Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Wisconsin Governor Takes On Public Employee Unions

Newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker just signaled to the public employee unions that he meant what he said during the campaign and that the party's over.

And they're absolutely insane with rage over it...especially the teacher's unions, who have decided the kids don't matter all that much and are doing an illegal 'sick out' over it.

Schools in Madison have been closed for two days and will likely remain closed tomorrow, if not longer. Aside from depriving the children they claim to care about so much of education, they are actually depriving a number of them of food, since the school breakfast and lunch programs aren't operating either.

'Union bosses force poor children to go hungry' - now there's a headline you won't see in the Dinosaur media.

Needless to say, the DNC via Obama's Organizing America are taking an active part in ginning this up.

What exactly does Governor Walker want to do that has these presumed adults in such an uproar?

Simple. Faced with a choice of firing 1,500 and furloughs or taking 200,000 children off MedicAid because of Wisconsin's spiraling deficits, the Governor opted to propose legislation that would mandate that state workers put 5.8% of their wages toward retirement and that they cover 12.6% of their health care premiums, which would still have them paying less than most private sector workers.

Currently most state employees pay nothing toward their pensions and only a modest amount for their insurance. Walker said those increases alone would save the state $30 million this fiscal year and ten times that much going forward.


Not only that, but the Goverenor's legislation puts the public employee unions on notice that only wages will be subject to collective bargaining from now on - not pension rights or health care.

During the former Democrat Governor Doyle's regime, the unions pretty much got whatever they asked for , which is one reason Wisconsin is in such fiscal trouble now. Governor Walker was elected to get Wisconsin's house in order, and that's exactly what he's doing.

For the record, I grew up in a union home, have belonged to unions myself and still won't cross a picket line - but I don't apply those standards to public employee unions.

When the steelworkers or the grocery clerks go out on strike, we are talking about two private entities, labor and management settling differences over financial compensation,benefits or perceived unfairness.

When public employee unions do that, what you have is a private entity holding the taxpayers hostage. And that's very different, especially since the members of public employee unions have protections under civil service laws that private unions lack.

Not only that, but almost all public employee unions contribute heavily to the Democrats to the point where it's almost incestuous. Since the union dues that fund this come out of salaries paid by all taxpayers regardless of political leanings, what we have here is an involuntary forced contribution to the Democrats that might very well be found unconstitutional if anyone ever challenged it in court.

Events have taken an inadvertently comic turn, as the State Senate Democrats actually fled the state to Illinois to avoid Walker and the Republicans being able to pass this legislation. By state law, at least one Democrat has to be present at the voting so there's a Wisconsin's State Senate Democrats deciding to do their own strike against the people of Wisconsin and simply run away.

Perhaps Governor Walker needs to apply to the State of Illinois for extradition.

(Via memeorandum)

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Anonymous said...

Something much stronger is needed. The government has no backbone to bargain with unions. What you are seeing in Wi is the unions exerting pressure and they will continue to exert pressure until they get what they want. What the states need to do is pas a couple of simple laws that will control the issue. For example: A law that required that no public employee could be paid more then the average taxpayer in that state earns. In my state the average is $38,000. Does it really make sense to tax the citizens into the poor house in order to give it away to bloated bureaucrats. Another simple law would be that every job in the state must be bid on and the state must take the lowest bid from anyone qualified to do the job. In otherwords outsource to private industry. Your local school pays their janitors $40k a year do you really believe there are no janitorial services out there that could undercut that?? Take the control away from the bureacrats so they cannot negotiate it away with union thugs.

Independent Patriot said...

I guess civil discourse was meant only for the conservatives...the left can continue using as much reprehensible language as they like.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Anonymous,
I'm afraid I don't agree with your proposal to cut public employee wages to a state average income. You might find it difficult to fill certain positions. For instance, how many people do you think would apply to be police or firemen at those wages? I wouldn't.

And there would also be a severe diminution of quality among public employees in general.Same with automatically mandating the lowest bid. You generally get what you pay for.

Another factor you haven't considered is that while a certain percentage of these jobs are 'make work' and could be eliminated, people making decent wages helps the economy as a whole.

A clerk/typist making $40K per year with benefits might seem overpaid,but that employee buys a home, a car, consumer goods and other products at a far different level than they would if they were making $20K with no benefits.

What I think you object to is the incestuous relationship between the Democrats and the unions,because as I pointed out the Democrats are essentially negotiating campaign contributions for themselves from the public purse.

Chew this over. Rather than cutting wages, a better law would be one that prohibited public employee unions from making political contributions, Although contributions from individual members should be allowed.Ditto with a proposal to make public employee jobs 'open shop' rather than require mandatory union membership. Since public employees are already very well protected under civil service laws, a union's traditional function is largely unnecessary anyway,frankly.


Atlanta Roofing said...

Union workers have college degrees and would command far higher wages in private industry. If we want good government workers then we have to pay competitive wages. American and foreign workers can also vote with their feets. As the average wages in America drops, the best and brightest will go somewhere else. The brain drain will reverse.

Freedom Fighter said...

(a)I personally don't really consider public employees 'union workers'.

(B) I grew up in a union home and have belonged to two unions. And no, they don't all have college degrees, as if that meant anything with today's downgrading of academics.

(c)If you're talking about Public employees as opposed to similar workers in private industry, for the most part their wages are higher,especially when you figure in their benefits and pensions. Compare what public school teachers make as compared to private school teachers, for iunstance. You're simply incorrect.

(d)'voting with their feets'? I don't think so. At least 50% of public sector jobs are 'make work', which as I said above, is fine with me since people making living wages helps the whole economy.They wouldn't get same jobs or civil service protection in private industry.

But what really needs to change is the incestuous relationship between public employee unions and the Democrat party, whereby the Democrats essentially 'negotiate' the size of their campaign contribution from the public employee unions at the public's expense.