Private sector pay vs. public

Discussion in 'General Education' started by waterfall, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    This probably sounds stupid, but I'm genuinely confused. My home state is currently trying to pass a bill that would among other things greatly limit labor unions by getting rid of collective bargaining and also ask teachers and other public employees to pay more into their retirement and health insurance (from my understanding, since it takes all the power away from unions, it would also easily lower their salaries). In the "pro" publicity for this bill, I keep hearing over and over again that it's only fair for teachers/firefighters/police and other public workers to be brought down to the same salary level of the private sector. Pardon my ignorance, but don't people in the private sector generally make more money? I do know that private sector employees generally have to pay a lot more for health insurance and things like that, but I also thought that their salaries were much higher in general than a public employee's salary would be. Everyone in my family is a teacher or works for a school in some way, so I really don't know. I just feel like I always grew up hearing about how teachers didn't make "any money" and it seems I've seen posts on here where people have said they had to go back into the private sector because they simply couldn't pay their bills on a teacher's salary. For anyone that has worked in the private sector or has a SO or something who does, do they really make less than you?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that "private sector" is such a broad term that it could be interpreted any way you want it to.

    Donald Trump is private sector. So is Charlie Sheen. So is the kid who serves me my fries at McDonalds.
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I will gladly accept the current average salary for all jobs that require education beyond a bachelors degree with 18 years of experience.
     
  5. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    The private sector is anything not public. So if it's not funded by the government (local, state, federal) then it is the private sector.

    In term's of teaching, the public sector (for the most part, there are always exceptions) pays much better than the private sector. A friend of mine is in her 5th year at a private school and makes less than 25k. She loves it, and doesn't complain.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I was talking about non-teachers- I know they generally make less in private schools. My mom worked at a private school for a really long time and I made about 12,000 more than she did in her 20th year my first year last year. I don't think private school teachers are what they mean when they're saying they're "bring the public sector down to the level of the private sector."
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    My BF's salary almost doubled when he left his government job for a private job, and his benefits pretty much stayed the same. He did lose a pension but when you make that much more money, you can invest in something better, anyway.

    On the other hand, my dad has been working in the same field for 30+ years and has pretty much climbed the ladder as high as it can go without relocating, and he makes about as much as I did at my last teaching job).

    So I don't really feel like there is a typical private sector salary. Of course I think with what we do, the risk of being sued, and our high level of education and specialization, we should be paid more.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think they're playing games with the phrasing for political reasons.

    By claiming that teachers need to be paid the same way as the private sector, they're reaching out to all those voters who see teachers as living a life of luxury, making way too much money. They're hoping the measure will pass because the voters will want teachers to make a salary more in line with the salary earned by all those private sector voters.

    The reality is that there is no one private sector pay scale. It can mean whatever you choose to make it mean. But it reaches the voters.

    It's actually a pretty smart strategy.

    But my question would be whether those elected officials-- also public employees-- pushing the measure would be paid on the same private sector payscale as teachers.
     
  9. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I am in that home state you are speaking of. This issue is so hot that for the past 2 months, it has been the major news story! When compared to the private sector, I make more than some jobs, but considerably less than other jobs. For example, my friend has worked at a private sector job for 30 years. She has no higher education. She makes well over 100,000 a year, plus bonuses. I have worked at my current teaching job for 18 years. I make 30,000 dollars less than her, and I am currently at the top of the salary scale. I will never make more than I do right now. I have two college degrees, and I receive no bonuses. On the other hand, I make 20,000 dollars more than my sister, who has a bachelor's degree. She also gets bonuses, and other perks at work.
    It all depends how you look at it. What burns me up is that the governor and supporters of this issue make is seem as though ALL teachers are bad, and that we are grossly overpaid. I would LOVE for him to step into my shoes for one month. I doubt he could even make it.
     
  10. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    :clap: EXCELLENT point :thumb:
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    The average mid-career pay for my major is 69k a year.

    I'm sure in California it's a bit more.

    So do I get a raise?
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I work in the public schools in the morning and a private one in the afternoon. I make almost exactly 1/3 the pay in the private school and it is considered a school that pays more than average. If I was at the top of the pay scale in the private, as I am in the public, it would be 1/2 the pay.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I can actually answer that question- they applied a loophole that excluded politicians from the entire bill. According to the news story I saw last night, they're actually getting up to 40% raises.

    I agree it is a tactic to reach the voters- the "pro" side just makes it all sound so reasonable if you don't really know the ins and outs of what they're trying to do. Honestly, if I wasn't so close to the school system and heard what they keep saying about bills like this, I think I would have voted yes because it seems so obvious and reasonable that public sector workers would have to make some sacrifices too. The latest poll showed the bill being shot down (which is what we would want) by almost 2:1. I'm afraid people will see that and get complacent about voting though. I have several friends and family members that teach in Ohio and I really hope I'll be able to move back at some point, so I'm definitely watching this one really closely. I think it would be a huge success for labor nationally- especially with other states like WI and FL passing similar bills.
     
  14. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Nov 8, 2011

     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Then the teacher unions, the PBA, and every other group that deals with public employees had a responsibility to get the word out. I'm thinking full page ads in every paper in the state.

    Let the people know that it's not the teacher unions bleeding them dry, it's their elected officials.

    How sad. Today for the first time in my life I particularly voted AGAINST people instead of FOR them.
     
  16. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Nov 8, 2011

    Ohio has been a wonderful place to live since last November. Issue 2 is not only state news, but also national.

    While it is generally accepted that union workers pay slightly less of their share of health care and pensions than workers in the private sector, pay is significantly less than private sector workers.
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 8, 2011

     
  18. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I agree, Alice. For the first time, I have gotten politically active. I have my opinions, and I listen to others, but with this issue I felt obligated to educate those who would listen on the facts.
    I just voted, and I am actually giddy. It felt so good!:D
     
  19. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Looking good, so far!:)
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    It's been declared defeated:D
     
  21. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Hmmm that's good for you that is was defeated.

    Though where I live, starting teacher salary is around 35k, my buddy that has the same degree as me just got in on a corporate job in the same area starting at 48k. Assuming you account for the days not worked by a teacher, the teacher would make ~41k. Plus he gets bonuses at the end of the year based on his performance. ;(
     
  22. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I've been doing my happy dance all day!
    It isn't just because of the collective bargaining, it is because of all the little loopholes that were added. To be honest, it scared the life out of me to think of being paid on merit according to test scores. I could not find a fair way to do that, since testing does not occur in every grade in Ohio. And, teaching 5th grade, which is the hardest OAA test given up the the graduation test, the odds were stacked against us. So, whew! we did it!
     
  23. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Agreed. All of my friends make more money than me, but they complain about my benefits. :rolleyes:
     
  24. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Knitter, I have taught 33 years. I have my masters in Ed. from a major University. I make about 51k and that has not changed
    in the last four years. In fact the governor of Fla cut our pay by 3 percent this year. Your Ohio salary sound pretty good after 18 years. I was making about 34k at 18 years.
    btw my insurance is awful.
     
  25. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Nov 10, 2011

    Don't mistake me, I am grateful for my salary, and I worked hard to earn that salary.(in my district, in order to go up on the salary scale, you are required to do 60 hours of post graduate studies).
    My original post was in response to others who were comparing the private sector to the public sector. My point of listing the differences is that, with that particular issue in Ohio, the argument was that we make too much money, and don't give enough back. Do I make more than some public and private sector jobs? Sure I do. And I also make less than some too.
    Also, starting salaries for teachers in my district have risen with the times. What a starting teacher makes today is what I made after 10 years with my Masters. I think that compares more with what you were describing in your post.
     
  26. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I think when things like this are publicized, people don't realize that teachers across the country already HAVE made sacrifices in salary and benefits. I keep hearing that the private sector is having to make cuts, and it's only fair for the public sector to make sacrifices too- why should the private sector get cut and then pay more taxes for teachers to continue to get raises? Yes, I agree with that- it's perfectly logical. What they don't say though, is that teachers already have and continue to make sacrifices. They make it sound like we're using their tax dollars to continually get raises and better benefits, which obviously gets people upset in this economy. The fact is though that most schools have made cuts for the past 5-6 years running. My dad teaches in OH in a fairly well-off school district and he's been asked to pay more for benefits the past few years, took a pay cut this year, and a pay freeze for the past several years before this. This bill in particular asked school employees to pay 10% of health insurance and 15% of pension (or was it the reverse?), and when they publicized it they tried to make it sound like teachers were making a huge deal about paying these amounts. The fact is, most schools are already close to or already at paying these amounts- it was the collective bargaining and pay based on test scores that people were upset about. Yet they spun it to make it sound like teachers were complaining about paying a fairly small percentage of health care cost. I think someone else already mentioned this- but it's important to also remember that better benefits packages have always been marketed to public employees as a way of sort of "making up for" their low salaries. Yes, we do get better benefits, but we also get a low salary. There was a big outcry over sick days as well- truthfully, I'd MUCH rather have a higher income with no sick days than my low income with an option of sick days. I don't tend to use mine anyway!

    I also found the "merit pay" bit just a bit ironic. My district uses merit pay. I won't go into it to much, but the simple fact is they can't afford to give anyone raises anyway (like I said, we got cuts this year), so no one is getting their "merit pay" anyway (and has not since 2007 in my district). I suspect the exact same thing would happen in OH. They act like we have all this money that the taxpayers are giving us, and they're trying to get this merit pay thing passed...and the irony is that schools don't have enough money to pay raises anyway.
     

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