leave but not performance evaluations. And opponents of the bill said even pay negotiations would be undermined because the legislation would allow an alternative pay plan for some teachers.

"This bill essentially takes every collective voice away from teachers in Kansas," Schauner said.

But Frank Henderson, president-elect of the Kansas Association of School Boards, said school boards need more flexibility "to be more proactive in managing school districts."

Ken Willard, who chaired Gov. Sam Brownback's task force on school efficiency, said, "We believe it enhances effectiveness."

A similar bill prompted a letter of opposition from the Lawrence school board, which said the proposal was "ill-timed given surrounding circumstances, and quite simply seems to be a solution in search of an unillustrated and unjustified problem."

Comments

question4u 1 year, 6 months ago

So, all you undergraduates out there who haven't declared a major yet, make sure to give some thought to going into education and becoming a teacher in Kansas schools!

Sure, the pay isn't great; it's only a matter of time before the pension system collapses from underfunding; the Legislature is determined to follow its orders from the Chamber of Commerce and take away collective bargaining rights; you'll be subjected to even more scrutiny in assessments; you'll have to throw out your idealism and innovation in order to teach to the test; and you'll get to hear that you're lazy from from anyone and everyone who has no idea what you do. You'll be held responsible for all of the problems that emerge as the Chamber of Commerce's slash-and-burn campaign against education starts to drag schools down to the level of those in Texas or Louisiana.

The plus side is that you'll get to carry out the Legislature's mandate for a "celebrate freedom week." If you decide to teach science, and Representative Hedke gets his way, you'll get to incorporate the oil industry's denial of global warming into your class lectures. Haven't you always wondered what it must have been like to teach in Soviet schools? No you'll have the chance to find out.

So, if you're a masochist, go for it! Kansas legislators probably won't literally spit on you. No doubt that's just metaphorical.

10

weeslicket 1 year, 6 months ago

the following has been in place since the 'no child left behind' mandates of the past decade or so:

"you'll be subjected to even more scrutiny in assessments; you'll have to throw out your idealism and innovation in order to teach to the test; and you'll get to hear that you're lazy from from anyone and everyone who has no idea what you do. You'll be held responsible for all of the problems that emerge as the Chamber of Commerce's slash-and-burn campaign against education starts to drag schools down.."

done this. been this. actually succeeded at this. repeatedly. still waiting to get treated fairly, and get paid accordingly. you're welcome.

what happens when probable positive outcomes of a law, or set of laws, approach zero? P(n) when n = n-1 * (*not a confirmed formula)

the probability that this bill will lead to positive outcomes; the probablilty that potential positive outcomes of this bill will ultimately outweigh its potential negative outcomes; the probability that this group of laws will lead to positive outcomes: the probability that potential positive outcomes of this group of laws will ultimately outweigh their potential negative outcomes;

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weeslicket 1 year, 6 months ago

sorry. "what is the probability that....

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rtwngr 1 year, 6 months ago

Public employees should not be collective bargaining.

4

Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

Why not?

What is your reasoning that public employees give up their rights to collective bargaining?

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

" rights to collective bargaining?"

No such right exists in kansas.

0

jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

If they're expressions of constitutionally protected rights of assembly, speech and petition, then KS can't eliminate them.

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weeslicket 1 year, 6 months ago

  1. scotus re: citizen's united

  2. Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  3. repeating this part: Amendment I "... or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

4

jwljpm 1 year, 6 months ago

Teachers have had that right for roughly the last 50 years, and guess what people like you have survived those "grueling" negotiation sessions! It's only right wing whackos who have some sort of ideological perversion to grown adults sitting down together and trying to agree on the conditions of employment. Why?

1

NotAGolfer 1 year, 6 months ago

FDR and the early union bosses said it would be preposterous to allow public employees to unionize. Very right wing, huh? Public employees are a monopoly for their particular services--no competition--and so strikes would give them much more power than their value. One of the consequences of "public service," as they like to call it, is that the people determine their salaries and benefits. Most people want their teachers to have a reasonably good salary and will willingly vote for reasonable pay increases and benefits.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

No, the state should not engage in collective bargaining. Let the unions send in their guy and let the state tell him to go pound sand.

That avoids the problem of violating the people's rights to free association and free speech.

0

Mike1949 1 year, 6 months ago

If I remember right, if it were not for collective bargaining, we would still have sweat shops. Like I have said before, the republicans take over, may as well kiss your freedom away!

8

Phoghorn 1 year, 6 months ago

  1. Granted the unions did help to get rid of child labor, but not necessarily for altruistic reasons. Those darned kids were occupying positions that could have been filled by union members, so it was only natural that the unions would force the children out.

  2. There is a major difference between public sector and private sector unions. In the case of the private sector unions, all negotiations are between the union and the company. Nobody is required to work for the company or buy their products. In the case of public sector unions, taxpayer money is at stake.

1

dabbindan 1 year, 6 months ago

and teachers cannot strike. what are the districts so afraid of in the bargaining process?

0

texburgh 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, no collective bargaining for the greedy school teachers yet down in Ottawa, the superintendent quits but is still receiving $10,899/month plus benefits for no work. Yes, schools will be much more efficient if we get rid of collective bargaining..

6

chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

Schools would be more efficient if we got rid of collectively idiotic legislation.

9

Nunyer 1 year, 6 months ago

Principals and superintendents aren't members of collective bargaining units.

0

situveux1 1 year, 6 months ago

Teachers not paid enough? Isn't that complaint everyone has. How much should teachers be paid? Name your price...

2

Katara 1 year, 6 months ago

Or enough that they don't have to purchase classroom supplies out of their own pocket. I'm fine with whichever is cheaper.

3

NotAGolfer 1 year, 6 months ago

How does increasing their salary relieve them of paying for supplies out of their own pocket?

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"Or enough that they don't have to purchase classroom supplies out of their own pocket"

I have a fishing buddy that works as a mechanic. Every month he spends $300 on tools to keep up with the changing technology in the cars he fixes.

How much of their money do teaches spend each month on their job?

1

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

He's a mechanic, he works flat rate. The service writers decide what to charge based on the dealer's price/hr X whatever the flat-rate book say's. He only makes more money in that he is able to do more types of work.

Also, given that he is an employee, he cannot write off that 300/month. Teachers can write of expenses used for teaching.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

That isn't how the business works.

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ATR920 1 year, 6 months ago

Sounds like your mechanic "friend" needs a union and his bosses are screwing him.

3

Katara 1 year, 6 months ago

Your friend can deduct his tools that he purchases as work-related expenses if it is required by his employer, a condition of his employment and necessary to perform his assigned responsibilities.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"Your friend can deduct his tools that he purchases as work-related expenses"

Only if you itemize and even then it's not easy to get beyond the standard deduction. Maybe if he was a drivability tech (aka big dealership prima donna) and was spending $1000/mo he could write them off and actually do better than the standard deduction.

Teachers get a deduction even if they don't itemize.

0

Katara 1 year, 6 months ago

"The standard deduction for married couples filing a joint return is $11,900 for 2012. The standard deduction for single individuals and married couples filing separate returns is $5,950 for 2012. The standard deduction for heads of household increases by $200 to $8,700 for 2012." http://www.cbiz.com/page.asp?pid=9483

His tool purchases = $3600. It would not be difficult for him to get above the standard deduction. He would have other itemized expenses too along with his spouse if he is married.

Teachers get a maximum deduction of $250 for the year. They don't get to claim anymore. Most teachers spend well over $250/year on classroom supplies and other things the kids needs to be able to learn. http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc458.html

You know, in reading your posts below, the reasons why your friend spends $300/mo for tools he uses on the job changes. I call shenanigans.

0

ATR920 1 year, 6 months ago

Your mechanic friend may spend $300 dollars on tools a month but he also can and does raise his praises for repairs and labor to reflect his out of pocket expenses. He is not losing $. Teachers obviously cant do that.

Logic is not your friend.

beat me to it vertigo.

4

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

You guessed wrong too. LOL, and vertigo beat you to it.

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ATR920 1 year, 6 months ago

Sorry your example didnt turn out how you wanted it to...

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

No, he cannot (CAN NOT) raise prices to reflect his out of pocket expenses. He does not control the prices the dealer charges for a given repair.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

LOL. 300/month is cheap. Walk on a Snap On truck and have a look at the prices.

0

Greg Cooper 1 year, 6 months ago

Perhaps you are confused at what the $300 is for. More than lik ly, he spent quite a bit of money once on an expensive "tool" (like an OBD II scanner, for instance) that he did not have the total dollars to pay for and is making payments to the supplier. Very few mechanics have to spend $300 a month to stay in business unless they are the business.

How much money doo teachers spend out of their own pockets?

3

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Currently a good "obd2" scanner - most are "CAN" now, runs about $8000.

When I taught as a GTA at KU, it cost me about $20/month for handouts and tests.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

OK. 25 years ago I made $12/hr working on cars. He makes $20/hour today.

The dealership may charge you $100/hr, but the mechanic only gets 20 of that. What's more, mechanics work flat-rate and if there are no cars to fix they get paid zero dollars per hour for sitting and waiting for a car to come in. He still has to pay that $300 every month regardless.

0

jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

So why do you want teachers and others to be as poorly off as your friend, rather than improving everybody's situation?

2

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"Usually, people who are against teachers earning what they're worth either"

I have nothing against teachers, I don't like unions and believe the state should refuse collective bargaining.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

He does OK. I never hear him complain about money..

0

jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

That's nice.

But, it sounds like a rather bum deal to me - he has to buy his own tools, only gets 1/5 what the dealer charges, and doesn't get paid at all if there isn't work for him to do, even though he's there and ready/willing to work.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

If it sounds like a bum deal to you, might I humbly suggest you not go into that line of work?

You need to keep in mind that during an up economy a good tech can make upwards of $60,000/yr. Transmission and drivability guys can almost double that. In my day at Nissan, we would flag 12 hours a day fixing cars and then flag another 20 hours between 5 and 10 pm installing dealer addon AC in garbage sentras, pulsars and trucks. At 25 years old, in the mid 80s, after Reagan, I could pull down $5000/month.

0

jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, I'm not strongly considering going into that field.

But, according to your earlier post, he makes $20/hr. At normal work hours of 40 hours a week (which seems unlikely, since you said he's there and sometimes doesn't have any work to do), that translates into $800/week, or about $42K/yr. Given that the work is intermittent, and not constant, he should make less than that.

Unless, of course, he's putting in a lot of overtime.

How do you get 32 hours of work in one day? 12+20=32.

0

KSManimal 1 year, 6 months ago

Over half the teachers in this town have a Master's degree or higher. Price those lately, Liberty275?

And, teachers must continue their college coursework in order to renew their license every five years for their entire career. So, MS or not, they're spending bucks.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

My Masters cost exactly zero dollars as it was a full boat scholarship and they paid me a $600/month stipend to teach. How much did you pay for your's?

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, I worked several years, 8 hours each day, then did 3 nights of college from 6 until 10. After I got my AA I had to live bare off a little savings and lots of ramen. Grad school was easier since I had married, had no tuition and received a stipend for teaching.

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MarcoPogo 1 year, 6 months ago

Did that free degree come with free apostrophes?

2

ATR920 1 year, 6 months ago

Liberty is an out of work mechanic-. He is mad because his body shop went ouf of business and it was the teachers union fault!

1

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

You can't get anything right today. I've never blamed anything on teachers, but listening to this goofy "they buy paper and pencils for their students" garbage is annoying when some people in the private sector pay a lot more every month and don't complain about it.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

It's still money out of his pocket, every month that he spends to do his job.. He might own the tools, but he never brings them fishing.

He can choose not to spend the $300/mo, but then he wouldn't be able to do his job.

Nobody has answered yet how much teachers are spending every month. Why not? Is it only $250? Only $200?

0

ATR920 1 year, 6 months ago

Again, you dont get it. People in the private sector can and do raise their prices as the prices of their expenses increase. I understand you can not grasp that concept. You are trying to compare the private bussiness sector to public service employees. Apples and oranges but I know you wont get that. Also your "friend" the mechanic, when he buys tools those are his tools that he can use over and over and remain his property. Very little of what teachers buy remain with them, other than maybe classroom books. Teaching supplies, copies, lunch money for kids who dont have any, coats and clothing for students, supplies that children dont get from home, etc never come back to the teacher. Your good ol boy mechanic isnt losing $ he will just charge more for "labor" And by the way you complain more than any teacher.

move along troll.

1

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"gain, you dont get it. People in the private sector can and do raise their prices as the prices of their "

Again, he's a mechanic. He fixes cars. He doesn't figure the bills. That's what service writer do.

"You are trying to compare the private bussiness sector to public service employees."

Doesn't matter. The money still comes out of his pocket every month purchasing items he would not if he didn't need them for his job. He could have a new bass boat, but he buys tools instead.

" Your good ol boy mechanic isnt losing $ he will just charge more for "labor""

He doesn't "charge" anything other than his $20/hr. Since he works flat rate, he can make more if the work is there and he works harder/smarter. He is a good ol boy.

0

Katara 1 year, 6 months ago

And the $300 he pays for his tools are for him. He isn't buying tools for all his fellow mechanics at the shop nor is he buying tools that will be used by his customers.

Teachers buying classroom supplies so that their students can learn is more analogous to your fishing buddy having to purchase tanks of gas so his customers can drive.

1

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

It's still $300 every month right out of his pocket for something that always remains at his bosses garage and is otherwise unused. I have yet to see him bring his $100 hammer on a fishing trip.

So how much are teachers spending out of their pockets so they can do their jobs better? $200/mo? $150/mo?

0

Katara 1 year, 6 months ago

And he still can deduct it on his taxes. All of it. Teachers get a maximum $250/year.

Why don't you ask one of the teachers or their spouses on here? It still doesn't change the fact that your "friend" can deduct his expenses in full but teachers can't.

Teachers' expenses are more than just to do their job better. Their expenses also include expenses so their students can their job (learning) better. Neither your "friend" or anyone else in the private sector is expected to subsidize others in their workplace.

0

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"Teachers' expenses are more than just to do their job better. Their expenses also include expenses so their students can their job (learning) better."

So what does that come out to? $150 a month? $100 a month?

As for the taxes, mechanics can only write them off if they itemize, while the teacher can write off their expenses whether they itemize or use the standard deduction. Why are they given a deduction on top of the standard deduction but the mechanic or plumber, or carpenter or computer programmer or taxi driver or electrician isn't ?

Every trade has costs that come out of the tradesman's pocket. Mechanics are just a really great example because as nothing but employees they are expected to have tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools just to get a job. I had $30,000 worth in 1990 and I was just a line tech.

That is the price of admission to the trade. If you don't want to pay it, then you flip burgers. Why should teachers have it different on my dime?

"Why don't you ask one of the teachers or their spouses on here?"

Why doesn't one of them tell us how much the spend buying pencils and paper, by choice, each month for their students?

0

Katara 1 year, 6 months ago

Your "friend" must doing very poorly if he is not able to come up with other itemized expenses if the standard deduction is better for him. Does he not go to the doctor? Does he have health insurance? Does he pay state taxes? Does he pay property taxes? Does he pay dues for any memberships in mechanics' organizations? Does he subscribe to any trade magazines or manuals? What about his uniform? Is he required to pay for them? What about special clothing such as protective shoes and eyewear? This list is enormous as to what one can legitimately deduct.

Your "friend" needs to get better tax advice that what you seem to be giving. If the tools are required for employment, you get to deduct them.

Every trade has costs that comes out tradesman's pocket but only teachers are expected to pay for others out of their pocket. I seriously doubt your "friend" has to pay out of his own pockets for tools that other mechanics in his workplace use. Your "friend" also doesn't have to pay for any other expenses for his customers. He doesn't have to pay for gas for them to drive. Teachers do end up paying for supplies for their customers (students) use so they can learn.

When your "friend" has to pay for his customers to be able to drive, it would be fair for him to get an extra deduction on top of what others might have.

Anyhow I'm done with this conversation. Your story is so full of holes it is obvious you are just trolling.

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Dan Eyler 1 year, 6 months ago

I think what I hear from the school administrators is the need to make business decisions that are not always popular with teachers. In today's environment flexibility is necessary and the teachers union and collective bargaining slows or prevents certain decisions from moving forward. Teachers argue that by collective bargaining they have the best interests of the schools and children at heart. I imagine some of that is true but for the most part collective bargaining is motivated by self interest more than a focus on the great good. Clearly administrators operate on the same principle. But in the end managers and administrators and business owners must make decisions and change direction as necessary for the success of the business. Yes schools are businesses and to survive they have to be managed in a more business fashion. Being restrained by the employees through collective bargaining is much like the tail wagging the dog. In our educational system this has been going on for way to long. I do feel for the teachers and their unions, because it's tough to go from the drivers seat to the passenger seat where you're pretty much along for the ride now. But being along for the ride doesn't mean your world is going to come to an end so stop behaving that way.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 6 months ago

"I think what I hear from the school administrators is the need to make business decisions that are not always popular with teachers."

Yea, being arbitrary, non-transparent and unprofessional tends to be unpopular.

"Yes schools are businesses"

No, they are NOT businesses.

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daviskan 1 year, 6 months ago

So the Far "Righteous" legislators want to limit teachers right to have collective bargaining and then let them carry guns. Might want to think about that.

1

dabbindan 1 year, 6 months ago

to echo the first post. if the climate for teachers continues to be one of antagonism and hostility, there will be fewer and fewer quality humans interested in becoming teachers. my teacher spouse who comes home1 to 2 hours AFTER her duty day ends nearly every day and often spends several hours a week in the evenings at home to be a BETTER teacher is feeling discouraged. and it's especially discouraging when you put your heart into it as she does. you can only listen to the blame for all of educations problems being heaped on you for so long before it begins to wear you out.

education may lose her sooner than she had originally intended. and there may not be many willing to take her place.

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handlon 1 year, 6 months ago

I retire in a few years after 25 years. I LOVE my students, but the politics and extra crud is wearing me out. I might have stayed longer, but won't now, especially with the direction our legislature is headed. And I see the young people entering the field and wonder how long they will last. Sad. In the past I have been proud to be a Kansas educator because our schools have had a good reputation , but that may not last.

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weeslicket 1 year, 6 months ago

the argument from the statehouse seems to be: 1) gut unions; 2) then districts/boards/superintendents will have the ability to slash teaching salaries, increase work demands, and eliminate health insurance coverage (to name a few formerly negotiable items); 3) and then, highly qualified teachers will simply flood into kansas.

of course, it's also possible that the actual intent of these laws is: 1) then 2) then 3) finally! we have destroyed public education in the state of kansas!

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