Wisconsin Gov. Cutting Rights of Public Employee Unions

You’ve probably noticed the gigantic demonstrations going on in the Wisconsin state capital.  Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is asking the Republican-controlled legislature to pass a “budget repair bill” that would make the states public employee unions essentially useless.

The proposal would take away the unions’ rights to negotiate on issues like health care, hours and working conditions, and would leave public employees defenseless. 

State workers would also have to increase the percentage of salary that they contribute to their pensions and double the percentage of contribution to health insurance premiums.

Reuters reports that:

Leading Republican lawmakers say workers have to share the pain of shoring up the state’s unsustainable financial problems — a projected $2.9 billion biennial budget deficit for fiscal 2012 and 2013. This year’s budget totals $12.7 billion.

The proposal has outraged Wisconsin labor unions and Democrats. Reuters also reports Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller as saying:

“If Republicans get their way, workers will no longer be able to negotiate over the hours they work, the safety conditions they labor under or the health insurance and retirement benefits they and their families depend on.”

Unions and progressive groups are now on the defensive, running TV and radio ads against the proposal all over Wisconsin.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has been airing an ad, which you can see in this video.

Outrage is also growing among teachers and other state workers, and many are banding together to express it. 

Channel3000.com reports

Meanwhile, at the Middleton High School listening session, the rage aimed at Walker grew intense as comments about his budget repair bill went from inflammatory to incendiary.

“Democracy is messy. Dictatorship is easy,” said listening session attendee Bill Delaney. “We do not intend to have a dictatorship.””

Accusations of a “Dictatorship” in Wisconsin grow as Gov. Walker prepares the National Guard to deal with a strike, which some say may be workers’ only way of standing against the proposal. While reports say that Gov. Walker hasn’t called in the Guard and doesn’t expect a strike, he has briefed them in preparation for it. 

Unions have kept the peace between public employees and managers for decades, but now Gov. Walker is looking to change that. Without unions to protect and stand up for workers’ rights, public employees will be helpless against a state that obviously hold its own needs above those of its workers.

Is paying a states’ bills worth it if its citizens can’t pay their own?

Tell Governor Scott Walker to respect union rights and protect public employees by signing the petition here.

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Photo credit: istock


Pat M.
Pat M.5 years ago

This guy is a real piece of work

Louise Duthie
Louise D.5 years ago

This is still about making real cuts to stabilise the situation and more about revenge. The Republican party is showing the nasty pettiness that Bush showed when he mocked a woman whose death sentence he upheld. The fact that George W Bush signed ever execution order with less than 15 minutes of thought showed that he really enjoyed the power of life and death.

lyn L.
l L.5 years ago

Dear paul : tired of trying to reason with people who have the christian jargon but not the heart. don't worry about my hate. It is honest hate that came because of phonies who claim they care about people and they just don't. I don't care about the disdain and the put me down or even that you fell i don't like differences of opinion. It is beyond differences of opinon to the destroying of human lives and livelihood. I can see far and I saw this coming and I see something else coming too and we will see what you say then. You think that you are safe in your opposing view that this madness is not going to affect you and yours. So did the people who are standing up for themselves today. Like Jesus said weep for yourselves. not one stone will be left upon another. the me is we and that includes you too. I have no more conversation. this site is open for debate debate I just can't stomach stupidity. If that you you decide so be it. I have nothing more to say and really don't give a r a how you see me.

Paul B.
Paul B.5 years ago

@lyn l. Did you forget to take your meds today. WOW!! One comment. You seem like a christian woman, at least you confess to such. what do you think God would say about all this hate. I could just as easily say that YOU, my friend, God bless you, are the one with the blinders on... and all you can see are the lies you have been fed about conservative intentions, the same lies the liberal/progressives have been feeding to you for just this very reason. Would I be any different than you?
Blame is not at issue here. We live by what we learn and experience. Unfortunately, we have been taught two totally different perspectives of reality. This is OUR reality, and together we must address it. I have my reasons for believing what I do, as do you. Does that particularly make yours the RIGHT answer just because YOU believe it? Why is that? I see things in a different but equally valid light.
This hate that you have for anyone is not healthy, blinds you to any opposing points of view and does NO ONE on this site any good. So much of what you have said regarding this article is misrepresented, distorted facts, and I think most people will see that. Some may be truth, but when clouded by so many untruths, its like, what do I believe. Please do something to curb the rage... you will feel much better.

lyn L.
l L.5 years ago

and one more thing- while I am venting; In the past 2 years the evangelical community those who did came out saying government is not your source God is so don't bother the government in doing so you are making government your idol. Lying on God. People on the streets no jobs no homes, crying in despair and you tell them that in the name of God. As long as you have your 1000.00 blessing plan incomes large crowds that give, as long as you can maintain your lavaish boasting lifestyles with jets and houses everywhere God's in your plan. God see's these people he hears their cries and for once someone with a heart in governemnt was trying to a right the ship and you put your fat lying behind in the way. I despise you. You and your anti christ theories, government is your idol and everything else you spue out that makes you one of the slfish uncaring things of our times. This is not a blanket statement but for the bachmans and palins and all else that is out there that think like this and promote these lies and don't know that old testament and God's heart about leaderships and nations and people. He cares about his creation. We don't care about it. amn's inhumanity to man. I think I've spoken my mind.

lyn L.
l L.5 years ago

don't contact me with nonsense, the proof is in the pudding. And I am sick of the same debate and you won't change your heart. By the way I meant to say, you want to bring child labors laws to put children back to work. I hate you for that too. You don't give a dam about anyone but yourselves and your kind. It's useless talking to you period. Something stronger has to get your attention cause I see you as nothing but pure evil. fire these bas-- while you can WIsconsians.

lyn L.
l L.5 years ago

and the weather-- oh yes we have the death ray that can do just about anything and it is used. I don't blame God for what is going on I blame you. You and your kind is doing this . We talk like we care about women and children. we don't want to bring child labor laws back? Thats caring? Women need health care, you are so worried that a woman won't bring a child into the world by any means necessary-- why for sport? cause it is obvious to me you don't know what the hell you are doing. It"s suppose to be an american cilization one to be modeled after oh really then why are we having these conversations. People losing their homes, am I going to debate this with you like you don't know? In 2008, people no jobs no homes, sleeping in the streets by the thousands. I hate you and your conversations. For 2 past years every remedy that was applied to help america and americans was met with a counter punch to render it uneffective. This energy you have to destroy the rest of us for a budge that benefits who--you and your giving so called taxes that you don't pay; if; you put that energy into saving peoples lives and livelihoods instead of cheating them, maybe my hatred of you would go away. I can't stomach your inhumanity. I cannot stomach your lies. I cannot stomach the example you set and i pray constantly that the heavenly father will come and deal with you cause I can't. Okay- teapartiers and republicans, nazi's and your supporters. Now you know!

lyn L.
l L.5 years ago

So I see; steven and paul are tea baggers? Listen up, I get tired of debating the issue with people who have blinders on or who are making it alright with their 39 pieces of silver. I know that the evangelicals have turned loose their brainwash mimics from their religious schools on the public. I know the same section is pro bush and rambo in their selfish interpretations of things. Nothing pharses them. Not even innocent people getting murdered for lies. So I despise them in the name of christianity. I despise bush and cheney for their performance in this saga. you see they all act like c christie tough rough and don't give a d------ and when the damage is done put your finger in your mouth and say it wasn't me and you know d------------- well it was. Then theres the followers who can't think beyond their gun belts and to think we have bullies following that example. and stupid people saying God did this when he didn"t. We have nazi's in this country we have the birch society and the libertarians, we have loud mouth rush,beck,bachman,cheny,palin all crazy as hell and welcomed like heroes. we have the right wing news medias planting thoughts in our heads how we need to get rid of the stuff that gives the rest us a livlihood while they threaten us with mayhem if we don't let them keep the bush tax cuts. we have experiements done on the public that is why we are diseased and you won't give us the public option so we can have affordable healthcare-----

Paul B.
Paul B.5 years ago

@ Steven... sorry but the stimulus was nothing but payback for all the Democratic supporters that put them back in power with sufficient majorities to run rough shot over the Republicans. If you look closely at the projects, it was basically, "pull every project you couldn't get past before, place it on the table and we will fund it now, we have 700 billion to spend... its party time for everyone. If you investigate further, you will find that a significant portion of that money went to Dem cronies, Dem states, Dem supporters and mostly unions, as in jobs and projects strickly union in nature. And the waste... unbelievable how little we got for what we paid. A bunch of useless stuff, temp jobs, temp gov funding to cover shortages that Dem leaders in all major municipalities have mismanaged. It was all a big Dem scam with them laughing (at our expense) all the way to the bank. Most of us aren't laughing very much now that the bill has been put on our shoulders with so little to see for it.

Paul B.
Paul B.5 years ago

Why do so many people here believe that if the Union in Wisconsin loses this battle that it could be the end of the Democratic PArty? I don't understand that logic. Is there something so inherently wrong with the party that if the union leaders can't steal union employees dues that are supposed to be funding their pensions to funnel into elections that only foster further union growth, will kill the democratic party? Is that all the Dems have to offer? I always thought that principles of governance were MORE important than the ability to rally the troups and raise election funding. I thought it was about what was best for the country, not personal greed.
If this is all it takes to bust the Democratic party, then the party was built on some pretty soft footing. I believe the Dems have strayed way to far towards progressive principles and lost the value in traditional American values of personal and fiscal responsibility. How sad. the Dems of the past would not rely so heavily on Unionization for survival.