Wisconsin by the Numbers

Cal Thomas

Wisconsin by the Numbers

March 2, 2011

The governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has behaved magnificently in the face of union demonstrators, many of whom were bused in from other states to create a spectacle. Walker and other Republican governors are telling the public what it needs to hear: we can no longer afford it.

There are more members of public employee unions than private unions. And with whom do these public employees’ unions collectively bargain? With the taxpayers who pay their growing salaries and pension benefits. Many make more than private sector employees. One Wisconsin garbage collector earned $159,258 in 2009, including more than $100,000 in overtime.

Teacher salaries in Wisconsin range from $65,000 to $150,000 plus benefits. A professor of business at the University of Wisconsin makes $327,000 and the chancellor earns $437,000.

Milwaukee bus drivers received between $70,000 and $117,000. The average private bus driver earns $20,000 per year and private drivers get no health or pension benefits. So they’re hardly deprived.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.