Russ Gibb at Random

Gibb Talking Turkey

November 19, 2011

Occupy Detroit
Nancy making money on the side
Speaking out against kickbacks
Under the Desk
Public vs Private Schools
National Debt
Autumn is upon us
Gems of Dearborn
Say a Prayer for the USA
Greenfield Village & The Henry Ford
Jenny's Day (Blog)
School Board
Gibb's Gifts

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14 Comment(s)

So let’s talk some turkey Russ. I see that under the new "transparency" rules our local Community College has implemented, the citizens of Dearborn can now see what our HFCC faculty is being paid:

Talk about a racket! Why in the world would some of these people be making over a hundred thousand dollars with the best benefits in the state and not even put in a 40 hour workweek? It’s disgusting! There is no reason in the world why these instructors should be making this kind of money. Take a look at the wages of some of the janitors in that place. This is simply unacceptable and as far as I am concerned.

--by Your right! It is a racket! on 11/19/11   Lives: Michigan  

Always enjoy your site.

--by Barb Parker on 11/22/11   Lives: Dearborn  

So the average full time HFCC instructor makes over $110,000.00 with at least 1/3 of these instructors making over $150,000.00 and the Dean, Dr. Gail Mee making almost $200,000.00. They all get full benefits, pensions, 403B and other benefits as well. How do they justify this when we have cut the K12 through the bone?

Can someone please explain to me how in the hell we justify cutting more and more teachers from our public schools, cramming over 30 kids into some classes while paying these clowns at HFCC this kind of money in a COMMUNITY COLLEGE? This isn't Harvard!

This sickens me! These instructors are grossly overpaid and someone needs to do something about it! We managed to get K12 salaries under control, its time to start cutting the earnings of these overpaid HFCC instructors!

--by Sick of overpaying on 11/25/11   Lives: Dearborn  

I too work at a community college, although not at HFCC. My colleagues and I do make salaries comparable to those posted on the HFCC site (although I'm sure that the numbers given by HFCC go beyond an instructor's base salary, but include "overload" teaching and various stipends). To the statement that instructors don't work a 40 hour week: 1. spending one hour in the classroom is far more difficult than sitting at a desk and shuffling papers or sitting through a dull but otherwise untaxing work meeting; 2. instructors in most cases possess at least an M.A.; 3. those with similar levels of education in the private sector make comparable salaries, if not more. Beyond all this, attacking public employees of any stripe means waging battle against the wrong group. What's bleeding everyone dry are corporate interests and Wall Street, whose mercenary, expansionist policies, combined with lobbying so effective that it dwarfs even that of the most effective teachers' union, are effectively subsidized by all of us who pay far more in taxes than we ought to in order to make up for what they do not pay.

--by jjh on 11/28/11   Lives: Dearborn  


GET OFF OF IT! You dont even come close to putting up the average level of effort most of us out here in the "real world" do. If you are making the kind of $$$ that these people at HFCC are making (I saw the list), you are OVERPAID and UNDERWORKED!

Personally, I too am disgusted at the pay of community college "instructors".

--by RPG on 11/28/11   Lives: Michigan  

Do you teach at a community college? Have you ever done so? I'm not disparaging your work in the "real world," by which I think you mean the private sector. I've worked in that environment, too, and wouldn't say that it's any easier or more difficult. It seems to me that each is about as real as the other.
By the way, it seems that your job, or something else, is making you really angry. Maybe you should take a warm bath or something.

--by jjh on 11/29/11   Lives: Dearborn  


I used to work in a Community College. If most Community Colleges (and public schools for that matter) were private sector businesses, they would not survive.
Like our public school systems CC's perpetuate wistful spending, non-accountability, and poor performance by employees. The unions protect bad teachers and lazy workers. 99% of the people I knew on the job at the CC I worked for wouldn’t last a month in an equivalent private sector job. Many of them were not qualified to do anything but talk all day long. Most have no marketable skills and very little work ethic.

Your comment that private sector jobs are not easier or harder than CC teachers is ridicules! Most private sector employees cannot hide behind tenure or their union. Workers either perform or they get canned. Your comments only demonstrate that you have never worked in the private sector for any appreciable amount of time.

I, for one, am very glad that the public is becoming angry about how CC’s and schools do business. Nothing changes unless people get mad and begin to stand up and speak. I am glad to see that our state government has begun to challenge the wastefulness and over-compensation of pseudo-professors, overpaid janitors, and lawn cutters at CC’s and public schools.

--by It is a racket on 12/4/11   Lives: Michigan  

I'm sorry that you couldn't hold down your community college job.

--by jjh on 12/6/11   Lives: Dearborn  


JH, I opted to take a career that challenges my intellect and improves my skill set. Working in a Community College would have been a great job if I felt compelled to function among people who, for the most part, have no tangible skills or work ethic. Surprisingly, there is no enlightenment in repetitive droning and working only hard enough to do the absolute minimum amount of work one can. It sounds like you really enjoy that so....enjoy! Let’s hope you can hang on to that nice pay and benefits in the next couple fiscal years. Good luck with that.

--by Its a Racket on 12/7/11   Lives: Michigan  

Is there a person in the universe who can't hold on to a Community College job? Most of the instructors I knew in Community College were so far out of touch with the "real world" that they had no idea what it was like out here.

Just what exactly would a Political Science, Math, English, Foreign Language, Speech, Music or Art teacher really be worth in the private sector? I can guarantee it's not anywhere near what they get paid. Most of these instructors don’t even have current skills or knowledge anyway. We already know that once they become tenured, they can do no wrong.

--by Miscall on 12/10/11   Lives: Michigan  

To "Racket" and "Miscall" --
I will concede that public sector employees are in come cases incompetent or indifferent, but would add that this is true also of some private sector employees. I'm sure you've known and know business people who don't do their jobs well but hold onto their positions, and in some cases even get promoted. Community colleges don't hold a monopoly on this problem. I also reject the "real world" distinction that keeps popping up here. I deal with the real world daily. Public employees have to deal with anyone who walks through the door. I've taught students with serious learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and just plain bad attitudes. I've been personally threatened and harassed more than once for holding up my standards, and I know plenty of others who have had the same experience. As to the claim that community college instructors don't stay current in the field, I can only say that most of my colleagues regularly attend conferences, do extra hours of unpaid work weekly to make sure that the college meets standards developed by external organizations, and demonstrate knowledge of prevailing practices. Personally, I have published a number or articles in my field -- not because I have to, and not because I am paid for doing so, but because I see it as part of my responsibility. I regret that your experience with community college was so negative. If you were teaching and found the job intellectually unsatisfying, however, I would say that you weren't working hard enough. Despite the ironic banter that exchanges such as these generate, I would in the end give you the respect that I think you deserve. You sound earnest and hard-working. I think that most people are, regardless of profession. Please do me and my colleagues the favor of returning that respect, even while acknowledging that a minority don't always do their best. Your real quarrel, perhaps, is with public sector unions, not any particular profession. The right to bargain collectively is the can of worms we haven't yet opened.

--by jjh on 12/11/11   Lives: Dearborn  

Public sector employees (teachers in particular) who are incompetent, lazy and outright useless are able to hold on to their jobs because of one simple practice:


There are plenty of private sector jobs that have unions where ineffective employees can be fired for incompetence, but teachers can do some of the most heinous and egregious acts and still keep their jobs because of Tenure. That is a fact.

Teachers and professors say that tenure protects them from "oppressive administrators." What most teachers and professors call "oppressive" most of us out here call reasonable expectation of performance. Teachers simply do not need to adhere to any reasonable level of performance (once tenured) and are the ones who should be held the most accountable for their performance. The longer you stay shuttered away from the rest of the world, the less effective you become.

Couple these facts to the rate of pay, benefits and pensions that public school and you community college "professors" get and what you are left with is an untenable and unsustainable situation. For that kind of compensation, you should be held to the highest standards and should be the most "at will" employees in the workplace.

Stop this ridicules practice of hooking collective bargaining rights to your argument. This is about public education (community college included) overall poor performance and over compensation JJH. You people in academia simply have no sense of reality because you have been insulated from it way too long. Like the automotive industry of yester-year you have been allowed to produce an inferior product in an environment of non-competition. Just like the automotive industry, your institutions are collapsing and going bankrupt. Like the big 3, you need to be re-structured from the ground up. Thank God that, like the auto industry, your day or reckoning is upon you. Now there is plenty of competition and expectations are being raised and your pay is and benefits are being brought into line. Furthermore, your right to stay incompetent on the job is under attack.

When you people in Public Education learn to step back and look more objectively at where you fit into today's economy, your past practices, your results and your compensation for what you do, you will start to get a picture of why the general public is fed up with you and do not support your argument and demand change. You public educators had better start looking at yourselves through the eyes of the taxpayer. When you do, you will see that the taxpayer in this state is not getting value compensatory with the investment.

--by racket on 12/15/11   Lives: Michigan  

Bona voluntas to you, too. Merry Christmas.

--by jjh on 12/15/11   Lives: Dearborn  

concordia discors, and a Happy Kwanza to you.

--by Racket on 12/16/11   Lives: Michigan  

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