I was putting together a rather mean-spirited and mocking post on a somewhat related subject (then I remembered that it’s Christmas, and that the ROI would probably suck anyway), when this thought occurred to me: we can stop pretending that opposition to Walker’s and Wisconsin Republicans’ collective bargaining reform policies was anything except a distinctly minority opinion, right? Possibly even fringe? – I mean, the Wisconsin electorate had three opportunities – four, if you count that Supreme Court election separately – to retract the legislature’s reforms, and at the end of it all the Wisconsin electorate pretty much shrugged.
And that includes the 2012 general election: after all, the same electorate in that state that returned Barack Obama to office “punished” the Wisconsin GOP by… putting them back in charge of the state Senate. I can only conclude that they’re generally fine with their tax money being saved like that.
That’s it. Just a random thought.
The report is that the unions will agree to “the financial aspects of [Gov. Scott] Walker’s budget-repair bill” (which is nice, because they don’t have the votes to stop them) in exchange for the removal of the collective bargaining provisions (which is – oddly enough! – also something that they don’t have the votes to stop). Walker’s response? Get back to work:
As thousands of protesters marched and chanted, Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday rejected an overture from a Democratic state senator that public employee unions had agreed to make financial sacrifices contained in the budget-repair bill in return for the right to bargain collectively.
Cullen Werwie, Walker’s spokesman, said in a statement that State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) “should come to work and debate the bill while doing his job in Madison.
Continue reading Unions starting to cave in Wisconsin.
…with regard to their petulant, violence-threatening protests over Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform package:
An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters. And it seems to me that Governor Scott Walker’s basic requests are modest ones–asking public employees to contribute more to their pension and health care plans, though still far less than most private sector employees do. He is also trying to limit the unions’ abilities to negotiate work rules–and this is crucial when it comes to the more efficient operation of government in a difficult time.
You know, losing Joe Klein? That takes skill. I’m almost impressed.
This post by Ann Althouse on the anemic protester response to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s budget plan – and it is an anemic response; it’s bad when you have to add a statue to your crowd in order to make your crowd look bigger – reminded me about Walker’s plan in the first place. I got told about this actually by Kevin Binversie, who runs Lakeshore Laments, was recently involved in Ron Johnson’s successful Wisconsin Senate run, is a good guy, and who is unaccountably not being headhunted by DC Republicans*; Governor Walker’s plan is fascinating in its audacity.
Essentially, what’s happening in Scott Walker’s budget that has the public sector unions melting down is that he’s planning to strip some of them of some of their collective bargaining “rights.” Specifically: Continue reading Scott Walker’s (R, WI) collective bargaining reforms.