Gov. Walker Calls on Teachers to Take 24% Pay Cut
Madison – Governor Scott Walker continues to tighten the reins on state spending with his most recent initiative to cut the state budget shortfall through the reduction of compensation to state public workers. “I respect and admire the efforts put forth by our public school teachers, but in this financial climate we must do all we can to balance the state budget,” Walker said from a state capitol press conference Friday. Walker noted that school is not in session for all 52 weeks of the fiscal year and that salaries should be judged on actual work performed—not based on contracts created through the collective bargaining of teacher unions.
“By paying these teachers for the time they actually work we will be able to fairly compensate them and make sure that their wages are in accordance with the values of all hard working Wisconsinites,” said Walker. Per the governor's formula, teacher salaries will be reduced by 24 percent, considering that with summer and winter recesses, schools are actually in session for only 38 weeks annually. This puts teachers on the job only 76 percent of the time. Walker called these pay cuts “fair” and noted that these pay reductions still allow for 2 weeks of paid vacation throughout the year.
Walker noted that the average salary of a school teacher in the state of Wisconsin in 2010 was $46,390. Walker compared teacher compensation in Wisconsin to that of neighboring states of South and North Dakota. Average teacher salaries there are $34,709 and $37,764, respectively. With these new pay cuts Wisconsin teachers will still be making salaries on par with these neighboring states.
“It is important for us to balance our state budget while still allowing businesses to grow,” Walker asserted. “With these pay cuts, we will assure that we will not have to raise taxes on small businesses and corporations.” The governor is counting on a favorable climate for businesses to help jump start the local economies of Wisconsin cities, where the governor has pledged to add 250,000 new jobs over his term in office.