I strongly oppose the end to public employee collective bargaining and am very disappointed by the lack of any real reasons from the Republicans as to why it is necessary.
The Republican argument is that the state has no money, cannot negotiate and so must dictate terms. However, the bill still lets unions bargain over wages. If the state has no money, why can they negotiate over wages?
Gov. Scott Walker has stated he needs more flexibility. Flexibility to do what? Reduce vacation, holidays, etc, change work rules? What does he want, and why must it be dictated by big government? Republicans generally opposed big government, but it appears if the big government is Republican it can be trusted.
There are many issues driving the deficit in Wisconsin, since the public employee benefit cut will only cover about 10 percent of the deficit.
If state and local governments have no money and cannot negotiate, why do the provisions not apply to police and firefighters? Police and fire make up a large portion of municipal budgets, and municipalities will have to continue to negotiate with police and fire.
I do not expect Walker to change his mind or negotiate, since he did not do that as Milwaukee County executive. He would consistently anger public employees by stating what they had to accept to the media, not through the bargaining process. Thus his approach here matches the experience in Milwaukee County. It is not clear why he follows this approach, though it consistently angers his opponents and makes them less likely to agree to otherwise reasonable demands. In Milwaukee County, a number of his unilateral declarations were overturned by the courts.
I am afraid that Walker is using the governor's office as a stepping stone to run for president, just as his actions as Milwaukee County executive were driven by his desire to run for Wisconsin governor.
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