Currently, teachers and other state employees pay six percent of their health care premiums and virtually nothing toward their pension costs. Under Walker’s bill, they would pay 12.8 percent of their health care premiums and 5.8% of their salaries toward their pensions.
But if they able to renew their contracts before the bill goes into effect, all Walker bets are off.
Last month, the Milwaukee Area Technical College Board rushed through a new contract. Under it, faculty and other employees would pay 1.5 percent of their salaries for family health insurance coverages. The average salary of faculty is $95,000, so this would be about $1,425.00. The total premium for family coverage in the state system is about $20,000.00.
Under the current contract, MATC employees would pay nothing for their pensions. Under the new contract, they also would pay noting for their pensions. Under the Walker budget, they would pay $4,940.00.
Within hours of Walker’s announcement of his budget bill, the MATC union board met for emergency contract negotiations. Three business days later, the MATC board approved the contract.
MATC is not an isolated example. It’s happening across the state.
If there’s a backlash against teachers, this is one of the reasons why.