Gov. Scott Walker (Wisconsin) said Friday that thousands of state workers would be laid off if the Legislature does not adopt his budget fix that cuts public worker benefits and takes away almost all union bargaining rights from public workers.
Speaking at a Capitol news conference, the governor also said the National Guard is ready to take control of state prisons if correctional officers illegally strike or obstruct work. Union officials said they had no such plans.
Walker called government workers “good and decent public servants” and said he wanted to end the practice of forcing them to take eight unpaid furlough days a year. But he said the state had no money or time to bargain with unions over the benefits changes.
“I don’t have anything to negotiate,” (emphasis mine – Dan) Walker said. “We are broke in this state. We have been broke for years. People have ignored that for years, and it’s about time somebody stood up and told the truth. The truth is: We don’t have money to offer. We don’t have finances to offer. This is what we have to offer.”
Walker’s bill also would allow public employees to avoid making payments to unions if they don’t join those unions. Now, workers can choose not to join unions, but they must make “fair share” payments similar to dues – a requirement that unions say is needed because all workers benefit from their work at the bargaining table.
RTWH if you desire, it is full of great stuff.
I had no idea how many of my friends on facebook were state employees. You should hear ’em howling. I feel bad for them, but the fact is that everyone needs to tighten their belts, or nobody will have jobs. I would probably feel less sorry for them if I knew their benefit packages and hours they worked. But that is probably for another post.
It is still very early, but Walker may very well end up being a superstar someday. Starting by telling people we are broke is a great thing. With the state senate and house locked up by the Republicans we could be heading toward a new era in this state. It looks as though Walker is done kicking the stupid can down the road and is ready to tackle and address the issues we have. We aren’t Illinois or California, both of whom have CDS rates similar to Bulgaria. But we are broke and it looks as though Walker is very serious about fixing the situation.