$0 Paycheck After Medical Insurance

Remind me again why we’re against socialized health care?

It’s an all-too-common story and it’s the one facing Kathy Meltsakos, a special education paraprofessional working in northeast Massachusetts, hard by the Atlantic. She lives on the same street she grew up on and has worked the schools she attended years ago, bringing a deep knowledge of the generations of people living in and around her town into that work.

Education support professionals like Meltsakos and the rest of America’s workers are doing their best to weather today’s economy. But consider the numbers.

Initially earning $13.74 for a 35-hour week with the Pentucket schools, Meltsakos paid 20 percent of her insurance, which was manageable, and she did that for 10 years until laid off in June 2010. While looking for work she received unemployment benefits.

“I was placed at the bottom of the scale at $10.74 an hour for a 30-hour week. After taxes, I paid 60 percent of my medical insurance. My pay stubs from February to June 24 (the end of the school year) show no net take home pay since February. Oh – and the insurance rates went up in May.”

(via Boing Boing)

Lunchtime Garden Thread

This is my first year gardening and nothing has really surprised me more than how fast it can grow. So far we’ve harvested some of the early girl tomatoes and a few strawberries.

The garden when I first started it on May 26. (Click for big)

The garden on July 20th.

Send me some pics of your gardens that you would like to share and I’ll post them tomorrow.

Bishop Tells Diocese to Stop Raising Funds for Cancer Foundation

Because you never know when they’re going to start using stem cells to cure cancer.

Don’t even think about embryonic stem cell research if you want to be in good standing with Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo.

Blair told parishes and parochial schools in his diocese to desist raising funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for breast cancer research because maybe, maybe, someday in the future, the organization, which says it has never funded embryonic stem cell research, might support it.

(via J-Walk)