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[Unions] Koch Brothers versus the Unions/People of Wisconsin

TheHopelessGamerTheHopelessGamer Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
On Friday, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, republican who is less than two months into his first term, officially declared war on the state employee unions that state employees have been relying on for the last 50 years to negotiate on their behalf with the state employers. Walker proposes to increase the contributions of employees in both their pension plans and health insurance premiums resulting in up to a 10% pay cut across the board for state employees with the exceptions of state patrol and firemen, both of which supported Walker in his election run.

Here's the Huffpo article about the action: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/11/scott-walker-unions-wisconsin-national-guard_n_822225.html

Here's the Wisconsin State Journal's article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_c814c77a-3600-11e0-b9e0-001cc4c03286.html
Saying those who didn't see it coming must have been in a "coma," Gov. Scott Walker unveiled sweeping legislation that would severely curtail public employee rights and dramatically change the way Wisconsin negotiates with unions going forward.

And here's the only real statement made from the neutered opposition party c/o the Madison Capital Times: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/article_c8dc2189-1d6c-510b-9244-76d79987a088.html

This is all the result of two democrats betraying the party (and the unions who supported them), including the senate majority leader at the time, by voting against passing the contracts during the lame duck session immediately before ending business for the term.

Here's the story from the Wisconsin State Journal: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/loc...cc4c03286.html

And here's the payment given to one of the democrats in return for his obstructionism: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/loc...cc4c03286.html

From the article:
Former Democratic Sen. Jeff Plale, who voted against his party during a lame duck session on state contracts last month, has joined the administration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Plale will earn $90,000 a year as the administrator of the Division of State Facilities, according to the Department of Administration.

The real issue here isn't the pay cut - which is substantial and does the exact opposite of what Walker claims in "sharing the pain" - but rather the fact that he has combined union busting regulations into the deal. While it is true that Wisconsin faces a steep deficit, and cuts are needed to be made, Walker refuses to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and instead sets the options as either busting the union or stop providing healthcare to thousands of impoverished children. Clearly these are not the only options, and yet Walker insists that he will not even sit at the negotiation table with union leaders because he "has nothing to give."

I know Wisconsin isn't alone in this move to so-called "right to work" states where unions are actively being busted, but this case seems to be quite unusual. Walker has pushed forward a shocking amount of new legislation in his time since being sworn in this January and his Republican state house and senate are all too eager to move his agenda forward with no hearings, no debate, and no time for the public to digest any of the changes before they are passed and put into law.

So from one point of view this thread is about the specific struggle state employees face in Wisconsin, while it also looks at the trouble unions face as a whole. It is also a place to complain about your governors or state-level government, since we know that the states determine a heckuva lot of what happens on the national/federal level.

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  • TheHopelessGamerTheHopelessGamer Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    In addition to the articles I posted, here's a copy of the "letter" emailed to all state workers on Friday in anticipation of the outcry from state employees over the "Repair the Budget" bill he is putting forward:

    "Thank you for your service to your state and your fellow citizens. I know that you have worked hard during this economic downturn to ensure that our citizens continue to receive great service, despite our state having fewer and fewer resources. I, like all Wisconsinites, am grateful for your professionalism and commitment to public service.

    Like almost every state across the nation, our state faces some very serious and undeniable financial challenges. Over the last three months, I have worked diligently to review the status of our state finances and to put forward a plan that balances our budget now and will create stability in future budgets.

    Many of you are aware of the immediate challenges facing our state. In the current fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2011, we face a budget deficit of $136.7 million. We also owe more than $200 million to the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund. Failure to immediately address this shortfall could result in the state being unable to pay for health services to thousands of children and families in Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program.

    Looking to the future, our challenges are even greater. Over the next two years, the State of Wisconsin faces a biennial budget deficit of $3.6 billion.

    While some of these financial challenges may be attributed to the slowing of our economy, the reality is that these problems were exacerbated by poor budgeting decisions approved and promoted by past elected leaders, Republicans and Democrats alike. By relying on the use of one-time money, segregated fund raids, and increases in taxes and fees, past leaders have focused on short term solutions without looking toward the future.

    While these decisions may have appeared to be the easiest solution, or the path of least resistance, the bills for these decisions have come due and the path to long term financial solvency for our state requires shared sacrifices from everyone.

    Today, I am introducing a Budget Repair Bill to address our current fiscal year deficit of $136.7 million. Later this month, I will introduce my 2011-2013 Biennial Budget proposal to address the pending $3.6 billion deficit.

    The Budget Repair Bill will include a number of reform measures focused on bringing government employee benefits closer to the private sector, including:

    · Pension Contributions – Currently, state, school district and municipal employees who are members of the Wisconsin Retirement System contribute very little toward their pensions. The bill requires that WRS employees, including myself and my cabinet officers, as well as employees of the City and County of Milwaukee, contribute 50 percent of their monthly pension contributions. This amount is estimated to be 5.8 percent of salary for 2011, which is about the national average for private sector employees.

    · Health Insurance Contributions – Currently, state employees pay approximately 6 percent of annual health insurance premiums. This bill requires that state employees, again including myself and my cabinet officers, pay at least 12 percent of monthly premiums, which is still less than half of what the private sector pays. In addition, the bill directs the Group Insurance Board to implement changes to health insurance plan designs to further reduce premiums by 5 percent and will implement health risk assessments for all state employees beginning on January 1, 2012. Local employers participating in the Public Employers Group Health insurance program operated by the state will be prohibited from paying more than 88 percent of the lowest cost plan.

    · Collective Bargaining – Given the above changes, the bill also makes various changes to limit collective bargaining to the base pay rate. Total increases cannot exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) unless approved by a referendum. Contracts will be limited to one year and wages will be frozen until the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units will have to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers will be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units will not be required to pay dues. These changes take effect upon the expiration of existing contracts. Local police and fire employees and State Patrol Troopers and Inspectors are exempted from these changes.

    Collectively, these changes will result in savings of approximately $30 million in the remaining few months of the current fiscal year.

    In the days ahead, some may attempt to misrepresent these reform measures, spreading inaccurate or misleading information. To ensure that you know the facts, I would like to proactively address these issues.

    Furloughs – Over the last several years, state employees have been required to take furloughs resulting in an across the board pay cut of approximately 3 percent. The Budget Repair Bill and my 2011-2013 Biennial Budget proposal will not include additional furlough days for state employees.

    Layoffs – Without the pension and health care reforms described above, saving $30 million over the last three months of the current fiscal year would require laying-off more than 1,500 state government employees. By implementing these reforms, the provisions contained in both my Budget Repair Bill and my 2011-13 Biennial Budget proposal are focused on avoiding layoffs for state employees.

    Wisconsin’s Civil Service System –The Budget Repair Bill and my 2011-2013 Biennial Budget proposal will not include any provisions to alter or modify the main tenets of Wisconsin’s Civil Service System, one of the strongest in the nation. The grievance and dispute resolution systems currently in place, as well as all employee protections, will remain.

    Vacation and Sick Leave Policy – Recent news stories have suggested that I am considering altering the state’s vacation or sick leave policy. The Budget Repair Bill and my 2011-13 Biennial Budget proposal will not include any provisions to alter or modify state employees’ vacation or sick leave policy. In addition, benefits currently accrued by any state employees will not be altered in any way.

    Last week in my State of the State Address, I shared my belief that government employees are among some of the most honest, hard working, dedicated, professional workers in this state. I sincerely believe that.

    We all recognize that these are historic times that require us to rethink how government operates. I ask that we continue to work together to do what is necessary to bring the state’s spending in line with our taxpayers’ ability to pay.

    Wisconsin’s state employees are second to none in our nation. Our citizens expect great service, and you have delivered. I know you will continue to deliver top-notch programs for Wisconsin’s taxpayers. Thank you again for your service to our state.

    Sincerely,

    Governor Scott Walker"

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    These days it's a pretty hostile environment to be a state worker in any capacity.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    These days it's a pretty hostile environment to be a state worker in any capacity.

    It's hostile just to be a worker almost everywhere, although I agree that this is really really underhanded.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    These days it's a pretty hostile environment to be a state worker in any capacity.

    It's hostile just to be a worker almost everywhere

    Okay, well, that's a bit beyond the scope of this thread or my post.

    Today, in the US, it's a hostile environment to be a state worker. There certainly aren't pushes to publish the names and salaries of low-level private-sector employees, or bring in strike-breakers to help destroy collective bargaining in private unions.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Dear Gov. Walker,
    Eat a dick.
    Hate, everybody.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I do wonder what mobilizing the national guard is supposed to do - okay, let's say state employees do strike. The National Guard can temporarily replace the police in keeping public order, but how's it supposed to help anywhere else?

  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    We're building a bridge to the 19th Century. When this was a not uncommon thing. Though it was usually miners.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • Brian KrakowBrian Krakow Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    Today, in the US, it's a hostile environment to be a state worker. There certainly aren't pushes to publish the names and salaries of low-level private-sector employees, or bring in strike-breakers to help destroy collective bargaining in private unions.
    I agree with your point, but there is and has been a push to bring in strike-breakers (among other things) to destroy private unions for decades.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    Today, in the US, it's a hostile environment to be a state worker. There certainly aren't pushes to publish the names and salaries of low-level private-sector employees, or bring in strike-breakers to help destroy collective bargaining in private unions.
    I agree with your point, but there is and has been a push to bring in strike-breakers (among other things) to destroy private unions for decades.

    There was, but it's been a pretty dead movement in the US for some time. I certainly can't remember an incident in my lifetime.

    I'd be happy to read about any, though. :whistle:

    etxvv5.jpg
  • Brian KrakowBrian Krakow Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Well, it's mostly a dead movement because the strike is all but dead in this country.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    Because all government workers are paid too much, and they should be publicly outed and shamed.

    The clear solution is to fire them all, then hire private contractors at a much higher overall cost. Free market!

    etxvv5.jpg
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I appreciate that i saw this thread right before i saw the Atlas Shrugged thread. But really, this is just Politician speak, there is no way that he would do such a thing right? I just have trouble believing that no one will realize that the whole idea of screwing ALL state employees will stir up love for him.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    I do wonder what mobilizing the national guard is supposed to do - okay, let's say state employees do strike. The National Guard can temporarily replace the police in keeping public order, but how's it supposed to help anywhere else?

    It does seem hypocritical to use publicly funded strike breakers. The market should provide strike breakers at a more reasonable cost rather than the inefficient government ones. Just another example of how big government takes away the role of honest free-enterprising strike breakers.

  • TheHopelessGamerTheHopelessGamer Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Barcardi wrote: »
    I appreciate that i saw this thread right before i saw the Atlas Shrugged thread. But really, this is just Politician speak, there is no way that he would do such a thing right? I just have trouble believing that no one will realize that the whole idea of screwing ALL state employees will stir up love for him.

    I agree that I don't think the Nat. Guard will actually be used to suppress demonstrators on the ground (there are going to be pro-union rallies on both tuesday and wednesday next week since this thing is already being put up for vote on thursday), but I do think it needlessly escalates the conversation and does work to suppress people from even showing up to demonstrate in the first place as a scare tactic.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Defaulting on promises to existing workers, in order to avoid defaulting on promises to retired workers... makes political sense (retirees are organized to vote) but not, I suspect, good policy.

    The nature of recession is assorted groups arguing over who takes the losses, so well.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    These days it's a pretty hostile environment to be a state worker in any capacity.

    It's hostile just to be a worker almost everywhere

    Okay, well, that's a bit beyond the scope of this thread or my post.

    Today, in the US, it's a hostile environment to be a state worker. There certainly aren't pushes to publish the names and salaries of low-level private-sector employees, or bring in strike-breakers to help destroy collective bargaining in private unions.

    Private unions are swell though because there usually is the ability to use other services in the case of a strike. When public transportation strikes people are fucked and there is little alternative.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    Because all government workers are paid too much, and they should be publicly outed and shamed.

    The clear solution is to fire them all, then hire private contractors at a much higher overall cost. Free market!

    Are you saying that the Vallejo Fire Dept isn't overpaid? I mean, yes, not every person at every level should be scrutinized but to say that govt employees in integral public goods are beyond reproach for the money they make is ridiculous.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Given that, when controlling for things like experience and education, public employees are paid distinctly less for the same job as private sector employees, yes, I think adytum is saying that.

  • TheHopelessGamerTheHopelessGamer Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I don't know how I forgot to include this as part of the story, but I'll it to the original post. This is all the result of two democrats betraying the party (and the unions who supported them), including the senate majority leader at the time, by voting against passing the contracts during the lame duck session immediately before ending business for the term.

    Here's the story from the Wisconsin State Journal: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_e836dc76-0862-11e0-a476-001cc4c03286.html

    And here's the payment given to one of the democrats in return for his obstructionism: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_a57eb178-23f2-11e0-abda-001cc4c03286.html

    From the article:
    Former Democratic Sen. Jeff Plale, who voted against his party during a lame duck session on state contracts last month, has joined the administration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
    Plale will earn $90,000 a year as the administrator of the Division of State Facilities, according to the Department of Administration

  • RedTideRedTide Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    Because all government workers are paid too much, and they should be publicly outed and shamed.

    The clear solution is to fire them all, then hire private contractors at a much higher overall cost. Free market!

    Are you saying that the Vallejo Fire Dept isn't overpaid? I mean, yes, not every person at every level should be scrutinized but to say that govt employees in integral public goods are beyond reproach for the money they make is ridiculous.

    This was the only thing I could find after a quick search for info and while it is far from official, it does provide some context as to how they place nationally on pay scale.

    And while certain factors like cost of living, workload, responsibilities assumed and other such things are also unknown to me, I would say from what I know, the average hourly pay for these firefighters probably is not exorbitantly high.

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    We have that here in Ontario, but you only get on the list if you make more than...$100,000/year I believe.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    RedTide wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    Because all government workers are paid too much, and they should be publicly outed and shamed.

    The clear solution is to fire them all, then hire private contractors at a much higher overall cost. Free market!

    Are you saying that the Vallejo Fire Dept isn't overpaid? I mean, yes, not every person at every level should be scrutinized but to say that govt employees in integral public goods are beyond reproach for the money they make is ridiculous.

    This was the only thing I could find after a quick search for info and while it is far from official, it does provide some context as to how they place nationally on pay scale.

    And while certain factors like cost of living, workload, responsibilities assumed and other such things are also unknown to me, I would say from what I know, the average hourly pay for these firefighters probably is not exorbitantly high.

    To tie this back to the city of Vallejo though, the union was charging the city for shit that was outside of the scope of fire protection duties. Not only that, they were boosting salaries with overtime so that pension rates would be higher than normal. This all while the city of Vallejo was going bankrupt.

    Sure, it's one example but there are inherent overall problems with public good unions. They fight oversight and maximize member benefits regardless of the impact it has on the community either service wise or financially.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    Because all government workers are paid too much, and they should be publicly outed and shamed.

    The clear solution is to fire them all, then hire private contractors at a much higher overall cost. Free market!

    Are you saying that the Vallejo Fire Dept isn't overpaid? I mean, yes, not every person at every level should be scrutinized but to say that govt employees in integral public goods are beyond reproach for the money they make is ridiculous.

    Publishing names and salaries has nothing to do with accountability, and everything to do with outing and shaming public servants that "make too much money." Should aggregate budget and payroll data be disclosed? Absolutely, in the name of transparency and accountability. However, there's a huge difference between disclosing the names and salaries of elected or policy level employees and rank-and-file employees.

    Calls for disclosure at that level ring hollow. As Captain Carrot noted, in most cases public employees are paid less than private-sector employees with the same level of experience and education.

    It's part of an overall environment of hostility towards public employees that has been ratcheting up the last few months. It has nothing to do with the reality of the situation, and everything to do with politics.

    Amusingly, the answer to "overpaid government employees" is frequently to outsource the work to private contractors, which charge more for the same work, yet have no stake in the system.. and are, interestingly enough, often campaign donors.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    As this drama unfolds, I'm sure the distinction between state and public employees will likely become relevant. State employees are directly employed by the state. All state employees are public employees. Public employees also include those being paid state funds, but not directly employed by it. Public college employees would be one example.

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Huh

    I thought the whole tea party glenn beck thing that Walker believes in was that the evil government was going to use the military to suppress our rights


    then he goes and threatens to do that

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • TravanTravan ANOTHER one? Seriously?! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Unions are only one of the groups that teapers have publicly stated they plan to suppress should they take power, in order to save America from big government Eurosocialist Islamofascism.

    Gamertag- Travan7838
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Wow. This is absolutely nuts. He's seriously going to use the national guard to force people to give up their right to strike? What happens if there's a confrontation? Will national guardsmen actually obey an order to attack other americans?

    This is really making me wonder if it's time for an egyptian style protest in America.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Four dead in [strike]Ohio[/strike] Wisconsin

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Wow. This is absolutely nuts. He's seriously going to use the national guard to force people to give up their right to strike? What happens if there's a confrontation? Will national guardsmen actually obey an order to attack other americans?

    This is really making me wonder if it's time for an egyptian style protest in America.

    You could never, ever, ever get anything similar in the US, unless it's racial.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    zeeny wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Wow. This is absolutely nuts. He's seriously going to use the national guard to force people to give up their right to strike? What happens if there's a confrontation? Will national guardsmen actually obey an order to attack other americans?

    This is really making me wonder if it's time for an egyptian style protest in America.

    You could never, ever, ever get anything similar in the US, unless it's racial.

    Why? What makes us so different? (aside from the fact that it's really damn cold in Wisconsin right now) Every young person in America is connected by technology, and we have a massive youth unemployment + good transportation.

  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I can only imagine bringing in the national guard would result in a ridiculous clusterfuck. I actually hope he does bring them in, because I think it would be hilarious for him to fuck things up more than he already has.

    I honestly don't even see how he thinks that's a good idea. Does he think it takes no training at all to do their jobs?

    steam_sig.png
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Wow. This is absolutely nuts. He's seriously going to use the national guard to force people to give up their right to strike? What happens if there's a confrontation? Will national guardsmen actually obey an order to attack other americans?

    This is really making me wonder if it's time for an egyptian style protest in America.

    You could never, ever, ever get anything similar in the US, unless it's racial.

    Why? What makes us so different?

    The fact that even the poor have something to lose.
    (aside from the fact that it's really damn cold in Wisconsin right now) Every young person in America is connected by technology, and we have a massive youth unemployment + good transportation.

    You'll see huge world wide political/economic changes before you see molotov cocktails at a US based protest.

  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Aegis wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    We have that here in Ontario, but you only get on the list if you make more than...$100,000/year I believe.

    My state does it for every employee, no matter how much they got paid. They even list employees who owe wages or travel expenses back to the state.

    This environment sucks for me because my job is 100% funded by federal contracts, but we haven't gotten any increase in pay (outside of earned promotions which only happen every 5 years or so) in over 5 years and insurance premiums keep increasing.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    We have that here in Ontario, but you only get on the list if you make more than...$100,000/year I believe.

    My state does it for every employee, no matter how much they got paid. They even list employees who owe wages or travel expenses back to the state.

    This environment sucks for me because my job is 100% funded by federal contracts, but we haven't gotten any increase in pay (outside of earned promotions which only happen every 5 years or so) in over 5 years and insurance premiums keep increasing.

    I don't see salaries on there. Am I missing the page?

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Wow. This is absolutely nuts. He's seriously going to use the national guard to force people to give up their right to strike? What happens if there's a confrontation? Will national guardsmen actually obey an order to attack other americans?

    The whole thing just screams publicity stunt. Okay, if there's a strike you'll call out the national guard... to do what? Presumably the union isn't talking about taking over government buildings via sitdown strike or something, so it's hard to figure out why you'd bring in the guard.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I do wonder what mobilizing the national guard is supposed to do - okay, let's say state employees do strike. The National Guard can temporarily replace the police in keeping public order, but how's it supposed to help anywhere else?

    It does seem hypocritical to use publicly funded strike breakers. The market should provide strike breakers at a more reasonable cost rather than the inefficient government ones. Just another example of how big government takes away the role of honest free-enterprising strike breakers.

    Where's Pinkerton when you need him?

  • AtomikaAtomika Social Justice Mage + 12 charm/-5 lockpickingRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    It's fairly natural in times of economic downturn to look at those with guaranteed salaries, little-to-no unemployment risk, and high volumes of tax-paid entitlements with the hairy eyeball.

    While I have no idea what bringing the National Guard in is supposed to do, unions are no more beyond reproach than anyone else in the labor market.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    The national guard bit is just grandstanding. Odd way to do it, since it makes him look like a potential Mubarak, but maybe he figured it would play well with the CPAC crowd.

    The unusual thing about this is that he intends to legislatively strip them of various rights and limit their benefits. While it wouldn't be unusual to take a tough line in contract negotiations, it is odd to use the legislature to force a deal on the workers. At least, that's my impression. Because the state usually negotiates with the union, even if it is to force the union to accept pay cuts and furloughs.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Publish the names and salaries of low-level government employees

    Wow. That's pretty ridiculous.

    Why would they want to do this? What's the gain?

    Because all government workers are paid too much, and they should be publicly outed and shamed.

    The clear solution is to fire them all, then hire private contractors at a much higher overall cost. Free market!

    Are you saying that the Vallejo Fire Dept isn't overpaid? I mean, yes, not every person at every level should be scrutinized but to say that govt employees in integral public goods are beyond reproach for the money they make is ridiculous.

    Publishing names and salaries has nothing to do with accountability, and everything to do with outing and shaming public servants that "make too much money." Should aggregate budget and payroll data be disclosed? Absolutely, in the name of transparency and accountability. However, there's a huge difference between disclosing the names and salaries of elected or policy level employees and rank-and-file employees.

    Calls for disclosure at that level ring hollow. As Captain Carrot noted, in most cases public employees are paid less than private-sector employees with the same level of experience and education.

    It's part of an overall environment of hostility towards public employees that has been ratcheting up the last few months. It has nothing to do with the reality of the situation, and everything to do with politics.

    Amusingly, the answer to "overpaid government employees" is frequently to outsource the work to private contractors, which charge more for the same work, yet have no stake in the system.. and are, interestingly enough, often campaign donors.

    I completely disagree with people that suggest outsourcing to contractors is the answer except when it comes to retirement benefits and pension. I just don't think that Unionization has the best outcome for public goods.

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