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SB5 and the Columbus "Ring of Fire."

I had a conversation with my brother this weekend. His wife is a teacher in a public school system. His question was “why are they going after school teacher/employees now?” I suggested to him that with the collapse of the tech bubble, followed up by the housing bust, and the resultant reduction in State and Local tax revenues these school districts need to spend less. Some, including Obama and Sherrod Brown call this an “Assault on Unions.” Is it an assault when Atlanta is cutting union benefits (by a Democratic Mayor who was supported by unions), or in Chicago, where Obama’s former Chief of Staff, who is trying to reduce the cost of the public school system? No, it’s merely economic reality. And yet, the Ohio Teachers unions are amassing a war chest to pass a referendum to keep their sweet compensation and benefits deals by allowing Ohioans to vote on Senate Bill 5.

Estimates of the average pay of Ohioans in the private sector are around $40,000 per year. These workers probably are contributing to a 401(k) and maybe some match from their employer. Remember too that the salary and benefits that the public unions enjoy comes out of the Ohio taxpayers pay checks. Are we in a situation, where “Joe Sixpack’s” taxes is paying lavish benefits for his kids teachers? You decide. Here are some charts that show some interesting details for the school systems/districts in and around Columbus. You can click on the charts to see a more clear image. This data is from the Buckeye Institute teacher salary database.

Columbus has 78 school district employees who make more than $100,000 per year. I limited the axis so as to show the details on the other districts.

The highest paid District employee may not be a teacher.

This chart shows and annualized salary, taking into consideration that salaries are earned over 1,350 hours during the school year, not 2,080 hours during a full year of work.

Do you make more than $100,000 for working 7-8 months during the year?
Do you make more than $200,000 for working a full year?
Is your 401(k) going to provide you spend over $2,000,000 when you retire, if you can retire?
If your answer to these questions is “No,” you should think about whether you want your hard earned money to pay for these salaries and benefits for your local education unions. I know that there are great teachers out there, and they deserved to be paid for their efforts. The question is how much. Do they deserve to make more money than the families who are paying their salaries and benefit? The unions will be spending a lot of money to tell you how unfair SB5 is to unions. Remember these charts. They may come in handy when you decide what is fair and unfair in the union vs. taxpayer debate.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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