As the union protests in Wisconsin continue, let’s sort through some of this and try to find out if they have a legitimate reason for their actions. Here’s the deal. The state of Wisconsin is $3.6 billion is in the red. The Governor Scott Walker and the state legislature have put together a bill to address this growing problem.
One of the efforts to reduce this short-fall is to pass a bill that changes the contribution amounts state employees are required to make to their benefit packages. The short version; they are going to have to contribute more to their own nest egg. Another point of the proposed bill is a realignment of the cost of living raises. The protestors say they are fighting to keep their collective bargaining rights. Basically, they would not be able to get cost of living raises that exceed increases in the Consumer Price Index. What? That’s it? No pay cuts? No job elimination?
Anyone, with any common sense anyway, realizes that there are going to have to be sacrifices made to correct the debt. Those sacrifices, namely budget cuts, will affect local and state employees. But the sacrifices the unions are asked to make are no where near the same sacrifices that those of us who work in the private sector, have already made, and are still making. While private sector employees face pay cuts, job elimination, lack of health insurance, and no retirement, they are faced with contributing more their own benefits and the lack of pay raises. Wow, I really feel sorry for them. Welcome to the real world.
Up until this point, government employees have been excluded from these sacrifices. They have not had to work longer hours or take on more work for the same pay. Nor have they taken pay cuts, or lost their jobs altogether.
Why should they be excluded? Why should they continue to reap the benefits of our tax dollars, while everyone else has already made the tough choices? The answer is they shouldn’t. We have come to the end of the road. Government employees are going to have to take it on the chin just like the rest of us. If they are unwilling to take reductions in pay and/or benefits, then some of them will have to be placed on leave (without pay) or fired outright. The unions know these facts. They have to make the choice. Either all of their members give a little up, or some of them give it all up.
Forget the ‘we’re fighting for the children’ dribble, and all of the other empty cliché’s. These protests are by Union members. Not just teachers. But members of other government protected unions. Plumbers, electricians, and garbage collectors joining in. I guess they are doing it for the children as well. No they are not. They are doing it to protect the union, children be damned. So what if the state of Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion defict this year. The union doesn’t care about the buget short-fall any more than they do about the children. Period. If the welfare of the children was a real concern, why were there mass “I’m sick today” call in’s? This act of blatent arogance, once again forced hardships on many private sector families. The layouts by these teachers forced many schools to close, which forced working familes to stay home with their children and lose much need income. The teachers get to spend the day at the caitol with no loss of pay.
What is the administrations position on this? Well President Obama stated Wed on the radio “that Walker’s plan is unduly harsh on unions.” Unduly harsh? Give up some benefits, but keep your job is unduly harsh? Obama supports the Union position. No surprise there. On Fox and Friends this morning, the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, in lock step, refused to take a stand against this illegal work stoppage. And he was very careful not to say anything against the Union’s position. In fact he didn’t say anything. He was speaking, but he didn’t say anything. The administrations is certainly not going to suggest any cuts to the union population. In fact their numbers have increased under this administration by some 200,000 in the last 2 years. This administrations support of Unions is a sad joke and reflects a total lack of leadership.
While this administration does nothing but aggravate the issue, the elected officials in Wisconsin are willing to do the right thing and execute the will of the people. Yes, the majority of the people of Wisconsin support this legislation, even though the media has conveniently dodged that point. The bill was scheduled to be voted on today. But the vote cannot continue because all of the Democratic representatives failed to show up. How mature is that. Hey voters in Wisconsin, are you taking note?
What needs to be done? Pull a Reagan, and put those teachers envolved in this illegal work-stoppage in the road. And do it ‘for the children’.