Tuesday, May 10, 2011

OEA Squeezes Ohio Teachers a Little Harder

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) has a good thing going: the union takes dues from teachers – whose plight is the OEA’s reason for existing – to elect their bosses and pay their own salaries. Their own salaries tend to be... generous.

Based on the tepid liberal responses I’ve seen to this bold hypocrisy, OEA pay indicates one of two things:

  1. Tireless teachers’ advocates paid market rate.
  2. Nothing. There’s nothing to see here at all.

Leaving aside the hilarity of union advocates suddenly concerned about anything’s “market rate,” I’ve yet to come across a decent excuse for the OEA paying the average union employee $40,000 more than the average teacher. The OEA’s entire sales pitch is underfunded children and impoverished educators, for Pete’s sake! It’s like paying a chauffeur $96,000 a year to complain about your car loan.

Other adorable public union facts: if you suggest that teachers paid $75,000 could take a 10% pay cut to avoid firings and program reductions, the left will attack you. Mention union reform in a room of Democrats, Socialists, and Communists, and you’d hear the same miserable arguments from all quarters. Essentially, any reduction in the speed of the taxpayer gravy-train brings such a flood of liberal tears, they can scarcely identify rich people to tax. Mathematics be damned, liberals care!

In light of all this, Saturday’s OEA decision is no shock:

The Ohio Education Association will assess active members $54 apiece and support-staff members $25 to generate $5 million as fuel for a referendum to repeal the state’s new collective-bargaining law.

The decision was made yesterday by about 1,000 delegates attending the teachers union’s Spring Representative Assembly at Veterans Memorial.

Read that again: the most union-friendly teachers got together and agreed all teachers should pay the union more. Because teachers are underpaid. Also unsurprising is this endorsement from America’s most liberal senator:

Speaking at the OEA meeting yesterday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown urged teachers to rally for the referendum campaign and “make this personal.”

“You can talk all the statistics you want, but tell your personal story. Tell people why you’re a teacher,” the Ohio Democrat said.

The union has to make this personal, because if numbers are treated like numbers the OEA is sunk. So, to tell the story about how difficult it is to be a teacher, the union is going to take another $54 from every teacher. Maybe if they shriek and flail wildly enough, people will ignore numbers like the ones in my chart above.

Senate Bill 5 is and has always been about restoring power to the taxpayers. Since that power currently resides with the unions, Ohio can look forward to another $54 per teacher being spent on the state’s most mathematically-challenged smear campaign this side of Brown for Senate 2012!

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at that hero.


  1. So, out of 128,000 teachers, the 1000 that are the most pro-union get to dictate to the others that they will take more of their money.

    Rank and file teachers get a vote on contracts, but not a vote in the union itself. Amazing that this is even legal.

  2. My question is this: How many of the 1,000 union reps who voted for this extra money to be taken from teacher paychecks are getting paid money by the union to be reps?

    If a significant number of them get any kind of stipend for being a union rep, then the vote is even more of a sham.

  3. Yet another post recycling the same garbage as somehow news that is based on the shocking and terrible secret that the upper levels of an organization makes more than the lower levels. Stunning that you're stunned by this.

    Meanwhile a pro-Kasich independent group is formed in a manner to hide all of its donors and how it collects its money and this site doesn't bat an eye.

    The vote is only a "sham" because you don't like the result. Yes, they're organizing against SB 5. No, it's not just the "union bosses," either as you are so desparately trying to present it.

    Heck, it's not even unions that are solely organizing to defeat this stupid bill.

  4. They don't just "make more" at the upper levels of the union -- they make a LOT more.

    And on something as important as SB 5, if the union is THAT confident of its support from members, why strong arm them into giving money.

    Why not make it voluntary? Other union groups did this. They didn't use typical union thug tactics (pay or else) to get their pound of flesh from members.

    Unions wouldn't get any flack from me and a lot of other folks if they made all this stuff, including membership and paying dues, VOLUNTARY.

  5. OTJ: To my knowledge, they are not paid to be reps, but I'm not positive on that.

    However, they have to run in their school district to be a union rep. So, by default, every single one of them is a union-loving lackie, through and through.

    So, of course the 1000 reps voted for the measure. They are the 1000 most pro-union folks of the whole bunch.

    There are many many teachers who just like to teach, and if they had a CHOICE, would have nothing to do with the union. Yet, they had NO say in whether the OEA confiscated more of their hard-earned money.

  6. The scam here is easy to spot. The union dues are withheld by the state. So a handful of people basically hammered the rest for more than $600 per year.

    I watched this same dynamic in California years ago. A proposition was placed on the ballot to mandate vouchers. The union levied a special assessment to raise the campaign cash they needed to thwart the will of the people. Every teacher that I spoke with was angry. They just didn't understand why the union didn't save money elsewhere and live on the dues that were already being confiscated from their paychecks by a duplicitous government.

    We have the same thing here. The union members have to find a way to live without the money the unions is taking from them. But the union has no need to economize at all.

    I wonder just how much money the unions will recieve from the teachers when dues payment is voluntary instead of mandatory.

    that's the real issue here. The union bigs don't want to see their rice bowl drained and they will screw anyone, even their members to keep the cash flowing in their general direction.

  7. Well, according to this site's own chart, the OEA employees are paid less than twice what teachers make. Is that portionate alot more?

    Not when you figure that in the Governor's office the difference is a factor of around six, not less than two. Or take the private sector. Do you think the CEO of Bob Evans makes less than twice the annual salary of its waitresses and dish washers? How about the average corporate Bob Evans exec to the average of the hourly, minimum wage employees?

    Or take IBM, Apple, GM, Nationwide, The Limited, or heck, pick a company. Think their top staffers make less than twice what the lowest rungs of the organization do?

    Yes, how dare unions utilize the radical concept of... representative democracy as a means of internal governance. You'd never see the Ohio Republican Party do that. You'd never see them have a centralized committee of partisan die hards who are elected to represent those who are probably less committed to the cause than they... and yet have the authority to make major policy decisions for the group. Nope, the Ohio Republican Party has no such Central Committee type thing at all... No, sir.

    Incidentially, the real reason teachers make more on average than the average "private sector" worker isn't because the teachers are unionized. It's because they're more educated as a class. "Private sector workers" included high school dropouts and minimum wage and part-time employees.

    Teachers have to have a four year degree and get a Masters within five. Here's the salary information for the average salary of a person with a Masters Degree:

    In other words, not much different than what teachers make, which, amazingly, isn't that much higher than the median income in Ohio, according to the latest census data: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39000.html

    In other words, your post is filled with junk science that makes unfair economic comparisons to try to support your own preconceived, biased conclusion that is objectively false because you failed to adjust your data among the various population groups you compared by equalizing the education background of each labor market segment.

    If you compared the average salary of an Ohio private sector worker with the kind of education required to be a teacher in Ohio, you'd find there's no income advantage at all for being a teacher.

    In other words, the opposite of what you claim is the case is the truth... as always.

  8. Modern sees no issue with union employees making nearly double the average teacher. Modern, you do realize that a union boss is a professional whiner and not a CEO - right?

    Wait, of course you don't.

  9. Way to dodge the defend the integrity of your work in which you compared the salaries of a minimum wage earning high school dropout and compared it to a teachers with a masters degree, ignored the difference of educational background as a factor, and declared that it MUST be because the teacher is in a union is why she... barely earns more than the median income for an Ohioan.

    Sorry, J Hart, but I'm not stunned that the head of a statewide organization makes more than a single-subject teacher in a school district, and I can't imagine why anyone else would be offended by that either.

    Seriously, J Hart, if you can't even defend your own junk science better than this...
    And the only one whining is you.

  10. Still more abject nonsense from "modern".

    The simple fact is that the union's top brass get the salary from the members. The examples from the private sector are not comparable.

    the CEO of Bob Evans doesn't get his salary via government mandated deductions from the employees' salary. But the thugs on the top of the unions do. Their inflated salaries are paid for via after tax deductions from thepaychecks of the fools who go to work and pay dues. the difference is stark.

    And the "they have more education so they should get paid more"argument can only come from someone who has little experience with the market. The education asset possessed by an individual is only worth what the market will pay. Only a union lackey or a gummint bureaucrat would insist that more education MUST equal more income. How many folks out there with advanced degrees in "the feminism of Poverty" are guaranteed to make more than the guy working the shop floor at Timken? After all it is the guy on the shop floor who is paying inflated taxes to satisfy the greedy teachers.

    further, the teachers now can retire a good fifteen years before the rest of the population. 15 years that they get to wrap thier lips around the public nipple and do absolutely NO work in exchange. Many of the teachers will be retired for longer than they worked.

    And all of that is funded by US, the taxpayers. I see no valid reason why the teachers should have a better deal than I do. NONE. What's so special about them, other than their ability to silently scam an unwitting electorate?

    Remember the old bumper sticker: Pray for the day when the teachers are paid what they are worth and the pentagon needs to have a bake sale?

    Well guess what, that's today.

    Hey Modern (what an oxymoron) here's a quote from an ancient:
    "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men"

    Plato got it right. Our indifference allowed your friends to screw us. No mas my man. We're darned angry and we're not going to take it anymore.

    I could make suggestions about next steps for modern relative to his sophistry but hey, the host says, no profanity!!

  11. Show me an organization where the top leadership position pays the same as its members, and I'll show you a Quaker church.

    Where's your outrage that John Kasich pays his staffers even more with your tax dollars? That he pays multiple members of his staff a higher salary then his own salary set by statute? If you're truly mad as heck, be consistent.

    Actually, there are plenty of market studies that show that a person's level of education is the most influential impact on what the person can makes in the private sector. You don't see many high school dropouts making more than people with masters degree.

    Anyone who actually STUDIED the market would know this, instead of an Anonymous commenter in a thread who can present no actually evidence to support his position. I gave you a link to a source. I could provide others.

    Those teachers contributed to those pensions, which will still exist if SB 5 becomes law.

    Who's scamming who? You didn't know before SB 5 that there's pensions?

    You're so outraged at this, I'm sure you've written Governor Kasich to demand that the double dippers (people who are drawing both a paycheck and a state pension) in his Cabinet like Tom Charles and others RESIGN immediately, right?

  12. CEOs and governor's staff and high school dropouts, oh my!

    Modern, your insistence that OEA employees are the "upper levels" of education is incredibly telling.

    Your obsession with CEOs overlooks the fact that investors & consumers can penalize corporations as they see fit - which isn't remotely true for public unions.

    Your obsession with Kasich's staff pay is easily addressed by voting for someone else and telling others to do the same. Again, taxpayers have no recourse with public unions.

    Please continue commenting - having our very own Plunderbund Pal makes for comic gold in these threads!

  13. Oh my, looks like we struck one of Modern's nerves. Oh well.

    Yes, there is a correlation between education level and income. but that is NOT what's driving the fiscal problems of the state. The unions have hammered us because they were paying closer attention than the taxpayers. It is the same old story, focused benefit VS diffused cost.

    the OEA hand selects board members, it and other unions contribute heavily to the election campaigns of politicians who will favor them come contract time. All this has resulted in an empty treasury and a vastly over compensated civil service corps.

    Not everyone who has a college degree makes what a teacher makes. I certainly don't. Nor am I in a position to retire more than a decade earlier than others. No taxpayers will insure that my pension money never runs out. My pension, BTW is defined contribution, not the much more expensive defined benefit.

    Simply put, the teachers are killing education and the state of Ohio too. Ditto the other greedy civil service union members.

    I live in Lorain, it is an embarassing ghost town now. In the recent Democrat primary for mayor, the incumbent recieved a significant portion of his campaign dough from unions. Somehow I am supposed to believe that he'll represent ME and not his cronies who kept him in office? I hardly think so.

    I had a conversation with a teacher who was canvassing for issue 9. Her theme was simple: It's not a tax increase. My theme was simpler still: its not a tax cut either. Lower taxes would help the region, but nooooo. we have to make sure that the gummint employees get their viagra.

    The teacher lamented the fact that the libraries in the schools were closed. I told her the truth: that's because all the money goes to the teachers.

    Looking at the districts financials it is obvious. Even though the "purchased service" expense line rose, to pay for students leaving to attend charter schools, the salary expense line GREW enormously. I asked the district's financial manager why: well, its the new CBA.

    So the schools are desperate for the money and are squeezing property owners dry because the greed of the teachers knows no limits. there are fewer students in the public schools but the salaries rise year after year. We are paying more and getting less. How is that sustainable?

    Trying to deflect attention away from this issue by doing the school yard "yeah but Kasich" is just a sign of weakness.

    What's next Modern? You gonna stick your tongue out and say neener neener neener?

  14. Boo, Blogger ate my comment from last week. I'm sure Modern, arguing in good faith as he always is, had some witty reply, too!

    CEOs represent companies taxpayers can do business with or not as they see fit. If you think Kasich pays his staff too much and/or gives too much to businesses, you're free to vote for someone else. If you think union employees are grossly overpaid... well, if you're forced to pay dues you can quit. For the average taxpayer, there's no recourse.

    Other than that completely central detail, the union talking points make perfect sense!

  15. Um, the taxpayer still has power and the ability to check unions by holding the elected politicians who must approve the union contracts accountable. That's still more of a check than I get than stop buying American Greeting cards.

    You also have gotten past the major flaw of this post which fails to take into consideration other non-union related factors that explains the salary difference, like educational background.

  16. Does MODERN understand the function of a union? Because it sure seems like MODERN thinks the union actually produces something other than agitation. They don't. All they do is run around the state and tell teachers they deserve more money, even if the district is broke.
    The arrogance of this concept is overwhelming.
    Union staffers THINK they should be compared to CEOs.
    Union staffers THINK they are better than the teachers they claim to represent, by comparing teachers to dishwashers and union staffers to executives and CEOs.
    Bah. Teachers have no choice but to pay the union dues, which are not set by the teachers, that's for sure.
    Then the unions run around the state and claim they're better than the people who pay their salaries.
    Ridiculous and pretty dang solipsistic.

  17. You are wrong when you say teachers have no say. In the district I teach in it is optional!

  18. Modern - another element to compensation averages that you seem to neglect mentioning- most teachers are contracted for only 185 days of work. (with up to five of them possibly being calamity days with no make-up) Not many private sector workers, even with college degrees, can make that claim.

    Earning Master degrees also provides big dividends - normally there are major pay column increases in having a Masters degree. Many districts also pay more with +15 hours; +30 hours; and PhD's.

    A lot of the post graduate work is now online and often not very challenging. The "brick & mortar" days of sitting in a classroom are passe. I know teachers who have earned Master degrees + 30 hours who have never left their home and earn about $15K more per year because of it. Most of the tuition picked up by the taxpayer.


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