Skip to comments.Retired Educator Says He 'Would Not Have Gone Into Teaching' With Proposed Pension Reform
Posted on 04/27/2012 1:55:47 PM PDT by MichCapCon
A retired Michigan teacher says he wouldnt have gone into the profession had he known his payments for his health care in retirement were going to cost about $116 more a month than what he thought he'd have to pay.
A teachers pension with 30 years of service from his school district would be more than four times higher than the average private sector pension in the U.S., according to a Mackinac Center for Public Policy analysis. Pension and health care benefit packages for teachers and other government employees generally far exceed the benefits of most private sector workers.
Jim Pierson, the retired Huron Valley teacher mentioned above was highlighted on the website of the Michigan Education Association, which ran a story highlighting the testimony of Pierson talking about Senate Bill 1040, which increases public school employees contributions to their retirement.
The MEA wrote: "Retired Huron Valley teacher Jim Pierson called SB 1040 an example of bait and switch. "
Since I retired in 2010, Ive been hit with a tax on my pension. Along with other increases, my out-of-pockets costs have doubled," the MEA quoted Pierson as saying. "I didnt go into teaching to get rich. I sacrificed lower pay for greater security. None of this was in my retirement plans. If I had seen this coming, I would not have gone into teaching.
MEA Spokesman Doug Pratt didnt respond to an email seeking comment.
Michael Van Beek, education policy director at the Mackinac Center, estimated that a retiree from Piersons school district with a two-person health care plan would see monthly premiums increase from about $155 a month to $271 a month. If that employee was on Medicare, the monthly payments would be significantly less, Van Beek said in an email.
The MEA also quoted Gary Olson, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, as saying the average pension was $20,000 a year, which barely keeps a couple above the poverty line.
However, according to a Congressional Research Service 2008 report, people with government pensions had a median pension of $18,000 a year while private-sector median pensions were $7,584 a year.
A Huron Valley teacher at the top of the pay scale with a masters degree would earn $70,260, and with 30 years of service would receive a pension of $31,500 a year, Van Beek said. That pension increases 3 percent every year.
Leon Drolet, chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, took exception to Piersons claim that he sacrificed lower pay when he went into teaching.
"Its a long-standing urban legend that teachers say they arent making as much in the public sector than if they worked in the private sector," Drolet said.
He pointed to the arguments that the MEA has made for years that outsourcing public school jobs via privatization meant lower pay and benefits for school employees.
These folks honestly believe these things," Drolet said. "They are actually indignant because they are so far removed from the realities of the rest of society.
What the taxpayer thinks is important.
I don't know about Michigan, but these school levys have been routinely voted down here in Ohio.
The last time our school district passed a levy, like seven years ago, the bulk of the money went to making good unfunded commitments to the teacher's union fund.
They tried to sneak it around the taxpayer and are now exposed for the public-sector unionists they are.
in my day, the guys who didn't want to be drafted went into teaching....nuff said...
but those are qualities that are not always showing, sadly...
I'll take my old nun teachers anyday of the week....to this day, the best teachers I ever had were elderly nuns who knew their stuff and were quite the disciplinarians...God love em and bless them...
Once they can show me that they are getting their job done then I will listen. The last time I checked Michigan was 37th in the country for education.
Go cry me a river. You are not doing the job you are paid for and you still want more. Boo Ho.
Everybody wants the government to be a pyramid scheme for them.
And what about the retired Military Veterans? They got really low pay, risked their lives in wars, were told they would have free medical for the rest of their lives, but now they have co-pays for meds, and if over 65, they have to pay for Medicare. They didn’t get 3 months off every summer. They didn’t get Christmas and Easter Breaks, or all the other time off that teachers get.
Can I ask a silly question: How come these retirees (and even those currently employed) don’t sue their unions for mis-representation? Don’t the unions negotiate on their behalf and “lock in” contracts that lay-out the benefits to be received?
Had I known my kid was being taught to hate his country I would not have sent him to your lousy class D-bag.
I feel for you. I had a really lovely sister that was corrupted by the Womyn's Studies program of a ivy league school. I can still remember my dear departed father stating "these people are communists!". As a WWII vet he knew what we were too dumb and naive to know.
I’m sorry to hear that.
I went into teaching after a successful career in computer programming because I became concerned that I was teaching kids from India, not America, to program computers and that our kids were so ignorant as to believe in global warming.
I felt we simply had to do a better job of teaching our children if we wished to survive.
I now know I was a fool but my motives were noble.
Noble motives as far as I am concerned are the best. I gave up a job as a systems testing and integration engineer to go teach Naval Officers strategy and tactics(how to defend their ships) and enlisted personnel how to operate and maintain their radar systems. What I found scared me. I am making waves now and things are starting to happen to improve the quality of instruction. Keep up the fight.... make waves voice you opinion and keep on fighting. It may not improve but at least you will be able to go to bed at night knowing you are trying to make a difference.
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