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Subject: What you need to know about the showdown for worker's rights in Wisconsin. rss

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Normally I keep out of political discussion. However, the events of the last week in Wisconsin have become too big to ignore. Between Gov. Walker's "pants on fire" lie that he is not attempting to wipe out collective bargaining and the outrageous attempt by republicans in the state assembly pass legislation without going through the democratic process by simply lying to the minority about when the vote is taking place the dishonesty has simply gone to absurd levels.

I value honesty more than just about anything, so here are some things you should know as pulled from sources I read which are usually considered non-controversial. There are many hyperlinks in this so click around on the blue.


What is the Bill
This bill does a variety of things to hurt public employees such as cutting benefits and changing many career service positions into political appointments (job rewards for loyal supporters rather than qualified and experienced professionals). The most important part however is the cuts that it makes into worker's rights. The bill would make collective bargaining on the part of public employees illegal on any issue except for wages and then makes it effectively impossible to negotiate any increase of wages over the increase of inflation. This is a very big deal. The governor is aware it is a big deal and even casually suggested that he was already prepared to use military force to face down potential opposition (this was before the protests and thankfully has not come to pass yet, although given this country's history of bloodshed when the national guard is called out in such cases it is a threat in very poor taste).

Who are public workers?
Public workers include engineers, corrections officers, construction workers, nurses, child care workers, researchers, forest rangers, and many many other workers for the state government. Public sector workers are better educated and paid less. I am not a public worker, but in my experience they are strong people who realize this, but believe that working for their community is worth it even when it doesn't financially make sense for them. The number of teachers coming out of America's top colleges for instance is a real spit in the eye to materialist econ 101.

What do unions do?

Simply put, they advocate on behalf of their members and often workers as a whole. They give employees a voice and a chip on the bargaining table where otherwise they would have none. Without collective bargaining employers have little reason to take the right's of their workforce seriously. Even flagrant abuse or breach of contract commonly goes unchallenged in the absence of collective action. Unions are where employees come together to support each other and despite the characters commonly drawn, are usually run by idealistic old-timers with 2.5 kids and a dog. Sometimes bosses do not like unions, because it means that they cannot do whatever they want to their employees.

Example: You have been working at a job for some time and today your boss tell you that from now on you will be doing something potentially dangerous that is against the law or your conditions of employment. What do you do? Quit and give up the benefits you are legally entitled to? Hire an expensive lawyer and probably lose? Complain and be ignored or punished? Can your family even afford any of these options? Acting as an individual you are in serious trouble. Acting as a group your combined resources are much more likely to result in a fair workplace. In my experience without representation even basic things like collecting your paycheck on time can be a pain.

For this reason many business interests are heavily invested in stomping out worker's rights because they believe the little people acting up makes their life harder.

What does busting worker's rights have to do with the 2011 budget?
Not much.

So why?
It has a lot to do with politics and business. Despite the overall hostile climate towards worker's rights in the US public worker's unions have managed to survive as the last toehold of the American labor movement. They are also the only organizations that are able to represent the economic interests of lower and middle class workers in the political realm. Under the recent citizens united vs. FEC ruling, business interests are allowed to spend as much money as they like on private political campaigns. As you might expect, the boss's of the world's largest companies have a lot more money to throw around than you or I. Without the likes of AFSCME around their spending will go largely unopposed. This would be good for unabashedly pro corporate interest politicians like governor Walker who receive huge support from them. It would be crippling for anyone that doesn't wholeheartedly support the chamber of commerce policy line. Additionally, unions are important civic institutions that serve to mobilize working class voters and are very important in the early stages of many grassroots campaigns. By eliminating public unions big business and WI republicans hope to effectively strangle their opposition financially and organizationally. Also, if public worker's organization is crushed, the private sector unions will probably never be able to recover.

Of course the police and firefighters unions are exempt because they supported Walker in the election. This special deal should give you an idea of where the priorities of the governor lay.

Are workers willing to take cuts in exchange for protections of their basic organizing rights?

Yes

It's typical in these disputes for the rightists to paint workers as uncompromising whiners living the high life and cruising around in the luxury cars that a 2nd grade teacher's salary could never actually pay for. However, that's pretty clearly false. In this case they have been openly willing to accept the financial hits. They only demand to keep their most basic worker's rights.

Is there a Riot in Madison?
Nope

Don't believe the hype.
60,000 people, no arrests, no rampage. Compare that to your average football game. Take a look. This is protest and civil disobedience at its best. The kind of thing I expect from the America North-Central.

Who is giving money to the campaign to kill worker's rights in WI?
Impossible to single out just one name because this is a major issue with billionaires and special interests around the country pitching in. However some of America's wealthiest super-conservatives David and Charles Koch have been major players both in the election of Walker and his anti-worker push. (one of) Their political action fronts "Americans for Prosperity" which is also known for their huge spending and anti-environmental lobbying, is spending millions to end ALL collective bargaining across the USA.

What can you do?

I'm no expert in political organizing, but I love the democratic process and this seems like the best way to help using that system.

Do you live in one of these districts? With enough signatures you can call for a recall election within 4 months. Get involved with collecting signatures today.

State Senate, District No. 2: Robert L. Cowles - signatures needed: 15,892

State Senate, District No. 8: Alberta Darling - signatures needed: 20,343

State Senate, District No. 10: Sheila Harsdorf - signatures needed: 15,744

State Senate, District No. 14: Luther S. Olsen - signatures needed: 14,733

State Senate, District No. 18: Randy Hopper - signatures needed: 15,268
State Senate, District No. 20: Glenn Grothman - signatures needed: 19,629

State Senate, District No. 28: Mary Lazich - signatures needed: 20,973
State Senate, District No. 32: Dan Kapanke - signatures needed: 15,587


Also, just to show the people who are really behind these shenanigans what you think, you can vote with your dollars. Boycott Koch products. Probably you will have a hard time boycotting coal but, you can certainly avoid these cheap things.

Angel Soft
Brawny
Dixie Cups
Georgia Pacific
Mardis Gras paper products
Northern paper products (Quilted Norther tissue, et.al.)
Vanity Fair paper products (napkins, disposable table linens, etc. Not the magazine.)

Under their Invista brand, also owned by Koch Bros:

Antron
Comforel
Coolmax
Cordura
Dacron
Lycra
Polarguard
Stainmaster
Solarmax
Tactel
Thermolite


God bless.
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One of the few benefits to having Republicans in power is that they will inevitably pursue class warfare at a more obvious, in-your-face level than the Democrats. They know they really should try to hide it better, but they can't help themselves. Bulls seeing red.
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Drew1365 wrote:
It all comes down to the Koch Bros.? :what:

Really?



No, that's explicitly the opposite of what I wrote. I wrote that they were a one very large financial backer among many.

Drew1365 wrote:


It's really all a vast right-wing conspiracy? :shake:



Large business interests with lots of money give lots of money to pro-business interest causes. This isn't exactly alien invasion. This is pretty normal stuff.


Drew1365 wrote:

The Citizens United decision preserved the unions' right to have a voice, too.

Yes, that was what I was implying by saying that they were the last financial backers of working people but their finances are much less than their opponents. This is exactly why Walker and co. are attempting to wipe them out. That's politics for you.



Drew1365 wrote:

This has already been revealed to be a union lie. We've already discussed it on this board. The national guard was put on standby to man the prisons should prison guards stage a sickout. That is all.


Certainly not a union lie. Possibly a difference of interpretation. The site I linked to is BizTimes even! I mean, I know you aren't reading them, but at least mouse over, sheesh. A reporter asked him what he would do in the event of a public worker strike and he said he "updated emergency plans and alerted the National Guard just in case". Of course he could mean just in case we need to staff prisons... but he didn't say that and in the context of what he was saying many many people are going to start remembering the massacres they read about in history class.
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Drew1365 wrote:

Seriously? When it comes to fomenting class warfare, nobody does it better than the Democrats. Hell, fomenting class warfare has been the president's modus operandii since before he was elected. It's what Community Organizers do.


I agree that Democrats do it better - after all, the corporate bailouts, the mandated corporate healthy care system instead of a real public option, continuation of Imperialist wars, support of dictators, continuation of regressive tax cuts, continuation of Guantanamo Bay, continuation of rendition and torture, furthering of the State Secrets policy, continuation of fox-guarding-the-henhouse political appointments, no movement on global warming... oh bother, this is getting boring and my hand is cramping. You get the idea. All under Obama and a Democratic congress. Democrats are much better at class warfare, at least in part because they get idiots screaming 'socialist' at them for maintaining policies that started with Eisenhower. Look at all the people trying to defend rendition, torture, etc simply because a Democratic president is in power. The Democrats are the velvet glove of Empire.
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wolvendancer wrote:


Do you have anything to add about Wisconsin? I don't really want an American empire type thread. Not really a fan of those and this is more immediately important stuff.
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I work at a private company with a union. I am not in the union, I am in management. I acknowledge that the collective bargaining rights of the union results in overall better pay and benefits for the union workers. I also acknowledge that the more money and benefits they get, the more I get.
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Nordican wrote:
wolvendancer wrote:


Do you have anything to add about Wisconsin?


Ummm.... go Wisconsin?

I do apologize for the thread-detour. Was responding to another poster, which sometimes takes threads in other directions. That's the wacky internet for you.

The problem with trying to make this 'just about Wisconsin' is that it isn't. One of the classic ways labour movements fail - and this is a type of labor movement - is to insist on atomization and particularity and resist making connections to other people and other causes. So yes, it's important to fight this battle as this place and at this time, but also to realize that this is about modern politics in America, which connects to foreign policy, which connects to corporatism, which connects to minority rights, which connects to the basic economic system. The only way to win is through making those connections; if you don't, you'll either lose in the short-term, or lose in the long.

But that's not taking anything away from the protesters. Yay them!
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bjlillo wrote:

Ludicrous.

Which part? I have lived this stuff and so have millions of others. The idea that employers want more labor for less certainly isn't ludicrous, it's just human nature. I don't know how you could argue otherwise.


Quote:
Public sector unions in Wisconsin eat up over 60% of the state budget. They also wield immense political power, especially when Democrats are in power.

You make it sound like its a strange thing that paying employees costs money. Why should big business have political power but workers can't even organize legally. What makes them worth less?

Quote:

Public sector unions are still allowed to exist because government is not required to make a profit.

It makes more sense to say that public unions are strong because government cannot outsource. The viability of unions isn't really my concern. I just don't think politicians should kill off people's orginizational rights so long as we still have freedom of assembly in the first amendment.

Quote:

Quote:
Of course the police and firefighters unions are exempt because they supported Walker in the election. This special deal should give you an idea of where the priorities of the governor lay.


There's another whopper for you.

That's a matter of public record. I'm don't think anyone with a healthy political cynicism should doubt this. Unless you seriously are prepared to believe that the two unions groups who politically supported the governor are coincidentally the only two unions exempt from the union busting bill. I also have various bridges for sale in that case.

Quote:

Unions ran grossly false commercials against Walker during the campaign and supported his opponent almost to a man, and you expect him to sit down with them in good faith?

Yes. Unions are support the interests of working people in elections. Obviously they didn't believe the election of Walker was good for them. Similarly, I have seen more than a few conservative ads slandering unions, pre-school teachers, and the poor. Obviously they are pursuing the interests of something else. That's politics, it doesn't preclude negotiation. The USA even negotiated with the USSR and I'm rather glad not to have the fallout here.

Also, I don't think politicians should be encouraged to legislate the death of their competition after victory. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that?

Quote:

Missed 9 arrests from the protest huh?

"On behalf of all the law enforcement agencies that helped keep the peace on the Capitol Square Saturday, a very sincere thank you to all of those who showed up to exercise their First Amendment rights," Madison police said in a statement. "(Protesters) conducted themselves with great decorum and civility."
That quote is from today. I think the point stands. 60,000 people in an orderly way standing up for their beliefs. Would you oppose this?
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Koldfoot wrote:
Why can't this just be an issue for Wisconsin to deal with?


Yeah, why are you even commenting on this?

Koldfoot wrote:
Their protests simply seem to be fueling similar issues in other states.


We can only hope.

Koldfoot wrote:
Word 'round the campfire is that the residents of Wisconsin are mostly backing the governor. Any truth to that?


He won the election but on this specific issue it appears that he lacks support:

http://weaskamerica.com/2011/02/18/weirdness-in-wisconsin/

Nordican wrote:
Do you have anything to add about Wisconsin? I don't really want an American empire type thread. Not really a fan of those and this is more immediately important stuff.


Indeed immediately important... but he does point out an important point about this being only a symptom of a larger problem - and a trend as you can see the constant chipping away - like Citizens United vs. FEC being a great example. As this article points out, see the part "As for Democratic president Barack Obama...":

http://www.twincities.indymedia.org/2011/feb/wisconsin-epice...

The system is the problem. It is not in the benefit of the unions or the workers to be part of the vote baiting that is the two party RNC/DNC process. There is a phrase, "think globally, act locally"... I think that applies to what wolvendancer offers. You know... "Workers of the World Unite"... not just Wisconsin. It is the reason why you have so much external support, this is a battle that will set precedent in the country.

Citizens United? Oxymoron, irony... it is so much the opposite.
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Koldfoot wrote:
...you sure get passionate about maintaining the status quo.


I am passionate about workers rights and defeating corporate control of government. I think it is unfortunate that unions need to play the election game, that is the status quo that I'd like to see defeated here.

Koldfoot wrote:
Is there a more logical bandwagon for an anarchist to jump upon than public school reform? Could be, but how in the world is school reform not in the top 3?


This is a step in that direction. Pay teachers a competitive wage. As was stated previously... invest in schools or invest in more prisons.

Reform? Yeah, I live in Mass... we have the MCAS. This came into being long after I went through the system, now I have kids in it. It is pretty amazing - kids are taught to take tests. That is it, the MCAS score is the goal of your education. It is the worst example of reactionary government policy to education reform I have have seen here.

Here you have a dialog that is derailing the OP. Start a new thread about anarchist's philosophy of education reform if you want.
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Koldfoot wrote:
I challenge you to name a single act that would have more immediate and profound positive effect on the educational system of Wisconsin.


Defenestration of the governor and legislature. That is where I would start.
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Nordican wrote:
"On behalf of all the law enforcement agencies that helped keep the peace on the Capitol Square Saturday, a very sincere thank you to all of those who showed up to exercise their First Amendment rights," Madison police said in a statement. "(Protesters) conducted themselves with great decorum and civility."
That quote is from today. I think the point stands. 60,000 people in an orderly way standing up for their beliefs. Would you oppose this?

I know this was for BJ, but I personally don't oppose that. However, to be fair, the millions of Tea Partiers faced much more scrutiny and condemnation for far fewer (percentage wise) arrests and incidents.
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Here's some actual numbers for you:

Wisconsin's budget deficit is currently $137 million. It is projected to grow to a staggering 2.7 billion by 2013. The last time the state tried collective bargaining it took 18 months to resolve under Democratic control.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/102748564.html

http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/6783/wisconsins_go...

Public employees in Wisconsin contribute a paltry 0.6% towards their pensions. Private employees on average contribute 100%. The new proposal raises the contribution levels of public employees to just 5.8%

http://www.weau.com/news/headlines/Walker_releases_cost_of_p...

Wisconsin public employees pay only 6% towards healthcare premiums. The new proposal would raise that to 12%. The national average is 16% for a single person and 28% for a family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_State...

Teachers in Wisconsin average almost $78,000 per year. Total compensation in Milwaukee is over $100,000 including benefits.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/18/day-of-recko...

http://investmentwatchblog.com/report-average-city-teacher-s...

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Koldfoot wrote:
More spending is the way to reform schools?

If you are serious about school reform, you ought to be writing letters in support of the governor to fire the illegally striking teachers. It is unlikely a chance like this will ever present itself again for a generation.

I challenge you to name a single act that would have more immediate and profound positive effect on the educational system of Wisconsin. Short term pain aside, everyone in Wisconsin, to include the teachers in the long run (although that single point is the one point in my statement that is debatable) would be in better shape.


I would just like to point out that the WI teachers union agreed several days ago to the requests of paying higher insurance and pension. The debate really is about bargaining rights, because of worker conditions. Issues of class size, curriculum, building conditions, etc will directly affect my students. That is why I chose to take a personal day last week to protest in Madison. I don't know one teacher who called in who did physically get sick and/or cry about the decision. There was no strike called, and no vote was made.

I don't mind getting paid less. I do mind if choices are made that will directly keep me from being able to reach my students. I gladly pay for school supplies and clothes for my kids out of my own pocket. I even gladly pay for my continuing ed credits so that I can have new ideas and continue to learn how to be an excellent teacher. But if I, as the "expert" in the room have no voice in what is best for the students, then it will be significantly more difficult for me meet their needs.
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I am a public sector union employee in Wisconsin. I work for a school district (3rd largest in the state). I am not a teacher. I work 12 months a year and I make far less than had I stayed at my previous position. I also have far fewer vacation days, no paid personal days or floating holidays, etc.

I was willing to forgo that for better benefits. If - or should I say when - this law is finally passed, it will cost me ~$500 per month which averages out to be about a 15% pay cut. It will cost the 10-month educational assistants who make $21,000 the same amount. As bad as it is for me, I can't imagine it for someone who makes about half of what I do.

When the governor says this will balance the budget, it is at the expense of the local government and tax payers as well. Walker contends that the savings from contributions to pensions and health insurance will make up for that. Except that it won't. He has acknowledged that there will be approximately $900 million cut in state aid to education over the next two years - about $500 for every student in the system. That would be about $13 million for our District of 26,000. His cuts in aid would begin next fiscal year - however changes to the contributions would not take effect until the expiration of the current contracts. In our district, the teachers contract runs two more years so that is even more to be covered by layoffs, cuts and tax increases.

And as far as his promise that no public employees would be furloughed or laid off? That won't apply to school district personnel.

Anyway, that's my $.02 on this.

edited for a misplaced decimal





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Here's a good addition, Nordican:

http://iso-madison.blogspot.com/2011/02/are-you-outside-of-m...
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Alaren wrote:
What you need to know about the showdown over worker's generous compensation packages in Wisconsin is pretty straightforward: follow the money. Follow it all the way from your pockets to the DNC's coffers.


A) So, much like redistricting, this is a case of the party in power deliberately disempowering their political opposition, and that opposition using whatever tactics are available to prevent this?

B) Someone on one of these threads objected to counting public workers' wages as tax dollars after they've been paid. Even in cases in which union dues are directly deposited, they're counted among the wages paid, and I think that objection is still reasonable. Were I a teacher, I'd get sort of annoyed if everyone else thought that every time I spent my money on something, I was effectively stealing from them to do it. I don't disagree that political power is a big driving force here, and I think that's your principle point. But I think it's reasonable to be very cautious with any reasoning which makes people feel any sort of ownership over other people's wages.

See what I did there? I understand lots of the folks I'm defending make that same error, and I'm hoping this helps everybody empathize a little more. I'm kind of proud of that silly rhetorical stunt.
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Alaren wrote:
This would be a much more interesting point if every state was a right-to-work state. Your hypothetical requires a choice on your part to direct your wages in a particular direction. If you were a teacher, wouldn't you also get annoyed if a union that wasn't representing your best interests (because, for example, you hadn't been teaching for very long and therefore your job was on their list of expendables for negotiation purposes) had a legal right to skim your wages anyway, based on labor laws in your state? The problem is not that teachers are sending portions of their salaries toward unions which in turn fork the money over to the DNC. The problem is that there are in many places laws that make it happen automatically, turning the teachers' paychecks into a sort of laundering service. Adding a government mandate into the question changes the context dramatically.

(I don't know what the tax consequences of all this are--I suspect the teachers' contributions are tax exempt?--but suddenly I'm curious...)

Anyway, you admit that the folks you're defending "make that same error" but let's spell that out for the peanut gallery. Unions do not feel any sort of ownership over teachers' wages; in states lacking a right to work statute, unions have ownership over teachers' wages--they literally get paid from the teacher's salary before the teacher does. That is a very important and very problematic difference.


I think even if I were a teacher forced to pay into a union which did not represent my interests, I'd be able to temper the frustration with the consolation that they tended to improve conditions overall, and that I was likely to benefit from their actions in the future. Incidentally, being in this position is my default plan for once my children are old enough to be in school, so it's not a totally theoretical speculation. That said, I certainly wouldn't fault someone else in that position for having trouble tempering the frustration, and your point is still perfectly valid despite my unusual temperament.

And you took the ownership over other wages to an even better place than I did--I was thinking simply of public employees thinking of their future wages as in some way already theirs by right, even though they haven't earned them yet and they'd have to come out of taxpayers' pockets (as well as, of course, taxpayers viewing public employees wages as somehow still theirs). But your spin was even more on point. Now I don't feel so clever.
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rinelk wrote:

A) So, much like redistricting, this is a case of the party in power deliberately disempowering their political opposition, and that opposition using whatever tactics are available to prevent this?
[/q]

This and the money are really the key points here. The bill isn't about budgets, but class and political power. I'm opening a separate thread with some numbers on that.
 
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My frustation with unions as a teacher would be the tendency to say, "you can't teach math. You are an english teacher".

I have friends who've been told to wait until the "hole driller" gets back to drill a 2" hole in a stud for a pipe which they as a plumber knew how to do.
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Drew1365 wrote:


Is it any wonder the unions are trying to get this bill stopped? They don't care so much about the teachers or their jobs -- they care about their money.


Which is obvious when you see the vast number of Wisconsin teachers supporting the bill.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Yes. They're demonstrating against their own best interests. First, because the goal of the bill is to save teachers' jobs and their pensions. Without this bill, we can't sustain them.


This is simply wrong. The unions have already offered to undertake the pension and benefit cuts that were asked for, so long as their collective bargaining rights are left untouched, and the status of collective bargaining rights by themselves have nothing to do with the current economic condition of Wisconsin.

This is nothing less than an attempt to hurt organized labour in the state. Fine and good, but don't call it what it clearly isn't.
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Drew1365 wrote:


Yes. They're demonstrating against their own best interests. First, because the goal of the bill is to save teachers' jobs and their pensions. Without this bill, we can't sustain them. Unless it passes, there will probably be mass job loss for teachers. There will definitely be no pensions.

With the bill we can save their jobs and their pensions.

The unions are lying because they want to retain their power and the money.



Governor Walker has stated that this bill is necessary because it will give school districts the financial flexibility they will need to face the next round of cuts that will come out next week. Although Walker says that HE will not be cutting any jobs, this will leave the dirty work down to the local level. Cutting $500 per child is going to destroy our school systems. The mass job losses are coming for teachers, regardless of what we do.

However, if you talk to any teacher (myself included) we would tell you our major concern in this issue is the students. I have been hired for my expertise of what is best for my students, and this bill removes my voice. We will no longer have a voice in class size, curriculum, safety conditions, etc. Teachers go to the union when districts refuse to purchase books in braille for their blind students. Teachers go to the union when a classroom is so cold that the students are wearing their coats all day and the district has not fixed the problem. Teachers go to the union when over 50% of their class have special ed needs and they can not give the individual attention necessary to the students. Teachers go to the union to bargain school calendar and hours because we know when the students are completely fried.

And by the way, although WI is in the top 10 largest retirement systems in the world, it is fully funded. There is no danger of it going broke. The system is working, and yet this bill also includes incentives to encourage people to opt-out of pensions. If people stop paying in, then it will be broken.
 
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agarlock wrote:

Cutting $500 per child is going to destroy our school systems.


I don't in any way doubt that it would have a dramatic immediate effect, but how do you reconcile that to the government's own data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, compiled below.


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Drew1365 wrote:
mightygodking wrote:
This is simply wrong. The unions have already offered to undertake the pension and benefit cuts that were asked for, so long as their collective bargaining rights are left untouched, and the status of collective bargaining rights by themselves have nothing to do with the current economic condition of Wisconsin.


First, there are no pension or benefit cuts in this bill. Whichever blog you got that from is lying. State workers are being asked to contribute slightly more of the already slight amount the contribute to their benefits and pension packages. Instead of 0% toward their pensions, they're being asked to contribute 5%. Instead of 6% to their benefits, they're being asked to contribute 12%. These are not cuts.

And second, ending collective bargaining (which is not a right) is important because it will prevent a return to the status quo at some later point when unions have their pet Democrats back in power; which would simply nullify any attempt to get the budget under control.


If I understand you correctly, the employer's contribution to employee pensions will be reduced by 5%, and to their benefits by 6%. I agree that the benefits and pensions will stay the same, but that's an awfully thin sense of "not cuts". It has precisely the same effect as a cut plus a new requirement that employees buy supplemental insurance and save for their own retirements--by forcing the employees to pay to maintain prior levels rather than allowing them to spend their money as they like, it's actually WORSE than a simple cut.

If a friendly administration is in power, they're just as empowered to pay teachers too much after collective bargaining is gone as they are now. What changes is that unions no longer have the power to force unfriendly administrations to pay them more, as a result of which the union can no longer offer substantial value to its members. Support for the union will drop, and it will be less able to advocate for friendly administrations in future elections.

There's a sense in which that's fine--the party in power is expected to push its own interests, and they're elected by people who know that. It's hard to swallow as someone in sympathy with those whose voices become muted as a result, but the natural recourse for the losers of an election is to carp about how unfair the majority's being. This, too, is expected, and I can't help recognizing that I'm acting just as the forces on me would predict.
 
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