Teacher's Unions Gone Wild
From August 7th through the 13th, over 1,500 members of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) gathered at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, New Jersey for their Summer Leadership Conference (SLC).
Joining the NJEA members were several concerned citizens who took part in an undercover investigation to uncover the truth as to how far NJEA teachers would go to retain their jobs, discipline their students, and influence the outcome of elections.
The results of this investigation are being released through a series of videos . . . Teacher’s Unions Gone Wild.
To be among the first to receive future releases, sign up using the form to the right.
another one proclaimed he wanted to decapitate, cannibalize, drink blood, place head in madison city center, etc..
Wisconsin GOP Senators Face Death Threats; MSM Ignores
From 620AM Radio in Wisconsin:
Since the MSM appears intent on downplaying the growing intimidation and escalating threats of violence around the union power issue, I am reprinting verbatim an email that was sent to Republican senators. The email was signed, but I have deleted the name pending what I hope will be a thorough police investigation.
Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM
To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen
Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes [sic] will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult [sic]you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a demorcratic [sic]process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why thisis happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
Remember, again, the proposal in Wisconsin would give state workers slightly more rights than federal workers currently enjoy. Their pay is not being cut. No one will be laid off. But, they will have to contribute something to the health and retirement benefits.
Union Expense: Bus Driver’s Salary $159K
Feb 9th, 2010 | By Eric Hogue
Need a elementary example as to why states, like California, are broke?
Why we allow unions to dance dirty with government workers’ employment contracts AND use their monetary influence and power to play politically is beyond me.
The Hatch Act in Washington DC prohibits such tax dollar tampering. Here is a simple story out of Wisconsin that paints the picture perfectly today:
Madison’s highest paid city government employee last year wasn’t the mayor. It wasn’t the police chief. It wasn’t even the head of Metro Transit.
It was bus driver John E. Nelson (He is not pictured to the left, anonymous photo). Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.
He and his colleague, driver Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598, were among the city’s top 20 earners for 2009, city records show.
They’re among the seven bus drivers who made more than $100,000 last year thanks to a union contract that lets the most senior drivers who have the highest base salaries get first crack at overtime.
And there was a lot of overtime — $1.94 million last year, $467,200 more than the bus system budgeted for and the most ever for the system — as employees exhausted sick leave and took advantage of unpaid leave through the federal Family Medical Leave Act, officials said.
“That’s the (drivers’) contract,” said Transit and Parking Commission Chairman Gary Poulson. “(But) I think we want more information to the TPC and a discussion of all the facts.”
The high salaries for Metro bus drivers come as Metro’s ridership continues to grow and the system ranks high among peers according to a 2009 state audit. Metro, which increased fares last year, carried 13.58 million riders in 2009, the second highest total in 40 years.
Metro general manager Chuck Kamp, who earned $118,690 last year, defended the employees.
“These are very good employees who follow the rules that have been negotiated with the Teamsters,” Kamp said, adding that Nelson and Tatman “are senior drivers with excellent safety and customer service records.”
But he said Metro is looking at ways to limit overtime, including tighter follow up on workman’s compensation claims and exploring how to control the growth of Family Medical Leave Act time off by employees.
Nelson, Tatman and Gene Gowey, business manager for the bus drivers union, Teamster Local 695, could not be reached Friday.
In the past, drivers have defended the pay, saying they earn it by working long hours that can create hardships on families. Also, the job requires navigating an oversized vehicle through city streets and dealing with sometimes uncivil riders and other challenges, they have said.
The bus drivers’ contact, which calls for pay up to $26.02 an hour, expired at the end of December and the sides are now in negotiations.
Over all, Madison paid at least 20 employees more than $125,000 in 2009, according to city records.
After Nelson, the top paid employees in 2009 were City Comptroller Dean Brasser, who earned $151,551, and Police Chief Noble Wray, who made $143,585.
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz was paid $112,880. He wasn’t among the top 20.
Concern about bus drivers being among the city’s highest earners isn’t new. The issue surfaced after Metro changed from a Downtown hub to a transfer station system in 1998.
In 1997, before the change, no driver made more than $70,000. But two years later, as Metro struggled to fill vacancies, two drivers topped $100,000 and seven more made more than $70,000.
A high base salary and other benefits for drivers were largely set in the 1970s and 1980s, when the city took over the bus company.
Also, the union contract limits part-timers to 15 percent of the number full-time drivers, and part-timers can only drive morning and afternoon school routes. Those rules create opportunities for overtime and other special pay for full-time workers.
The city negotiated more flexibility for using part timers in 2002-03, but a state audit last year recommended Metro seek even more flexibility and noted that some pay premiums, such as those for evening and Sunday shifts, are uncommon in the industry.
In the past three years, Metro has been below budget for regular salaries, mainly due to vacancies, but exceeded budget for overtime, Metro data shows. In 2009, Metro was $290,000 under budget for salaries, spending $22.8 million, but $467,200 over budget for overtime, spending $1.94 million, the most ever.
Overtime is high for several reasons, Kamp said.
Metro employees are exhausting sick leave time, taking advantage of the federal Family Medical Leave Act and have high rate of absenteeism without pay, Kamp said.
For example, use of the medical leave act by Metro employees jumped 44 percent to 28,340 hours from 2008 to 2009, Kamp said, calling it “the driving factor” for overtime last year.
A city hiring freeze last year blocked Metro from replacing drivers for a time, Kamp said. Cieslewicz later authorized Metro to fill vacancies after learning it was cheaper than paying overtime.
Also, Metro undertook a safety program that took drivers off their jobs and increased overtime, Kamp said. But the training helped cut preventable accidents 17 percent last year, he said.
Metro is working with the Teamsters to control vacancies and absenteeism, including a progressive discipline system for absence without pay, Kamp said.
Already, Metro has cut worker’s compensation costs 27 percent to $632,600 between 2007 and 2009, he said.
Despite challenges with overtime, Metro’s cost per rider rose just 5 percent to $3.07 between 2006 and the third quarter of 2009, Kamp said.
“There are a number of things we’re trying to do to create efficiencies,” he said.
Click to view image: '4995caadc704-159k_school_bus_driver.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|