Wisconsin: Who's in charge of our political system—voters or unions?

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    Feb 19, 2011 3:24 PM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704900004576152172777557748.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

    The real assault this week was led by Organizing for America, the successor to President's Obama's 2008 campaign organization. It helped fill buses of protesters who flooded the state capital of Madison and ran 15 phone banks urging people to call state legislators.

    Mr. Walker's proposals are hardly revolutionary. Facing a $137 million budget deficit, he has decided to try to avoid laying off 5,500 state workers by proposing that they contribute 5.8% of their income towards their pensions and 12.6% towards health insurance. That's roughly the national average for public pension payments, and it is less than half the national average of what government workers contribute to health care. Mr. Walker also wants to limit the power of public-employee unions to negotiate contracts and work rules—something that 24 states already limit or ban. [...]

    Labor historian Fred Siegel offers further reasons why unions are manning the barricades. Mr. Walker would require that public-employee unions be recertified annually by a majority vote of all their members, not merely by a majority of those that choose to cast ballots. In addition, he would end the government's practice of automatically deducting union dues from employee paychecks. For Wisconsin teachers, union dues total between $700 and $1,000 a year.

    "Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits," Mr. Siegel told me. After New York City's Transport Workers Union lost the right to automatic dues collection in 2007 following an illegal strike, its income fell by more than 35% as many members stopped ponying up. New York City ended the dues collection ban after 18 months.


    Meanwhile, a few other points to note:

    Teachers in Wisconsin make twice per capita income of fellow Wisconsinites
    http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2011/02/teachers-in-wisconsin-make-more-than.html

    The average salary for an Milwaukee Public School teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.
    http://maciverinstitute.com/2010/03/average-mps-teacher-compensation-tops-100kyear/
  • rnch

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    Feb 19, 2011 3:26 PM GMT
    the people have spoken.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:31 PM GMT
    rnch saidthe people have spoken.


    They have. They voted in November. The comparable tea party protest today should be interesting given the competing interests.
  • rnch

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    Feb 19, 2011 3:34 PM GMT
    this damn fool governor "screwed the pooch" early on.

    he's useless.

    he's un-reelectable.

    he's done.

    he's finished.

    he's toast.

    he might as well resign and slither into the sunset.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:40 PM GMT



    The Unions in question agreed to pay cuts.

    Ignored.

    The WI gov't wants to break the unions, not accept their concessions that will save money.


    As well, union members also voted (in case riddler forgot). Some of them officially stood and supported the Republicans for election (like firefighters union, police union) and he's not going after their unions, just the ones that supported the Democratic Party.

    "Last week, the Republican governor announced he intended to end collective bargaining for most public employees, but the State Patrol and local firefighters and law enforcement would be exempt from the law."

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/crime_and_courts/blog/article_056546c2-388b-11e0-8f1e-001cc4c03286.html


    Well, riddler?
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    rnch saidthis damn fool governor "screwed the pooch" early on.

    he's useless.

    he's un-reelectable.

    he's done.

    he's finished.

    he's toast.

    he might as well resign and slither into the sunset.


    Hmmm your opinion, versus actual polling that says otherwise? There are pundits who are now suggesting that should Scott Walker prevail (and my guess is that given how strong a stand he is taking on this that he also believes polls to be in his favor), he could be up for VP or even Pres for 2012. Regardless how it turns, what happens in Wisconsin will be a significant milestone for how state governments deal with their budget crises in the coming months and years.
  • roadbikeRob

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    Feb 19, 2011 3:47 PM GMT
    The governor of Wisconsin is not un- reelectable and he has proven that he is not afraid to stand up to the greedy, corrupt public employee unions and tell them like it is. As far as I can see he is an outstanding leader who is concerned about the people of Wisconsin and the state's economic health. I wish that voters in New York had both the brains and common sense to elect Carl Paladino as governor rather than Andrew 'twinkletoes" Cuomo. We would probably see some real fiscal reform in Albany just like in Madison. As far as I am concerned, public employees really don't need labor unions period.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:48 PM GMT
    meninlove said



    The Unions in question agreed to pay cuts.
    Ignored.
    The WI gov't wants to break the unions, not accept their concessions that will save money.


    Here's his comments on that question:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116516403.html

    Q.Marty Biel said today (that the State Employees Union) would be willing to give you the financial concessions you've been asking for if you could leave their union bargaining rights untouched. What do you think of that?

    A. It's not going to work and the reason is, having been a local official, we've got 72 counties, 424 school districts and over 1,000 municipalities. And like every other state, or nearly every other state in the country, our budget is going to have cuts in aids to local.

    In fact, New York and California, which I've talked about before, cut billions of dollars out of the schools, the university system and local governments and not given them any tools. My goal all along has been to give all these folks - and I asked for it in the past - the tools to control their own budgets; you've got to give them some flexibility. I know as a local official, collective bargaining time and time again was the thing that stood in the way of local governments and school districts being able to manage their budgets. I can't guarantee if Marty Biel says we've got the state workers and AFSCME - there's other bargaining units out there - that there's any guarantee that every other school district, town, county village or town board is going to get those same sorts of agreements.


    There is a significant difference between private unions who compete for the profits that they are involved in generating versus public unions that compete for taxpayer dollars negotiating with politicians who don't have to be there to foot the bill.
  • rnch

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    Feb 19, 2011 3:48 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    rnch saidthis damn fool governor "screwed the pooch" early on.

    he's useless.

    he's un-reelectable.

    he's done.

    he's finished.

    he's toast.

    he might as well resign and slither into the sunset.


    Hmmm your opinion, versus actual polling that says otherwise? There are pundits who are now suggesting that should Scott Walker prevail (and my guess is that given how strong a stand he is taking on this that he also believes polls to be in his favor), he could be up for VP or even Pres for 2012. Regardless how it turns, what happens in Wisconsin will be a significant milestone for how state governments deal with their budget crises in the coming months and years.



    Pundits Pontificate out of various parts of their being everyday. after all, this is how these bullshit artists "earn" their money, as the "pundits" masquerading as "newspeople" on fox news prove everyday.

    i'm shurrrr the democrats hope this ham-fisted, clueless tool-of-big-business-fool runs for President.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:50 PM GMT
    roadbikeBob, take a look at my post above and the link. He's cherry-picking which unions to remove the right to bargain.

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    Feb 19, 2011 3:52 PM GMT
    The totally unholy alliance between the Democrats and the public employee unions, illustrated by the number of times Andy Stern visited the White House, will not continue to bankrupt the country. Popular sentiment will prevail over the vocal, union organized demonstrations of outrage.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    and riddler, look at the rest of that post you replied to only part of.

    Your topic title says "our' political system. IF you're Canadian (which I doubt; I think you're what many Canadians call a parachuter) it is not your system, it's theirs.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:04 PM GMT
    lol, 'unholy alliance'. I imagine you clutching a string of pearls to a heaving chest as you say that, punctuated with a dramatic gasp.

    Union members have been royally upset with democratic gov't actions in the past.

    Think!

  • musclmed

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    Feb 19, 2011 4:14 PM GMT
    meninlove said



    The Unions in question agreed to pay cuts.
    Ignored.
    The WI gov't wants to break the unions, not accept their concessions that will save money.


    lip service to that is of no value. Each individual entity would have to negotiate in a collective bargaining manner which could never give a definitive answer.
    Then the members would have to ratify the agreement.

    Thats easy when you are the federal governement you can run a defecit and there is no collective bargain ( oh wait no federal budget was put forth last year?) hmm


    My mom is a retired teacher and she surely benefits from her NYC retirement. But for some reason I was sent to Catholic high school, and im not catholic.



    A curve ball that will probably bus more people in and irritate Organizing for America is to leave collective bargaining off the cutting table. But expand the voucher program in Wisconsin.


    Apparently it costs DOUBLE in the public schools per pupil and the private school program must accept the 6500 dolllars or so as full payment. And in Milwaukee the number of vouchers is caped at 20,000.

    They should just leave the collective bargaining problem alone but unleash vouchers. NO CAP on # of students for vouchers.

    The parents should be able to supplement that voucher(6500) or so and not be limited to schools who would accept that as full payment.

    Let see the creative answer from the Unions and organizing for America on that one.

    Freedom of choice for parents, and no rigged voucher program. Keep the salaries and pensions the same. We know what will happen in 5 years right......Money saved.


    Since collective bargaining is a HUMAN right as some would say. Why isnt the same right to select a school that a parent wants and save the taxpayer money a similar right?


    When the progressives scream foul on vouchers they will be seen for the hypocrites they are . As they usually oppose it. They never want vouchers at all. Why because it takes away the political power they mass from the education sector.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Feb 19, 2011 4:18 PM GMT
    musclmed said
    meninlove said



    The Unions in question agreed to pay cuts.
    Ignored.
    The WI gov't wants to break the unions, not accept their concessions that will save money.


    lip service to that is of no value. Each individual entity would have to negotiate in a collective bargaining manner which could never give a definitive answer.
    Then the members would have to ratify the agreement.

    Thats easy when you are the federal governement you can run a defecit and there is no collective bargain ( oh wait no federal budget was put forth last year?) hmm


    My mom is a retired teacher and she surely benefits from her NYC retirement. But for some reason I was sent to Catholic high school, and im not catholic.

    A curve ball that will probably bus more people in and irritate Organizing for America is to leave collective bargaining off the table. But expand the voucher program in Wisconsin.



    Apparently it costs DOUBLE in the public schools per pupil and the private school program must accept the 6500 dolllars or so as full payment. And in Milwaukee the number of vouchers is caped at 20,000.

    They should just leave the collective bargaining problem alone but unleash vouchers. NO CAP on # of students for vouchers.

    The parents should be able to supplement that voucher(6500) or so and not be limited to schools who would accept that as full payment.

    Let see the creative answer from the Unions and organizing for America on that one.

    Freedom of choice for parents, and no rigged voucher program. Keep the salaries and pensions the same. We know what will happen in 5 years right......Money saved.


    Since collective bargaining is a HUMAN right as some would say. Why isnt the same right to select a school that a parent wants and save the taxpayer money a similar right?



    were you still drunk/high-from-last-night when you pecked out this illogical farrago?

    or are you overdue on your attention-deficit meds?

    icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:18 PM GMT



    It's not lip service just because you think so musclemed. lol

  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Feb 19, 2011 4:25 PM GMT
    rnch said
    musclmed said
    meninlove said



    The Unions in question agreed to pay cuts.
    Ignored.
    The WI gov't wants to break the unions, not accept their concessions that will save money.


    lip service to that is of no value. Each individual entity would have to negotiate in a collective bargaining manner which could never give a definitive answer.
    Then the members would have to ratify the agreement.

    Thats easy when you are the federal governement you can run a defecit and there is no collective bargain ( oh wait no federal budget was put forth last year?) hmm


    My mom is a retired teacher and she surely benefits from her NYC retirement. But for some reason I was sent to Catholic high school, and im not catholic.

    A curve ball that will probably bus more people in and irritate Organizing for America is to leave collective bargaining off the table. But expand the voucher program in Wisconsin.



    Apparently it costs DOUBLE in the public schools per pupil and the private school program must accept the 6500 dolllars or so as full payment. And in Milwaukee the number of vouchers is caped at 20,000.

    They should just leave the collective bargaining problem alone but unleash vouchers. NO CAP on # of students for vouchers.

    The parents should be able to supplement that voucher(6500) or so and not be limited to schools who would accept that as full payment.

    Let see the creative answer from the Unions and organizing for America on that one.

    Freedom of choice for parents, and no rigged voucher program. Keep the salaries and pensions the same. We know what will happen in 5 years right......Money saved.


    Since collective bargaining is a HUMAN right as some would say. Why isnt the same right to select a school that a parent wants and save the taxpayer money a similar right?



    were you still drunk/high-from-last-night when you pecked out this illogical farrago?

    or are you overdue on your attention-deficit meds?

    icon_lol.gif


    no response I guess from a liberal name caller. ( who always get personal when they have nothing to say)


    I dont drink. And trust me it would take a few years of learning to have a conversation at par about any type of prescribed medication.

    Truth is, if they left collective bargaining alone and unleashed vouchers we would see the same venom seen in your post.

    For Unions to Say they will accept salary cuts is garbage. It needs to be ratified by its members. They can simply spin there wheels and hope for it to wait out till 2012 and leave things as they are.

    Time is NOT on there side and this is why you see the bused in response from progressive groups, who fear a domino effect in other states.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    Riddler your hypocrisy with reference to busing by a democratic organization compared to the tbagger busing funded By Koch Bro's over health care issues is quite transparent. Did you complain then or when Fox News made free air time announcements of where to catch the Koch Bro's buses, or where to catch rides for Becks Hoopla's ?

    You say the voters have spoken in voting in a republican majority, well no !!! they didn't vote to take away bargaining rights. Its one thing to ask the public sector workers to pay more of their med insurance costs and Etc. but quite another to completely take away rights to bargain.

    would you be willing to work for what teachers work for ?, risk your life for the wages and benefits of police officers on the beat ?
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Feb 19, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidThe governor of Wisconsin is not un- reelectable and he has proven that he is not afraid to stand up to the greedy, corrupt public employee unions and tell them like it is. As far as I can see he is an outstanding leader who is concerned about the people of Wisconsin and the state's economic health.



    I agree whole-heartedly. True leaders make the tough decisions, even when they know that they are not going to be popular. Playing it safe and sticking by "the status quo" like so many politicians like to do doesn't help change anything. People said the same thing about AZ Governor Jan Brewer -- that she was "Un-Re-Electable" -- after the big bruhaha over the immigration issue here, and she ended up winning by a landslide. Sometimes making the tough decisions, even in the face of much criticism, has it's rewards come election day.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    roadbikeRob saidThe governor of Wisconsin is not un- reelectable and he has proven that he is not afraid to stand up to the greedy, corrupt public employee unions and tell them like it is. As far as I can see he is an outstanding leader who is concerned about the people of Wisconsin and the state's economic health.



    I agree whole-heartedly. True leaders make the tough decisions, even when they know that they are not going to be popular. Playing it safe and sticking by "the status quo" like so many politicians like to do doesn't help change anything. People said the same thing about AZ Governor Jan Brewer -- that she was "Un-Re-Electable" -- after the big bruhaha over the immigration issue here, and she ended up winning by a landslide. Sometimes making the tough decisions, even in the face of much criticism, has it's rewards come election day.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Its my understanding that walker came into office with a surplus, but he like "others" "made the tough decisions" and gave tax brakes to the high end income brackets in the state creating this crisis and now suddenly its so important to take away the rights to bargain for a living wage ? So which was the "tough'er' decision" giving wealth to his supporters or to lower the standard of living for the "mere" voters ?
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:55 PM GMT
    Now now, reallifedad, don't forget the WI governor is cherry picking which unions to go after. He's exempting the police and firefighters unions. See how fair he is? After all, schools are just daycare centers. icon_lol.gif
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Feb 19, 2011 5:04 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]musclmed said
    ..I dont drink. And trust me it would take a few years of learning to have a conversation at par about any type of prescribed medication...[/quote]


    perhaps you should! you just might develop a sense of humor if you did.

    icon_lol.gif

    icon_wink.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Feb 19, 2011 5:10 PM GMT
    realifedad said


    Its my understanding that walker came into office with a surplus, but he like "others" "made the tough decisions" and gave tax brakes to the high end income brackets in the state creating this crisis and now suddenly its so important to take away the rights to bargain for a living wage ? So which was the "tough'er' decision" giving wealth to his supporters or to lower the standard of living for the "mere" voters ?



    I'm not really going to argue the merits of giving tax breaks to the people who actually pay the most taxes and create the most jobs. I happen to think the Governor of WI is on the right track, and that Governors in other states may likely follow suit.
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    Feb 19, 2011 5:11 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidMeanwhile, a few other points to note:

    Teachers in Wisconsin make twice per capita income of fellow Wisconsinites
    http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2011/02/teachers-in-wisconsin-make-more-than.html

    The average salary for an Milwaukee Public School teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.
    http://maciverinstitute.com/2010/03/average-mps-teacher-compensation-tops-100kyear/


    Since you've proven yourself incapable of dealing with the facts in play in Wisconsin, I'm not going to debate them further with you.

    But, I do have a question:

    Instead of asking why teachers are "paid so much", why don't you ask why other workers are paid so little? icon_rolleyes.gif

    (PS: I'll give you a hint. They're not unionized.)
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Feb 19, 2011 5:22 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidMeanwhile, a few other points to note:

    Teachers in Wisconsin make twice per capita income of fellow Wisconsinites
    http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2011/02/teachers-in-wisconsin-make-more-than.html

    The average salary for an Milwaukee Public School teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.
    http://maciverinstitute.com/2010/03/average-mps-teacher-compensation-tops-100kyear/


    Since you've proven yourself incapable of dealing with the facts in play in Wisconsin, I'm not going to debate them further with you.

    But, I do have a question:

    Instead of asking why teachers are "paid so much", why don't you ask why other workers are paid so little? icon_rolleyes.gif

    (PS: I'll give you a hint. They're not unionized.)


    if they struck out on there own they may even make more money.

    open there own school or tutoring service?

    Unions the answers to everything?

    In a progressive world everyone works for the state and has a equal miserable life.

    I think the governor should abandon the collective bargaining repeal and liberalize the vouchers. See what they say then.