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Teachers wages and retirement benefits 3%?

Original post made by Lance Ulanoff, Happy Valley, on May 20, 2009

Can anyone explain what a teachers benefits package looks like and if they start teaching at say 22 when are the eligible for retirement and at retirement what benefits are they entitled to and for how long? Wages, healthcare, dental, etc. Is is a defined benefits program like other government workers?

Comments (54)

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Posted by teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 7:42 am

Teachers pay for their benefits out of their salary. Here's the breakdown:

Here are the family costs:

HMO =$1,800.58/ mo (Health Net) or $1,417.53/mo. (Kaiser)
PPO = $3,118.52/mo (Health Net)

Dental = $167.41/mo
Eyemed = $23.91/mo

Here are the costs for the single individual:

HMO = $648.87/mo (Health Net) or $500.90/mo (Kaiser)
PPO = $1,123.83/mo (Health Net)

Dental = $59.78/mo.
Eyemed = 8.64/mo.

Anyone who can opt of of this does because it's no bargain, but you have to be married and show proof that your spouse has coverage through their work. So, the teachers who pay for this are either unmarried or married to another teacher ... or their spouse has REALLY bad benefits.

I don't have the retirement info in front of me, so maybe someone else can post that. We pay every month into STRS, but I can't remember how much.


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Posted by Ptown resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 8:05 am

To amplify on the initial series of questions, how many years of service must a PUSD teacher put in before they can retire with full benefits?

What are full benefits?

Are these benefits defined?

Thanks in advance!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lance Ulanoff
a resident of Happy Valley
on May 20, 2009 at 8:13 am

yes, same comments I am trying to find out primarily about wages, cola, benefits, retirement age, defined benefits, benefits after retirement, etc.


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Posted by jay
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 9:15 am

I do know that if you work for 10 years with the district, when you retire you get FREE medical insurance until you get to Medicare. There is not cap on the cost and the taxpayers pay 100%. This year the budget called for a cost of $1,000,000. Since there is no cap, it is sure to go up. I just received a letter from my insurance company about a big increase in medical premiums, like I get each year, so I am sure the district has the same type of increase. So see the $1,000,000 annual expense to continue to rise. The Board must get rid of this benefit as it is unsustainable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Also a Ptown person
a resident of Country Fair
on May 20, 2009 at 9:52 am

Great follow-up questions. I predict that it will be very hard to get clear answers from teachers in Pleasanton. They will be loath to share this information, especially right now, right before "G" faces a very angry voting public. PUSD teachers, please shed light on the facts.


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Posted by Also a Ptown person
a resident of Country Fair
on May 20, 2009 at 11:56 am

Hmmm, it's been over two hours and zero response to my last post. Hopefully, we'll get a PUSD teacher to respond during lunch. It was probably a bit much to ask for a response during a prep class break in schedule.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Check out a document detailing the Governator's proposed changes for the May Revision: Web Link

On page 6 there's an item about increasing the number of years to 25 that a new employee must work before they can get free lifetime health benefits. I don't know if that applies to teachers, but if the State is talking about it, the District should too.

Also, the District funds for this liability are absolutely zero.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Doesn't it seem odd that the teachers who are always on this blog are reluctant to talk about the specifics of what their benefits are?


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Posted by Get out of the wagon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Michael -

How unfair of you!! The ever-responsible and above reproach teaching staff at this district NEVER would never think to log on during their prep-time or off-duty period. No, they are too dedicated to the children! They are selfless creatures who want us to know the real facts. I'm sure they will promptly reply within just moments of gathering the information the public wants, or at least 20 minutes after their instructional day concludes since the real beasts, us irresponsible parents, will be late in picking up our tax-deductions, I mean children, because we are the ones these blogs...all the while the teachers continue to nurture them on our behalf.

Let's give them a chance!


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Posted by Also a Ptown person
a resident of Country Fair
on May 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Tick-Tock, TicK-TocK, Oh the clock keep ticking…
More than five hours have slowly passed since I politely posted this request:
To amplify on the initial series of questions, how many years of service must a PUSD teacher put in before they can retire with full benefits?
What are full benefits?
Are these benefits defined?
Thanks in advance!
----------
Do any of you think we'll get a quality response before or after 6pm today? Or 6pm tomorrow, or anytime this week-end??




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Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Get out of the wagon,

you are right and how stupid or inconsiderate of me to think that they might be on the net during the day.


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Posted by Get out of the wagon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Also a P-town person -

No, I do not think we will get a reply...from a teacher. One of our terrific No on G researchers will come to the rescue. They always do! :)

Michael,

Don't be too hard on yourself. For some unknown reason, most of us jump to the conclusion that the teaching staff is irresponsible here in town. I have no clue why that would be...

Oh, that's right...famous teacher posters like "Get the Facts" posts and then tries to tell us that they were on a "personal day" off...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Losers, all of you
a resident of California Somerset
on May 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm

If this is such an emergency, why don't one of you wannabe investigative journalists pick a telephone and call the district? Or just walk in and ask?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by You're right! I'm a loser!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Losers, all of you...

You made me cry. Now that wasn't very sensitive of you!! Please be nicer, you are with children in the classroom as you wait for your day to end, they might read your posts and tell us when we pick them up!!

Please at least TRY to fake it better when you try to disguise yourself as not being a teacher!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Also a Ptown person,
a resident of Country Fair
on May 20, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Who said anything about thios being an emergency. It's sure nice to know what we are paying for.

And isn't it amazing how many teachers can blog leading right up to the election yesterday and now - poof -- not a word is heard.

Yes, you are right, we are all losers -- we're losing our sense of responsiblity as citizens. We need to engage, understand and hold people accountable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Not going to be a loser anymore and will speak my piece and not be afraid of the political correctness. It is all about greed and teachers pocket books. They saw the results yesterday and honestly 70% against more taxes had to be an eye opener for them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by All seeing eye
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

If we want to see the district office members or the teachers then we should go the the Sunshine Saloon around say 4 on Friday as many of them are there or at one of the watering holes on main street for a drink with each other before they go home to their spouses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I'm the one who posted the medical stuff this morning. Personally, I can't answer your question about retirement because I don't really understand it. I don't think I'm alone in this.

What I can tell you is that our family's financial advisor told us not to rely on it to sustain us financially during retirement, so we have been saving for retirement through other vehicles expecting that the money I get from a teacher pension will be minimal. I don't think it's as great as some of you are making it out to be.

As a sidenote, is it really necessary to be so rude and condescending on this site?!?! I think the reason you aren't getting a lot of answers is because a) people don't have them and b) if they did they wouldn't feel compelled to provide them to a bunch of people who are looking for any opportunity to dump on teachers


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Posted by Lance Ulanoff
a resident of Happy Valley
on May 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Teacher, thank you but can you tell me a site where I can go to research the issue. I did in fact call the district office earlier but honestly did not get far and was referred to the CTA. There must be a benefits book someplace. I work in the private sector and know scripture and verse what my benefits are so I wonder why this is such a difficult area to get info on.


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Posted by How can they not know?
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

They want us off their trail, and fast. Kathleen R., can you help on this one?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Del Prado
on May 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Hmmmmmmmmm let me reflect on this a bit. The teachers tell us they are doing a great job, need more money, are the reason for our childrens test scores, are brilliant, hardworking, are the best of the best but cannot even tell us what kind of benefits package they have............makes one wonder.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I am not a teacher, am very anti teachers union and I am a very strong No on G supporter. I am uncomfortable with the sarcasm on this thread it is not necessary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I am not a teacher, am very anti teachers union and I am a very strong No on G supporter. I am uncomfortable with the sarcasm on this thread it is not necessary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm

When Measure G passes or not, will this teacher bashing stop? Would any of you say what you type to someone's face, I think not!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I believe that the teachers union opened up this box and I do not believe that the genie will go back in to easy and the bashing will not stop as I believe people are far more informed now about teachers compensation than they were before, both good and bad. Unfortunately, I believe they will all be painted with the same brush. I have no problem which expressing my thoughts to someones face and backing it up. I think so!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm

I don't know anything about retirement stuff, since I'm not a teacher. Isn't the retirement system called Calstrs, though? They have a website:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pati
a resident of Del Prado
on May 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Everybody must look at the link above and click on members and will not believe the benefits package they get and retirement plan. No wonder none of the teachers wanted this pointed out


"Deciding When To Retire
You can retire as early as age 50 with at least 30 years of service credit, or you can retire at age 55 with at least 5 years of service credit"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Just as a historical reminder:

The teachers did not "open this box". We got the same memo everyone else did about the original $8.7 million deficit. I don't think many of us had any idea that the step and column raises cost the district money from year to year until all of this Measure G stuff was initiated BY THE SCHOOL BOARD (I know I thought the cost of S & C was offset by yearly retirements). TEACHERS DID NOT INITIATE MEASURE G, AND WE CERTAINLY ARE NOT SUPPORTING IT AS A MEANS OF GETTING A RAISE! We are supporting it because

1) It preserves programs that benefit kids
2) It will save the jobs of our colleagues.

I think it is really sad that this anti-teacher LYNCH MOB MENTALITY is festering in our community. I just read two other threads about a principle leaving an elementary school and Jerry Shelly that made me sick.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Here's the link for Cal STRS. Go ahead and research it. I'm sure you'll do your best to make us all look like a bunch of Bernie Madoffs:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Try playing around with the retirement benefits calculator.

If I became a teacher right now, and worked for 30 years, my retirement benefit monthly would be about 70% of my maximum monthly salary.

You seem to be assuming that whenever someone retires (early, on time, after 65), they get their full salary. I don't see any evidence of that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Country Fair
on May 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I do not think you should get tender about it but you need to really take a look at your union and the contract as it sure seems to have put the teachers in the crosshairs. You should all raise your voices at your next union meeting because they really sold you down the river. I do not believe the represented you well and their timing was terrible and continues to be terrible.

I went through the link and the benefits provided far exceed what should be expected and afforded.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ??
a resident of Birdland
on May 20, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Mark,
Can you explain the math you used to come to that conclusion?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm

You who think teacher retirement benefits are out of line, what do think would be a fair retirement package for teachers, most retire with at least 30 years of service, what should they make in retirement?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Calm please
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on May 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Hold on a minute here. So a few people are asking for factual information, no teachers actually come forward to explain their benefits, someone named Sandy says go look at a web link and others chime in, screaming "teacher-bashing".

Me thinks not!

Why the extreme sensitivity?

Just lay it all out in the open. Explain in plain English what the benefits are. We're adults, we're taxpayers, we vote and should have input, since we end up paying.

Only fair, don't you think?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by T2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 7:34 am

I don't think the teachers are trying to hide anything by not explaining their benefits. I think they don't understand them completely because, like the tax code, it a convoluted government system. If you really want this information, go to CalSTRS website given above and play with it. You'll see what I mean.

As for the extreme sensitivity, you must've skimmed over the very rude and accusatory posts at the beginning of this thread that set the tone for the rest.

Tick-tock-tick-tock: Are we ever going to hear a response from Mike??


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lance Ulanoff
a resident of Happy Valley
on May 21, 2009 at 7:57 am

I messed around with this a bit and not being a teacher I put in my own vitals, age, when i want to retire, etc. and I get $3480.00 per month plus medical benefits or a nice chunk of change and it is all defined benefit and does not fluctuate with the market. I am not married either yes or no on G but when you step back from this whole thing and look at it I come away with this right or wrong but still my opinion. The union is the one pushing this raise for teachers and not the teachers and that said have really put the teachers in a huge hole and it will be a long time before they can get out of it. Teachers work what 9 months a year and about 7 or so hours per day plus prep, make a nice salary, have a great retirement plan and can actually retire at 50 with 30 years of service (not sure who starts teaching at 20) at a time when many in the private sector are out of work or hurting and the state is bankrupt. Yes I would admit it does not paint a pretty picture. I actually feel the union leadership should explain themselves and not the teachers.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Castlewood
on May 21, 2009 at 8:34 am

I'd be interested to see how many teachers retire with 30 years of service. I'm confident that almost none retire at age 50 (as Lance said, who does get a bachelors and a credential by age 20? Only Doogie Howser) . If you take any time off in that 30 years - to have a baby, death in the family, etc. It has the potential to really set you back on retirement.

Example: If you have a baby in March and take the remainder of the semester off the entire year doesn't count toward retirement. If you have a baby in September and take only the 6 weeks, they make you use all of your accumulated sick days before you get any disability income (teachers aren't eligible for the state DI) so that when you return in November you have none. Then, if you take a day off for any reason, it's considered a "break in contract" and the entire year doesn't count toward your retirement. There's lots of stuff like that...

Just FYI


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Posted by John
a resident of Del Prado
on May 21, 2009 at 8:43 am

Resident,

Please read what Lance wrote above "(not sure who starts teaching at 20)" so he is saying the same thing. If you go to the website they use the example of retiring at 50 with 30 years of service. Use any number you want and it is still a pretty good program.


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Posted by everyone needs to read!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

John,
Resident did read what Lance said. That's why he/she put "As Lance said...).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Del Prado
on May 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Ok just so it is not a brain twister for you assume a person started at 22 and wanted to retire at 52.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Castlewood
on May 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm

It takes at least 5 years to get a BA plus credential. You to the math.

Point being, that others are throwing the "become a teacher and you can retire rich at 50" thing around, and it's not based in reality.


In order to make sense of Lance's figure, you'd have to know the original salary he put in, the number of years of service, and when he plans to retire. $3480.00 sounds great if I'm retiring today. If I'm retiring 20 years from now, what will that amount of money be worth given inflation?

This is why it's hard to get concrete figures. Play with it yourselves!


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Posted by resident
a resident of Castlewood
on May 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

p.s. John,

I'm trying my hardest to have a civil, informative conversation here and it's people like you who make that difficult. Your original comment telling me to read what Lance put was in error, as "everyone needs to read" pointed out. Rather than say "I'm sorry. I misread your post" you followed up with another rude post. Go troll elsewhere!


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Posted by Also keep in mind...
a resident of Castlewood
on May 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

...teachers don't pay into social security, and they apparently don't receive benefits. Second career teachers who have earned a social security benefit in previous employment cannot draw a STRS retirement plus social security.

From what I can tell, some districts fund pre-Medicare health costs (full or partial) for retirees, others don't. Not sure what PUSD does.

Many good arguments on both sides of this, but from what I can see the retirement "benefit" doesn't seem excessive, especially when contrasted to other public employees.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 21, 2009 at 6:07 pm

One other issue to keep in mind...

Not only do teachers not receive Social Security, but a teacher married to someone who worked for a corporation and paid into Social Security does not receive a survivor benefit after his or her spouse dies.

So, for example, consider two families. In one, the husband was the primary breadwinner, and he pays into Social Security. His wife is eligible for a survivor benefit if he passes away before she does.

In another family, the husband works and pays into Social Security, and the wife works as well, as a teacher. She has NO eligibility for the survivor benefit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on May 21, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Oh the poor teachers must be poor and we will pass the hat and resident you are such a stud so please try to be civil so as not to wet your pants. The teachers in your town are a joke and you all have a significant man up issue or maybe a woman up issue. Significant image issues and if you could really achieve you would go out and compete rather than milk the breast of society and complain


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jay
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 8:55 pm

To Also keep this in mind, PUSD does not fund any of the retirement health costs plus there is no limit in how much the taxpayers have to pay. As insurance costs go up, the taxpayers are once again holding the bag. This year we spent $1,000,000 on retirement medical insurance. That can pay for quite a few teachers salaries. Expect this amount to go up as insurance rates go up. In a previous post it was stated that PUSD has a $11.5M accrued liability for retirement medical and it is zero percent funded!


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Posted by Correction
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Just a small correction: It does not take 5 years to earn a BA and credential. While it is true that this is the norm, there are many college Education programs that allow you to simultaneously earn your credential while earning your B.A. Thus, the entire package can be had in 4 years. Some students accelerate their education and earn both in a three year time frame (though this is clearly the path of extraordinarily motivated people – it can and does happen).
Suggestion: for those put off by a particular posting, may I suggest ignoring the "offending" post. Think of the heckler at a ball game.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 21, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sandy isn't telling the whole story. Teachers who have worked to gain the requisite 40 credits in the private sector are eligible to receive their Social Security benefits, just like anyone else. Of course that won't be true for every teacher, but at least Sandy shouldn't make it seem like absolutely no teacher is eligible for Social Security. Teachers that do qualify will have their SS benefits reduced if they also are receiving some other pension from something like CalSTRS. Additionally, there's another Fed rule regarding survivor benefits that most often wipes out any amount they may receive, again because of the other pension fund.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The two federal rules regarding teachers (or rather any public employee) that doesn't contribute to Social Security is intended to prevent "double-dipping".


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Posted by Very Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Jay, Stacey and Einstein,
You three, and several others on this and some other threads, are TOPS in my book (Kathleen R. comes to mind). I too fear the path we are taking. I fear this move for a state constitutional convention is designed to change the 2/3 majority to change tax law to 50% +1 vote, or 55%. Once this is done, Prop 13 can be overridden. There are enough uninformed/ill informed voters in this state that this could happen, and happen quickly, which is the M.O. of our President. Prop 13 is the Third Rail that The Far Left wants to gut.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Very Concerned (and tired)
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Sorry, posted my last entry to the wrong thread! ;)


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Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Very concerned,

that is fine and I am tired as well. Do not lose confidence as all things will work out and at the end of the day we will be stronger because of the struggle.


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Posted by Very Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Einstein and Friends,

Got it.

Fight the good fight tomorrow. Please remember those who fought to protect our freedoms during this Memorial Day weekend.

Freedom is not free.

Good Night!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

We have a spending problem _now_ with a supermajority requirement to pass a budget. Lowering the requirement to a simple majority won't change that. It's not a fix, just a distraction.


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