Monday, June 27, 2011

SB5 and the Columbus "Ring of Fire."

I had a conversation with my brother this weekend. His wife is a teacher in a public school system. His question was "why are they going after school teacher/employees now?" I suggested to him that with the collapse of the tech bubble, followed up by the housing bust, and the resultant reduction in State and Local tax revenues these school districts need to spend less. Some, including Obama and Sherrod Brown call this an "Assault on Unions." Is it an assault when Atlanta is cutting union benefits (by a Democratic Mayor who was supported by unions), or in Chicago, where Obama's former Chief of Staff, who is trying to reduce the cost of the public school system? No, it's merely economic reality. And yet, the Ohio Teachers unions are amassing a war chest to pass a referendum to keep their sweet compensation and benefits deals by allowing Ohioans to vote on Senate Bill 5.

Estimates of the average pay of Ohioans in the private sector are around $40,000 per year. These workers probably are contributing to a 401(k) and maybe some match from their employer. Remember too that the salary and benefits that the public unions enjoy comes out of the Ohio taxpayers pay checks. Are we in a situation, where "Joe Sixpack's" taxes is paying lavish benefits for his kids teachers? You decide. Here are some charts that show some interesting details for the school systems/districts in and around Columbus. You can click on the charts to see a more clear image. This data is from the Buckeye Institute teacher salary database.

Columbus has 78 school district employees who make more than $100,000 per year. I limited the axis so as to show the details on the other districts.

The highest paid District employee may not be a teacher.
This chart shows and annualized salary, taking into consideration that salaries are earned over 1,350 hours during the school year, not 2,080 hours during a full year of work.

Do you make more than $100,000 for working 7-8 months during the year?
Do you make more than $200,000 for working a full year?
Is your 401(k) going to provide you spend over $2,000,000 when you retire, if you can retire?
If your answer to these questions is "No," you should think about whether you want your hard earned money to pay for these salaries and benefits for your local education unions. I know that there are great teachers out there, and they deserved to be paid for their efforts. The question is how much. Do they deserve to make more money than the families who are paying their salaries and benefit? The unions will be spending a lot of money to tell you how unfair SB5 is to unions. Remember these charts. They may come in handy when you decide what is fair and unfair in the union vs. taxpayer debate.


  1. A great partner to your post in today's WSJ:

  2. Over the weekend I chanced to hear a radio spot about SB5. It was an opposition piece and therefore chockfull of misleading statements.

    My personal favorite was something like "This despite the fact that 400,000 ohioans want a chance to vote on SB5".

    Yeah, right. The unions will lie if they have to and if they get away with it, well the more fool us. If democracy can be so distorted that these people can suck us dry with our willing consent then we deserve the hard times that the unions will bring us.

    One upside to this is the cost to unions of mounting this campaign. If we can continue to force them to drain their coffers for year round advertising and rent a mob actions they will have less with which to buy Democrat politicians.

  3. A reader has made the following comment:"hey, like the latest blog post, but fyi, if those school personnel making over 100k are administrators/central office (not teachers) then they're likely working the whole year, not the 7 month year, so your chart on annualized salaries might be inaccurate."

    My response: " I think I put that disclaimer on one of the charts and referred to school teacher/employees, not just teachers. I would say that these individuals are from the “Teacher Salary” database atht the Buckeye Institute. If I were to limit it to teachers my kids have, it would still be a stark comparison to private sector jobs ($140K annualized and Lifetime Pension Liability estimate of $1.4 million." The annualization is done by the Buckeye Institute, not me.

  4. As to the impending ballot imitative on SB5 what is less-than-worthless Kevin DeWine, RINO-in-Chief, doing to prepare for the special election? The answer is nothing. Actually he would like to see problems arise for Kasich because then perhaps his RINO uncle Mike DeWine could run for governor -- and lose of course.

    With republican leadership like the DeWines and the Voinovichs it is a small wonder the Ohio GOP is in a mess. We might as well have democrats in office at least then the stupidly, incompetence, and treachery would be charged up to the right party.


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