It has never made sense for government employees to be allowed to unionize. Government jobs AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE cushy. Government workers shouldn’t make more than people in the private sector who are paying their salaries. Moreover, if you look at the budget problems state and local governments are having, you’ll find union benefits and pensions are usually a core part of the problem. Add to that the fact that unions have become extremely nasty, polarizing, thuggish, and incredibly greedy in recent years and the sympathy level for them should be pretty close to zero.
In Wisconsin, you’ve got teachers closing down the schools via a “sick-out” (Yeah, they really care about the kids they’re teaching). They’re also getting students to march for them, which is disgusting. Parents trust teachers to instruct their kids and they’re using that opportunity to fill their heads with propaganda and use them for their own purposes.
Why all this drama? Because Wisconsin is broke and they’re desperately trying to pay their bills, take back some of the overly generous payments that have been given to unions, and prevent the unions from continuing to break the state’s budget. While everybody else is suffering in a recession and trying to figure out how to pay our bills, the teachers’ unions of Wisconsin want to keep living high on the hog at everyone else’s expense.
Officials alerted the Wisconsin State Employees Union on Friday that expired collective bargaining agreements would be canceled March 13. State unions have been operating under the terms of their previous contracts, an arrangement that can be terminated with 30 days notice.
The news came on the same day the governor unveiled a budget repair bill that would remove nearly all collective bargaining rights for nearly all public employees in the state and make it easier for employers to fire workers that engage in some form of labor unrest.
…Walker said Friday his proposals were necessary to help the state overcome the $137 million hole in the current budget, and eventually help the state make up the $3.6 billion shortfall projected for the next biennial budget.
…By ending state employees’ ability to negotiate for their pensions and insurance rates, the governor will be able to increase employee pension contributions to 5.8 percent of salary and more than double their health insurance contributions.
Currently most state employees pay nothing toward their pensions and only a modest amount for their insurance. Walker said those increases alone would save the state $30 million this fiscal year and ten times that much going forward. He also said the change would allow him to avoid employee furloughs and layoffs. Walker said he would likely have had to fire 1,500 people and cut about 200,000 children off Medicaid to make up the difference.
He said those numbers get even worse going forward, perhaps costing more than 5,500 people their jobs in the next biennial budget.
Government unions have been living the high life at everyone else’s expense for a long time, but now we’re running out of money and the party has to come to a close. Hopefully, what Gov. Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin will become a model that will spread to every state in the country. If it does, it might help avert the fiscal catastrophe our nation is headed towards.