And it’s not a moment too soon. The Wisconsin State Journal tries to put a nice face on the situation – possibly out of pity – but the basic message of this article on WI public sector unions adjusting to the end of automatic dues collection is pretty clear: a significant proportion of public sector union members don’t consider membership worth the price. The only numbers of retained dues-payers that the article could get on the record were from two local ones, and those numbers are 50% to 70%; as Legal Insurrection helpfully points out, that works out to a dropout rate of between 30% and 50% percent. And who here thinks that, if the unions had a 90% dues retention rate, that they wouldn’t be bragging about that?
I’ll just end by noting this: I don’t really know how next week’s recall elections are going to go – at least, not with 100% certainty. But it’s just not feeling like DOOM is onrushing for the Wisconsin GOP…
Oh, that awful Scott Walker and his awful union reform law. It’s been devastating; I mean, look at just one school district affected by the Republican-passed law! The Kaukauna School District was already laboring under a $400,000 deficit; now, ‘thanks’ to Scott Walker and the Republican party, they’re now stuck with a $1,500,000 surplus! That means more work for the hiring department! That means that they’re going to have to gut the average class size! That means that the school district will probably now be able to get away with instituting the hideously unfair program of… merit pay!
Yes, I’m being sarcastic; this is actually great news. Most of the savings are taking place from teachers facing a slight increase in their contributions to their health care (still well below the average private sector contribution, mind you) and the institution of a modest contribution to their pension funds. They’ve also had their work week bumped up – to forty hours – and they’re up to six out of seven periods teaching a day, instead of five. Yes, this kind of fiddling was what Big Labor in Wisconsin went to the wall to to prevent. Well, that and monopoly pricing: Continue reading Wisconsin school district now stable, thanks to Scott Walker et al.
You see, I know that the Wisconsin Supreme Court did a full-force smackdown of Judge MaryAnn Sumi’s incorrect and egregious attempt to subvert the will of the Wisconsin legislature with regard to labor union reform. That part is obvious.
I also know that (Democratic) Secretary of State Doug La Follette is trying to give his party’s Big Labor cronies two more weeks at the public troughs by trying to delay publishing the bill until the 28th. Like Ann Althouse (and presumably Glenn Reynolds), I’m not sure why La Follette thinks that he can get away with it, but I understand the gambit.
What I don’t get is this: if the bill hasn’t been published (and thus not law), why did Big Labor get to file suit against it*? And if Big Labor can file suit against it, then it’s law – and Secretary La Follette’s wrong about a key aspect of his job, right?
Seriously, while I am not a lawyer, I still don’t see exactly how the Democrats can have it both ways on this. Either it’s law or it’s not. If it’s not, then they shouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit. If it is, then La Follette is ignorant of his responsibilities. The Left should not be able to pick and choose like this.
*Frivolously, as Hot Air rightly notes: differential treatment of various types of workers goes all the way back to Taft-Hartley. Good luck trying to overthrow that one, folks.
PS: Yes, I’ve already had somebody privately tell me that common sense sometimes has very little to do with the law.
In Ohio, the final vote on SB 5 was 53-44; it’s already passed the Ohio Senate, but changes made to the bill require another quick vote on the legislation either today or tomorrow. This particular legislation goes a bit farther than the groundbreaking Wisconsin union reform bill; it redefines collective bargaining privileges for public sector union employees to cover wages only, institutes merit pay for public sector union workers, and makes strikes by public sector employees illegal. Most interestingly, it extends collective bargaining reforms to police and firefighter unions, which is quite possibly a reaction to the rather contemptible activities and passive-aggressive threats done and made by Big Labor in Wisconsin.
And, of course, a few days ago the Florida state House passed HB 1021, which bans the automatic collection of public sector union dues. Slowly but surely, reform is coming to help embattled states fight the entrenched partisan interests strangling trade and wealth generation from within…
One of the few nice things about the Wisconsin idiocy that the Democrats perpetrated is that it blinded everyone, including the Democrats, to a whole slew of critical union reform bills in various state legislatures. The latest one comes to us from Michigan, where the Republican-controlled legislature has approved – and the Republican governor will soon sign – a bill giving specifically-appointed emergency financial managers broad powers for staving off bankruptcy for school districts and towns in near-terminal fiscal shape (there’s a good deal of that going on in Michigan right now). This explicitly includes allowing districts and towns to break unsustainable union contracts (and there’s a lot of those in Michigan right now, too).
Reaction? Well, as I noted before this wasn’t on anybody’s radar, so they got about 3,000 protesters today to yell and whine about this. Which is pretty… mediocre, actually. Oh, well, you have to take into account the faux-populist limitations of the unions: I mean, it’s not like they’re Tea Partiers or anything.
The alternative is ‘deliberately inflammatory in a very literal sense because they want to see Tennessee burn.’ Which is a bit of a mouthful.
Based on their latest email blast, the Tennessee Democratic Party seems to have a problem understanding what “fascism” is, not to mention “terrorism.” Apparently, Tennessee Democratic chair Chip Forrester and House Democratic chair Mike Turner seem to think that these terms are appropriate for describing several reform bills currently being considered by the Tennessee legislature. Presumably they mean HB 2012 and HB 0130; the first is a tenure reform bill that introduces merit into the tenure process and the second is a collective bargaining reform bill that removes the Tennessee Education Association’s privileged status as the only permissible agent for bargaining with school boards.
Or perhaps Forrester and Turner don’t mean those bills, given that neither actually does anything like set up a system for mass murder of inconvenient minorities, create a totalitarian state that controls every aspect of life, and/or start aggressive wars of conquest. It’s a bit of a puzzler – unless you assume that this is just a cynical ploy to get money, which is a notion that Jim Geraghty is cynically suggesting and I am just as cynically endorsing.