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Thread: "Wisconsin" - Is this Good for America?

  1. #1

    "Wisconsin" - Is this Good for America?

    [SIZE="4"][B]Wisconsin Senate to vote on anti-union bill[/B][/SIZE]

    By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press Scott Bauer, Associated Press

    .MADISON, Wis. – Protesters clogged the hallways of the Wisconsin state Capitol on Thursday as the Senate prepared to pass a momentous bill that would strip government workers, including school teachers, of nearly all collective bargaining rights.

    The nation's most aggressive anti-union proposal has been speeding through the Legislature since Republican Gov. Scott Walker introduced it a week ago. After clearing a major legislative hurdle Wednesday night, it was headed to votes in the Senate and Assembly.

    Hundreds of protesters massed outside the Senate chamber on the second floor of the Capitol early Thursday, hours before the planned vote. Republican leaders said it has the votes to pass in both the Senate and Assembly.

    The bill marks a dramatic shift for Wisconsin, which passed a comprehensive collective bargaining law in 1959 and was the birthplace of the national union representing all non-federal public employees.

    Thousands of protesters, including children and teachers from more than two dozen schools forced to close due to high absences, were expected in and outside the Capitol for a third day of protests. Schools in Madison, the state's second largest district with 2,600-union covered employees, closed for a second day.

    Hundreds of people, many of them students from the nearby University of Wisconsin campus, slept in the rotunda for a second night leading up to the vote.

    They chanted "Kill the bill!" and "Recall Walker!" early on Thursday. But there appeared to be little doubt the bill would pass.

    The head of the 98,000-member statewide teachers union called on all Wisconsin residents to come to the Capitol on Thursday for the votes in the Senate and Assembly.

    "Our goal is not to close schools, but to instead to remain vigilant in our efforts to be heard," said Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell.

    The Legislature's budget committee passed the bill on a partisan vote just before midnight. Several opponents in the crowd broke into tears as Democrats on the committee encouraged them not to give up the fight.

    "I'm sad. Scared. Disappointed," said Kelly Dzurick, a 31-year-old fifth-grade teacher in Elkhorn, who came to the Capitol on Wednesday night. "Nobody's listening to what people say."

    Democrats have been powerless to stop the bill.

    "The story around the world is the rush to democracy," said Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar. "The story in Wisconsin is the end of the democratic process."

    In addition to eliminating collective bargaining rights, the legislation also would make public workers pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage — increases Walker calls "modest" compared with those in the private sector.

    Republican leaders said they expected Wisconsin residents would be pleased with the changes and that the bill was about saving money. The union concessions would save the state $30 million by July 1 and $300 million over the next two years to address a $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

    "I think the taxpayers will support this idea," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said.

    As protesters chanted "Recall Walker now!" outside the governor's office, Walker insisted he had the votes to pass the measure. He says it's needed to help balance the budget and avoid massive layoffs.

    "We're at a point of crisis," the governor said. He has said he would call out the National Guard if needed to keep state operations, including prisons, running.

    In an interview with Milwaukee television station WTMJ, President Barack Obama said he was monitoring the situation in Madison and acknowledged the need for budget cuts. But, he said, pushing public employees away from the bargaining table "seems like more of an assault on unions."

    While other states have proposed bills curtailing labor rights, Wisconsin's measure is the most aggressive anti-union move yet to solve state budget problems. It would end collective bargaining for state, county and local workers, except for police, firefighters and the state patrol.

    Wisconsin has long been a bastion for workers' rights. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was founded in 1936 in Madison.

    But when voters elected Walker, an outspoken conservative, along with GOP majorities in both legislative chambers, it set the stage for a dramatic reversal of Wisconsin's labor history.

    Under Walker's plan, state employees' share of pension and health care costs would go up by an average of 8 percent.

    Unions still could represent workers, but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Unions also could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized.

    In exchange for bearing more costs and losing bargaining leverage, public employees were promised no furloughs or layoffs. Walker has threatened to order layoffs of up to 6,000 state workers if the measure does not pass.

    Republican-backed changes to the bill made by the committee Wednesday would extend a grievance procedure to public workers who don't have one and require more oversight and put a deadline on changes Walker's administration can make to the Medicaid program. It would also give a level of legislative oversight to Walker's ability to sell public power plants.

    [url]http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110217/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions/print[/url]

  2. #2
    On this subject, Obama said

    [QUOTE]"Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions," President Obama told TMJ4 in Milwaukee[/QUOTE]

    Whatever hapened to Mr. Elections have Consequences?

    BTW, if it's an assault on Publice Sector Unions, sign me up.

  3. #3
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    Unions went from legitimately protecting workers from corporate abuses, to a Mafia-controlled protection for the worst and laziest workers.

    **** the unions. If you're good at your job and provide value, you're safe.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=quantum;3961554]Unions went from legitimately protecting workers from corporate abuses, to a Mafia-controlled protection for the worst and laziest workers.

    [B]**** the unions. If you're good at your job and provide value, you're safe[/B].[/QUOTE]

    :rolleyes:

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;3961556]:rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    What I posted is absolutely true. Your post is indicative of the usual amount of thought you put into all your other posts.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=quantum;3961561]What I posted is absolutely true. Your post is indicative of the usual amount of thought you put into all your other posts.[/QUOTE]

    or sometimes less is more.

    This quote by you: "If you're good at your job and provide value, [B]you're safe[/B]" speaks for itself.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;3961564]or sometimes less is more.

    This quote by you: "If you're good at your job and provide value, [B]you're safe[/B]" speaks for itself.[/QUOTE]

    you feel different, O SeriouslyMisNamedOne? Please enlighten us. Tell us how all the wrong people get fired (the old, the disabled, minorities, etc).

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;3961564]or sometimes less is more.

    This quote by you: "If you're good at your job and provide value, [B]you're safe[/B]" speaks for itself.[/QUOTE]

    The difference between a liberal and a conservative is that a conservative agrees with the premise that good workers are valued by business owners, while liberals believe business owners would fire their grandma it meant making a few more bucks. I'm always amazed when you break it down, the basic premise of liberalism is that rich people are evil and poor people are only poor because rich people are evil.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=SONNY WERBLIN;3961574]The difference between a liberal and a conservative is that a conservative agrees with the premise that good workers are valued by business owners, while liberals believe business owners would fire their grandma it meant making a few more bucks. I'm always amazed when you break it down, the basic premise of liberalism is that rich people are evil and poor people are only poor because rich people are evil.[/QUOTE]

    maybe the reality is somewhere in the middle. I think we can waste a lot of bandwidth posting links or recounting stories that benefit either side. A moderate view might be that there is merit to both points of views.

  10. #10
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    Yes, it is good for both America and American Taxpayers.

    Public Unions are, effectively, the Government telling itself it deserves more and more of our money, or else. The inherant problems of such a circumstance are legion, from overpaid positions to a lack of accountabillity/severabillity.

    I may not be pro-Union guy in general, I admit (having worked for one for 4 years, and saw from the inside who got protected and who benefitted most, the older, least productive and most problematic employees), but I DO support the right of Private Unions to exist and collectively bargain, as long as membership is not mandatory. The free individual should be the ultimate arbiter on if he/she wishes to join in the collective bargaining, or not (and hence represent themselves and their own abillities/accomplishments in obtaining their best deal).

    The trouble with Public Sector Unions is they ARE the Government, the men and women who make up our public institutions, paid 100% for by taxpayer funds. You, me and the others who pay our taxes pay these people, we are the "management/owners" in this circumstance. However, these uNions certainly are not negotiating with the people (say, via referendum), but instead they negotiate with OTHER public sector workers, who are not themselves accountable for any budget problems and funding issues of their sweetheart deals.

    Teachers are often the best example (although I know one poster here loves teh NY Firemen), but teachers in my area often make 60-75K a year, for 9-10 months of work. Add in their healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, time off benefits (beyond their aleready reduced working year) and the total benefit is often over $100,000/year. I'm sorry, thats too much. Especially for the multitude of half-assing, unmotivated, unaccountable, hard-as-hell-to-fire teachers in many of our systems, who are not held accountable when the school performs horribly.

    The Public Sector will continue to be somethign we, as a Nation, will have to wrangle over and fight about. When we have public employees retiring at 45 with full pention and bennies, and techers making $110K a year in total compensation to teach Freshman English 4 of 7 periods in the school day (for 10 months a year, the other two they cam vacation or work elsewhere), and those employees strike or protest to demand yet more......in a down economy, where unemployment in real terms is hovering at ~20%?

    Thats a problem, I'm sorry. Unions are no more fair than corporate oligarchy, they merely shift who has all the power from owners to workers, an idea I knwo teh Socialist love, but which illogicly places power int he hands of thsoe who take no risk, away from those who have risked their own capital to own the business. In the case of public unions, thats you and me, the taxpayers.

    Perhaps the answer is similar to Obama's answer for CEO's, a Govt. dept that decides how much money every public sector employee makes, and what bennies they get, from the top (of Govt.) down.

  11. #11
    Lawyers are jumping for joy, no unions! Every employee will be running to their attorney to sue their employer when something bad happens. Managers will continue to look the other way and bad employees will be left alone because the company doesn't want to be sued.

    Great day for the USA!

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;3961633]Yes, it is good for both America and American Taxpayers.

    Public Unions are, effectively, the Government telling itself it deserves more and more of our money, or else. The inherant problems of such a circumstance are legion, from overpaid positions to a lack of accountabillity/severabillity.

    I may not be pro-Union guy in general, I admit (having worked for one for 4 years, and saw from the inside who got protected and who benefitted most, the older, least productive and most problematic employees), but I DO support the right of Private Unions to exist and collectively bargain, as long as membership is not mandatory. The free individual should be the ultimate arbiter on if he/she wishes to join in the collective bargaining, or not (and hence represent themselves and their own abillities/accomplishments in obtaining their best deal).

    The trouble with Public Sector Unions is they ARE the Government, the men and women who make up our public institutions, paid 100% for by taxpayer funds. You, me and the others who pay our taxes pay these people, we are the "management/owners" in this circumstance. However, these uNions certainly are not negotiating with the people (say, via referendum), but instead they negotiate with OTHER public sector workers, who are not themselves accountable for any budget problems and funding issues of their sweetheart deals.

    Teachers are often the best example (although I know one poster here loves teh NY Firemen), but teachers in my area often make 60-75K a year, for 9-10 months of work. Add in their healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, time off benefits (beyond their aleready reduced working year) and the total benefit is often over $100,000/year. I'm sorry, thats too much. Especially for the multitude of half-assing, unmotivated, unaccountable, hard-as-hell-to-fire teachers in many of our systems, who are not held accountable when the school performs horribly.

    The Public Sector will continue to be somethign we, as a Nation, will have to wrangle over and fight about. When we have public employees retiring at 45 with full pention and bennies, and techers making $110K a year in total compensation to teach Freshman English 4 of 7 periods in the school day (for 10 months a year, the other two they cam vacation or work elsewhere), and those employees strike or protest to demand yet more......in a down economy, where unemployment in real terms is hovering at ~20%?

    Thats a problem, I'm sorry. Unions are no more fair than corporate oligarchy, they merely shift who has all the power from owners to workers, an idea I knwo teh Socialist love, but which illogicly places power int he hands of thsoe who take no risk, away from those who have risked their own capital to own the business. In the case of public unions, thats you and me, the taxpayers.

    Perhaps the answer is similar to Obama's answer for CEO's, a Govt. dept that decides how much money every public sector employee makes, and what bennies they get, from the top (of Govt.) down.[/QUOTE]

    The average NYC "emergency service/public safety worker" retires in their 40's with lifetime pension in excess of 60K for life with full insurance. NYC's OWN commission has cited this as a disaster in the making. NOT to mention they get 8 weeks sick/vacation annually so when they retire, they typically get a LUMP sum check for the unused days which is "capped" at one years pay. Just like the private sector:rolleyes:

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3961726]The average NYC "emergency service/public safety worker" retires in their 40's with lifetime pension in excess of 60K for life with full insurance. NYC's OWN commission has cited this as a disaster in the making. NOT to mention they get 8 weeks sick/vacation annually so when they retire, they typically get a LUMP sum check for the unused days which is "capped" at one years pay. Just like the private sector:rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    Emergency service/public safety workers should be treated like joe private sector because you say so?

    Their risks aren't any higher than the private sector?

    You guys are unreal, bunch of whiney b#tches.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=cr726;3961740]Emergency service/public safety workers should be treated [B]like joe private sector because you say so[/B]?

    Their risks aren't any higher than the private sector?

    You guys are unreal, bunch of whiney b#tches.[/QUOTE]

    No...I would be OK using the model used in MANY MANY cities in Virginia, NC, SC etc. The " emergency service employees" here in Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond do a GREAT job and there is a HUGE backlog of applicants. Absolute proof that you do NOT need to throw money at the issue to attract talent and have a qualified labor pool.

    The "risks" you speak of do not seem to disuade the many many applicants.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;3961700]Lawyers are jumping for joy, no unions! Every employee will be running to their attorney to sue their employer when something bad happens. Managers will continue to look the other way and bad employees will be left alone because the company doesn't want to be sued.

    Great day for the USA![/QUOTE]

    LOL.

    > 91% of this country's workers are already non-union, and that's not how it works for us. :rolleyes:

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=JetPotato;3961754]LOL.

    > 91% of this country's workers are already non-union, and that's not how it works for us. :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    91% that's awesome, but amazingly the other 9% is destroying the country?

    I guess the employee vs. employer cases in front of the Supreme Court got there by accident?

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=cr726;3961740]Emergency service/public safety workers should be treated like joe private sector because you say so?

    Their risks aren't any higher than the private sector?

    You guys are unreal, bunch of whiney b#tches.[/QUOTE]

    The private sector guys I work with that put in 60-80 hour weeks while being constantly exposed to carcinogenic materials all day and make $45,000/year say yes.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=cr726;3961761]
    I guess the employee vs. employer cases in front of the Supreme Court got there by accident?[/QUOTE]

    Easy to paint broad strokes (especially when making crazy, baseless speculations).

    But in reality, those cases are an exceptionally small percentage of all employees. And some of them are even legit.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=JetPotato;3961762]The private sector guys I work with that put in 60-80 hour weeks while being constantly exposed to carcinogenic materials all day and make $45,000/year say yes.[/QUOTE]

    Tell them to stop smoking.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3961747]No...I would be OK using the model used in MANY MANY cities in Virginia, NC, SC etc. The " emergency service employees" here in Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond do a GREAT job and there is a HUGE backlog of applicants. Absolute proof that you do NOT need to throw money at the issue to attract talent and have a qualified labor pool.

    The "risks" you speak of do not seem to disuade the many many applicants.[/QUOTE]

    Don't bother. Trying to explain market forces to a liberal is like trying to explain biology to a tree.

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