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Author Topic: Scott Walker, Union Buster  (Read 26791 times)

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Offline Avi

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2011, 10:04:19 AM »
Examples of the rhetoric from Walker and company, and accredited fact-checks:

Club For Growth: "State workers have not had to make sacrifices."

Paul Ryan: "Protests = Riots, Madison = Cairo."

Scott Walker: "Collective bargaining will still be fully intact."

Note:  Politifact Wisconsin seems to be having some difficulties... the links are correct, but if they're not working, try again in a bit.  Me thinks that people are overwhelming the site.

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2011, 10:16:53 AM »
Well, Avi's numbers are at least roughly correct -- apparently about $140 million dollars of Walker's projected debt is only happening because he gave away money that the state didn't yet have to various big businesses in the form of tax breaks and the like.  If he would back down on those, there would not be a budget crisis to cause all this.  Those numbers are from the non-partisan Wisconsin Fiscal Oversight Board -- Veks quoted them above.


And the red shirts are actually inspired by the UW-Madison football team, the Badgers, whose colors are red and white.  They're quite a famous team here in the states, and traditionally do very well.  It was the university students who first started wearing that color, I believe.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2011, 11:17:49 AM »
Links are working fine for me, Avi.

As for the Egypt connection:


First poll of WI residents so far is by We Ask America, a conservative polling firm, showing that 43% support Walker's bill and 52% oppose. Respondents are not happy with Democrats fleeing, however, with 56% opposed and 36% in support.

http://weaskamerica.com/2011/02/18/weirdness-in-wisconsin/

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2011, 11:21:09 AM »
And the red shirts are actually inspired by the UW-Madison football team, the Badgers, whose colors are red and white.  They're quite a famous team here in the states, and traditionally do very well.  It was the university students who first started wearing that color, I believe.

Never go up against an angry Badger.  It's a bad idea whatever the situation.

Offline Avi

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2011, 11:31:52 AM »
Never go up against an angry Badger.  It's a bad idea whatever the situation.

You just won the debate.  Have a cookie.  *holds one out, grinning*

Veks:  That's kind of how I feel at the moment.  I don't like the bill, but I also disagree with Democrats leaving the state and gaming the system like that.  By doing that, they're dropping to Walker and the Republicans' level, what with them trying to vote on the bill without the Democrats present the other day.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2011, 11:40:18 AM »
People voted radical Republicans into power, they reap what they sowed. Wisconsin is sad I used to live there and they always voted in Democrats or Moderate Republicans in the main until recently.

As for this issue of Florida they are not axing pensions just asking public employees to pay something into it Scott proposed 5%, the legislature 3% out of their salaries. With a 401k for new hires on both sides. Most think safety professionals (fire services and police) will keep a standard pension. Hazard pay is another issue its their jobs to take risks but if undercover I can see it. They turned down over a billion for light rail with money already set aside to start so its not like they are really thinking things through.

But my state is hurting, and things must be cut and changed and its not popular. But either they raise taxes a good amount (in my experience its not an option), you cut programs or so some of each. They have no liking of any tax increases in my state and our governor wants tax breaks. I didn't vote for him.

Maybe next time people should vote better.

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2011, 11:56:18 AM »
Walker only got 52% of the vote, as mentioned earlier.  According to just about every source I've read, it seriously is not the percentage workers have to pay that's at issue here.  Union reps have said repeatedly that they're fine with such provisions.  The real problem is that Walker's bill will take away collective bargaining power, and go a long way towards dismantling unions entirely.  And the provisions that will make it harder for unions to exist have absolutely nothing to do with balancing the budget, which is supposedly his only goal.  Walker is avoiding that part of the issue, and sadly, people are letting him.

Though to be fair, there are at least some people who are kicking themselves for having voted for Walker (not me, since I didn't) -- the police and firefighters unions originally supported his campaign, and now they're turning out in full uniform to join in the protests against him.  This is six weeks after he took office.

I'm never quite sure what I think of unions, frankly -- but this is seriously not the way to go about restricting their power, if that's really what the majority wants.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2011, 12:17:51 PM »
You just won the debate.  Have a cookie.  *holds one out, grinning*

Veks:  That's kind of how I feel at the moment.  I don't like the bill, but I also disagree with Democrats leaving the state and gaming the system like that.  By doing that, they're dropping to Walker and the Republicans' level, what with them trying to vote on the bill without the Democrats present the other day.

I agree that they gamed the system, but I don't think they really had many options. They weren't the majority and from the looks of it the concept of debate, compromise and such are as dead in the state house as they are in congress. With things that close, could be this was the only thing the leadership could think of that would work.  Walker doesn't strike me as the type to understand or use the word compromise.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2011, 12:40:49 PM »
Then more people should have voted you sit on your butts and don't vote you live with the results, our governor barely won but he got the votes as did the Republican Party for in my state an absolute majority.

As for banning collective bargaining fire fighters and police are forbidden to strike, what makes the rest so special. I go to work for a company in Florida they can fire me when they like and contract ,if done, with me not a union in most cases. Teachers and others would do the same a state contract for such terms or work at the convenience of the employer and let go just like everyone else pretty much has to.

If you don't want to work for the state for such and such a wage and benefits - don't. Its a free country. And it is about balancing the budget if Wisconisn can fire employees or change their pay without a union the case for most workers in private companies you can control costs. Say you need to cut pay to employees by 10% or layoff so many workers of the state you could cut the salaries and save the jobs to. As it is the state can just remove people which is halving their options. Florida could follow as will other states and this could be a good move and just make public employees on the same level as private sector employees at most they would have contracts on a case-by-case basis.

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2011, 01:12:55 PM »
As for banning collective bargaining fire fighters and police are forbidden to strike, what makes the rest so special. I go to work for a company in Florida they can fire me when they like and contract ,if done, with me not a union in most cases. Teachers and others would do the same a state contract for such terms or work at the convenience of the employer and let go just like everyone else pretty much has to.

Rather than dragging state workers, the very professionals that society relies on to function, down into the insecurity of a union-less, contract-free state of limbo, why not put an end to the ironically-named "Right to Work" that private sector employees must endure?  Unions have been demonized long enough by the monetarily-minded business owners.  Contracts and worker unionized protection make me a better, more loyal employee, not the opposite.

Quote
If you don't want to work for the state for such and such a wage and benefits - don't. Its a free country. And it is about balancing the budget if Wisconisn can fire employees or change their pay without a union the case for most workers in private companies you can control costs. Say you need to cut pay to employees by 10% or layoff so many workers of the state you could cut the salaries and save the jobs to. As it is the state can just remove people which is halving their options. Florida could follow as will other states and this could be a good move and just make public employees on the same level as private sector employees at most they would have contracts on a case-by-case basis.

Public goods and services cannot be treated like public, profit-driven companies.  Schools cannot shut down just because there are not enough high  preforming students.  Firefighter stations cannot be closed because they're not busy enough.  When dealing with matters of public safety and education, dollar bills cannot be the top priority.  No one goes into education, law enforcement or emergency response for the money; every teacher, police officer and fire fighter I know does it because they want to make their community a better place.  Is the price of contributing to the good of the community to endure pay cuts, benefit deductions, and job insecurity because of political climate changes?  Don't public workers deserved to be represented as they choose, whether by union or individually?  Don't all workers deserve the freedom to chose to advocate for their own employment or enjoy the protections and professional insurance which a union can offer?

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2011, 01:18:39 PM »
No, it isn't about balancing the budget.  None of this is necessary to balance the budget.  To repeat what Veks said:


http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/article_61064e9a-27b0-5f28-b6d1-a57c8b2aaaf6.html

Quote
...

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the “crisis” would not exist.

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

The facts are not debatable.

...

Walker overspent to make his big business supporters happy.  He is now using the budget crisis HE CREATED to push through anti-union legislation.

Wisconsin was actually headed for a slight budget surplus before all this happened, thanks to the previous governor, who happens to be a Democrat.  :P

Even if you hate unions and want them gone, Walker's tactics are abysmal.  That's why this protest is so big.

EDIT: And just as a point of interest, there is a live feed of the protests in Madison from a rooftop camera here:

http://www.channel3000.com/localvideo/index.html?v=live
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 01:24:24 PM by Valerian »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2011, 01:27:26 PM »
Then more people should have voted you sit on your butts and don't vote you live with the results, our governor barely won but he got the votes as did the Republican Party for in my state an absolute majority.

As for banning collective bargaining fire fighters and police are forbidden to strike, what makes the rest so special. I go to work for a company in Florida they can fire me when they like and contract ,if done, with me not a union in most cases. Teachers and others would do the same a state contract for such terms or work at the convenience of the employer and let go just like everyone else pretty much has to.

If you don't want to work for the state for such and such a wage and benefits - don't. Its a free country. And it is about balancing the budget if Wisconisn can fire employees or change their pay without a union the case for most workers in private companies you can control costs. Say you need to cut pay to employees by 10% or layoff so many workers of the state you could cut the salaries and save the jobs to. As it is the state can just remove people which is halving their options. Florida could follow as will other states and this could be a good move and just make public employees on the same level as private sector employees at most they would have contracts on a case-by-case basis.

I am not sure that you see what he's doing here Ruby. The state was not only solvent but had a fairly nice SURPLUS according to all reports till he took office and cut buttload of tax breaks and sweet deals for his corporate backers.  Most of the civil servants I was on the news weren't HAPPY about the increases in their costs but seemed to accept that things would have to change.

The idea of eliminating representation such as collective bargaining leads me to think he's got another boot to the gonads of the civil service that he hasn't shown yet. Such heavy handed union breaking tactics lead me to compare him to some of the moves Frank Lorenzo did to the airlines in the 80s. Which left us with the wonderful airlines we have now.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2011, 04:58:26 PM »
So what? The Republicans were voted into power enough said the people chose this in the majority so there you go. And what you call sweetheart deals they call stimulating the economy and keeping companies in the state which are worthy goals that cost money to do. Now they need the flexibility to hire and fire state employees hard to do with unions in place protecting them and in my view raising salaries over what they state could be paying out in the current market. Well if this passes again the will of the majority of voters that is how a democratic society works.

And sure its sneaky, but my governor just kabashed the high speed rail project at the last minute so sh*t happens. I don't like it but the majority voted for him even if under 1% of one.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2011, 06:16:58 PM »
So what? The Republicans were voted into power enough said the people chose this in the majority so there you go. And what you call sweetheart deals they call stimulating the economy and keeping companies in the state which are worthy goals that cost money to do. Now they need the flexibility to hire and fire state employees hard to do with unions in place protecting them and in my view raising salaries over what they state could be paying out in the current market. Well if this passes again the will of the majority of voters that is how a democratic society works.

And sure its sneaky, but my governor just kabashed the high speed rail project at the last minute so sh*t happens. I don't like it but the majority voted for him even if under 1% of one.

Are you saying that once they got voted into office that we, the voting public, ceded the right to question their actions or that they have carte blanche to do what they will with no accountability to the public and their promises? In the case of Walker and the republican's in power in Wisconsin. They don't have a strong majority and yet they act is if they were in complete control of everything. It was this sort of 'our way or the highway' that has damaged the republicans on the national level quite badly.

How can he justify going so MASSIVELY into debt when the prior budget worked?

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2011, 09:45:02 PM »
They're trying to drop state workers to the level of your average McDonald's grillmonkey. You think your experiences with public servants are bad now? You ain't seen nothing yet.

It's wrong, and Walker is a crook. Plus, this sets a very, very, very dangerous precedent for other states.

I'm not a WI resident, but I've been watching this closely. I don't really like that the Dems walked out, but I'm not sure what they could have done otherwise to prevent being steamrolled. They don't have enough votes to oppose this bill.

I dunno what Wisconsin is going to do.

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2011, 12:46:34 AM »
Here's where most of Walker's misappropriated funds went, by the way:

--$25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs. [Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 1/7/11]


--$48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants. [Government Accountability Office, 4/1/08; Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 1/11/11]


--$67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at-best the benefit provided to job creators would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day. [Associated Press, 1/28/01]


He's also passed laws that reduce financial penalties for companies that injure or kill their own workers or manufacture products that injure or kill consumers; and also make it harder to sue nursing homes that injure or kill elderly patients through negligence.

Don't even get me started on the whole train debacle.

This latest bill, even aside from all the other issues connected to it, was the last straw in many ways.  His campaign was all about creating jobs, but so far, he's done nothing to fulfill any of his grand promises.  If his election to office was a contract, he's not only broken his part of the deal, he's shattered it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2011, 01:11:41 AM »
What do you want to bet that Job Development Fund will line someones pocket with all due speed if he is allowed to get things going the way he wants.

A veritable 'black hole' of 'studies' and such that won't have any real effect but make the contractors money.


One of the things that got a lot of folks in NC angry about the Gasoline tax (which if anyone who's been through the SE knows has the HIGHEST tax on the southern portion of the eastern seaboard) was the fact that the democrats that ran the state house looked on it as a 'cash box' they could raid for kick back jobs.

In theory the Gas tax was to go into a fund for highway development and repair. Tell me how a Teapot museum is tied to highway maintenance?

The irony of the railroad stuff in Florida isn't lost on me. I actually agree with the VP on something. That is wierd.. considering the last..what four? LOL.

I think that rail development could do a lot in the south.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 01:14:33 AM by Callie Del Noire »

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2011, 09:43:45 AM »
Now they need the flexibility to hire and fire state employees hard to do with unions in place protecting them and in my view raising salaries over what they state could be paying out in the current market. Well if this passes again the will of the majority of voters that is how a democratic society works.

The union is raising salaries over the current market average?  No, actually Florida teacher salaries are 47th in the nation, despite having students make some of the best test results in the country.

In my county, teachers salaries have been frozen due to budget cuts since 2005.  A first year teacher, which I am still paid like due to this freeze, makes $10,000 less than the average given in the article.  Rick Scott wants to take 5% off that for a pension I may or may not become vested in, depending on if I stay in the profession (which, by your suggestion to take advantage of the free market, I should not if I were in fact in it for the money).  What's left over, before insurance deductions and taxes, is not a living wage for a college education professional.  What's left over will not pay a mortgage in Florida.  What's left over will not support a family.  Just because teacher's aren't in it for the money doesn't mean they should be insulted or taken advantage of.

I can't speak for the situation in Wisconsin, but what I've read shows me that they are generally paid more, have better benefits, and better working conditions than I do personally.  One factor has likely been a strong labor union, which my state lacks.  With perhaps only 50% membership rates at most schools, what little group representation we have is slipping and will soon be denied just like in Wisconsin.  I know that I and many of my fellow teachers are united to demand our right to bargain as we chose, just like those in Wisconsin are.

For the record, I voted for Charlie Crist, a governor who knew anti-education legislation when he saw it.

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2011, 09:55:25 AM »
Oh, god, Florida working conditions. I was a 411 operator for Bellsouth and it was a miserable job. Because Florida is a 'right to work' state, we were allowed to make use of Union services without paying dues. They were broke, but overworked stewards had to see to everyone. We had NO bargaining power. They would put us on 10 or 12-hour shifts, compelling OT -and- 6-day workweeks. So you could end up working 12-hour shifts for 12 days in a row after getting one day off, then get another single day off and turn around and do it again.

Often the air conditioner was broken, so we would do it all in a bunker-style call center in the broiling heat. You got no paid vacation time, no paid sick time, and if you put in for a few days off, they could approve it and then yank it away as close to the date as the week before. They did offer company health insurance, which most employees, including myself, opted out of because it was too expensive. (They would have been taking half of what I made. Literally half of -every- paycheck for healthcare, and that's not even including taxes or SS withholdings.)

Anyone who has been in the actual workforce under non-union conditions realizes how miserable it is. It's disgusting what employers will do to their workers if given half a goddamn chance. Nobody likes corrupt or overpowered unions, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, either.

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2011, 10:25:45 AM »
Even after working with the understaffed, underpaid union leaders I do have, I would never go back to an non-union represented position again.  My boss, regardless of job or field, has never asked me pointed, detailed questions about my working conditions nor even taken interest in my complains or compliments.  It's only union leaders who have called me and emailed me asking about my class size, my ratio of special education students to general education students, my textbook and resource needs, or even down to if and how my classroom was being cleaned.  If my employers took that much interest in my personal working conditions, I wouldn't need the union.

As for the union legally fighting for bad teachers, I am yet to see that.  Sadly, I've seen examples of teachers abusing and neglecting students.  There was teacher in my county accused of molesting a student off campus.  There was a teacher who punched elementary students.  Did the union protect those members?  No.  Not a moment was wasted defending their actions.  What I have seen was a case where a good teacher was wrongly accused of unprofessional behavior.  Not to get into details, but she used a single profanity when disciplining a student for a highly emotional and personal insult to her. The union defended her and she is still teaching.    Union leaders are not some men in suits trying to keep lazy child molesters in classrooms at any cost.  The union is populated with current and former teachers.  They know what it's like in the classroom and want to see students succeed as much as any other teacher.  They make schools better for students, teachers and administration.

Offline Sure

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2011, 12:09:50 PM »
As for the union legally fighting for bad teachers, I am yet to see that.  Sadly, I've seen examples of teachers abusing and neglecting students.  There was teacher in my county accused of molesting a student off campus.  There was a teacher who punched elementary students.  Did the union protect those members?  No.  Not a moment was wasted defending their actions.  What I have seen was a case where a good teacher was wrongly accused of unprofessional behavior.  Not to get into details, but she used a single profanity when disciplining a student for a highly emotional and personal insult to her. The union defended her and she is still teaching.    Union leaders are not some men in suits trying to keep lazy child molesters in classrooms at any cost.  The union is populated with current and former teachers.  They know what it's like in the classroom and want to see students succeed as much as any other teacher.  They make schools better for students, teachers and administration.

I can't speak for the Wisconsin Unions, but of the teacher's unions I have known, all of them have done something that I disagreed with and often for purely selfish reasons. Some examples:
+Protested schools that were non-Union because they were non-Union, regardless of the fact that the teachers did not want to join the Union.
+Tried to cut funding to schools that were non-Union and outperforming Union schools (just the ones outperforming them, mind, the under-performing ones could stay).
+Repeatedly slandered non-Union schools, both officially and to their students.
+Put in place such a difficult system to get anyone fired, to ensure that the firing was 'fair', that it cost more to fire a teacher than it did to continue to pay their salary without letting them teach anyone. They didn't directly defend the teachers, but the system was so difficult to work with they effectively had regardless.
+Repeatedly complained that they were not the highest paid form of civil servant in attempts to get pay raises, once again, including to their students.

Offline Avi

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2011, 12:23:48 PM »
I don't know if this video has been posted yet... I know Gordon Hintz has been mentioned on this thread previously, but really, this guy sums up my feelings on this whole issue.  If you're going to do something, DON'T BE SNEAKY ABOUT IT!

Representative Gordon Hintz on the "Budget repair bill"

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2011, 12:37:59 PM »
I really have to wonder about this. This smacks of backdoor planning and stupid antics. Do they really thing with the hypervigilance of the media at this moment that something like this would be missed?

You march over due process and procedure and you're just ASKING for the feds to come in and investigate. (Not to mention some possible AG who has a backbone)

Offline ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2011, 01:54:59 PM »
Quote
Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, has proposed suspending collective bargaining rights temporarily to get through the state's two-year budget, but then restoring them in 2013. That idea was endorsed Sunday by the Wisconsin State Journal, the state's second largest newspaper.

[Senate Minority Leader] Erpenbach called Schultz brave for bucking Walker's administration with the proposal. Asked whether Democrats could accept Schultz's plan, Erpenbach said workers should not lose their rights since they have agreed to make concessions by paying more for their health care and pensions.
From the Huffington Post.

The obvious problem with this compromise, of course, is that presumably it will be Walker who gets to decide when his trumped-up budget crisis is resolved.  :P  But, at least there are now some more moderate Republicans trying to help, so I'll take that as a good sign.

The Tea Party contingent had about three thousand people there yesterday, but I'm glad to say there were no clashes between the two groups and everyone seemed able to disagree politely.  Several anti-Walker protesters expressed the hope that getting the two groups talking would help the Tea Partiers better understand the situation.

Some news sources are making it sound like the two groups were about equal in size, but the absolute largest estimate I've been able to find puts the Tea Partiers at 5,000, and 3,000 is probably more accurate.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2011, 02:03:00 PM »
I heard 2,000.

Compared to 70,000 protesters, that doesn't sound like a whole lot.