The Milwaukee Public School system announced this week that 1000 personnel will be laid off. Notice went out this week to 519 personnel including 354 teachers.
Supervisor Thorton blames first the lost of federal money Govenor Walkers budget. Last year the district got $100 million in federal grants. That money will not be available this year. Walker's budget also cut State aid to the Milwaukee school district.
What Thorton did not say was the budget repair bill would have given the school board the ability to get cost savings from increased contribution from teachers for their pension and healthcare. The school board did an extended the teacher contract until 2013 without any benefits. Almost every school district asked teachers for a 5.8% contribution to their pension and a to pay 12% of their health care premiums. This is less than most employees pay in the private sector pay.
Now 1000 jobs are at risk. The union was asked to come back to the bargining table and they have refused. The union bosses would rather protect the high senority teachers than look out for the good of all their union brothers and sisters. The union was most concerned about keeping the requirement that teachers belong to the union.
Meanwhile the school district in Kaukauna is hiring teachers and reducing class size. Where did they get the money? They got their teachers to kick in for their pensions and healthcare. They now have millions more to spend on the students where it really counts instead of on expensive benefits. If the union in Milwaukee really cared about the kids wouldn't they make the same concessions. Isn't it selfesh to preserve your expensive benefits at the cost of teacher jobs. Aren't these your union brothers and sisters?
State Superintendent Mary Biele stated they would make concessions during the height of the Walker protests. They just wanted to keep their union. Well in Milwaukee they got to keep their union and not make any concession. I hope the 1000 MPS employees that will be losing their jobs feel good about it. Look for the union to continue to blame Walker, when they are at fault. These jobs could still be saved if the union would agree to the same concessions unions have taken throughout the state.