40% of Madison Teachers call in Sick; Massive Protest in Wisconsin Capitol Building
Public unions objecting to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plan that will save 6,000 jobs flooded the state capitol in protest. 40% of Madison area teachers called in sick.
Those teachers should all be fired. Unfortunately they cannot be fired because their union protects them.
Time Magazine reports Public Workers Protest in Wisconsin
Thousands of Wisconsin’s union workers and supporters crowded into the state capitol in Madison for a second day to protest a bill that would strip key collective-bargaining rights from public employees. The measure, introduced last Friday by new Republican Governor Scott Walker, would take away public-worker unions’ ability to negotiate pensions, working conditions and benefits. State and local workers would have to foot more of the cost for their pensions–around 5.8 %–and more than twice that percentage of their health-care costs. Nearly all public workers–the bill exempts police, firefighters and state troopers–would be able to bargain only for salary, and any wage increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index. (Raises beyond that capped figure would require a special referendum.)
“I’m just trying to balance my budget,” Walker told the New York Times. “To those who say why didn’t I negotiate on this? I don’t have anything to negotiate with. We don’t have anything to give. Like practically every other state in the country, we’re broke. And it’s time to pay up.” He says the measure will help avoid up to 6,000 layoffs.
The measure has infuriated the state’s 175,000 public-sector employees, who say they’re being scapegoated by a governor whose party has no love for unions. Other newly installed Republican governors, from Florida’s Rick Scott to Ohio’s John Kasich, have zeroed in on cutting state-employee rolls and rights as a way to close sagging budget gaps. But Walker’s plan, which guts entrenched rights, is perhaps the most dramatic. “It is up to us to fight for the right of workers to have a collective voice on the job,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO president Phil Neuenfeldt. “This proposal is too extreme.”
Walker’s Proposal Not Extreme Enough
I have a problem with Walker’s proposal. It is not extreme enough. There is no good reason to exempt police and fire and there is no good reason to allow any bargaining of wages.
Union workers can accept a wage offer or take employment elsewhere. That is how it works in private industry and that is the way it should work everywhere.
Millions in the private sector lost their jobs. Millions more took pay cuts. Public union workers have the gall to think they are special. This country has a severe problem with mountains of public union workers who think they are better than everyone else.
No one is special.
Teachers Should Be Fired
Every teacher who called in sick is guilty of fraud.
They cheated school kids out of a day of school. They cheated taxpayers who have to pay for it. They also placed tremendous burdens on many parents who were not prepared for school closing.
Amazingly, teachers are constantly whining about how they do everything “for the kids”.
This clearly was not for the kids. This action by teachers was 100% for greedy teachers who walked out on their kids for their own benefit, at taxpayer expense.
There is absolutely no other way of looking at it.
Washington Post Columnist Compares Uprising to Egypt
Disgusted minds are reading Workers toppled a dictator in Egypt, but might be silenced in Wisconsin a misguided rant by Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post.
In Egypt, workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest month workers have known in decades.
The coup de grace that toppled Hosni Mubarak came after tens of thousands of Egyptian workers went on strike beginning last Tuesday.
But even as workers were helping topple the regime in Cairo, one state government in particular was moving to topple workers’ organizations here in the United States. Last Friday, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, proposed taking away most collective bargaining rights of public employees. Under his legislation, which has moved so swiftly through the newly Republican state legislature that it might come to a vote Thursday, the unions representing teachers, sanitation workers, doctors and nurses at public hospitals, and a host of other public employees, would lose the right to bargain over health coverage, pensions and other benefits. (To make his proposal more politically palatable, the governor exempted from his hit list the unions representing firefighters and police.) The only thing all other public-sector workers could bargain over would be their base wages, and given the fiscal restraints plaguing the states, that’s hardly anything to bargain over at all.
It’s a throwback to 19th-century America, when strikes were suppressed by force of arms. Or, come to think of it, to Mubarak’s Egypt or communist Poland and East Germany.
Our unions have already been decimated in the private sector; the results are plain. Corporate profits are soaring, while domestic investment, wages and benefits (particularly at nonunion companies) are flat-lining at best. With nobody to bargain for workers, America increasingly is an economically stagnant, plutocratic utopia. Is everybody happy?
American conservatives often profess admiration for foreign workers’ bravery in protesting and undermining authoritarian regimes. Letting workers exercise their rights at home, however, threatens to undermine some of our own regimes (the Republican ones particularly), and shouldn’t be permitted. Now that Wisconsin’s governor has given the Guard its marching orders, we can discern a new pattern of global repressive solidarity emerging – from the chastened pharaoh of the Middle East to the cheesehead pharaoh of the Middle West.
If Jackasses Could Think
If jackasses could think they would not be jackasses.
In Egypt, a revolution began to restore democracy. There is nothing democratic about union thugs using bribery, extortion, and coercion to get what they want.
For the benefit of Harold Meyerson I am going to repeat something I have talked about before. Perhaps if he reads it, something will sink in.
Collective Bargaining is Extortion
Collective bargaining is not what its name indicates. In fact, it means exactly the opposite of what you’d guess. Collective bargaining refers to the obligation of an employer to recognize the elected representatives of a group of workers and his further obligation to negotiate with those representatives. This last part is what makes ‘collective bargaining’ extortion.
Under collective bargaining laws, employers have to recognize an elected union and have to negotiate with them.
Imagine if the tables were turned and employers had the right to ’employer bargaining’, under which the employer could demand whatever pay reductions or workday increases he wanted, the employees had to negotiate with the employer, and employees couldn’t quit!
Such an arrangement could only be classified as slavery.
The right to terminate the employer-employee relationship is a fundamental right of both employer and employee. Employment should be mutually beneficial to employer and employee and open to termination by either when it becomes non-beneficial (limited of course by any voluntary contractual agreements).
Second, the misnamed term ‘collective bargaining’ has given an aura of moral righteousness to the unions who pretend to be fighting for true American values like the freedom of association. However, they are fighting for values quite foreign to the United States, values that come from Marxist collectivism, i.e. the expropriation of the property of employers and the negation of their rights.
Meyerson’s comparison to Egypt is 180 degrees reversed. Those Madison protesters were not fighting for democracy but rather to preserve a system of collective extortion.
Unions threaten, bully and bribe their way into power and want more every step of the way.
Unions Under Attack
Unions piss and moan and bitch and whine about how they are under attack. Yes, they are under attack.
The public is fed up with their public union greed, arrogance, vote buying, fraud, and extortion.
Uniquely Dysfunctional Relationship
Please consider this short snip from the New York Times article Public Workers Face Outrage as Budget Crises Grow
Fred Siegel, a historian at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, has written of the “New Tammany Hall,” which he describes as the incestuous alliance between public officials and labor.
“Public unions have had no natural adversary; they give politicians political support and get good contracts back,” Mr. Siegel said. “It’s uniquely dysfunctional.”
Indeed. Public unions bribe politicians and get into bed with management in backroom deals that raise wages and benefits for both of them. Taxpayers suffer from those alleged “negotiations”.
Freedom of Choice
No person should be forced to join a union to get a job, nor should union dues be used to extort money from taxpayers.
That last sentence says all you need to know. Unions rob people of their right to choice. Unions then go on to threaten others to do the same. Eventually they extort, bribe and coerce their way to salaries and wages that the private sector does not get.
The solution is to end collective bargaining of public unions, repeal Davis Bacon and all prevailing wages laws, and make every state in the union a right-to-work state.
Please Read the Following Paragraph Carefully and Guess Who Said It
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.
The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”
So.. Who do you think said that?
If you did not already know the answer may shock you …
The quote is contained in Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service written August 16, 1937 to Mr. Luther C. Steward, President, National Federation of Federal Employees …
One of the solutions to the fiscal mess states are in is national right-to-work laws and the end of collective bargaining. Franklin D. Roosevelt would agree.
Instead we have to listen to misguided union sympathizers compare bribery, coercion, and extortion to democratic uprisings in Egypt.
About the author: Mike “Mish” Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management. His top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis offers insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education. Every Thursday he does a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis he contributes to many other websites, including UnionWatch.