Sunday, September 9, 2012


Would you stay on a job in which your employer requires you to decorate your workspace but doesn't offer expense reimbursement?  No, you're not a Teacher.

Would you stay on a job in which you are required to provide your own supplies in order to do your job?  No, you're not a Teacher.

Would you stay on a job where you are promised a raise but you don't get it?    No, you're not a Teacher.

Notice what each question has in common, in each instance Teachers pockets are impacted.

One instance I remember from my teaching days that I found especially egregious.  First, I need to give a little background on one aspect of teacher pay.  Teachers get a salary for working the regular school year.  A portion of that salary is deducted from their pay each pay period to continue their salary during the summer break.

For example, assume you make $1200 per year for 10 months work; that's $120 per month.  But to provide equal pay each month your boss pays you $100 per month and keeps the extra $20 to pay you the two months you don't work.  This is how teachers in Chicago are paid.

A few years ago, while I was teaching, Chicago changed the date that teachers were paid.  To do so, they took a week from the teachers set aside salary to pay teachers for the pay date change.

Back to our example, $200 was taken from the teachers pay but they only received $195 back.

I'm a CPA, have a Masters in Finance and in Information Systems Management.  I worked in both Finance and Information Systems Management before becoming a High School Math teacher.  I can assure you it was not necessary either from a finance or technology standpoint to reduce the amount teachers were paid to make a pay date change.  Did you hear of protests when this happened?

Would YOU stay on a job in which your employer took money from your pay for their benefit?  No, you're not a Teacher.

Chicago Teachers are set to go on strike tomorrow because a contract cannot be reached.  Teacher pay is one of the items still outstanding.  Teachers have agreed to a longer school year and a longer school day, don't they deserve a decent increase in pay?  I say, TEACHERS DESERVE TO GET PAID.

While I can understand that striking and keeping kids out of school is not good, I also recognize that you can only beat someone up so much before they fight back.  Give 'em heck, Karen Lewis, CTU President, TEACHERS DESERVE TO GET PAID.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Decisions are Made by Those That Show Up

"Decisions are made by those that show up"  POTUS Jed Bartlett.  These words are more important and just as true today than when President Bartlett spoke them in 1999.

Yesterday was the Wisconsin recall elections.  Governor Scott Walker retained his post over challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  The pundits will explain that Walker won because of big money spenders from outside Wisconsin outspending Barrett 8 to 1.

Money does play a large part in elections but I have another opinion.  Elections are not only being won by the big money-spenders; they are also being lost by the voters that don't go to the polls.  In the final vote total Governor Walker got 100,000 more votes than Mayor Barrett.  However, the big number is that one million fewer voters went to the polls yesterday than voted in the Presidential election of 2008.  A few more voters getting to the polls and the election results could have been different.  If you think your vote doesn't matter, think again.

November we will vote for President, House of Representatives, and some Senators.  If you're not sure who to vote for:

  • Look at the candidates records, not their rhetoric.
  • Decide which candidate is most likely to make decisions that benefit you; then


P. S.  Not sure who is President Bartlett????  He was the fictional US President in the television series "The West Wing".  Yes, a fictional character, but his words are still true.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You Lost My Vote When You Opened Your Mouth

Yesterday was the Illinois primary.  On Tuesday we heard news report after news report discussing how low the voter turnout was for the primary.  Today we're inundated with analysis of how voters voted and why.  Newscasters have come up with a lot of different theories about the election results:  (1) certain candidates won because of name recognition; (2) voters chose the first name on the ballot.  One explanation is surprisingly missing: 


Yep, that's right.  Voters researched the candidates and made decisions based on their investigation.  

For example it was truthfully reported that Jesse Jackson, Jr. decidedly beat Debbie Halvorson.  The reports seem to indicate that the election was a cake walk for Jackson; and Halvorson just wasn't known well enough.  With an ongoing ethics investigation how could voters choose Jackson?  Those reports fail to mention that earlier polls had Halvorson leading Jackson by 30 points, only to loose by 42 points.  I suggest that voters choose Jackson based on the issues where the two candidates differ.   

In another example, newscasters are shocked, SHOCKED that Democratic Representative Derrick Smith beat challenger Tom Swiss.  After all, Rep. Smith had just been indicted on federal bribery charges.  How could voters choose Smith over Swiss???  If it's mentioned at all, its only in passing, that Swiss is a Republican and he called the voters in the district "low information".   Why would newscasters expect Democratic voters to vote for a Republican that called them stupid?????

Remember the Michigan Republican primary?  Rick Santorum was leading in the polls, then he opened his mouth and the state swung to Mitt Romney.

I have more examples that I can give, I don't think it's necessary.  To candidates and newscasters, stop assuming that voters are stupid sheep.  THEY LOST MY VOTE WHEN THEY OPENED THEIR MOUTH.