Moderate Wisconsin Republicans Propose Union Compromise, But…
First, let’s understand what we’re talking about here. Wisconsin is running a budget deficit because of the fiscal crisis and Republicans are looking to public sector employees to make up the difference.
Mr. Walker’s bill would close a projected $3.6 billion shortfall by forcing public employees to pay 5.8% of their salary toward their pensions and 12.6% of healthcare premiums, up from 6% on average. Mr. Walker said it is necessary to cut many of the collective bargaining rights from union members to prevent massive layoffs.
So what’s the compromise? The bargaining rights would be reinstated in 2013.
I’m sure you can understand why Democrats aren’t going for this. Because it’s only a compromise if you think Republicans will keep their promise and let the legislation they’re proposing expire. Also, what are they willing to do to raise revenue from other sources in the interim?
Also, the unions have already agreed to help close the fiscal gap…
Several senators also said a compromise on the bill that would sunset the collective bargaining provisions in 2013 would not be acceptable to Democrats. One reason is that Republicans will likely still be in control of both the state senate and assembly and simply extend the provisions. But a bigger reason, according to several senators, is that unions have already agreed to fix the fiscal issues.
Republicans are just looking for a way to take away workers’ rights. That’s all there is to it. The unions and Democrats have already compromised. And to have these collective bargaining rights snatched away so soon after they won them has to sting. See, these folks have been fighting for the better part of 40 years. They won these rights back in 2009. Think you would be out in full force if you fought for 40 years and 2 years later they were trying to be taking away from you?
Meanwhile, the head of the teacher’s union is calling for them to go back to work…
Mary Bell is president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. She said on Sunday that it’s time for her members to return to work. For districts that do not recognize Monday as the President’s Day holiday, she said teachers should go to work. Others should report as scheduled on Tuesday.
By the way, I know I said I’m on vacation, but I’m in airports most of the day so I’ll probably be posting more.