Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Evanston's Thea Halvorson Sheds TV Crocodile Tears Over Fat Teachers Pensions

Thea Halvorson is a kindergarten teacher at Evanston's Kingsley Elementary School who pulls down almost $100k a year. She has been appearing lately on the airwaves shedding crocodile tears over the meager $60k plus pension with annual 3% increases that she will haul down when she retires in June.

Halvorson, who is on a coffee klatsch basis with the powerful IEA's chief union honcho, Audrey Soglin, appears in the TV version of the "We Are One Illinois" ads currently saturating the Chicago media market. The ads are a joint venture of the IEA, Illinois Federation of Teachers, the AFSCME and the AFL-CIO.
IEA Union Boss Soglin

They purport to "tell important truths" about pensions for government workers, but really put forth more than a few stretchers and outright whoppers.

Put aside the question of whether or not a glorified public school daycare worker should be hauling down almost twice the salary of a Navy Seal (like the ones who just took down Osama) and consider that almost half of working Americans have no pension plans or IRA's whatsoever.

Consider that the average retiree on Social Security will subsist on less than $14k a year.

One might reasonably think Ms. Halvorson and her government union pals a trifle dissembling to pass themselves off as aggrieved, impoverished, exploited workers who are soon to be subsisting on cans of dog food.

Especially so, considering that a government teacher of Halvorson's pay grade with 34 years service will haul down $68,523 per year for starters. (Halvorson has only 20 years, so it will be marginally less.) And union contracts will increase that by 3% a year until the Kingsley kindergarten teacher passes on to that great union hall in the sky.

Assuming Halvorson is 60 and lives to 89, by the time of that unhappy event, she will have enjoyed $3,260,035 in taxpayer financed retirement pay.

Not a bad little retirement nest egg.

Here is the pension calculation based on Halvorson's last 4 years of salary:

Pension Calculator
Retirement Age: 60

Salary Last year of Employment $96070
Salary 2nd Last year of Employment $92949
Salary 3rd Last year of Employment $88820
Salary 4th Last year of Employment $87617
LAST FOUR YEARS TOTAL $365456
Divided by 4 $91364
Times 75%:  $68,523 initial annual pension

Annual increase percent 3.00% per year.

I've noticed that in one of the IEA's new radio ads, they have an elderly sounding man whose voice cracks up sorrowfully when he describes his woeful plight as a government pensioner.

It brings a little tear to my eye every time.