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Fake sick teachers may cost Wisconsin taxpayers at least $6 million

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 21, 2011 01:09 AM

Criminey. By the MacIver Institute’s estimate, public school union members who have participated in the ruthless “sick-in’ campaign across Wisconsin may cost taxpayers at least an estimated $6 million:

As Milwaukee Public School teachers left their classrooms to march in Madison Friday, they likely earned more than $3 million to not teach students in Wisconsin’s largest school district.

In Madison, the school district was closed for three days after hundreds of teachers engaged in a mass sick-out so they could attend protest rallies at the State Capitol. That could cost the district $2.7 million.

Late Sunday night Madison Metropolitan School District administration announced their schools would be shut down yet one more day, at a possible cost of more than $900,000.

Many of absent teachers converged on the Capitol to protest a bill which would alter their compensation packages and make changes in government employee unions’ ability to collectively bargain on issues other than wages.

While some have speculated that the absent teachers will see their pay docked, that may not be the case if they provide a doctor’s note. Due to collective bargaining rules currently in place, the absences could be considered excused and the teachers would be paid for their protesting.

That possibility took on added significance as the MacIver News Service broke the story Saturday that several doctors in lab coats were handing out medical excuse notes to passers by, without examining the ‘patients.’

…If all the teachers in Milwaukee and Madison are paid for the days missed, the protest related salaries for just the state’s two largest districts would exceed $6.6 million dollars.

Using a figure of $100,005 for average teacher compensation in MPS and an average yearly workload of 195 days, these teachers cost approximately $513 per day in salary and benefits to employ. Spread over 5,960.3 full-time licensed teachers in the district, this adds up to $3,057,634 in daily expenses.

The average teacher’s total compensation in Madison is $74,912, according to the Department of Public Instruction. Each day costs $384.16 per teacher. The district has 2,370 teachers.

These figures don’t include administrators and support staff, many of which got an unexpected paid days off thanks to the week’s protests.

Which leads to my second modest proposal of the day:

Turn in a fake doctor’s note…receive a rubber paycheck in return.

Monopoly money will do, too. If these union heavies want to play games with families’ lives, they should reap the consequences to their own bank accounts.

What a perfect illustration of Democrat Party values, eh? Educational malpractice. Medical malpractice. Economic malpractice.

Public union monopolies are the disease.

GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s dose of fiscal discipline is the cure.

***

Postscript: University of Wisconsin Health is now looking into the quack doctors who handed out fake notes like Pez candy to non-sick teachers looking for excuses.

If the teachers are still clinging to their “mental health” alibis, perhaps they shouldn’t be allowed back in the classroom at all.

One of the doctors was Lou Sanner, 59, who practices family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Sanner said he gave out hundreds of notes and that many protesters with whom he spoke seemed to be suffering from stress.

“Some people think it’s a nod-and-a-wink thing but it’s not,” he told The Associated Press on Sunday. “One of the biggest stresses in life is the threat of loss of income, loss of job, loss of health insurance. People have actually been getting ill from this, or they can’t sleep.”

…He said he and his colleagues planned to meet Sunday night to figure out how to deal with the firestorm they touched off. The consequences could extend to their employer, which said it was investigating the events.

UW Health released a statement saying it couldn’t confirm whether any of its doctors were involved in writing notes. It added that any doctors who distributed such material did so of their own accord and not on behalf of the university.

“We are looking further into this matter,” the statement said.

***

Related: Doug Ross – Most under-reported news story of the week: Governor Walker wants to save 12,000 teachers’ jobs

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