Why should teachers, or auto workers for that matter, be evaluated and paid for their performance like every other worker in the country?

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Why should teachers, or auto workers for that matter, be evaluated and paid for their performance like every other worker in the country? That just isn’t fair. These union members, with whom Obama has squarely has aligned himself, deserve a guaranteed paycheck, annual raises and better benefits for life than other Americans, don’t they?

Never mind that the UAW is singlehandedly responsible for the legacy costs that add approximately $9K to every car detroit manufactures. The comparable costs from foreign manufacturers is about 1/3 of that. Oh, and by the way, that is the principal reason that GM is in so much trouble. It is not unlike the situation that the NJEA has created for NJ public schools.

Organized labor in this country outlived its usefulness decades ago. Unions are now a debilitating burden on American competitiveness. They have bred generations of workers, who feel entitled and don’t feel that they should be paid for the quality of the work they perform. Don’t believe me? Go back and read Sean Spiller’s comments, the 33-year-old science teacher at Wayne Valley High School, who said he “can’t support merit pay.” Why not Sean, afraid you won’t stack up against your peers? The idea of pay for performance is EXACTLY what is needed in public school systems around the country. Face it people, public school finance and the quality of education is broken in this country. Adhering to the same union mantra of the past 40 years will ensure that it only gets worse.

How ironic that the educators teaching our young children are the ones who have failed to learn from history and choose to remain ignorant, out of their own greed, at the expense of America’s youth.

No wonder they overwhelmingly support Obama, just like the African American woman who was caught on camera the day after the election praising Obama victory, because now “she won’t have to pay her mortgage”. Do we really want to live in a welfare state? Or, do we want to to live in a country, where anything is possible, if you are will ing to work for it (and be compensated accordingly)?

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  1. Why should teachers, or auto workers for that matter, be evaluated and paid for their performance like every other worker in the country?

    Do you mean pay-for-performance like they have on Wall Street, where executives at Lehman & Bear Stearns got paid $ millions while running their companies into the ground and losing $ millions for investors?

  2. Your reasoning will not make unions go away. You don’t have to like them, or join one, but they are here to stay. It does not matter if we have a Democrat or republican in the White House.

    You should try to tackle an issue that can be changed.

  3. “just like the African American woman who was caught on camera the day after the election”. Are you sure that it just wasn’t a woman caught on camera? Do you include the race of every person that you talk about?

  4. Other then some execs, what other workers get paid for their performance?

    Police, Ditch Diggers, Drs., nurses, EVEN Firemen? I think not.

    You’re picking on teachers AGAIN.
    I still say, why don’t you try it for a week, you pick the grade level.
    HS and MS teachers work long hrs after work marking tests or devising homework and checking assignments, for maybe 100 students.
    Grade school teachers get somewhat of a break, but they need to put up with some bratty kids and maybe some insulting parents.

    They get GREAT benifits and pensions. But so do a lot of other professions, including the custodians and administrative assits. at the schools, Police, Firemen, city, county and state workers too, and you don’t need to be in the Union.
    Some big Corps. offer all thier workers matching fund pensions, stock options ect.

    If you don’t like teachers thats ok, but don’t single them out as getting more then others.

  5. 8:15 AM,

    Let’s see who gets great benefits, “custodians, administrative assistants at the schools, Police, Firemen, city, county and state workers too…”

    Gee, all the above mentioned work for unions. The same type of unions that have bankrupted the auto industry.

    These government employees mentioned are driving taxes through the roof. Just wait until the pension of these workers come due. It will dwarf the shit storm the auto industry faces.

    As for big corps offering matching pensions, do government employees have to contribute to their pension funds.

    Remember corp pensions tied to company stock do not always pan out in the end. If a company goes belly up so do its stocks and any pensions tied to them.

    Let get real here. Government employees have it real safe when it comes to work and retirement, unlike those in the private sector.

    As for performance, you couldn’t be more wrong in your comparison of doctors and ditch diggers to policemen and firemen.

    The later are protected by unions the former are not.

    Nice try with your spin but do think it all the way through, the next time you venture to opine.

  6. Face it. Unions are a costly, weak and inefficient way to provide labor.

    It takes too much from the taxpayer and provides too little in return. That’s why we do not respect union workers, no matter what union sells their labor in the crime syndicate market.

    It’s extortion, plain and simple.

  7. 9:36

    You should work for Obama.

    State workers do contribute to the pension fund, not all are union.

    So what, who’s protected and who’s not. The question is pay based on performance. State employed Doctors, Senators, State Lawyers, don’t belong to unions and they get benifits. The benifits YOU don’t.

    Working for the State doesn’t appeal to you because it didn’t pay a grand salary that you were looking for. However the people with half a brain and saw the future, wanted a pension and benifits upon retirement.

    If you don’t get a pension or benifits when you retire.
    You should have thought of this when you left school and joined the high paying work force.
    YOU could have picked a job, any job that pays pension and benifits.
    NOW you’re sorry you didn’t and we all have to hear you crying.
    Don’t try to lay your mistake on us.
    Pay for performance is a good idea, like somneone said, for Execs. Not how deep you dig a ditch or how many arrests you make.

  8. to 8:27 PM-

    Re: ““just like the African American woman who was caught on camera the day after the election”. Are you sure that it just wasn’t a woman caught on camera? Do you include the race of every person that you talk about?

    You are either a sexist hypocrite or a PC idiot (I’m guessing the latter) –

    Do you include the gender of every person that you talk about?

  9. How about we pay the new Superintendent for performance?

  10. 8:25 AM –

    Re: You should try to tackle an issue that can be changed.

    Spoken like a typical unmotivated, do-as-little-as-possible-to-get-by, find-an-excuse-don’t-find-a-solution union employee.

    If everyone followed your logic and threw in the towel on hard (not impossible) to solve problems, we’d all still be living in the dark and sleeping in caves.

    Some problems are hard to solve…none are impossible…at least not in the America that I live in.

  11. 8:15

    Grade school teachers get a break? They teach more than once subject! They work all summer to make their classrooms welcoming to children who are hesitant to come to school, work long hours to devise ways to appeal to their students, do not use the same lesson plans over and over every year and teach MORE than one subject!
    Are you insane?
    It looks like you may be a MS or HS teacher with too much free time on your hands. I know at 8:15 am, most teachers don’t have time to blog!

  12. 10:56
    I’m 8:15 and I’m on your side.
    I’m also retired. But I’ve been there done that.
    I said “gets somewhat of a break”.

    I got a 35-40 minute break for each of these, art, music, gym, health when someother teacher took my class, this is in addition to Planning Time I got everyday.
    Isn’t that SOMEWHAT of a break?

    Jump on 9:36am, this person thinks you get too much whatever already.
    Don’t lay your guilt trip on me.

  13. I haven’t read anything here that makes a compelling case for why teachers, auto workers, civil employees or any other union members should not be paid, in part or entirely, based on their performance. All I heard was how hard teachers work.

    I have a great deal of respect for good teachers and I think they should be well compensated. But, there is a wide disparity between the best and worst teachers in any district. I would also imagine that teaching in Paterson might be more challenging, in some respects, than teaching in Ridgewood. But, please don’t complain about long hours. There are few professions that work fewer hours in a year than teaching, I don’t care how many after school conferences you hold or how late you stay up grading papers. At the end of the day, you get three months off a year.

  14. 8:25
    We don’t make the rules that give us 3 months off. Maybe we get an extra day here and there, but its the parents that dictate what holidays we get.
    But its nice to have time to have a second job and earn the extra bucks so we can go to the beach or travel all over the world.
    Too bad you don’t get 3 months off.

  15. To 8:26…

    You are incorrect. You get three months off because, school is only in session for 9 months. Most parents would like to see school in session more often. I don’t think that the previous poster was complaining about how much vacation time teachers get. Rather the post asked teachers not to complain of long hours in light of their short work year, compared to virtually every other profession.

    Be that as it may, teachers’ compensation and benefits should reflect the fact that they generally enjoy 2 months more vacation than most other workers in the USA. As such their compensation should not be equal to a that of a similar professional, who works 11 months a year.

    Furthermore, the original thread on this issue was supporting some measure of “performance based compensation” in the public school system (not about teachers’ short work year). There is no viable reason not to base some or all of a teacher’s compensation on his or her performance. This will ensure that the best teachers are rewarded appropriately and the weaker teachers are also compensated according to their under-performance.

    Finally, tenure and guaranteed annual wage increases MUST be terminated. Look at the state of our auto industry. There is no question that the UAW’s negotiated labor contracts are the primary reason our auto industry can’t make money. It is easy to blame poor management or poor quality cars. But, the fact is that neither of those arguments are really valid. Over the past 50 years, many management leaders have come and gone in the auto industry. Some have been hailed as models for managers in other industries to emulate. Others have been less effective. Similarly, the 1950s and 1960s produced some great cars. Since the late 1980s, we have also seen some great models. The 1970’s and early 1980s were really the only periods, where the American auto industry failed to build good cars.

    So, what has been the common thread through boom and bust times, good and bad management and good and bad vehicle quality? It has been the negotiated labor demands of the UAW. The UAW has saddled Detroit with such a legacy cost burden over the past 50 years, that GM is sometimes called an “HMO that makes cars”. The UAW has made some concessions in recent years. But, it is not enough to salvage the industry…witness the current crisis. The ONLY solution is one in which the union no longer holds the industry hostage, much as the NJEA does for public school systems in NJ. There are plenty of example of non-union manufacturing in the USA that pays very high wages and produces high quality, low cost products. These companies are clear examples that unions are not needed to ensure a fair wage and competitive product.

    So it is with public teaching in NJ. The NJEA is killing public education in NJ. The best teachers, who work hard and do a good job, have no reason to fear a work place without the NJEA. It is only those , who want to skate through their careers, striving to do only what is required (and in some cases not satisfying that requirement) that have anything to fear. Take a look around and notice what is happening in the auto industry. It is happening in NJ public education too. And, it is the NJEA that is to blame. If we don’t make a change pretty damn quick, our school systems will follow the auto industry down the tubes, and our children will pay the ultimate cost.

  16. It would be interesting to see how much teachers could get done if they worked from 8 – 5 on a daily basis, threw in some unpaid evenings and weekends (just like any other salaried worker) and the school terms were spread out over 12 months instead of 10. Great teachers put in the same amount of time and effort as other workers, mediocre teachers do not. Unions protect the mediocre and poor teachers and don’t reward excellence.

    I’ve heard that part of the auto industry issue is the set-up of the manufacturing plants. Toyota (in North America) can switch relatively easily from one vehicle to another at a single plant, and builds them as needed. North American companies build only one to three models per plant and make extras to sit on lots until they are sold. One of these concepts is more efficient than the other. 🙂

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