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UPDATED: A RETIREMENT TALE

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Savvy listener points out this story from yesterday's WSJ.

Among Wisconsin public employees filing for retirement are Mary and Len Herricks, both teachers in Oshkosh. They put in their papers in mid-March after lawmakers voted to rein in most public-employee collective-bargaining rights.

"Not only am I losing salary and benefits and facing a bigger work load, but now they are taking away my rights," says Ms. Herricks, a 56-year-old elementary school teacher. A teacher for 35 years who earns in the high 50s, Ms Herricks can now retire and collect nearly her former salary. "Retirement was supposed to be something happy. I'm so sad."...

When the Herricks retire from Oshkosh, they each will receive health insurance until age 65, pension checks and a payment worth $600 per year of service.

"I wouldn't want to risk losing those things," says Mr. Herricks, a high school agriculture teacher who is retiring after 37 years.

Given that pensions are off-limits to certain taxes, Mr. Herricks says they will bring home close to what they did before. They also plan to substitute teach. Still, the move is bittersweet. "I never thought my career would end like this," Mr. Herricks says. "This was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life."

**

Let's run the numbers. Thanks to this online program, we can check the salries and benefits of all public school teachers:

Here are the numbers for Mary Herricks:

 

First name Mary
Last name Herricks
Year and session 2009/10
Highest degree Master's degree
Salary $68,423
Fringe $13,917
Position title Teacher
assign descript Elementary - All Subjects
Low grade served 03
High grade served 03
Bilingual code No
Full time equivalency 100%
Work site Oshkosh Area Sch Dist / E Cook Elementary
County name Winnebago County
Here are the numbers for Leonard Herrick.

 

First name Leonard
Last name Herricks
Year and session 2009/10
Highest degree Master's degree
Salary $75,916
Fringe $32,635
Position title Teacher
assign descript Agriculture
Low grade served 09
High grade served 12
Bilingual code No
Full time equivalency 100%
Work site Oshkosh Area Sch Dist / North High
County name Winnebago County

 UPDATE: Len Herricks the local union boss... disciplined for using school emails.

— The president of the Oshkosh
teachers union has been disciplined for
using his district e-mail to encourage
others to call in sick to work so they could
join protests in the state Capitol.

Also, district staff who joined the protests
against Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair
bill on Feb. 17 and 18 will not receive any s
ick leave pay and will have to reimburse
the district the cost of a substitute teacher,
school officials said Friday.

Education Association president Len
Herricks said he would not comment on the
discipline he received and deferred to a
press release prepared by district
administrators Friday morning.

The press release states: "Mr. Herricks has
acknowledged that he may have become
overly involved in the statewide effort to
challenge the pending budget repair bill,
and the Oshkosh Area School District has
dealt with this incorrect advice and the
matter of e-mails sent by Mr. Herricks as a
personnel matter."

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