MO teachers - Right to Work

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JimG, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    With Missouri Right to Work going through in 2017, I have never quite understood if it will affect the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) or the Public School Retirement System (PSRS).

    At each district I have been in in the Ozarks, teachers have NOT been required to join a union. However, most do indeed join MSTA for the $2 million in liability coverage, if nothing else. Are other districts normally similar? If so, I would not foresee MSTA being affected greatly since it is voluntary.

    For PSRS, all teachers automatically get 13% of their paycheck redirected into this pension program. Does this have anything to do with unions and Right to Work, or is it non-related and therefore safe?

    I am looking forward to voting on Right to Work this year. Though Governor Greitens signed it into law in 2017, enough signatures were collected to put it to the vote of the people in this 2018 election.
     
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  3. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

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    My state is a right to work state and we still have our state retirement system, as well as teacher's associations. Nothing changed from when I left NY, which was a union state. I have always been anti-union, so I don't see a problem with it.
     
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  4. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I hope Missouri voters can get the right-to-work law changed. The law is aimed at busting unions. No one can be forced to join a union in any state, but this law weakens unions and the ability of teachers to pressure the state on wages, benefits and teaching issues like class size.

    Not surprisingly, right-to-work laws lower wages—for both union and nonunion workers alike. These laws also decrease the chances of employees getting either health insurance or pensions through their jobs— again, for both union and nonunion workers.

    I see right-to-work laws as a slam against the middle class. Good luck getting rid of it.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    13%, that rate is horrible. That’s why I like working at a private school — I’m not bashing public schools, just stating my preference. They don’t take out money each pay period for retirement if you tell them not to and you can instead use the money to invest, which is what I’m doing and have been. In fact, one of the things I’m putting money in is a Roth IRA every year up to the max (currently $5,500). By the time I reach retirement age, I’ll have over $1 million saved in just the Roth IRA, not including my other investments. And when I finally retire I can collect Social Security and Medicare in addition to my pension through my numerous investments. Public schoolteachers can’t do this because they don’t pay into SS. They can this double-dipping.

    This is why I wouldn’t ever work in a red state. They have an unhealthy disdain for teachers and compensate them very poorly. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this... :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  6. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Admittedly, 13% was a shock when I saw it on my first paycheck. The trade-off is we can retire after thirty years teaching, and we get the average of our three highest years’ earnings each year for life. We also do not have to pay into Social Security. So ideally, I will be able to retire from teaching when I am 52. At that time, even if I move onto teaching in a private school, at a college, or in a different state, I will still get that pension.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  7. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    What kind of retirement system exists for public school teachers where you are at (California, right?)? Additionally, private school teachers tend to get paid less and have fewer benefits than public school teachers in this area. Is that the case in your region?
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Not at my private school. It is one of the highest ranked schools in all of California and one of the best paying. I currently make 55k/year, am a 4th-year teacher, and get a $5,000 raise annually. It will max out at 100k in year 13. (BTW, I have a Masters + 5.) Plus, my healthcare is 100% covered by my employer and they pay 90% for vision and dental — I pay less than $40/month in total for the both of those. Our retirement plan is so-so, as my employer only matches 1-3%. This is why I do all the investments myself. And because I work at a private school, I am allowed to solicit students for private tutoring. This enables me to make about half my teaching salary (27k) — at the moment I make 82k gross. In two years, I will make six figures with my tutoring money and so I love my school, haha! Another thing my school does which I love is that they gift us money every year before Christmas Break and Summer Break ($1,000). They are the best!

    California uses a retirement system called CalSTRS for public school teachers. Here is an article that explains it pretty well:

    https://ed100.org/lessons/pensions
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  9. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Sounds like yo have got a good thing going for you. Keep it up!
     
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  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Public school teachers absolutely pay into social security!!! Where did you get this idea?

    My last check I paid $230 into TPAF (pension system), $185 into SS, and $300 into my 403-b, as well as around $120 in healthcare contributions.
     
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  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Not because you work at a private school. Public school teachers tutor all the time.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I was referencing my state of California.

    “California public school teachers do not pay Social Security taxes or earn Social Security benefits. Instead, they participate in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS).”

    https://ed100.org/lessons/pensions
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Public schoolteachers are not allowed to advertise their tutoring services to students. Students have to approach the teachers, not the other way around. In my teaching credential program, we were taught about the Conflict of Interest Law for PUBLIC schoolteachers. It does not apply to private teachers. :p

    Thus, I recommend that certain students need tutoring and then offer to do the tutoring. The parents accept my services without fail. It’s a beautiful thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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  15. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Wait so you tutor your own students??? I would feel bad doing that---I agree that it's a conflict of interest, but I feel like it's in bad taste even if it were allowed. I get enough requests from students of other teachers that I have to turn many of them down anyway, and we keep our name on the guidance office tutor list when available.
     
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Based on the information you’ve given me, I am going to do a little mathematical exercise, because mathematics!

    I have determined that you made $2.983.87 last pay period after taxes. If you are paid over 20 months (on a 10-month contract), then that comes out to $59,677.42 annually after taxes. If you are paid over 24 pay periods (on a 12-month contract), then that comes out to $71,612.90 annually after taxes.

    Was I correct? :)
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I tutor my own students and students from surrounding schools, both at the high school and collegiate levels.

    Parents request me all the time. I am in such high demand that I, too, turn down students. I rarely self-advertise, but I am still legally able to do so.
     
  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    It's pretty darn close.
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Yeah! Go mathematics!
     
  20. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Anyway getting back to MO, anyone love how they call it "Right to Work" so it sounds like it's a good thing? Like "Right to Bear Arms", "Right to Freedom of Religion" etc...
     
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  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I agree. It seems “Right to Work” states are the worse places to work, ironically...
     
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  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My state is the same way. I have no real opinion on unions, but I've been happy so far with right to work--so far it usually keeps both sides honest.
     
  23. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'm in Missouri. A couple things to note:

    1. The mandatory retirement rate for PSRS is actually 14.5% of our salary, and the school district must match it. While it's a large chunk of money, I'm not complaining, and I know of only one very young person who is very far from retirement who has complained. Most people who have done their research and understand the system seem to appreciate it. Missouri has one of the strongest retirement systems in the entire county. Our system is funded, unlike many other states. Unless the politicians change the system and take our pension away from us, we don't have to worry about the money not being there when it comes time to retire, nor do we have to wait until old-age to retire (in most cases). There are a lot of things to complain about related to education in Missouri. Our retirement system is not one of them.

    2. Missouri has already had a law against teachers unionizing (outside of KC and STL city limits) for many years. The Right to Work law will have no effect on teachers, as teachers unions have already ceased to exist. MSTA and MNEA are technically associations, not unions, despite the fact that they are often commonly referred to as unions. Associations are voluntary across the state, and, as the OP stated, most join simply for the liability insurance, as collective bargaining in the traditional sense is not a guarantee through the associations. Many districts voluntarily participate in collective bargaining with the teacher associations, but it's nothing like a true union's collective bargaining. I worked in Chicago for one year and got to experience the difference between a full-fledged union and an association. I'll take an association any day.
     
  24. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    This is very informative and answers my concerns to a tee. Thank you.
     
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  25. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    The public retirement system in CA, if it doesn't collapse on itself, is ridiculous generous - far more so than SS every will be. It seems odd to brag about getting SS when I'll be collecting 90% of my highest paycheck for the rest of my life.

    That said, I fully expect it to collapse before I collect a dime.
     
  26. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    If you look at the benefits being cut and jobs being automated in low-wage industries thanks to mandated minimum wage increases then yes, having the Right to Work is a good thing. I should be able to work without being forced to join an association with which I disagree - that's all Right to Work means. Unions are still free to exist.
     
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  27. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    This I worry about too as I have another 35 years before I can retire. What happens to all the money we put in?
     
  28. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    It goes to tax breaks for the millionaires and billionaires. I'm worried about it in my state too.
     
  29. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This is why I pulled all of my money out of the retirement systems in IL (and one other) and rolled them over into a roth IRA. I wasn't vested in them, and I was no longer actively paying into them anymore. So, it seemed that the best solution would be to take my money out before the government decided to take it away from me. As I noted in a post above, I'm grateful to now be in a state where an unfunded pension system is not one of my concerns.
     
  30. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I too have money in my IL account that I need to do something with. My whole family is from there so I am not eliminating the possibility of ever coming back, so I’m hesitant to take out all the money and lose my tier.
     
  31. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I was hesitant about losing my tier, too, and that's why I waited so long to do it. I finally decided that, with the IL's finances being how they are, it was worth the risk for me. That said, I made a careful bet that I probably will never work in IL as a teacher again. If something happens where I end up going back and teaching in IL, then I guess I'll just deal. However, it seemed to be an unlikely scenario for me, personally.
     
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  32. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Because child labor isn't so bad, after all. And your daughters should count themselves lucky enough to be chained inside a warehouse.

    https://firstindustrialrevolution.weebly.com/working-and-living-conditions.html
    http://www.sbctc.org/doc.asp?id=4463

    Yeah, like the right to not have insurance and die in the streets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  33. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    What is your highest paycheck? Many teachers top out in the 50k-60k range or less, so 90% of that is poo-poo.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Quite frankly, this comment is gross. As you've made abundantly clear, money matters a lot to you. Great. Fantastic. Your comments like this are insulting to all the people who don't have the same kind of access to salaries like yours. "I mean, I have a house with 5 bedrooms. I have therefore decreed your two-bedroom apartment to be crap."
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So many of your blanket statements about public schools are just really off-base. I work in a public school, and I don't have money taken out of my check for retirement. In fact, the district makes a contribution on my behalf over and above what they pay me as part of my total compensation package. They also match what I contribute to a certain percentage.

    It's great that you love your private school so much, but please don't get things twisted. There are probably things you don't love about your school as well, things you've posted about here. Many teachers probably wish they made salaries like you do, but they also probably have other benefits that you couldn't even dream of. Every job in every school offers benefits and requires concessions. Teachers who love their jobs usually have found jobs and schools that offer a good and reasonable balance of these benefits and concessions. It doesn't have to be this battle between private and public like you always want to make it. Maybe consider letting it be a thing where you enjoy your job because of reasons A, B, and C, and someone else can enjoy their job because of reasons X, Y, and Z. Not everything has to be mutually exclusive or conflicting or any of that.
     
  36. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I think we’re from the same state lol. NJ?
     
  37. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's the one
     
  38. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    It is telling that these insults are allowed here.
     
  39. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Good points. However, I’ve noticed that most public school teachers have a set amount taken out of each check for their retirement (usually above 10%). That seems awfully high to me, especially since most private pensions take out much less and pay out comparable amounts. For example, I have a friend who works as a computer programmer in NYC and makes $150k/year. She only contributes 5% per paycheck and her pension is such that they average the highest five years worked after 20 years, I believe.
     
  40. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    No it doesn't. It is protected money, not general tax fund money. it goes to pay the retirements of current retirees. It's the same pyramid scheme as Social Security.

    However, since what we pay in doesn't cover what we pay out, thankfully those millionaires and billionaires you seem to loathe are kind enough to pay the difference.
     
  41. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    That’s not even remotely an insult. Are you joking me?
     

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