To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"I get to school by 7:45 a.m. and I work until 4:30 or 5:00. At least one night a week, I stay later than 5."

If you are attempting to sell me that you should continue to pay NOTHING into your pension plan and health care premium, perhaps you should craft an argument that doesn't hinge on how hard your job is because you have to work 8 hours a day. THAT'S A NORMAL FUCKING WORKDAY LADY.

Let's meet this teacher in question:
Dear Friends,

I don't normally like to talk about my private life,
Did I mention that this was an article in a fucking paper? Because it is. She doesn't like to talk about her private life, except when she writes articles in fucking papers. It's like how I don't like talking about my sexual fetishes.

I am a second-year teacher. I work in a rural school district in Wisconsin. Many of my students come from poor families. Some of them live in the trailer park near our school or down the street in the subsidized apartments.[...]
The people who live here are hard workers and proud. But they can't afford the cost of educating their children.
She works in the village of Marshall, outside of Madison, WI. The median income for a household is above $51,000/yr. Only 2.7% of families live below the poverty line. I'm not really sure what this means other than she's a liar. Also I hate google. Google made me look at this.
And now we come to Walker. His proposal to have public workers pay more than 5% of their salary into the state pension and double their share of health care costs will not save my district any money.
Well...that's just...outrageous?
My district has never required us to pay anything into the pension or for health care.
Yeah, that's pretty standard in today's workplace. A fully paid for pension, employer paid health care premiums.
People accuse state workers of having cushy jobs, with exorbitant benefits, job security and fantastic salaries.
That would be me, yes.
So while admitting this makes me uncomfortable, I'm going to do it so you can see just how ridiculous that accusation is: My salary as a second-year teacher, with a Bachelor's degree and one class short of a Master's degree, is....$36,000.
Maybe I missed a beat somewhere. Am I suppose to feel sorry for you because you make more than I do? I'm confused. You don't pay for your health care, you have a state funded pension plan that currently allows you to retire at 57, and receive half of what your top pay was, and you want me to feel bad for you? No, sorry. Go fuck yourself.
Walker's proposal would cost me about $400 a month.
I don't really believe her math, assuming everything she writes is the truth. If she makes $36,000/yr and is asked to start putting 5% of her salary towards her pension that works out to $1,800/yr divided by 12 months is $150/month. Assuming she isn't currently paying anything towards her health care premium that would mean she would be paying $250/month for health care under the governor's budget proposal. This I don't believe. For a single person within a group plan (I'm assuming she's single because, well, because I saw this) $250/month is unheard of. That would be crazy high.
Frankly, I won't be able to survive. Because not only do I have the usual debt -- mortgage, car payments -- I owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. Getting a Master's degree is actually kind of pricey, but I assume you want a highly educated teacher in the classroom, right?
Actually, no. I don't think a Pre-K teacher needs a Masters degree. That's fucking stupid.
I'm not sure how Walker thinks reducing the salaries of thousands of workers like me is going to save the economy. With that kind of wage reduction, I won't be able to buy new clothes, go to movies, go out to eat, go to happy hour, buy Christmas presents, buy birthday presents, get haircuts or buy pet food. I won't be able to replace my 20-year-old furnace or my 20-year-old kitchen cabinets. I already gave up cable and I drive a used car with more than 140,000 miles on it. So it's clear I won't be buying any iPods or iPhones or anything else shiny any time soon.
Oh, so clearly you own a fucking home. Poor people don't buy homes.

My cube mate is a single mom. She makes what I make, if not less. One day I was complaining about being poor as I was eating some fancy sandwich from Panera. She said, "Robert, poor people don't eat Panera." She was fucking right.

Lady, poor people don't own homes. Poor people don't go to the movies. Poor people don't go to fucking happy hour. Poor people don't buy ipods, or replace cabinets that are 20 years old. You are not poor.
I suppose I could get a second job to supplement my reduced income.
I suppose you could. Most people I know who aren't highly paid professionals work two jobs. It sucks. But when you think you need more money, or you ACTUALLY need more money, you don't have a choice.
I get to school by 7:45 a.m. and I work until 4:30 or 5:00. At least one night a week, I stay later than 5. I'm supposed to get a half hour of "duty free" lunch every day, but I usually spend that time helping students or prepping for a lesson. There are some days when I don't eat lunch at all.
OH MY GOD. YOU TOTALLY WORK 8 HOURS A DAY. SOMETIMES YOU EVEN STAY LATE???
By the time I make it home, I am so exhausted, I usually drop on the couch and fall asleep by 9 p.m. I can't even stay awake to watch the news to see what Walker is going to do to us next. Getting a second job? It would probably kill me.
No. It wouldn't kill you. Heart disease may kill you. Diabetes may kill you. Working more than 8 hours a day won't kill you.
I don't want to leave my students. Because the truth is, teaching kids is a fantastic job. This past week, I taught a four-year-old how to spell his name. I taught another child how to sound out words, so he could start reading a Dr. Seuss book on his own. And I took my class to the planetarium, where they got to gaze in awe at the planets, moon and stars. The universe, they decided, was a pretty special place. Watching them, for a little while I felt it was.
Nice to see you making use of that Masters degree. You can spell BOBBY and read Dr Suess.
I hope you will join me in a candlelight vigil on Tuesday and Wednesday on the steps of the Capitol. Like thousands of other teachers, I am a dedicated and hard-working public employee, so I won't make it there until after the school day ends. I don't want to miss a single day away from my students.
"I don't want to miss a single day away from my students" -- Headline today at Fox -- Union Protest: Wisconsin Teachers Calling in Sick en Masse

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