As Wisconsin goes, so go the nation’s bankrupt and near-bankrupt states.
The SEIU has declared full-scale war on the Badger State over attempts to rein in bloated public union pay and benefits.
This was the scene last night at the Capitol Rotunda as the Purple Army and its allies stormed in for a sleepover protest:
GOP Gov. Scott Walker is walking the fiscal responsibility walk — and those who have lived high on the hog are squealing every step of the way from the trough:
More than 10,000 union supporters flooded the State Capitol on Tuesday to voice their opposition of a bill that seeks to save money by stripping nearly all collective bargaining rights from the majority of public workers.
Under Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal, almost every public employee would have to contribute 5.8 percent toward their pensions, and state workers would pay 12.6 percent of their health insurance premiums. The bill received a legislative hearing on Tuesday amid criticism from public employees across the state, including the Green Bay area.
The Republican governor has put the legislation at the center of a budget repair bill that aims to save the state $30 million in the current budget and an additional $300 million over the next two years.
But opponents of the plan say Walker has taken an extreme stance on union negotiations and is pushing an agenda aimed at breaking up organized labor. Buses of about 80 public employees left De Pere early Tuesday to join dissenters in Madison who wondered why the governor sought to erase negotiating powers from unions in addition to forcing contributions.
Yesterday, teachers’ unions called for a statewide sick-in. For the children?
Madison public schools are closed Wednesday because too many teachers are taking the day off to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit union bargaining.
Superintendent Dan Nerad says teachers who are taking a sick day will be asked to show proof of a medical reason. Nerad said that after more than 40 percent of teachers called in sick the decision was made to cancel classes because administrators were concerned about a safe and secure school environment.
Madison Teachers Inc. executive director John Matthews tells the State Journal the union was contacting members and urging them to attend a rally Wednesday at the Capitol in opposition to Walker’s collective bargaining proposal. Matthews says it’s the first coordinated absence by Madison school employees in 16 years.
Milwaukee Public Schools sent an e-mail to teachers warning them not to be absent without prior approval.
Kiddie human shields become kiddie sacrificial lambs. This should be a firing offense. With near-double digit unemployment, schools should have no trouble replacing striking teachers with qualified people who would appreciate those jobs.
A Wisconsite blogger says fire them:
Last week, I supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plan to impose modest benefit concessions on all public workers to avoid laying off thousands of them. I have changed my mind; he should get rid of as many of them as possible.
No, seriously – the fewer the better.
The public employees’ protests over the past few days have convinced me that we do not need to compensate our public sector employees reasonably; we need to keep as many of them as possible as far away as possible from doing anything that is remotely important.
When the keynote speaker at a UWM rally on the importance of a union education sounds like a Valley Girl with Tourette’s Syndrome, I don’t want any of them teaching our kids – not at any price.
If you have not seen the YouTube of that speech, I urge you to do so, just so you get a full appreciation for what your tax dollars are buying in the way of state-funded union education. For all I know, she has an IQ with a comma in it, but her 14-plus years of union education have made her dumber than a box of hair.
The only purpose of education is to prepare children to succeed as productive adult citizens. Dropping F-bombs and rambling in incoherent thumb-language does not make you productive; it makes you a worthless parasite that will not survive a day on your own.
Elsewhere, SEIU itself is forcing many low-wage union members to share the sacrifice to preserve the SEIU 1199 health fund.
Skidmore College employees represented by the Local 200United union are expecting to see a dent in their paychecks starting in March.
The union notified members in a letter this week that 4.15 percent of their gross earnings will be deducted from their paychecks beginning March 11 to cover the cost of the health plan provided through the 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund.
Local 200United includes about 150 Skidmore College employees who work in dining services and the college post office, and as stable hands, groundskeepers and custodians.
Members were told in January that their health insurance contributions were increasing to include co-payments for doctor’s visits and prescription drugs, as well as a fee of up to $60 to include a spouse on the plan.
Union representative Ian Putnick said in the letter to members that the increases will average $25 a week for most employees. But Joyce Tighe, a housekeeper who’s worked at the college for 20 years, is expecting to pay at least $240 more per month for health insurance for herself and her husband, John, who doesn’t work and receives Social Security checks.
Tighe estimated that some newer employees who have dependents could be charged as much as $400 more a month. That’s in addition to about $43 in monthly dues Local200 United members pay.
All non-teaching employees are forced to join the union and are locked into a single health plan.
Tighe indicated that she could have pursued another health plan when the contract was up last year, but felt confident continuing with SEIU because a union representative told all the members not to expect any significant rate increases going into 2011.
Putnick, the union representative, did not return messages left Tuesday.
Making the situation more complicated is the requirement that all non-teaching employees such as housekeepers and custodians are required to belong to a union.
And while Skidmore College has three health care plans available to non-unionized employees, the chances that Local200 United members could quit and switch to the college’s plan to save money are slim to none.
The only way for members to opt into the college’s health care plan is if the union decided as a whole to decertify, said Barbara Beck, associate vice president for finance and administration and director of human resources.
“The college is not happy with the decision (to increase employee health insurance contributions), but it’s not our decision,” Beck said. “It’s a substantial contribution with very little warning.
Fun fact reminder: 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund is one of the many unions who received an Obamacare Waiver for Favors.
But don’t look for a Purple Army protest there anytime soon…