Republican Thugs – Part 8 – New Berlin Edition

Today the New Berlin school district voted on a new handbook that they presented to the teachers as a finished document. With Scott Walker ending collective bargaining for public employees, examples like this show where this will lead. The draconian measures that were in the ending of public workers collective bargaining rights, played out as many thought in this draconian handbook forced on the teachers. Here are the changes that were passed tonight:

* Workdays for elementary will increase by 60 minutes and Secondary by 30 minutes
* Staff must be available to students before and after student schedules for at least 30 minutes per day
* You can be required to work an additional unpaid 15 hours; no more than 3 hours a week
* No set pay for overtime; only stipends
* No pay for subbing during your preps; Principals can assign you to sub
* Certified staff hours are 1520 per year full time (190 days for this year only)
* The 2012-13 school year starts on August 15’h and runs until June 15’h
* You may be required to start as early as 6:15 AM and end as late as 5:00 PM
* No pay for any attendance at IEPs prior to 5:00 PM
* You may be required to attend inservice or other training, outside your regular work schedule
* Next year, if we do not change the political landscape, pay will be based on performance; pay is insured this year because of the NBEA agreement.
* Full details not be revealed until September 8th; changes occur October 1
* Possible 80/20 plan and we pay additional premium if the cost of insurance rises
* $4,000 deductible with a $10 generic/ $50 brand drug cost
* The deductible can be reduced by $3,000 if employee and spouse fully participate in the Wellness Program
* Full participation in wellness program: health risk assessment, including biometrics, refrain from use of illegal drugs, participate in program to reduce risk factors, coaching, diet, behavior, follow up medical care, smoking cessation. 1st year: participate, 2nd year: have to take classes to reduce risk factors.
* False reporting, such as claiming you do not smoke when you do, can result in dismissal.
* Other details, such as increased co-pays TBD
* $15,000 payout and age 55 retirement has been eliminated
* Retire by 2016 at age 57 with 20 years at New Berlin, receive insurance until age 65
* Retire by 2021 at 57 with 20 years, receive 3 years of insurance
* Retire after 2021 no benefit packages given.
* 5.8% of your salary will be deducted for state retirement benefits (pension system)
* You are not allowed to drop any licensure without the superintendent’s approval
* Dress Code: Skirts below knee, no sweatshirts, no jeans, no large logos, no open shirts, etc.
* Be dismissed for having students as friends on Facebook
* Grievance: only in termination, discipline or alleged workplace safety issues; you cannot grieve non discipline issues are the items listed under non discipline items such as suspension, letters in file, plans of improvement, etc.
* Jury Duty: regular pay, but you must show documentation to the district that you’ve tried to change the jury duty time to July and August
* School calendar same, teacher convention will be professional development for this year only since it is part of the NBEA working agreement for this year.
* Evaluations: Done yearly without notice
* Collaborative time twice weekly for 2 hours a week.
* You must report all traffic incidents (except speeding) or any tickets you have received to the District within 3 days or face dismissal even if it occurs during your time off
* Take away all microwaves, refrigerators, and coffeemakers, even though each administrator and the District have these items.
* 4 initial days and earn l!I day per month based on good attendance
* However those who have accumulated over 45 days will not be awarded any days until they have used enough days to fall below the 45 day cap.
* Long term disability reduced from 90% of pay to 60% of pay. If ill or have had surgery and do not have any sick time built up, you will be short pay. You will also have to pay your insurance premium during any disability leave.
* No days will be added to sick bank, which will be discontinued after this year, erasing any safety net for those who become critically ill.
* Resign before first day of school, you must pay $200 plus board contributions of benefits (insurance).
* Resigns after the first day school, $2000 plus benefits payments if not 60 days notice given
* Compensation: -5taff will be issued a contract for pay not less than the amount of their pay in the year before the effective date of this handbook. Please report any effort to ask you to sign any additional “individual teaching contracts” unless they are co-curricular)

Tonight was the board meeting and unfortunately the hate right radio triumverate got word that the teachers were going to attend the meeting and put word out to their brownshirts that they were needed to heckle and intimidate the teachers. Their mission was accomplished as the minimal crowd of ” tea party” leftovers did the hate radios bidding and showed up and not only caused a disturbance, but according to people at the meeting, yelled and spit at the teachers, pulled signs out of their hands and ripped them up and even disgustingly handed out pacifiers to the teachers.

Yes the sin of professionals wanting a say in their workplace rules and a few disgusting thugs and bullies show up to attempt to degrade the teachers of New Berlin? They were dramatically outnumbered yet yelled the loudest and were the most antagonistic. The hypocrisy of that amazes me, also where were Sykes or Vicki Pyzinski or Jeff Wagner?? Too ashamed to show up on their own or too cowardly?

With the outrage at a few kids who dressed up like zombies and said nothing at a Scott Walker event, who on the right will be a leader and condemn the disgusting display tonight (especially the total disrespect of the teachers by handing out pacifiers).

This display shows exactly who the sykes/pyzinski/Belling hate radio triumverate really are and the picture is not pretty! I wonder if next they will try and hand out pacifiers to police officers when they call and ask for help, or maybe fire fighters when their house is on fire or prison guards everytime we overcrowded their prisons…

Will have more info and video later.

UPDATE: Here is some video from the meeting. I personally love when cowardly politicians take votes w/o discussion then have nothing to say afterwards. The WISN news report is here. The Journal Sentinel story is here. H/T Blue Cheddar for the following video, (PS> If you are not already, you should be reading her blog also.).


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41 thoughts on “Republican Thugs – Part 8 – New Berlin Edition

  1. As my wife would say… “You plant corn, you get corn.” If you elect thugs you get thuggish behavior. Is anyone really surprised by this?

  2. I would like to say at this time – while fully aware no one will listen or care because it does not serve your selfish interests and your Monkey See Monkey Do talking points- this is EXACTLY the kinds of stuff that the private sector have been enduring for the last TEN YEARS or more. Probably a lot more like 20 or 30 but I’m being generous today.

    And, of course they get subtle and “outside official channels” threats of dire consequences should anyone be seen THINKING of unionizing.

    May I also say, there has been NO OUTRAGE and no support for these other workers from party or union “brethren”. The Brethren do not give a damn. Have not given a damn but have enjoyed their automatic increases and excellent health care for decades while others lives have eroded

    During this same more-than-a-decade private sector people have been faced with referenda from local school districts in which they are also subject to a series of talking points from those unions along the lines of Raise Our Pay or You Don’t Like Kids.

    Now, this sort of thing is
    a.)unfair, self-serving and callous, and a serious Double Standard
    b.) exactly what has laid the groundwork for the working class (and other) hostility to the Public sector that ENABLES THESE PEOPLE TO BE ELECTED. The philosophy is of course pure revenge. if I have to live like this and YOU don’t care, then why should YOU be in a special protected class? There is NO SOLIDARITY HERE. that pissed people off. No brainer. The Republicans move in and it’s easy pickins.

    Finally – the private sector is in their 10th-plus year of living with these “draconian” (to us) “everyday” measures. And you know what? there’s other stuff too, like Political intimidation. But we’ll all be hearing about how horrible that is when it hits the teachers.
    But of course- not before.

    Welcome To The Nightmare, pardon me for not being so shocked, and, you could have seen this coming. Oh actually, people DID, they just chose to ignore it and chose to look out for those who gave enough $ until….suddenly that’s not enough either. So good luck winning the Hearts and Minds of people who will not get any consideration in return. People who have been shut out for decades.
    btw when the teachers get what is called Chinese Overtime (the kind where pay diminished increasingly the longer you have to work, each hour is less than the one before) , you can act like that is something new too. It’s been around since at least the 1980s, and people have lived with it with NO recourse, whether legal or not, but who gives a damn right?
    Teachers! woot! The only “workers” in America!
    Everyone else is invisible! yay!

    1. I’m not entirely sure where you’re coming from here. Are you saying that “hey, the private sector destroyed unions so it’s about time we got around to destroying the public sector unions too?” Should we really be using the destruction of the middle-class in the private-sector as a justification for the destruction of the public-sector middle-class?

      Sounds like veiled envy to me. The right is big on the whole “you envy the rich” meme (regardless of how stupid it is), I guess what we have here is a “they came for my union now I’m going to enjoy the schadenfreude of watching them take yours.” Hardly the kind of solidarity these times call for.

      I guess if you enjoy growing income inequality and the concentration of wealth and income at the top 1%, America is your kind of place. Me? I think that’s wrong.

    2. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of truth to what Annie K is saying.

      If we can rebuild the labor movement in this country, and that’s a big if, we had better learn this lesson.

      Solidarity has to become more than just a 1980’s movement in Poland.

    3. So, what you’re saying is that a so-called race to the bottom is what you favor? I’ve worked in the public and private sectors, as have many publice sector workers. A race to the bottom is not what I want for anyone. Private sector unions were mostly destroyed by those who are now busy destroying public sector unions. If you are unaware of that, you should look it up. Those in power now have no interest in you or me–their only interest is in keeping themselves and their cronies rich and powerful.

    4. There is a lot of things you’re saying is true, and honestly? We need to help with the private sector too, this is why we should stand with the public sector works instead of cutting them down ripping on them, so they can reach out and help private sector workers achieve solidarity as well. The mentality that “I lost mine, so they should lose what they have to.” is the cancer killing the country.

      Everyone who has went into the labor movement knows the private sector was gutted, they don’t have to be reminded that the private sector has it bad if they’re not the CEOs.

      So seriously, take your bitterness and shove it. Just because we’re focusing on the rights of teachers, nurses, sanitation workers, and people in the public service does not mean we’re not thinking of the private sector. What we want is an inspiration in the private sector, to fight the same way.

      1. A. Lalley and T,

        Where do you read that I favor a race to the bottom? Annie K explained how we’ve come to this moment, albeit with her ususal contrarian flair, but she’s right about a lot of it.

        And where do you see bitterness in what I wrote?

        1. Not bitterness in what you wrote: In what she wrote. She was saying it like the public have not been seeing this — and I suppose yes many of them haven’t been seeing it. But I come from a very pro-union family, my grandfather was in a union, my uncle is in a union, and we’re all in the private sector. To come down on high, saying how “we told you so and you deserve it for ignoring it” when my family and I have been actively trying to fight against this in the private sector for years is fucking bullshit.

          We need to rebuild unions in the private sectors and somehow keep the unions in the public sector alive. Otherwise, we’re just going to keep getting less and less, just like we have been since Jimmy Carter. (Like it or not, he is the one who introduced Neoliberialism to us even if Reagan was the one who abused it. )

    5. well instead of whining about your private sector job horrors, DO something about it…until all people rise up and say no more, you will lose even more rights now that union workers lost theirs. Approach them they don’t know where you live. Maybe if you joined their fight both would benefit.

      1. jsb,

        It’s pretty easy to exhort low wage private sector workers to do something about their situation from the comfort of an anonymous blog comment. Do you have any idea what it’s like to try to organize in a hostile work environment, where you can get fired for even being seen talking to an organizer?

        And it’s not hard to find low wage workers: they’re in trailer parks, public housing projects and run down neighborhoods all over the state.

        My wife and I launched a canvassing effort into trailer parks in one of the recall efforts, on our own dime and our own time, and though we approached people with the issue of cuts to the Badgercare program there were people still suspicious of us; like we cared about them now only because we had something to lose.

        There is a large underclass in this country that has been neglected for a long, long time by the Democratic Party and their allies; left to fend for themselves without much in the way of money or social status, and they aren’t going to get over it in six months time.

        So all of the sanctimonious howling on this thread about divisiveness and bitterness from the likes of Annie K, ( or me) just doesn’t sit too goddamn well with me.

        As for doing something about ” it ” I pledged $100.00 to the Marathon County Labor Council to cover the costs of keeping republicans out of their Labor Day parade, so I guess I’ve put my money where my mouth is and will say whatever the hell I want.

        Who else wants to send them $100.00? This is what solidarity looks like.

    6. No–private sector workers have gone into their jobs because that’s where the “real money” is–ask Scott Walker, he talks about the private sector in exactly these terms. If those in the private sector are content to trade their rights for cash, that’s up to them. Unions extend Constitutional rights to workers in the workplace–rights of assembly, expression and the right to petition management. And *this* is the real reason why Republicans are so anxious to take those rights away. To their mind, money decides what’s right, and only the wealthy (“the makers,” not “the takers”) have rights. Don’t complain to me if you’ve accepted this logic. And don’t fight to take my rights away. Fight for your own.

    7. So you’d rather drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator, rather than fight to lift all up to what we all deserve?

      And you’re calling who self-serving?

  3. and I’m serious about that Political intimidation, it’s out here, it’s real, it’s coming your way. Enjoy

    oh right… I mean Act All Surprised and like You’re the Only Ones.

  4. What do you expect? It’s New Berlin, the most dysfunctional, authoritarian, penny-wise/pound foolish, brutish suburb in the State.

    1. WTF are you talking about? I’m waiting for this kind of sense to come to WA/WM schools. Aren’t your property taxes high enough? Mine sure as hell are.

        1. Why should teachers be allowed to wear jeans, sans perhaps a casual Friday? Aren’t they professionals? If so, they should act like it. Wearing jeans, or t-shirts is just minor-league and give the kids the impression that the teacher is a slacker. Because, let’s face it, if they don’t bother to look professional, they probably are slackers. Gym teachers should be exempt, when they are participating in activities, not if they’re in a classroom. As the above poster said, you lost, get over it. I hear California is a socialist paradise…of course, they’re bankrupt. Guess those policies didn’t work out so well after all.

          1. Wow jimmyjam, you’re really the king of logical fallacies; but the most important lesson you need to learn is that correlation doesn’t equal causation.

            1. For the record, the comment you replied to was made by Happy West Allis Resident posting as “JimmyJam.” I edited the name to correct the sockpuppetry.

          2. Gym teachers? Most schools have had to give up phy ed and the arts…btw…wasn’t the last gov of CA a Republican?

          3. btw: does your employer require you to report any traffic incidents, etc? or risk being dismissed? (Unless you drive for a living probably not…)

  5. Now is the time for decades of hostility to come out. This has been just below the surface for as long as I can remember and we will see this atmosphere for awhile.
    Question is, who’s going into education in Wisconsin these days? After this year, will there be a reduction in applications to teaching schools at Wisconsin campuses? Have the fine folks in New Berlin and so many other communities, finally able to communicate how they REALLY feel about teachers, set the state up for a teacher shortage in a decade or so?
    If so, then what happens? In 10 years, will they have to offer OMG INCENTIVES to get teachers to come to school districts whose reputations as punitive warehouses have been cemented by years of behavior like this?
    This is just great – the WalMartization of Wisconsin schools. Can’t wait.

  6. Annie K’s words are devisive. I suspect she leans strongly right in spite of what she says! We all have to stick together!

    1. Actually, from what I read and got from her — she’s socially liberal (sans guns) but tends to lean economically libertarian. At least, that was how I saw it. She certainly is not right-wing.

      1. And when I mean ‘sans guns’ – I mean she tends to be a typical conservative about it. Aka, liberal in gun control. For clarification.

  7. These are all lessons in democracy. Money bought the Republican candidates their seats, and now these same Republicans, who always argue that “government is in the way,” are happy to hand teachers a new set of rules. Laissez-faire capitalists aren’t convinced teachers can reliably govern themselves, so their experiment in self-rule is now over. Regulations will be handed down from above, and this qualifies as “less interference from government.” Everything here testifies to the disabling of democracy–from the money that swayed the election to the new balance of power between management and labor. Those at the top of the pyramid will have their way. It doesn’t matter if Wisconsin’s teachers last year delivered some of the highest ACT and SAT scores in the nation, and by Republican lights should’ve *earned* their rights. This is about shock and awe attacks waged on democracy itself, and unless we fight this, it’s going to become the new normal.

  8. this is what the government wants, for us to be afraid of them. it should be completely the other way around and they should be afraid of us. this agenda of theirs that’s been brewing for a while wants people to be demoralized and fearful… we need to do the only thing we can to fight it and that is to VOTE the bastards out

    1. And to do that, ( fight it, vote the bastards out) we’re going to need to expand the electorate, which means that we have to reach out to new voters, which means that we have to understand the resentments of low income people toward the likes of public sector workers and overcome them so that low income people will vote for a change, or vote their economic interests for a change, which we can’t do if shrill voices among us are shouting down anyone who says anything that seems to either give voice to, or articulates clearly, those resentments.

      Have I made myself clear?

  9. Looks like I will relinquish my Wisconsin science teaching license. I don’t think I want to work in a state like this. I saw another post that said that some teachers were handed pacifiers. That is WRONG! How will we ever convince new people to enter this profession?

    1. Don’t. That’s New Berlin – aka Waukesha County and I heard there are areas around the state that are willingly raising their own taxes to make sure nothing gets cut.

      Just let them rot and move to a part of the state that will give the teachers justice. Trust me, they exist.

  10. This is the right wingnuts’ new meme: Teachers are overpaid, lazy, selfish, and don’t deserve the cushy jobs they have.
    To which I reply: Go fuck yourselves, you ignorant idiots.

  11. “You lose” Check yourself in the mirror. Check the lost and found – you have lost your humanity. Wanting others to suffer says more about you than it does about the teachers or the students at New Berlin. Education is a social endeavor for the good of our citizens and country. If you can’t get behind that, stay home, go fishing, move. Teachers are taxpaying citizens in your communities. They buy goods and services. They sacrifice time and energy far beyond any contract to serve kids. They should be treated with respect. Race to the bottom all you want – just don’t take honest, hard-working folks with you.

  12. New Berlin, the semi-affluent and insular bedroom community has just bitten off their own foot.

    Any good teacher worth their weight in salt is either going to seek out positions in another city or state, retire or transition to a new profession.

    As Jan T said- GFYourselves

  13. Teachers – if you hadn’t been getting it so much better on the dime of the taxpayers (and their children’s children who are not even born yet), maybe you wouldn’t be so mad now that you have lesser, but still cushy, jobs and compensation packages. To those of you who threaten to quit – PLEASE DO!

  14. Teachers are paid a pittance compared to the educations they have, the hours they put in and the responsibilities they are handed…your ability to read and write are a fine example of their contributions to society…that being apparent, your lack of cognizant thought is more likely on your shoulders.

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