Backed by unionized teachers like Vedra, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle seems poised for another try at rolling back the so- called "qualified economic offer" law, which limits teachers' ability to bargain for more money.
...The QEO law exempts school districts in labor negotiations from going into arbitration - which can force schools to accept unwanted contract provisions - as long as they offer wage and benefit increases that total 3.8 percent or more.
Here's the reality check:
...Salaries for Wisconsin teachers in the 2003-04 school year averaged $42,882 and were 8.3 percent below the national average, according to a Taxpayers Alliance analysis. But the estimated value or cost of their benefits was 39.2 percent higher than the national average, ranking as the fifth-highest in the country.
Of course, one needs to compare that $42,900 salary with something. How about Median Household Income for Wisconsin (2003)? According to the Census Bureau,
Household income is the sum of money income received in the calendar year by all household members 15 years old and over, including household members not related to the householder, people living alone, and other nonfamily household members
So in fact, a Wisconsin teacher's average salary is just under a Wisconsin household's median income. ONE-HALF OF WISCONSIN HOUSEHOLDS have LESS INCOME than the average teacher in this State.
Wanna bet that that the WEAC bennies are a lot better?
Prefer "average" wage? No problem-o, pal. According to the US Department of Labor, the average Wisconsin wage (All Occupations, May, 2005) was:
That would be 76% of the average teacher's wage. And again, there IS the bennie differential.We may agree that a teacher's wage should be above average--they have a degree, and have an important job, after all. But how much above? And at what cost in benefits?