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Author Topic: Scott Walker, Union Buster  (Read 26750 times)

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Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #125 on: March 03, 2011, 12:58:17 PM »
You've given me an impossible task. On this individual issue, it wouldn't benefit a democrat influenced media outlet (which as far as I know sums up Fox's competitors (though I've been proven wrong before)) to play up the chaos levels of the Wisconsin protests.

What competitor of Fox's has given a million dollars to the Democratic Governor's Association?

What competitor of Fox's hires Democratic candidates to spread their propaganda?

What competitor of Fox's openly allows campaign contributions from its 'journalists' and commentators to party members?

What competitor of Fox's has a running gag where, whenever a Democratic politician gets involved in a scandal, they get labeled with an 'R' instead?

What competitor of Fox's avoids libel laws by putting its accusations as questions rather than statements?

What competitor of Fox's has had its major personalities joke about the murder of high-level politicians?

What competitor of Fox's has sued for and won the right to lie to its own audience?

What competitor of Fox's has given mass coverage to any left wing movement in this nation? They largely ignored these protests, just as they ignored the anti-war protests, just as they ignored the LGBT protests. Each of which were larger than anything the Tea Party has ever put together - but the media ignores them because, unlike the Tea Party, they don't have corporate sponsorship.

A hundred thousand rallying in Madison and what does CNN cover? The two year anniversary of the Tea Party. And their producers wonder why its ratings are collapsing.

The corporate media sucks, it's true. GE did not run NBC out of the goodness of its heart and Comcast won't either. But to label the megaconglomerates - Time Warner, Disney, Comcast, GE, Viacom, etc. as 'democratic' is entirely missing the way these companies make money and what they are doing - in full collaboration with Rupert Murdoch - to further cement their power in the United States. The real battle is over the right to speech - and things like lawsuits against sites Elliquiy's size for merely citing articles, ACTA, copyright extension, etc. are not given coverage for what those things represent.

Fox is happy to play up an 'us versus them' attitude that has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. Divide common people against each other so they're distracted from the real problem, and better yet, don't even understand it.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #126 on: March 03, 2011, 01:07:50 PM »
Wis Doctors Hand Out Fake Excuses to Protesters

If impersonating a licensed physician isn't illegal, something is very wrong here.

If issuing medical excuses without a physical evaluation isn't illegal, something is very wrong here.

And yet nobody is jumping on this. Wonder why?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #127 on: March 03, 2011, 01:23:36 PM »
By nobody, do you mean the University of Wisconsin?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110222/tr_ac/7909956_wisconsin_doctors_probed_for_fake_sick_notes_1

Quote
...
Fox News reports that the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has launched an investigation into whether some of their doctors issued fake sick notes to protesters. The demonstrations are against the Wisconsin budget repair bill, which will limit the powers of unions' collective bargaining agreement. The schools were adamant that teachers who called off work must provide a sick note to prove they were actually sick. In order to stay within the guidelines of their employer, the protesters will need a doctor's note, but doctors could face trouble for handing out these fake sick notes.
...

Technically, they don't actually have a legal means of protest without exercising their right to use their sick days as they see fit.

Everyone should have the right to protest.

Are you claiming they shouldn't?

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #128 on: March 03, 2011, 01:36:31 PM »
If impersonating a licensed physician isn't illegal, something is very wrong here.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has impersonated a physician.  The notes are real enough, written by real doctors, though as Veks pointed out, there are ethical issues being investigated.  As far as I know, none of the doctors involved were also involved in organizing the protests, either, so I'm not sure it's quite fair to point to that as evidence of corruption in the protests themselves.

As for the rest, I'd say that's been covered about as much as any aspect of the protests has been covered.  Where do you feel coverage was lacking?

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #129 on: March 03, 2011, 01:45:48 PM »
I've never suggested that anyone should not be able to protest, but consider a student using a similar method to escape a test date and request a postpnement. The professor would likely laugh and tell the student that they'll be there or fail.

Pretty sure every contractual employment I've ever entered has a clause or several in the contract that says I may participate in a protest so long as I do not portray the company in any way, shape or form and that I use scheduled or paid time off. Using sick days for anything that didn't come accompanied with a genuine doctor's note was the equivalent of an occurance and come review time, your attendance would be brought into question.

No, we didn't use sick days to play hooky. I even participated in rallies on my time off. It's doable, and without infringing on company policy.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #130 on: March 03, 2011, 01:54:54 PM »
As for the rest, I'd say that's been covered about as much as any aspect of the protests has been covered.  Where do you feel coverage was lacking?

The signs that liken Walker to Hitler, Mussolini and Mubarak? I think I saw FOX point them out, mostly because the other TV network news stations pointedly weren't.

Edit: Nevermind, it seems I've been beaten to the punch in another thread. Though I'm pretty sure if the situation were reversed, republicans holding like signs against a democrat political figure, CNN and MSNBC would be all over it.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 02:11:27 PM by Lyell »

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #131 on: March 03, 2011, 02:09:36 PM »
Are we talking about signs now?  I actually meant to ask about the doctor's notes specifically, but anyway.

Again, I don't watch TV for my news, so I can't really comment on that sort of coverage.  All I can say is that a Google search for "Madison protest signs" will get you mentions of Mubarak and Hitler, yes, as well as the vast majority of signs that make no such comparisons.  There have been several Mubarak comparisons, of course, due to the timing; but only one or two Hitler as far as I remember.  I don't recall any about Mussolini, though I've seen lots and lots of signs, and they're starting to blur together.  :P

I never like Hitler analogies myself, since they're only distracting, really.  They generally seem to me more evidence of dramatic hyperbole gone wrong, though, than any evidence of violent tendencies.

Out of curiosity, what do you think of Walker's actions thus far?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #132 on: March 03, 2011, 02:12:05 PM »
I've never suggested that anyone should not be able to protest, but consider a student using a similar method to escape a test date and request a postpnement. The professor would likely laugh and tell the student that they'll be there or fail.

This isn't an individual action. Compare the student protests going on in Puerto Rico if you want to make that comparison. Do you think the professors there don't think the students have legitimate grievances?

Quote
Pretty sure every contractual employment I've ever entered has a clause or several in the contract that says I may participate in a protest so long as I do not portray the company in any way, shape or form and that I use scheduled or paid time off. Using sick days for anything that didn't come accompanied with a genuine doctor's note was the equivalent of an occurance and come review time, your attendance would be brought into question.

That's just it - the teachers no longer get paid time off, which is why they are using sick days. As a benefit of that concession, they were specifically allowed to use them as they saw fit.

Quote
No, we didn't use sick days to play hooky. I even participated in rallies on my time off. It's doable, and without infringing on company policy.

Again, the teachers have no time off outside of their right to use sick days as they see fit.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #133 on: March 03, 2011, 02:44:53 PM »
The group matters, the individual does not. I like that way of thinking Veks.

I did not consent to those conditions for them. Digging your own grave and what not.

Anyhow, that's all assuming that teachers are the only ones protesting and the only ones receiving the notes.

Wow, my own opinion? I suppose there's a first time for everything.

 After watching all the different reports on "Union Busting" legislation...I believe that all states should be a "Right to Work State" and no Union should be allowed to make it mandatory a worker join in order to have a job in any industry. If I do not believe the organization represents my interest, I should not be forced to associate or pay into their coffers and should be allowed to leave any time I choose.

 The AMA and The Bar are not exactly unions in the same sense that AFL-CIO is in that the previous two mentioned  give public recourse to remove the license to practice if their respective practicioners do not live up to a specific code of ethics or do not properly exercise due diligence in the performance of those duties and cause you harm in health, life, or freedoms. Try going to the teachers union to remove a teacher for not teaching your child correctly, or the AFLCIO local chapter to remove a public employee that does not assist you properly or down right constantly screws things up at a government agency where you must go for services. They will tell you to go away because they only represent the worker and not the customers.

I support the right of unions to exist, represent those who choose to join and negotiate contracts. The rights of a Union end when they mandate and "close shop" by demanding I be a paying member or I cannot have the job. I have the right to work any job I qualify for (and can get hired) and the right to decide who does or does not represent me.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #134 on: March 03, 2011, 02:55:43 PM »
Again, the one thing that the unions are protesting is the removal of the right to collective bargaining.  In essence, removing this means that there is no way for them to negotiate for better working conditions - oh, and they don't have the right to strike either, regardless of this bill.  As the parent of a school-age child, I support teachers being able to negotiate for things like class size and pay rate.  If there are budget cuts to the school, and teachers get laid off, class size goes up and my child's education (and future ability to work) is impaired. 

What keeps getting 'lost in the sauce' here is that Walker came into office with a SURPLUS, and shouldn't have needed to do budget cuts to begin with, much less anything severe enough to say that the state employees have no say in the matter.

Offline Rhys

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #135 on: March 03, 2011, 03:00:30 PM »
That and the fact that despite the surplus and Walker using it to pay his backers in amounts that have been shown to not increase hiring, the union employees have agreed to cuts, paying more for their health care/pensions, etc. All they ask for is the ability to continue bargaining collectively... an ability that doesn't cost the state anywhere near as much as Walker likes to claim. Removing their rights serves no purpose other than further what many would consider an extreme, right wing agenda of union-busting.

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #136 on: March 03, 2011, 03:06:56 PM »
What keeps getting 'lost in the sauce' here is that Walker came into office with a SURPLUS, and shouldn't have needed to do budget cuts to begin with, much less anything severe enough to say that the state employees have no say in the matter.
Yes, this, and also what Rhys said.

Also the fact that there's a quiet little rider on the bill that would allow Walker -- all by himself, with no form of oversight from any other group or individual -- to sell the state-owned utilities to his buddies the Koch brothers, cheap.

Do you have an opinion on Walker's actions in particular, Lyell?  I'm not sure if what you said about unions in general was intended as a reply to my question or not.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #137 on: March 03, 2011, 03:25:28 PM »
The group matters, the individual does not. I like that way of thinking Veks.

Really? There are times and methods for an individual to bring a legitimate grievance or show a legitimate issue. Do these somehow not exist, suddenly?

How does a group resolve a legitimate issue?

Quote
After watching all the different reports on "Union Busting" legislation...I believe that all states should be a "Right to Work State" and no Union should be allowed to make it mandatory a worker join in order to have a job in any industry. If I do not believe the organization represents my interest, I should not be forced to associate or pay into their coffers and should be allowed to leave any time I choose.

Right to work discussion should really belong in its own thread.

Unions are a check against the concentration of employment power. To have a perfect market, you need a large number of sellers (employees) and a large number of buyers (employers). Unions were developed basically in response to employers gaining a monopoly on employment in certain regions, and while the optimal solution would be to break up the employer, that is often not an option.

Obviously, guild systems can form where the union essentially represents a monopoly on employment within an industry, which is nearly as bad (nearly, because it is generally industry focused, rather than location focused - the latter essentially amounts to slavery). Wanting to prevent that is a perfectly valid concern, but that aspect isn't what Scott Walker is trying to crush, here. He literally is trying to destroy the public sector unions - removing collective bargaining, requiring recertification each year, and as others have mentioned, tacking pork onto the whole deal.

Offline Major Major

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #138 on: March 03, 2011, 03:53:57 PM »
Interesting thing I came across this morning when I came online; while all the American Press is focussing on the happenings in Wisconsin, a couple of states over in Ohio, the State Government is pushing through measures that are as unscrupulous as what Scott Walker is up to, if not outright Draconian, and there's not so much as a peep out of anyone from there.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #139 on: March 03, 2011, 04:01:11 PM »
Actually, the Ohio unions did suggest that if those measures went through, then the only recourse they would have to get change would be to sue the state - possibly using up even more of the state's resources (in fighting the case) than collective bargaining would.  (I posted this article two pages back.)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 04:03:21 PM by Oniya »

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #140 on: March 03, 2011, 08:45:36 PM »
For anyone that doesn't think they haven't benefited from the unions, "they don't represent me" The 40 hour work week, overtime pay, child labor laws, safety regulations in the work place, paid sick leave were all fought for long ago by the unions. That just names a few things that came about a very long time ago.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #141 on: March 03, 2011, 09:22:44 PM »
When I posted about an individual trying to get a test date rescheduled, I was speaking from the perspective of a friend who had recently been in an accident, had the insurance and doctor's notice to prove it and was still told to 'be there' come test time. I would have called that legitimate grievance that wasn't excused.

Politician sets up favoritism twords supporters at the government's and tax-payer's expense, story at 11.

I like the do as I say, not as I do sentiment from the left to the right. It's consistent and reliable, qualities I can admire.

Relevant to the representatives who fled the state, I'm pretty certain union leaders that back them benefitted immensely from killing the bill. For being on the down low, they were the most publicized, easily accessed politicians 'in hiding.'

I'm a little miffed over the statement "I campaigned on this." It's an outright lie. An issue as big as that, written or taped, would not go under the radar of political watchdogs.

This isn't about private sector unions though, it's about public sector where the government has the monopoly and the union takes away the decision of how to budget from the people and gives it to a third party mediator. Wisconsin public sector employees, all things considered, are paid more than private sector workers.
 I'm aware that protesters are willing to consent to paying more twords their pensions and health care. In light of their collective bargaining power however, it could and would be made back in other ways. I am interested in the number of those who fit the demograph of public sector union workers vs the rest of Wisconsin, since this could be prohibitive when considering the number of teachers vs students, class size and the prospect of having to compete for one's job.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #142 on: March 03, 2011, 09:49:16 PM »
Lyell, please tone down the sarcasm and try to stick to the topic. Statements like, "I like the do as I say, not as I do sentiment from the left to the right. It's consistent and reliable, qualities I can admire." don't help foster debate.

You are by far being more abrasive than any of the previous posters in the thread.

Do you have an opinion on Walker's actions in particular, Lyell?  I'm not sure if what you said about unions in general was intended as a reply to my question or not.

In the spirit of staying on topic, I would be interested in seeing your answer to this. Regardless of how you feel about unions and their power, what do you think of the manner in which the WI governor has gone about this?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #143 on: March 03, 2011, 09:59:13 PM »
When I posted about an individual trying to get a test date rescheduled, I was speaking from the perspective of a friend who had recently been in an accident, had the insurance and doctor's notice to prove it and was still told to 'be there' come test time. I would have called that legitimate grievance that wasn't excused.

That certainly isn't remotely how you phrased it the first time. Some people are dicks. I didn't even have to bring a note to my professors to get tests rescheduled. Most people are pretty good people.

Quote
Politician sets up favoritism twords supporters at the government's and tax-payer's expense, story at 11.

What is this in reply to?

Quote
I like the do as I say, not as I do sentiment from the left to the right. It's consistent and reliable, qualities I can admire.

Teachers gave up their right to time off, with the understanding that they could use their sick days as they saw fit, but that's 'too bad and they shouldn't have dug their own grave'?

Quote
Relevant to the representatives who fled the state, I'm pretty certain union leaders that back them benefitted immensely from killing the bill. For being on the down low, they were the most publicized, easily accessed politicians 'in hiding.'

Because Wisconsin doesn't have any extraterritorial authority, and the majority of the public supports them at this point.

Quote
I'm a little miffed over the statement "I campaigned on this." It's an outright lie. An issue as big as that, written or taped, would not go under the radar of political watchdogs.

What is this in reference to?

Quote
This isn't about private sector unions though, it's about public sector where the government has the monopoly and the union takes away the decision of how to budget from the people and gives it to a third party mediator. Wisconsin public sector employees, all things considered, are paid more than private sector workers.

Are they paid more for their relevant experience and education? In order to get a job as a teacher in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other high-performing states, you need to actually have a degree in the subject you are teaching, as well as other experience and education relevant to teaching.

Comparing them straight to private sector workers is dishonest.

Quote
I'm aware that protesters are willing to consent to paying more twords their pensions and health care. In light of their collective bargaining power however, it could and would be made back in other ways. I am interested in the number of those who fit the demograph of public sector union workers vs the rest of Wisconsin, since this could be prohibitive when considering the number of teachers vs students, class size and the prospect of having to compete for one's job.

The unions are willing to make all financial concessions, not just 'more'. This leaves, amongst other things
1) The removal of collective bargaining
2) Yearly recertification ('restart the union each year')
3) The forced sale of Wisconsin's public assets in a no-bid contract.

What do you mean, 'would be made back in other ways'? Barring the inevitable lawsuit, this bill basically removes the teacher's and other unions from the payroll.

The bill, as it stands, is a disgusting piece of legislation and every Republican senator should be ashamed for voting for it, even if you think public sector unions are bad.

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #144 on: March 03, 2011, 10:12:10 PM »
http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/policy/EPI_PolicyMemorandum_173.pdf

The above link is a memo from the (non-partisan) Economic Policy Institute discussing the faulty comparisons between public and private sector workers in Wisconsin as far as pay and benefits.

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #145 on: March 03, 2011, 10:24:41 PM »
When I posted about an individual trying to get a test date rescheduled, I was speaking from the perspective of a friend who had recently been in an accident, had the insurance and doctor's notice to prove it and was still told to 'be there' come test time. I would have called that legitimate grievance that wasn't excused.

This isn't about private sector unions though, it's about public sector where the government has the monopoly and the union takes away the decision of how to budget from the people and gives it to a third party mediator. Wisconsin public sector employees, all things considered, are paid more than private sector workers.

 I'm aware that protesters are willing to consent to paying more twords their pensions and health care. In light of their collective bargaining power however, it could and would be made back in other ways. I am interested in the number of those who fit the demograph of public sector union workers vs the rest of Wisconsin, since this could be prohibitive when considering the number of teachers vs students, class size and the prospect of having to compete for one's job.

As a professor in the UW system, I would like to say that not only would I provide an excused absence for the situation you presented that your friend was in, (in fact, I don't know a single colleague that wouldn't under those circumstances), I would also allow one for a student to attend a protest.  In my personal opinion, this is a huge opportunity for a teaching moment.  Freedom isn't free, and when things are happening that are simply wrong, people need to stand up and speak, whether individually or in a group. 

I also have to point out that your assertion that public employees are paid more than private workers is, with all due respect, inaccurate.  The only reason that people in WI actually take public jobs is that the benefits make up for the documented low wages.  A national study (cited earlier in this thread) showed that public employees in the state make an everage of 4.8% less than private sector workers WITH the benefits included as part of compensation.  We also make anywhere from 15 - 20% less than comparable colleagues in the same positions in other states.  We also pay 100% of our pensions.  It's part of the pre-tax compensation package we accept in lieu of being paid a competitive wage.  I guess now we're going to pay 125% or more. 

All our collective bargaining power can do for us at this point (and I'm not a member of a union, so it can't help me at all) is to protect what we currently have.  Which includes no pay raises for the last five years, and pay cuts in the form of state mandated furloughs - 16 days out of each school year for professors, more for year round public employees.  These furloughs are required to be taken in 'non instructional time,' meaning that they cannot affect teaching in any way.  I spend more than 60 hours a week on average teaching, writing lectures, grading assignments, working on publications that I have to do in order to get a good merit score (for which I currently receive no raises) supervising my studio and the students in it, and even longer work weeks when I'm in dress rehearsals for a production.  When am I supposed to take this furlough time?  The idea that professors teach 4 - 6 hours a week and then sit around doing nothing for the rest of the school week is a myth. 

Edit - and wow, in the study that Valerian just linked to, only pre-school teachers and firefighters make less than I do. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 10:54:40 PM by Kuroneko »

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #146 on: March 03, 2011, 10:50:29 PM »
My lack of education must have prevented me from including health care, pension and other benefits when I stated 'pay.' Perhaps we can pull out the legalese and lump it all under 'compensation?'

The sarcastic lines in my last post should have been lumped together since they addressed the same issue. My bad.

I agree that if the teachers consented to those conditions that they should be able to use that time whenever they want. It doesn't absolve the physicians or other public sector workers who use those false notes to excuse work absence. I hope the teachers aren't struck by ailments that prevent them from making it to their jobs later in the year.

Calling Wisconsin and other state teachers superior based on student performance is laughable at best. I will concede that higher standards may make for a better education, but if the material is standardized, how much broader could the experience be? Most of the states that donít have teachersí unions are poorer than Wisconsin, and have more English Language Learners in their schools, and rank higher for other demographic factors that make strong academic performance less likely. Rich kids in a school with a teacherís union will do better than poor kids in a school without one, generally, but that doesnít have much to do with the union itself. States with teachersí unions do better, on average, than states without, but is this because of the unions, or state demographics?

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #147 on: March 03, 2011, 10:57:09 PM »
My lack of education must have prevented me from including health care, pension and other benefits when I stated 'pay.' Perhaps we can pull out the legalese and lump it all under 'compensation?'

Given that Walker is using benefits/compensation + salary to describe the pay level of public workers in WI, it's fair to consider them together. 

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #148 on: March 03, 2011, 11:06:52 PM »
My personal opinion on the tactics and timing employed by Scott Walker are summed up thusly; turnabout is fair play. Pushing political agendas through when party numbers favor you was legitimate when the left wing wanted to push through Obamacare. Why is it then, a suprize that when the situation is reversed that conservative republicans push their agendas?

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #149 on: March 03, 2011, 11:08:25 PM »
LOL, I'm not surprised at all.