Once again, it’s ALL about the Money
June 1, 2011
Anything is possible, so we’re willing to stipulate some of the government employees seen waving signs that say it’s not about the money might actually believe it.
Teachers in Waukesha County’s Hartland-Lakeside School District were evidently prepared to act on that belief. Then the union bosses stepped in and showed the teachers they’re being taken for a ride just like everybody else.
The teachers indicated they’d support a plan to save the district almost $700,000 by switching their health care coverage to a new provider. Trouble is, the current provider is the union, or more precisely the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) Insurance Trust.
This arrangement allows the statewide union to feed on taxpayer dollars through both salaries and benefits: first, by skimming off part of the teachers’ salaries in the form of mandatory dues; and second, by getting paid directly for providing the teachers’ insurance coverage.
Their willingness to help the district manage its finances earned the Hartland-Lakeside teachers an introduction to WEAC’s version of what used to be called the “Brezhnev Doctrine:” Once you’re in, you’re in forever.”
Teacher union health insurance is the scandal that somehow never boils over and it’s not just a WEAC story. The president of the Madison teachers union is a paid director of WPS, and guess who has Madison’s coverage. The Capital Times investigated this nearly two decades ago, but the arrangement lives on.
The irony is teachers could be among the beneficiaries if school districts can save money on their insurance premiums. Too bad the teachers’ interests and their union’s interests are one in the same.