Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Compensation Rants: Folkbum vs. Reality

Heh. Jay wants to pick a fight with McIlheran.

Ol' Jay uses the usual argument--that teachers take Lamborghini bennies to compensate for their low, low salaries.

But how "low" ARE the salaries?

US Dept. of Labor publishes a handy-dandy series of charts which are useful.

Average high-school teacher in Wisconsin earns $45, 460.

Average middle-school teacher in Wisconsin earns $44,380.

Average grade-school teacher in Wisconsin earns $45,030.

Average of ALL OCCUPATIONS in Wisconsin: $35,660. (In 2002, it was $32,464.) Of course, this number includes (presumably) a large percentage of people who have not earned a 4-year degree in Liberal Arts as opposed to engineering or sciences. So let's look at some of the 'degree-required' or at least 'professional,' non-management categories.

Claims Adjusters: $45,470.

Employment/Recruitment: $46,130.

Credit Analysts: $49, 130.

Chemists: $50, 690.

Market Research Analysts: $62,460.

Dieticians/Nutritionists: $46,780.

Registered Nurses: $55,060.

Mailmen: $42,360.

Production SUPERVISORS: $49, 890. (Generally degree-required, responsible for 7-8 people.)

It is noteworthy that the "Average of All" number has increased by 9.8% since 2002--or by 3.28%/year (2002-2005.)

But to Jay's point--the teachers are not really "sacrificing" current income, at least in comparison to others with similar educational requirements. The cost of health for most Wisconsin workers has increased--deductibles and co-pays are now running (usually) a total of $3,000/year/family, or $1,500/year/single. IN ADDITION, health and dental premium payments are typically running between $100-$300/month. IN ADDITION, retirement plans now consist of 401(k) contributions, usually 3% of annual wage/salary.

And all those other folks work 12 months a year...

C'mon Jay, get a life.


M.Z. Forrest said...

Personally, I don't see what we have gained by having a professional class of teachers. Particularly at the elementary level, the norm used to consist non-professionals such as nuns. I also find it highly questionable that the teachers indeed are professionals. Teachers statistically are among the poorest educated bacheloriate candidates. Many colleges are giving serious consideration to signifantly revamping masters and doctorate programs in education due to how vacuous they are.

Jay Bullock said...

You'll note that I never claimed that teachers aren't paid enough.

What I said is that we are not paid more--and the rate of increase in our salaries lags behind rates in other professions over the last decade and a half--because we have consciously decided not to ask for more money in exchange for benefits.

Other workers are free to do the same.

Keep in mind, though, that here in Wisconsin, teachers are the only class of workers at any level or in any sector whose compensation can be limited by law. Every single member of the private sector is free to negotiate a higher compensation package; we cannot.

And as for da Youper dere (you betcha!), I'll stack my cum laude and the syllabus for the upper-level epistemology class I'm teaching right now againts whatever you got anyday.

Jay Bullock said...

The typo, of course, is there for your ironic enjoyment.