Teachers Union Bosses Part Of Pension Abuse


The stock market goes up and down, but one segment of the population has its retirement protected from any losses public employees.

About 80 percent of public employees have pension plans which guarantee monthly payments regardless of economic conditions.

This includes the Broward Teachers Union bosses, who get a state pension although they never set foot in a classroom to educate your kids.

BTO leaders have a sweet deal that keeps them in the comfortable embrace of the state pension system.

The teachers union executive directors are guaranteed by the contract they negotiated to remain members of the lucrative state pension.

The BTU bosses also get insurance benefits from you, courtesy of their collective bargaining agreement. Under the agreement, the bosses are treated differently than other “teachers on leave, which is how they are officially classified.

The pension and other benefits are so important to the union leaders that there is an entire section in their contract mandating they stay covered.

Teachers educate your kids and get a pension as a reward.  The BTU bosses never step up to a blackboard or grade a test, but get the same pension.

The BTU justifies this special treatment by paying the school system annually for the pension benefit.

The BTU payments amount to pocket change.  That’s because txpayers will be paying for the BTU leaders retirement well into the middle of this century.  

Let the AFL-CIO give BTU officers a pension.  After all, they are working for the union.

How many other taxpayers would love the opportunity to buy into a pension plan guaranteed by the state?

Many would, I bet. 

Because lots of Floridians are suffering from sinking property values, shriveling 401Ks, higher prices on everything and cutbacks in government services.  Retirement for many looks bleak.

Those who have public pensions are isolated from that.

Here is what Barron’s on March 15  says is on the horizon because of public pensions:

“Dramatic cuts in essential services, such as police and fire protection, health spending, education and infrastructure improvements in order to cover ballooning pension payments. 

The public pension plan has become a trough that taxpayers have to fill.  Most public employees pay nothing or very little to get the pension.

And there is more bad news.  The Florida plan is running a deficit for the first time in a dozen years. 

We can’t afford the pension abuse any longer.  Something has got to be done.

Don’t get me wrong:  It would be unfair to penalize retired workers, who worked under a legal obligation and a moral promise they would be covered by a pension.  In Florida, many older workers were allowed to avoid paying into Social Security in return for the promise of a pension.

The rules must change for current workers and new hires. And the BTU.

The Legislature must:

  • Make employees pay more for participation in the plan.
  • Ease new employees into 401K plans and away from defined pension plans.
  • Change the formula so that employees can’t inflate their pensions in final years by working extra hours. Some police and fire fighters put in extra overtime their final years to pump up their pensions and it’s got to stop.   

Disaster is on the way.  How will you feel when parks and libraries are closed, so that retired park workers and librarians can continue to get their pensions?

11 Responses to “Teachers Union Bosses Part Of Pension Abuse”

  1. The King of all Posters says:

    It is interesting how it is currently fashionable to be a crusader against public pensions. A pension is, in its most simple form, a savings account. A savings account that accrues and compounds interest over a very long period of time. A savings account that is based on actuarial tables, statistical research and probabilities (including the probability of people living to retirement age, and the probability of market sucesses and failures, among others). The fact is, public employees have historically been paid much less than their private-sector counterparts, in exchange for a stable, predictable career and retirement. NOW, that being said, there certainly have been abuses with public pensions, mostly among smaller municipal pensions that offer outrageous payouts, short vesting periods, and high publicly funded contributions. Each city, in order to make their (police department/fire department, etc.) more attractive than their neighboring cities, and under pressure from the powerful police and fire unions, increases their contributions and benefits to supercede their neighbors. This is where the abuse and high cost to taxpayers comes from. Pembroke Pines Police officers, many of whom start right out of high-school at age 18-20, retire afetr 25 years with a pension equal to 98% of their highest annual salary FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. That’s right, after 25 years, at age 43-45, it is common for a PPPD officer to earn $100,000. In this (and many other small pension) scenario, the City accepted accounting practices to bloat a pension to staggering levels. Not all public pensions are equal. the State of Florida’s pension, the Florida Retirement System (FRS) requires a longer vesting period, a higher contribution, and a much smaller payout (1.6% times the number of years – i.e. a 30 year employee would get 48%). Stop spreading falsehoods and do some research as to the differences between the small local pensions that are bankrupting cities, and the state system that is conservative, and isolated from local political pressures.

  2. the Truth is says:


  3. Right Wing Reactionary says:


  4. Ricky Martin, Jr. says:

    Charlie Crist for State Attorney (for OBVIOUS reasons)! Oh, no..I mean Mike Satz for State Attorney (again, for OBVIOUS reasons)!

  5. Floridan says:

    I have to agree with the King, above. The state system is conservative. There may be minor tweaks needed but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with insuring that our teachers have a state-backed pension.

    Perhaps the answer would have been for the state to fund these pension programs, knowing what’s ahead.

    But let’s face it, when your state is in the bottom 20 percent in terms of per capital tax burden, has a rickety tax system and have state legislators who feel their only mandate is to not raise taxes, there are always going to be financial disasters looming.

  6. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    From the just released Fishking Report:

    * Many smaller communities in Broward County are experiencing much higher per capita costs than their larger counterparts.

    * Salaries and total compensation were found to be at rates much higher than the general population of Broward County.

    * $91,394 is the average local government employee’s total compensation.

    * $54,439 is the average public and private sector worker’s compensation in Broward County.

    * Unfunded pension liabilities are in excess of $1.0 Billion and create a very unstable economic and fiscal situation for local governments.

    * Average funded ratio for pensions and other retirement benefits is at 72%.

    * Defined benefit plans cost local governments $2.91 per hour worked vs. $0.32 for defined contribution plans.

    * Health insurance costs for local governments are twice that of the private sector.

    * Local governments experience health insurance costs of $4.43 per hour worked vs. $2.01 for the private sector.

    * Police Department staffing levels are 60% higher than the national average.

    * Contracting for services can save taxpayer dollars.

    * Cities contracting for police services experience per capita costs that are 33% lower than those communities that provide their own police protection.

    * Nationally, local government employment fell only 1% in the last year compared to 4% in the private sector.

    Download the rest of the report here.

    FROM BUDDY: Another extremely valuable contribution by Chaz. Look at the report.

  7. Right Wing Reactionary says:

    Government pensions are truly a problem when it comes to future costs. Since Fire and Police unions can make or break a candidate during a campaign, there is nobody with guts enough to take on the question when they are elected. It’s the same with teachers. The unions have the taxpayer by the short hairs and they know it. The voters need to wake up and vote in the candidates who aren’t supported by the unions to the point of a majority on the council or school board. Then we need to remind them it’s time to take back taxpayer money. Maybe even require new employees to use the Social Security system and maybe a 401k like the rest of us.

  8. disenchanted says:

    we have an election in dania and i do not vote for any candidate backed by firemen, they are tatoly political. they know they can be replaced by volunteers or brought into the 20th century by madern work rules so they back candidateas and of course expect great things in return which they receive. in dania we are taxed to cover them, pay a seperate fire tax and , god forbid, if u ever need an ambulance another 500 is tacked on. the others, their bigest task of the day is to go to publix with a big truck to decide what to buy for a free dinnner.

  9. Floridan says:

    I took the time to read the Fishking Report and find it less than convincing in its conclusions.

    It does not adequately spell out its methodology for collecting and reporting data. It does not compare similar occupations in the public and private sectors. It barely addresses issues such as the demographics of various cities, the age of municipalities’ infrastructure, and any correlation between cost and effeciency.

    It is meaningless to compare municipal pension costs to private sector costs. Many small private sector businesses provide no pension at all — wouldn’t it make more sense to make the comparision to those private companies that do offer pensions? Moreover, we don’t know if the Fishkind report includes companies’ 401k matches in the comparison.

    The report describes the municipalities’ unfunded penion liabilities without providing any reference to what the unfunded liability of private corporations tend to be (ATT? Ford? Delta?)or what financial experts recommend.

    Finally, the report uses less than objective language such as “Management positions do pay very well with a Director
    of Parks & Recreation at a midsize city making $114,852 per year.” What does “very well” mean and what is the comparable job in the private sector, in terms of budget and personnel responsibilities (for instance, how does this compare to, say, the manager of a Publix store?.

    While there are some good data in the report, it is hardly definitive, and in many aspect shockingly deficient.

  10. Pluto says:

    If this is true, Santaramo and his gang are raping the school system and their own members!
    Santaramo has lost all respect.

  11. tkcrofamericans says:

    You all are missing the point let them have there pensions because we will be out of money soon anyway and they all will have nothing. Oh wait we all will have nothing the unions are bloodsuckers and no government job should be unionized. we pay you so you get what we can afford and your pensions go. if you dont make enough get another job that is what the rest of hardworking americans do.