Wisconsin School District Turns $400K Deficit Into $1.5M Surplus Via New Collective Bargaining Law

Bottom Line: Teachers’ Unions Obstruct the Goal of Educating Schoolchildren Efficiently

So when a teachers’ union rep rambles on about how what they do is ‘for the children’, you can go ahead and call bullshit on that right away: Union curbs rescue a Wisconsin school district.

Note this key point:

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.

Savings of $1.2M in a fairly small school district of 4200 kids and 400 employees, just in one year, just from a tiny increase to the employee for health care costs and a completely reasonable contribution of 5.8% for pension costs. In the private sector, ie, the “real world”, we pay a lot more than that out of pocket, especially for the 401k, where a 50% match or 100% match by your employer is about the best you can get. So the employee must fund at least half, and often two-thirds, of their retirement. Because we aren’t taking the taxpayer for a ride.

Then there is this:

In the past, Kaukauna’s agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust — a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. “It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them,” says Arnoldussen. “Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor.” This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. “With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, ‘We can match the lowest bid,'” says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

What a coincidence, that the old collective bargaining agreement called for exclusively purchasing insurance from a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union.

But there’s more, so go read the whole thing.

And note the sudden bout of efficiency and effective use of fiscal resources that broke out here, as if by magic, after removing collective bargaining rights from a union that had been — obviously — screwing taxpayers and taxpayers’ kids for years.

Also, is there some good reason that I have to rely on a non-mainstream media source to read about this? I can think of some reasons, but none of them are good reasons.

(link via the incredibly useful and educational InstaPundit)


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