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  1. #1
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    Default Teachers March on Wisconsin Capitol as Senate Moves to Curtail Union Rights

    About time we start cracking down on some of these unions. They are bleeding the country. I don't understand the mindset of "if you work for the government, you get a free ride" as opposed to the private sector. Is paying 0.2% toward your own pension a "right"?

    ==========================

    Published February 17, 2011 | FoxNews.com

    Teachers protesting at Wisconsin's Capitol Building in Madison shut down schools for a second day Thursday so they could demand collective bargaining rights that they say are essential to keeping kids in school.

    Dozens of schools closed as a result of high absences as thousands of protesters, including students and teachers, marched on the Capitol building to demand state lawmakers strike down a bill that would require union concessions worth $30 million by July 1 and $300 million over the next two years.

    The bill, which also bans collective bargaining rights for teachers, requires educators to contribute 5.8 percent to their pensions and 12.6 percent to their health care. Currently, educators pay 0.2 percent for their pensions and 4 to 6 percent of their health care costs.

    "Our goal is not to close schools, but to instead to remain vigilant in our efforts to be heard," said Mary Bell, president of the 98,000-strong Wisconsin Education Association Council.

    State lawmakers proposed the legislation as part of an effort to close a $3.6 billion budget gap, and say they expect it to pass and eventually reach the desk of newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

    "This bill isn't about an assault on public employees. We have great public employees throughout the state, I have them in my district, hard-working folks," said Republican state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. "What this is is about the budget. We're $3.6 billion in the hole. We're not going to raise taxes to solve it. We all ran, you know, this last election cycle on saying that we are going to cut government spending. ... Everybody is going to have to do their part."

    But Michael Langyel, head of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, said Walker and Republican lawmakers are asking public employees to give up more than everyone else.

    "If people say the only way to solve this budget crisis is to take away from people who are working hard, they are wrong. We believe that we have a right to have a fair wage for our hard work. More importantly, the collective bargaining process allows us to positively impact school policy issues. We are the advocates for our students, and we will maintain our voice in defending our students," he told Fox News.

    Langyel added that if Walker wants to balance the budget, he should force his friends to pay more.

    "There are many people who support the governor who contribute nothing and pay nothing and are not contributing. This is the time to have fair taxation in the state of Wisconsin, where the friends of the governors do not get a free ride and the hard-working people have to carry the extra burden," he said.

    Speaking Wednesday to WTMJ4 in Milwaukee, President Obama weighed into the debate, saying that making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain "seems like more of an assault on unions."

    "I think it is very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends," he said. "These are folks who are teachers and they're firefighters and they're social workers and they're police officers."

    It is important "not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow all these budget problems are due to public employees," Obama said.

    Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Fox News on Thursday that he is "troubled by the current climate" but was hopeful for a good resolution. He added that everyone is going to have to compromise even as teachers perform "Herculean" work.

    "We have to work together with them to give every child a chance for a great education and we need to work together and we need to prove outside the comfort zone but to vilify one group or demonize one group doesn't move us as a country that we need to go," Duncan said.

    But Walker said the demands on public employees are "modest" compared with those in the private sector, and are meant to prevent a shutdown, which could result in 6,000 state workers not getting paid.

    "We're at a point of crisis," the governor said, adding that he would call out the National Guard if needed to keep state operations, including prisons, running.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, the average salary for an elementary school teacher was $51, 240 while middle school educators earned $50,950 and high school teachers earned $49, 400.

    Wisconsin's measure would end collective bargaining for state, county and local workers, except for police, firefighters and the state patrol. Unions still could represent workers, but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Unions also could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized.

    Republican-backed changes to the bill made by the state's Senate budget committee Wednesday would extend a grievance procedure to public workers who don't have one and require more oversight and put a deadline on changes.

    Fitzgerald said despite the heated debate, and individual threats against lawmakers, the majority of Wisconsin residents approve of the bill.

    "Although the protesters have been very rowdy, very one sided on what legislators are hearing, there's a silent majority out there that spoke on November 2, said, you know, we have to (head the state) in the right direction to put our fiscal house in order. So that's what we're going to do. It's very difficult but you know that's what we're set out to do and hopefully."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...#ixzz1EFAsOr86

  2. #2
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    i don't pay a nickel to my pension and i work for a corporation, it's not unheard of.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    i don't pay a nickel to my pension and i work for a corporation, it's not unheard of.
    I think that's great. If your corporation can afford it, then that's awesome, and more power to them. Apparently, Wisconsin taxpayers have decided they can't afford it.

    Apparently the State Senators that oppose the bill aren't showing up for the vote. The Governor has called local law enforcement to find them, crazy stuff.

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    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I think that's great. If your corporation can afford it, then that's awesome, and more power to them. Apparently, Wisconsin taxpayers have decided they can't afford it.

    Apparently the State Senators that oppose the bill aren't showing up for the vote. The Governor has called local law enforcement to find them, crazy stuff.

    sounds like a really well run state.

    the issue here (based only on the article) is that you are demanding that employees take a considerable cut in pay and then legislate it to last forever by stripping their negotiating rights. Basically a teacher in the State will never make more money (in real dollars) than they are after they get hit with this cut. It's bad policy. It's also lazy policy from a govt that clearly is incapable of negotiating good labour deals.

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    I'm a pharmacist, never been a part of a union, and I get raises. This reminds me of something I read about when Reagan stood up to the air traffic controller union. These aren't new problems, it's just that people are starting to recognize them. The Governor stated that if this doesn't pass, he'll just have to start laying people off. If you don't have the money to pay salaries and pensions at the current rate, citizens won't pay more taxes, what are you supposed to do?

    I think it's long overdue.

    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    sounds like a really well run state.
    Agreed, that's a clusterfuck right there. I can't believe since they don't like what's happening, they just don't show up for work. I'd get fired.

  6. #6
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I'm a pharmacist, never been a part of a union, and I get raises. This reminds me of something I read about when Reagan stood up to the air traffic controller union. These aren't new problems, it's just that people are starting to recognize them. The Governor stated that if this doesn't pass, he'll just have to start laying people off. If you don't have the money to pay salaries and pensions at the current rate, citizens won't pay more taxes, what are you supposed to do?

    I think it's long overdue.



    Agreed, that's a clusterfuck right there. I can't believe since they don't like what's happening, they just don't show up for work. I'd get fired.

    it's a little different working for a company as opposed to working for a state - collective agreements are needed. You just can't rip them up just because management is incapable of, you know, managing.

    This is an issue of laziness on behalf of govt. If you don't need people then you lay them off. You don't do it just do it. If you can't afford people's salaries right now then you negotiate a cut. What they are proposing is no different than every company that hires pharamicts getting together and forcing a pay cut on you AND making you sign an agreement that says you'll never get a real raise again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    What they are proposing is no different than every company that hires pharamicts getting together and forcing a pay cut on you AND making you sign an agreement that says you'll never get a real raise again.
    Then I walk away. I don't need a union to fight for my "rights". That company wouldn't have any pharmacists working for them, and the ball would be in their court. It would be their problem, if they need pharmacists for their business model to work.

    Maybe the teachers go to work for private schools, or choose a different career path. At that point, the state would cave and make the job more desirable, and a compromise would be made with the "middle man" cut out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Then I walk away. I don't need a union to fight for my "rights". That company wouldn't have any pharmacists working for them, and the ball would be in their court. It would be their problem, if they need pharmacists for their business model to work.
    you can't just walk away if every other company has the same forced agreement. A teacher can't be compared to someone who works for one company that has a thousand similar companies that one can move to.

    the govt in this case is clearly trying to break the union (which is fine) but you can't force your employees to take a pay cut every year for the rest of their lives and not expect the greatest fight you ever had. That's what is happening here. This isn't "we need to you to freeze your salary for 3 years", this isn't even "we need to cut your pay and then freeze it for X years". This is "we're cutting your pay and freezing it forever". They're pretty damn stupid to not expect a fight on this.

    The people who are running (or who did run) that state are clearly dumb as a bag of rocks. They're not alone, we got a bunch up here too.

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    I do agree it's a bit extreme as far as the pay cuts go, but it is time to break these unions. I don't know all the exacts with the financial stability of Wisconsin, but I'm sure (like most states) they are running heavily in the red.

    Thing is, the Governor and State Senators who are pushing this run in November on a platform of exactly this, and they won.

    I just find this interesting because if this passes, it could start a ball rolling nationwide.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I do agree it's a bit extreme as far as the pay cuts go, but it is time to break these unions. I don't know all the exacts with the financial stability of Wisconsin, but I'm sure (like most states) they are running heavily in the red.

    Thing is, the Governor and State Senators who are pushing this run in November on a platform of exactly this, and they won.

    I just find this interesting because if this passes, it could start a ball rolling nationwide.
    i think it's inevitable that this is going to happen all over the continent. A smart union would quickly secure jobs now (actually they should a year or two ago) and publically announce that they are willing to take freeze their wages until things improve. That's what our province wanted done (a 2 year freeze on salaries) and they got laughed at by the unions. When those agreements come up soon, they'll regret that move. That said, if politicians would cut their own salaries first it would look much better politically when they ask the workers to feel some pain.

  11. #11
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    What are the other options? Seems reasonable enough to me most people have to pay for their benefits. Would they rather have people lose their jobs, or close schools?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulGirl5150 View Post
    What are the other options? Seems reasonable enough to me most people have to pay for their benefits. Would they rather have people lose their jobs, or close schools?
    is that really the alternative? to stop educating children?

  13. #13
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    I don't get where it's inferred that they'll never get another raise - ever?

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    One thing I hate about unions and teachers is that one doesn't become a teacher to make money. You do it for the love of molding children or young adults. It's like being working for a park system as a forest ranger or something like that. Maybe like a fireman who is willing to risk his life in order to save others. You don't go into these career paths as money making ventures. Part of your pay is when you make a difference in somebody's life.

    I think most teachers feel this way right out of college and then the union starts molding their minds. Pretty soon it's not about the kids but it's about how much money they should be making.

    You work 9 months a year. You get every freaking holiday off plus your own vacation on top of that. Every time there is a snow day, you get it off because they don't want to heat the schools for 50 teachers. You are not on call 24/7/365 therefore you don't need to be tied to your blackberry or smart phone.

    Once again a union ruins something. Yes I know they were great in the past and have given us all these wonderful rights that we enjoy today. Well you know what Nazi's pioneered the freeway system, banned smoking in public places and were pioneers for animal rights by conservation and banning vivisection. However they were pieces of shit everywhere else and were held accountable for their actions. The same should be said about the unions of today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    is that really the alternative? to stop educating children?
    Well it is happening in quite a few cities, not unheard of, schools are closing. I really don't think they are asking a lot. These teachers sound pretty spoiled and entitled if you ask me.
    Last edited by BeautifulGirl5150; 02.17.11 at 12:00 PM.

 

 

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