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Wisconsin mass protests - recall Gov. Walker

post #1 of 207
Thread Starter 

This awesome show of solidarity in Wisconsin should have its own thread.  Now that working people are being attacked in Ohio and other states, what happens in Wisconsin affects the entire country.

 

If you haven't been paying attention:

 

* GOP Governor wins office, cuts taxes on big corporations to the tune of over $100 billion.

*Then shock doctrines his way to a bill that cut all state workers' (except firefighters) pay by 20% and strips union workers of their collective bargaining rights to pay for the deficit he just created with the tax cuts (the state budget had been running on a surplus).

*People turn out by the thousands, including members of the Green Bay Packers.  30,000 people flooded the capitol yesterday, even more today.

*Democratic state senators disappeared, leaving the senate without a quorum and therefore unable to vote on the bill. 

* People are organizing to recall the Gov.  I hope they succeed. 

 

500

post #2 of 207

I never thought anything would bring me around as a fan of the Green Bay Packers, but their stance against Walker's douchery has proved me wrong.


Of course, with Walker in power, my desire to get the hell out of this sorry state for good has only increased, so I should probably thank him for that.

post #3 of 207

It's just like Tunisia and Egypt!

post #4 of 207

We need to do this in FL, taking notes.

post #5 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Olson View Post

I never thought anything would bring me around as a fan of the Green Bay Packers, but their stance against Walker's douchery has proved me wrong.


Of course, with Walker in power, my desire to get the hell out of this sorry state for good has only increased, so I should probably thank him for that.



Betcha missing the Land Of The Vikings about now mate.

post #6 of 207

One tried and true rule of the film set should've been relayed to this guy when he took office: Never, never, NEVER piss off the teamsters.

post #7 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post

We need to do this in FL, taking notes.



I agree.  Unfortunately the Florida population is just too apathetic (or like to assume the position w/o the benefit of lube).   Kinda hoping Nelson finds a way to get the funding as a nice fuck you to Scott.

post #8 of 207

See, I've always told you. You mustn't be afraid of some civil dissobedience. It is good for a democracy.

post #9 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by HBarr View Post
   Kinda hoping Nelson finds a way to get the funding as a nice fuck you to Scott.


It's looking ... complicated;

 

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/senator-makes-point-about-rick-scotts-authority-to-nix-rail-deal-but-scott/1152330

 

 

Quote:

Scott still holds cards

The money in play — the $300 million in state funding and the smaller federal portion — is peanuts when considering the entire $2.7 billion project.

And that is where Scott has the upper hand, lawmakers, former state officials and transportation experts told us.

He can veto future appropriations in the state budget, whether the source of the funds is state money or federal. If somehow those vetoes are overridden, Scott can wreak havoc on rail plans in other ways.

If a bond issue is required, he could try to kill the project through a vote of the Cabinet, or he could to try to hold up giving away the right of way to build the rail line. Or he could order his Department of Transportation secretary to fire people associated with the rail project.

"He has the ability to direct agency heads and the ability to control expenditures that come into the budget over the next few years through a veto," said former state Sen. Dan Gelber. "If the governor's dead set on making it not happen, he can make it not happen."

Even Alexander said the idea of rail is likely dead in Florida as long as Scott opposes it.

"It may be a moot point when he's clearly trying to pull the plug," said Doug Callaway, president of Floridians for Better Transportation, a statewide transportation lobbying group.

Though we think Alexander should have cited state statutes and not the Constitution, he is technically right that Scott is required to spend money in the state budget the way it is appropriated. That means the Legislature could play a game of chicken, forcing Scott to spend the $131 million in the 2010-11 budget, and maybe the remaining $170 or so million of state funds, and maybe even the $66.66 million in federal money.

But getting him to spend the necessary money beyond that — the federal and state money actually needed to complete the rail program — is a much taller order, people we talked to say. And when it comes to the outcome of rail in Florida, at least when it comes to the Florida Legislature, that is a much more important point today. That's the context that gives Scott the upper hand. We rate this statement Half True.

post #10 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post





Betcha missing the Land Of The Vikings about now mate.


Minnesota?

post #11 of 207

Wait, am I the only one annoyed almost half of the "leadership" of the state is literally running away from voting on an issue?

post #12 of 207
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post

Wait, am I the only one annoyed almost half of the "leadership" of the state is literally running away from voting on an issue?



it's just like all that Acorn nonsense that bothered you so much, isn't it! ;D

 

The Democratic senators actually have a very good reason for doing it.  I totally support them and consider them heroes.  Here's an interview with one of them so maybe you can better understand what's going on:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

post #13 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post





it's just like all that Acorn nonsense that bothered you so much, isn't it! ;D

 

The Democratic senators actually have a very good reason for doing it.  I totally support them and consider them heroes.  Here's an interview with one of them so maybe you can better understand what's going on:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/


I'm sure you do consider them heroes, yt my friend.  I understand what's going on, I just disagree with how it's being done.  

 

Plus, I can see how a strong union and collective bargaining can be valuable in some instances in the private sector, but the public sector?  Come on. 

post #14 of 207

And by the by, I get the idea that this is more about politics than about economics (hence the fact I dont like how things are being done).

 

With that in mind, lemme do a quick search for a thread showing your indignation at the GM bailout aka The Great UAW Care Package of 2009. ;)

post #15 of 207

I just think it's hilarious that Breitbart  will be attempting to bus Tea Partiers in to support Walker. So I guess now they'll be holding a PRO-government rally. Priceless.

post #16 of 207

I think it's a hopeful sign that people will stand up to the Republicans if they try to go too far.   It needs to happen more often,

post #17 of 207
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post




I'm sure you do consider them heroes, yt my friend.  I understand what's going on, I just disagree with how it's being done.  

 

Plus, I can see how a strong union and collective bargaining can be valuable in some instances in the private sector, but the public sector?  Come on. 


Well, a lot of people--including me--disagree that union-busting is a good thing.  And how can you disagree with the Dem senators for bailing when Walker rushed this through without debate or amendments and the Repubs have a majority to bust that union just like that in a state in which workers died for rights all of us enjoy today, including weekends, workmans comp, a 40 hour work week, etc?  Do you really think that those rights unions fought and died for can never be taken away?  If so, I've got some AAA rated derivatives I can sell you at a good price.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post

And by the by, I get the idea that this is more about politics than about economics (hence the fact I dont like how things are being done).

 

With that in mind, lemme do a quick search for a thread showing your indignation at the GM bailout aka The Great UAW Care Package of 2009. ;)



Please do that search.  Please take a look back and see where I stood on that.  And while you're searching the archives, why don't you also look into your indignation at the Acorn "nonsense" that turned out to be 100% false, and your arguments against deregulation legislation having anything to do with the financial meltdown, also 100% false.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

I think it's a hopeful sign that people will stand up to the Republicans if they try to go too far.   It needs to happen more often,



Agree!  Now that we know the Koch brothers are behind the actions of Governor Walker, it's clear that big business is attacking workers' rights now as part of a coordinated effort to create the permanent underclass utopia they've always dreamed of.  If people don't get wise and stop taking positions against their fellow American non-millionaires, the Kochs et all will win this fight before the 2012 elections, and after that, in the wake of Citizens United, it'll be over. 

post #18 of 207

Bust the fucking union. Going from $47K of tax payer money to $56k during the worst economic crisis in our history. Don't get me wrong, I made money too but I wasn't BRIBING PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY.

 

I see why they made concessions today .. this information came out yesterday and they shit their collective britches.

 

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/02/17/watch-wisconsin-part-iv-the-salary-info-big-labor-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

post #19 of 207

I'd love to be able to type after I've quoted something... instead of at the top...

 

So .. just to recap .. government workers who say they care about our children are closing schools to protest their bosses, government workers ... faking sick days ... passing fake sick notes around at the protests... all while unemployment in the country is high, underemployment is crazy ridiculous and everyone is saying it will be that way for several years. I'm going to tell my employee's that they need to pay more money for their health insurance and they need to contribute more money for their 401k and see if they protest, fake sick.. close my business ... then I'll just fire their asses and get one of the millions who are looking for work to replace them. Shame Wisconsin can't do the same.

 

 http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/02/19/the_ghost_of_fdr_is_smiling_on_wisconsins_governor_108962.html

 

 

Quote:

 

Somewhere, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is grinning past his cigarette holder at Wisconsin's governor. They are on the same page regarding government unions.

Except that Scott Walker -- Republican cheapskate, his visage Hitlerized on signs waved by beet-faced union crowds besieging the Capitol -- is kind of a liberal squish compared to FDR. He's OK with some collective bargaining.

Walker, you might have heard, wants some changes in how Wisconsin deals with unions. He wants state employees to pay 5.8% of their salaries toward their pensions (they pay almost nothing now) and he wants them to cover 12.6% of their health care premiums (their share would go up from $79 a month to about $200; the average private-sector sap pays about $330).

Unions are enraged. They've been calling such increases unspeakable since Walker was elected handily in November. Then, Feb. 10, Walker went further. He'd allow public-sector unions to negotiate only pay, not benefits, mainly because he wants HSA-style health plans and 401(k)-style retirements for state workers, and unions would fight that, tooth and ragged red claw.

So unions erupted. Teachers faked illness in such numbers as to close school districts for days. Mobs beat on the doors of legislative chambers. And in some heavenly Hyde Park, the great liberal god of the 1930s is saying he saw it all along.

Roosevelt's reign certainly was the bright dawn of modern unionism. The legal and administrative paths that led to 35% of the nation's workforce eventually unionizing by a mid-1950s peak were laid by Roosevelt.

But only for the private sector. Roosevelt openly opposed bargaining rights for government unions.

"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."

And if you're the kind of guy who capitalizes "government," woe betide such obstructionists.

Roosevelt wasn't alone. It was orthodoxy among Democrats through the '50s that unions didn't belong in government work. Things began changing when, in 1959, Wisconsin's then-Gov. Gaylord Nelson signed collective bargaining into law for state workers. Other states followed, and gradually, municipal workers and teachers were unionized, too.

Even as that happened, the future was visible. Frank Zeidler, Milwaukee's mayor in the 1950s and the last card-carrying Socialist to head a major U.S. city, supported labor. But in 1969, the progressive icon wrote that rise of unions in government work put a competing power in charge of public business next to elected officials. Government unions "can mean considerable loss of control over the budget, and hence over tax rates," he warned.

There was "a revolutionary principle rather quietly at work in American government," he wrote.

The principle was working at about 100 decibels in Wisconsin's Capitol last week, once the union drum-beaters got going. What worked them up was the money they'd concede, they said, but even more that Walker would make their unions surrender the control they'd gained over every government budget.

Walker, like other Republicans, was long accused of hating government. For eight years as chief executive of heavily Democrat Milwaukee County, he would not raise taxes, which opponents said showed his contempt for government.

Yet all this past week, he praised public employees and he said the work government does is so necessary, taxpayers should get as much of it for their money as possible. Meanwhile, thousands of schoolteachers on the Capitol lawn manifested their intent to obstruct Government and their belief that the tots back at Roosevelt Elementary could darn well spend a day or three watching Nickelodeon at home.

And, to beat all, the president who now professes to be the new Reagan weighed in to say Walker was being unduly mean to unions. President Obama gave no audible word on whether unions were being unduly mean in shutting down schools.

Walker, good Republican, is no FDR but he is offering Wisconsin a new deal, lower-case. Wisconsin's been a seedbed of bad ideas since it hatched Progressivism, and for years it's stuck with unionized government even as the price swelled. Walker's radical shift is to try securing necessary government at a better price. The unions, whose model depends on making government labor as costly as taxpayers will bear, object.

May they be haunted by the ghost of the 32nd president, and his little dog, too.

post #20 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post


 


Well, a lot of people--including me--disagree that union-busting is a good thing.  And how can you disagree with the Dem senators for bailing when Walker rushed this through without debate or amendments and the Repubs have a majority to bust that union just like that in a state in which workers died for rights all of us enjoy today, including weekends, workmans comp, a 40 hour work week, etc?  Do you really think that those rights unions fought and died for can never be taken away?  If so, I've got some AAA rated derivatives I can sell you at a good price.

 

 

 


Again, if you could explain why a strong union is needed in the public sector I would love to hear it.  Per my post, I can at least understand (if not always agree) with the need for them in the private sector.  Where there's actually things like competition and stuff.

 

Here's a nice article from The Economist that coincidentally came out about a week before this whole Wisconsin business began.  Good timing.

 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/02/budgets_and_bargaining_power

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Please do that search.  Please take a look back and see where I stood on that.  And while you're searching the archives, why don't you also look into your indignation at the Acorn "nonsense" that turned out to be 100% false, and your arguments against deregulation legislation having anything to do with the financial meltdown, also 100% false.

 

My memory may be as bad as yours, but to the best of my knowledge you had no problemos with the GM fiasco.  After all, "it saved millions of jobs and the US economy as a whole."  If I'm wrong than I'll apologize.  Wouldnt be the first time I made a mistake. 

 

Speaking of your memory, when you talk about deregulation...are you referring to all the numerous times I said that Glass-Steagall should be reinstated?

post #21 of 207

Can one of you explain why it is OK for the governor to target all unions except those that supported him (firefighters and cops)?

post #22 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post

Can one of you explain why it is OK for the governor to target all unions except those that supported him (firefighters and cops)?



Maybe because he'll need them to protect him from the teachers and help put out the fires they start at his house since the union posted everyone's home address? I don't know why, to be honest but everything I read about the Wisconsin teachers union irks the living fuck out of me. There are more public jobs then private sector jobs in that state .. holy fuck! Apparently they're getting paid almost twice the median family income of the area! Then again... maybe the Maciver institute is a hard right wing lie machine... but since I was able to verify a lot of stuff from the Wisconsin newspapers... I'm going to side with their shit being legit for now.

 

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/02/union-negotiated-work-rules-for-public-employees-cost-taxpayers-dearly/

 

Seriously though, a union for police and fire fighters makes sense because they're putting themselves on the front line and they could end up injured or killed and beuracrats could and would hose them without some form of solidarity. That brings us back to the whole purpose of unions in the private sector in manufacturing jobs and plants etc... that makes sense to me. 

post #23 of 207

It isn't getting much news nationally, but Tennessee just passed a bill out of committee that outlaws school districts and the state from negotiating with the teacher's union. It is the only union being targeted and goes before the full Assembly soon.

 

 

Quote:
Seriously though, a union for police and fire fighters makes sense because they're putting themselves on the front line and they could end up injured or killed and bureaucrats could and would hose them without some form of solidarity.

 

What do you think happens to teachers? If a kid sleeps 1/3 of their day and watches TV or Facebook for 1/3, then teachers have them the other 1/3. Teachers are required to have a bevy of degrees for low amounts of money. They spend a healthy sum of their personal pay for workplace supplies and school activity fundraisers. They are required to reach a level of excellence despite the initial quality of the student, the student's desire to be there, and the personal support of the family. Nepotism is a huge issue in small districts.  Without the union support, they too can be seriously hosed by the bureaucracy, in wages, assignment, and termination.  And sometimes they get shot at, beat up, and sprayed with bodily fluids.  If the state wants to outlaw unions in the public sector, do so for all of them, not just for the teachers' union because they didn't support the Republicans in the last election.

 

ETA: The article you link to says there are more public sector jobs than manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs have been fleeing the country for years.

post #24 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post

It isn't getting much news nationally, but Tennessee just passed a bill out of committee that outlaws school districts and the state from negotiating with the teacher's union. It is the only union being targeted and goes before the full Assembly soon.

 

 

 

What do you think happens to teachers? If a kid sleeps 1/3 of their day and watches TV or Facebook for 1/3, then teachers have them the other 1/3. Teachers are required to have a bevy of degrees for low amounts of money. They spend a healthy sum of their personal pay for workplace supplies and school activity fundraisers. They are required to reach a level of excellence despite the initial quality of the student, the student's desire to be there, and the personal support of the family. Nepotism is a huge issue in small districts.  Without the union support, they too can be seriously hosed by the bureaucracy, in wages, assignment, and termination.  And sometimes they get shot at, beat up, and sprayed with bodily fluids.  If the state wants to outlaw unions in the public sector, do so for all of them, not just for the teachers' union because they didn't support the Republicans in the last election.

 

ETA: The article you link to says there are more public sector jobs than manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs have been fleeing the country for years.


I'm not saying teachers aren't a valuable part of society and they don't deserve to be paid but let's be a little realistic, they're not earning slave wages and they don't work in a coal mine where there is a chance of instant death. Yes, they have to deal with kids and they have a huge responsibility in educating them... it's the fucking job they signed up for!

 

http://www.allwi.com/wischooldistricts.html

 

You want to talk about small districts... there is a list of all the districts in WI and I'm willing to bet that they have to make do with less money thanks to the union demands that are in that link I gave .. maybe if there was less money being siphoned off by unions there would be more money for supplies and teachers wouldn't have to be out of pocket as much? or how about those union dues? Food for thought.

post #25 of 207

Wait, so collective bargaining is ok for some union, specially those that supported you? It's obvious to see what's happening in that case c'mon, be honest with yourself.

 

As for making more money than the private sector ...

 

wisconsinpay-thumb-454x290-35102.jpg

 

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/are_wisconsins_state_and_local.html#comments

post #26 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post

Can one of you explain why it is OK for the governor to target all unions except those that supported him (firefighters and cops)?



I personally don't think it is.  That's part of my "I don't agree with how things are being done" comment.

post #27 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post

Wait, so collective bargaining is ok for some union, specially those that supported you? It's obvious to see what's happening in that case c'mon, be honest with yourself.

 

As for making more money than the private sector ...

 

wisconsinpay-thumb-454x290-35102.jpg

 

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/are_wisconsins_state_and_local.html#comments



 

So, I went to the list of school districts, randomly picked one, Appleton Area School District, and went to their salary schedule. A starting teacher makes 33,546 dollars. In 10 years, that does jump to 51,392, which is still 10 grand less than Capitan's chart for a bachelor's degree. Appleton's median income is 47,285, with 31 percent of the population being between 25 and 44.  The median family income is 68,000.  Appleton was on CNN's 2008 list of Best Places to live and teachers make just at the median income after 10 years of work.

 

As for siphoning, I am not sure how the teacher's union works in WI, but here, it is all paid through dues. We get a grand total of 10 sub days from the school board (amounting to 500 dollars) for the entire local organization, and those are used for negotiating days. Our board and union negotiated just recently. There was no pay raise, no change in sick leave. We managed to get a guaranteed 45 minute, uninterrupted plan time for elementary school teachers, which we had already negotiated before, but the wording wasn't clear enough to stop principals from assigning extra duties during that plan time. My dues also pay for my liability insurance because merely the thought of scandal terrifies me. An accuser need only accuse publicly before I am run out of town, regardless of truth.
 

 

Let me be honest here: I am an independant voter, who leans fiscally conservative, socially liberal. Sleep with whomever, marry whomever, support those in need with constraints, etc.  I tend to vote anti-incumbent, and voted for Bush twice, Obama once. I am in my local union because they negotiate my wages and working conditions, which are also the student working condition. My state union negotiates with the legislators. I could give fuck all for the national union. I don't think they should be giving money to any party or candidate, as they are just as likely to turn on you. One year ago, Tennessee won the Race to the Top grant money, in part because the legislators and the state teacher's union worked together to pass legislation that was tailored to the grant program. Last week, the legislators started the bill process to ban the teacher's union.

 

You mention slave labor wages, I just recently compared paychecks. I make right now, at 29, with a bachelor's and a master's degree, 1000 dollars more a year than I made at 20 working full time as a restaurant manager with no degree.  It is every bit the job I signed up for, and I love it, but the requirements society places on teachers is off balance to what they want to pay them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaieke View Post




I'm not saying teachers aren't a valuable part of society and they don't deserve to be paid but let's be a little realistic, they're not earning slave wages and they don't work in a coal mine where there is a chance of instant death. Yes, they have to deal with kids and they have a huge responsibility in educating them... it's the fucking job they signed up for!

 

http://www.allwi.com/wischooldistricts.html

 

You want to talk about small districts... there is a list of all the districts in WI and I'm willing to bet that they have to make do with less money thanks to the union demands that are in that link I gave .. maybe if there was less money being siphoned off by unions there would be more money for supplies and teachers wouldn't have to be out of pocket as much? or how about those union dues? Food for thought.

post #28 of 207
Thread Starter 

MrTyres, are you aware of any demonstrations planned in Tennessee?  This is part of a Koch brothers/big business assault on unions.  They and their ilk have been wanting to get rid of unions for the better part of 100 years because one person does not hold much weight against a bad private employer or a bad public employer, but stand a better chance by standing together. 

 

The Closer, in the '50s, the country was about 30-40% unionized.  Today, the private sector is like 6-7% unionized while the public sector is still about 30% unionized.  Public sector unions don't just benefit public workers--they set standards that raise the private sector as well.  Without this last bastion, workers will not have a voice in labor conditions.  In your job, you may think unionization doesn't affect you personally.  But "conservative" thinking is very short-term self-interested, not long term.  The overall economy and quality of life in this country is determined over the past few decades over consumer spending.  When this gets strangled the way "conservatives" seem to want to strangle it, everyone's quality of life will drop dramatically, including those at the top--maybe not in terms of luxuries but in terms of the quality of the place they live.  Yes, there are growing markets for money handlers overseas, but your business will eventually suffer because with a permanent underclass and regimented classes of haves/have nots, there will be no new American money coming into your business. 

 

Snaieke, you're really going to link-spam Michelle Malkin?  Really?  What qualifies her to have anything to say that anyone should take seriously?

post #29 of 207

Thank you, MrTyres, for your personal experience.  Can you also say something about the role of collective bargaining in other matters other than wages and benefits?  Such as, does collective bargaining impact pedagogical matters, such as instruction, class size, etc?

 

If the bill passes, then does this mean we lose teachers, those currently or in the future, to other states, or, worse, other businesses?  Is this all part of a desire to increase the privitization of the education system?

 

Personally, I think one of the reasons people who support the bill are so against unions is because of the dismantlement of them in the private sector, with resulting closures in the country's manufacturing industries.  People have been propagandized against unions for the past several decades, during which the types of jobs available in the country have narrowed (remember Bush's idea that we'll be a "service-based economy"?) and the wages for the majority of Americans have not kept pace with a standard of living, increasing the pay inequality and weakening the middle class through debt -- the middle class which was the foundation for the country's rise in global power after WWII.  Are private sector workers now so worried about their jobs, their livelihood, their debt, that they are afraid to speak up against the oppression against them?  Have they bought the idea that all unions are scapegoats, the reasons for their woes, while not attending to the CEOS, Wall Street bankers, politicians and the like who work against them, covertly or overtly?

 

Call me a Marxist -- it would make me smile -- but it is hard to not see right-wing propaganda inflaming this discussion.

post #30 of 207

Any time Michelle Malkin name comes up, I just think this is the woman who thinks Rachel Ray is a terrorist sympathizer.

post #31 of 207

Just like Tunisia and Egypt?

 

2r7q2xw.jpg

 

Yes, yes it is! Egypt says hi to the good people of Wisconsin.

post #32 of 207

I know the teachers' union is planning a protest on March 5.  As for unions, both my grandfathers and dads are against them. One grandfather said he watched as Ford fell apart in the 70s because of them, as he worked in a plant. My other grandfather never joined the union, because he couldn't afford to strike. He blames them for closing the Firestone tire plant where he managed to retire before it fell down. My stepdad worked for a German company that engineered machines for auto parts manufacturing. He says their business was fine until they signed a contract with GM. He couldn't get anything done without going through two union stewards and 4 coffee breaks. I see the need and the dangers of unions.

 

Our contract here doesn't impact pedagogy, classroom size, or instruction directly. We use the open avenue of communication between the School Board and the association afforded to us to discuss pedagogy, such as sequencing, scope, vertical and horizontal alignment, etc.  Schools are a mix  of what a child is required to learn, what the child should learn about society as a whole, and what the community wants them to know. Despite this being 2011, I know that an openly gay or lesbian teacher would be loathed by the community at large where I live, and the union would be required to step in to insure that such a teacher doesn't lose his or her position. We have a number of homosexual teachers, but it is rarely discussed and never mentioned in front of students.  Almost a form of Don't Ask, Don't tell, just not codified. Classroom size is mandated by the state. Luckily, our central office staff is comprised of all former teachers, so they manage to keep classroom size lower than what the state says is the maximum.

 

The conspiracy theorists took out their tinfoil hats at lunch the other day and wondered if the anti-union part was to push those near retirement into it and keep those in the middle of their careers out of it, to reduce pensions. Teacher turnover is high, after 5 years, 47percent of new teachers have left, according to the George Lucas Education Foundation.  I am in year 4, myself, and am considering leaving my school for a higher paying school district or other career. If they can keep teachers teaching less than 10 years, you never worry about pensions. They will have left long before then. Right now, we have a guaranteed pension. There is a bill in the legislature to change this to a contribution pension (401k). With such high turnover, you have other problems, such as organizational focus, but most kids will have left that school building in 5 years and never knew the difference. Parents, unless they have multiple kids spread across a span of years, would be hard pressed to notice the change over.  But that was just the tinfoil hat brigade speaking.

 

Teacher turnover

post #33 of 207

Man, who'd have thought that Paramount had this kind of money to spend on their Waiting for Superman DVD and Blu-ray release. It's like the time Sony caused all those earthquakes to up the sales of 2012.

post #34 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post

I know the teachers' union is planning a protest on March 5.  As for unions, both my grandfathers and dads are against them. One grandfather said he watched as Ford fell apart in the 70s because of them, as he worked in a plant. My other grandfather never joined the union, because he couldn't afford to strike. He blames them for closing the Firestone tire plant where he managed to retire before it fell down. My stepdad worked for a German company that engineered machines for auto parts manufacturing. He says their business was fine until they signed a contract with GM. He couldn't get anything done without going through two union stewards and 4 coffee breaks. I see the need and the dangers of unions.

 

The American automotive industry fell apart because they made crap cars. Heavy unionization doesn't seem to have hurt the industry in Germany. And German unions are fucking powerful. Let's face it. Factories get ruined because the management fails. The story of the greedy underlings undermining their boss and destroying their work and subsequently themselves is a uniquely American myth.

post #35 of 207


I feel you, Tyres. My grandfather owned a lucrative steel building business from the 60s through the 80s. After making a ton of money, he offered to continue running the company but selling a large portion of it off to his workers. His workers declined the offer because they had brought in a United Steel Workers rep who told them they would be making no money off of the deal. Instead, they threatened to strike. My grandfather was so devastated by his workers' betrayal that he sold the company to some guy about two hours away from us. The company closed down soon after cause the guy he sold it to couldn't do anything due to the USW continued threats. 

 

My dad also worked for my grandfather and built steel buildings in Arizona. One time, my dad finished a building with some of his friends and when they came back the next day it was destroyed. Someone left a note claiming that they destroyed it because my dad and his friends were non-union workers. My dad and his friends stayed an extra month rebuilding the project and slept inside the building with shotguns. 

 

I hate unions because of that and I consider myself to be a union buster. I find nothing good about the modern labor union. At one time they might have been necessary for the safety of the American worker. Now, I find them to be corrupt and self-serving. 

 

My dad is a Honda car salesman now and there have been reports that the UAW is planning on picketing at several local dealerships in my area. Richard Trumka of the AFLCIO said once on Ed Schultz's show that "Cash for Clunkers" should have only been applicable to American made car dealers. My dad made a significant amount of money off of that program and without it, he might have lost his job because of the terrible economy at that time. 

 

As far as I'm concerned, labor unions like the UAW don't give a damn about any American if they aren't contributing to their coffers. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post

I know the teachers' union is planning a protest on March 5.  As for unions, both my grandfathers and dads are against them. One grandfather said he watched as Ford fell apart in the 70s because of them, as he worked in a plant. My other grandfather never joined the union, because he couldn't afford to strike. He blames them for closing the Firestone tire plant where he managed to retire before it fell down. My stepdad worked for a German company that engineered machines for auto parts manufacturing. He says their business was fine until they signed a contract with GM. He couldn't get anything done without going through two union stewards and 4 coffee breaks. I see the need and the dangers of unions.

post #36 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post



 

The American automotive industry fell apart because they made crap cars. Heavy unionization doesn't seem to have hurt the industry in Germany. And German unions are fucking powerful. Let's face it. Factories get ruined because the management fails. The story of the greedy underlings undermining their boss and destroying their work and subsequently themselves is a uniquely American myth.



GM failed because they made shitty cars AND their legacy costs were out of this world. 

post #37 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post



 

The American automotive industry fell apart because they made crap cars. Heavy unionization doesn't seem to have hurt the industry in Germany. And German unions are fucking powerful. Let's face it. Factories get ruined because the management fails. The story of the greedy underlings undermining their boss and destroying their work and subsequently themselves is a uniquely American myth.


I would agree with you about the American myth, but my grandparents and stepdad are not story tellers. By that I mean they are not prone to exaggeration. They were modest men who worked because they had families. My stepdad was so frustrated at the inability to do anything, as he watched his project costs skyrocket because of delays, he eventually found another job. The man never complained about any job he ever had, till working with the UAW. Maybe the better way to phrase this was the inefficiency that the union caused.

 

As for similar complaints about other unions, my experience has not show that to be the case with our teacher's union. We are more in a partnership with the school board. We can't strike, legally, so we are forced to be more receptive to negotiating with them.  There are no union stewards. I am my building rep for the teachers and I take care of all that after school or during my personal planning time when I am not teaching.  For me, class time is sacrosanct. I don't like to stop for announcements.

post #38 of 207
Thread Starter 

Pomp, I'm sure Reagan's deregulation of steel industry imports had nothing to do with it, eh? 

 

Unions are democratic institutions.  If union leadership is corrupted it can be voted out.  Corporations are dictatorships.  When they make a decision to use cheap overseas steel, the employees can't vote out the leadership.  The consumers can't vote out the leadership.  The overall economy can take a huge hit but the CEOs and shareholders will double or triple their bottom line. 

 

I'm always going to be pro-union because unions are the only voice left against the total domination of big business.  The things we take for granted--like a 40 hour work week, compensation if you get injured on the job, weekends, the ban on child labor, the minimum wage--they wouldn't have been possible without unions, no matter what bs the right wing has come up with to try to claim they had nothing to do with it.  And all those rights can be lost a lot easier than people seem to think.  If Scott Walker and his ilk are successful in busting unions, it will affect everybody, not just union workers.  So, pomp, you have obviously become anti-union for personal reasons, but I think anyone who is not a CEO is INSANE to take the side of the CEOs against workers. 

post #39 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post

The things we take for granted--like a 40 hour work week, compensation if you get injured on the job, weekends, the ban on child labor, the minimum wage--they wouldn't have been possible without unions, no matter what bs the right wing has come up with to try to claim they had nothing to do with it. 


 

You keep saying this.  Where does anybody say that unions had nothing to do with the above?

 

Nobody is suggesting that unions havent contributed extraordinarily...hell, in this very thread I stated that I could understand how even in this day and age unions may be necessary in the private sector.

 

You still havent answered my question as to why the public sector...one with no competition...needs a union in this day and age.  They don't.  The Economist article I posted says it better than I could.

post #40 of 207
Thread Starter 

The Economist story debunking the right wing lie that public sector workers in Wisconsin earn more than their private sector counterparts:

 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/02/wisconsin_public_unions

 

post #41 of 207
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post




 

You keep saying this.  Where does anybody say that unions had nothing to do with the above?

 

Nobody is suggesting that unions havent contributed extraordinarily...hell, in this very thread I stated that I could understand how even in this day and age unions may be necessary in the private sector.

 

You still havent answered my question as to why the public sector...one with no competition...needs a union in this day and age.  They don't.  The Economist article I posted says it better than I could.


The Closer, hilarious.  The Economist piece I just linked to gives a succinct answer to that question:

 

Now, how can we explain the fact that public-sector employees are paid less than private-sector employees? After all, public-sector employees are heavily unionised, while private-sector employees aren't. Shouldn't those unions be winning public-sector employees better wages? Well, I don't really know; perhaps the fact that the government is a monopoly employer with staggering market power has something to do with it. But try considering how employees' wage negotiations with the government might look if there were no public-sector unions. In most lines of work, individuals' power to negotiate higher wages with large organisations is very limited. In government employment, individuals' power to negotiate higher wages is utterly non-existent. An individual teacher who bargains with a private school for a higher wage than her peers is going to have a tough negotiation on her hands; an individual teacher who tries to bargain with the City of Milwaukee for a higher wage than her peers is going to be laughed out of the superintendent's office.

 

It's interesting to me that people consider what unions did in the past-tense context only, as if that stuff they did is done and cannot be undone, but it can, quite easily and quickly.  During the Bush years alone, something like 50,000 factories closed down.  I don't think that's the kind of thing anyone could have predicted, yet there it is.  Where corporate greed is concerned, speed is a given.  Also, in the push for privatization, what's considered government functions versus private functions are being blurred to the degree that without government workers having any protection, it will be a corporate free-for-all to cut off workers at the knees to benefit the greedy @$$#013$ at the top.  

post #42 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post




The Closer, hilarious.  The Economist piece I just linked to gives a succinct answer to that question:

 

Now, how can we explain the fact that public-sector employees are paid less than private-sector employees? After all, public-sector employees are heavily unionised, while private-sector employees aren't. Shouldn't those unions be winning public-sector employees better wages? Well, I don't really know; perhaps the fact that the government is a monopoly employer with staggering market power has something to do with it. But try considering how employees' wage negotiations with the government might look if there were no public-sector unions. In most lines of work, individuals' power to negotiate higher wages with large organisations is very limited. In government employment, individuals' power to negotiate higher wages is utterly non-existent. An individual teacher who bargains with a private school for a higher wage than her peers is going to have a tough negotiation on her hands; an individual teacher who tries to bargain with the City of Milwaukee for a higher wage than her peers is going to be laughed out of the superintendent's office.

 

It's interesting to me that people consider what unions did in the past-tense context only, as if that stuff they did is done and cannot be undone, but it can, quite easily and quickly.  During the Bush years alone, something like 50,000 factories closed down.  I don't think that's the kind of thing anyone could have predicted, yet there it is.  Where corporate greed is concerned, speed is a given.  Also, in the push for privatization, what's considered government functions versus private functions are being blurred to the degree that without government workers having any protection, it will be a corporate free-for-all to cut off workers at the knees to benefit the greedy @$$#013$ at the top.  

I never once brought up public vs private sector pay, but okay.

 

You still havent answered my question though.

 

And speaking of pay, doesnt Wisconsin's bill continue to allow collective bargaining over wages?

 

 

post #43 of 207
Thread Starter 

The Closer, I answered your question already, but I thought the Economist writer did a better job.  An individual has little chance of getting a fair shot in negotiations against either a private company or a public institution.  Even though i believe government serves an important purpose, its ideal isn't always its reality.  I've witnessed horrible administrators at public schools, for example.  Public sector workers need unions as much as private sector workers to give each of them a voice that wouldn't otherwise be heard.  Further, since public sector workers are paid by taxpayers, their union benefits, I think, better reflect what taxpayers like me believe in--a living wage, benefits, a voice.  Even thought most people don't realize it, non-public sector workers have more in common than we have with CEOs and shareholders in that we all want the same things for our families.  I don't harbor illusions that I'll ever own a private island or have either the need or desire for an offshore tax shelter, for example.  One extremely effective strategy of big businesss -- articulated by the Koch brothers -- is pitting like populations against eachother, i.e. private sector workers against public sector workers -- because division among the class of people they aim to suppress helps their overall cause.

 

In terms of wages, my post of that article was to add to the conversation, not address your comment in particular. 

 

In terms of the Wisconsin bill, you have to look at it closely.  Most of it does not reflect what Scott Walker campaigned on but rather distills the Koch brothers and their ilk's wet dreams about further deteriorating the voice of the people in government.  The unions have already articulated concessions on pay and benefits.  Walker is trying to hobble unions completely, along with some other nasty strikes against medicaid, education and the middle class.

 

The different parts of Walker's attack on unions (from motherjones.com)

 

In part one, their ability to bargain benefits for their members is reduced.

 

In part two, their ability to collect dues, and thus spend money organizing members or lobbying the legislature, is undercut.

 

And in part three, workers have to vote the union back into existence every single year.

 

Put it all together and it looks like this: Wisconsin's unions can't deliver value to their members, they're deprived of the resources to change the rules so they can start delivering value to their members again, and because of that, their members eventually give in to employer pressure and shut the union down in one of the annual certification elections.

 

He's also exempting unions that supported him (purely partisan) but those unions have dropped their support of him and taken the side of the people.

 

From motherjones.com:

 

Walker's bill would make radical changes to Wisconsin's BadgerCare, a health-care program for uninsured, lower-income families with children under the age of 19.

 

Right now, Wisconsin's elected lawmakers control how the program works. But Walker's bill would give that power to the state's Health Services department secretary, allowing that official emergency rulemaking power to make changes to BadgerCare. "The law would, however, dramatically limit the ability of citizens to have a voice in the future of Badger Care," the Wisconsin Farmers Union said in a statement. Currently 775,000 people in Wisconsin receive BadgerCare.

 

Also, the people of Wisconsin are onto the fact that this is a big business power grab, using Wisconsin as a petri dish.  From thenorthwestern.com:

 

The speed in which the bill is heading from proposal to adoption is also of concern. It is slated for a vote Thursday, just six days after it was released to the public. The fact that a national special interest group, The Club for Growth, began broadcasting ads in support of the proposal at the same time the bill was released shows that this is not a homegrown effort to fix Wisconsin's problems, but an orchestrated, ideologically driven campaign.

 

Not only does it rewrite state labor relations, but it increases the level of state debt, gives the executive branch the authority to rewrite medical assistance provisions unilaterally and grants other sweeping powers such as allowing the Department of Administration to sell or contract for the operation of state heating, cooling and power plants without oversight from the legislature or the Public Service Commission.

post #44 of 207
Thread Starter 

MrTyres, the Tennessee Education Association is organizing to fight back.  Here's a story on it:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/21/tennessee-teachers-fight-bill-to-end-collective-bargaining/

 

It's so inconceivable that we live in an era in which Wall St. billionaires can gamble away the country's wealth (pocketing huge sums in the process) and instead of being punished for their greed, fraud and unethical lobbying, they get massive bonuses, tax breaks and a bailout, while instead the country's legislators target teachers.  There's something so "let them eat cake" about all this.  I can't help but think that big business and Wall St. are overreaching and that overreach might actually wake up the public to this massive public deception.

post #45 of 207
Thread Starter 

Here is the quid pro quo for the Koch brothers' bankrolling of Scott Walker's campaign (as a bonus to the whole union-busting thing):

 

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

 

 

This is the "conservative" hero, hatching a deal that represents a huge loss to the state when you figure in the millions in taxpayer dollars that went into these plants compared to the pennies that will be paid for them in no-bid contracts.  Sickening.

 

post #46 of 207

Looks like Indiana Dems are following suit with blocking another anti-labor law in their state.   This is like a homegrown version of what's happening in the Middle East.  

post #47 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

Looks like Indiana Dems are following suit with blocking another anti-labor law in their state.   This is like a homegrown version of what's happening in the Middle East.  



To quote Jon Stewart from last night, "No, it's not like that. In any way. At all."

 

Still awesome, though, of course. Up here in Canada, Labour has always been the key to preserving crucial liberal aspects of our government and society (well, that, and having the US next door as an example of what we really don't want to turn into). Health care being the most obvious example. If this is a real "union revolution" across the country, it could open the door to reversing some of the worst corporate excesses of the last few decades.

post #48 of 207

You're comparing apples to oranges. More often then not a bachelors degree of computer science is going to earn more money than someone with a bachelors degree in English .. that's just a fact even if you didn't enter the public sector with that degree you're not going to be making the same amount of money as someone in a completely different field. Those charts are more or less useless. Also, just because you have a BS doesn't mean you're going to enter a job in that field .. like I said, apples to oranges. Mine has nothing to do with what I do now nor what I will be doing in the future.

 

 

As to the discussion on hand, let's look at that Appleton Area School District. As I said, the problem with a public union is you've got public employee's bargaining with other public employee's over tax payer money and the teachers union has leaned towards Democratic candidates and they've bribed (lobbied) those officials into voting in their favor.. as I said in a previous post it has netted them a huge amount of money during our worst recession in a generation. The same district back in 2007 compared to 2010 (not even 2011, which is what the big jump was) jumped about $13,000 in wages and fringe benefits during ONE Democratic administration. Now, I don't know EXACTLY how many teachers are in WI but I do know the one big union has 98,000 members and if you calculate 98,000 x $13,000 (which is the average across for the state) you get almost 1.3 BILLION dollars. So, the cost of education just shot up, during the worst economic crisis of this generation, 1.3 billion dollars in one state just for teachers wages and benefits. That's a staggering number, all from the hip mind you since I don't have the data in front of me to be more accurate but it makes me want to look at the data of all the other states. 

 

As to your wages when you were a restaurant manager.. is that place still open? Most restaurants have closed during the economic recession  since people have had to make do with less money ... that is, unless you were a public worker. ;)

 

http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/lbstat/newasr.html

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post





 

So, I went to the list of school districts, randomly picked one, Appleton Area School District, and went to their salary schedule. A starting teacher makes 33,546 dollars. In 10 years, that does jump to 51,392, which is still 10 grand less than Capitan's chart for a bachelor's degree. Appleton's median income is 47,285, with 31 percent of the population being between 25 and 44.  The median family income is 68,000.  Appleton was on CNN's 2008 list of Best Places to live and teachers make just at the median income after 10 years of work.

 

As for siphoning, I am not sure how the teacher's union works in WI, but here, it is all paid through dues. We get a grand total of 10 sub days from the school board (amounting to 500 dollars) for the entire local organization, and those are used for negotiating days. Our board and union negotiated just recently. There was no pay raise, no change in sick leave. We managed to get a guaranteed 45 minute, uninterrupted plan time for elementary school teachers, which we had already negotiated before, but the wording wasn't clear enough to stop principals from assigning extra duties during that plan time. My dues also pay for my liability insurance because merely the thought of scandal terrifies me. An accuser need only accuse publicly before I am run out of town, regardless of truth.
 

 

Let me be honest here: I am an independant voter, who leans fiscally conservative, socially liberal. Sleep with whomever, marry whomever, support those in need with constraints, etc.  I tend to vote anti-incumbent, and voted for Bush twice, Obama once. I am in my local union because they negotiate my wages and working conditions, which are also the student working condition. My state union negotiates with the legislators. I could give fuck all for the national union. I don't think they should be giving money to any party or candidate, as they are just as likely to turn on you. One year ago, Tennessee won the Race to the Top grant money, in part because the legislators and the state teacher's union worked together to pass legislation that was tailored to the grant program. Last week, the legislators started the bill process to ban the teacher's union.

 

You mention slave labor wages, I just recently compared paychecks. I make right now, at 29, with a bachelor's and a master's degree, 1000 dollars more a year than I made at 20 working full time as a restaurant manager with no degree.  It is every bit the job I signed up for, and I love it, but the requirements society places on teachers is off balance to what they want to pay them.



* edited to fix trillion to billion

post #49 of 207

I can see both sides of the argument, I live in the Milwaukee Area, and even sports talk radio is talking about this, can't blame them, Football is over and the Bucks suck.  The one thng I don't like, is the war rhetoric I hear on the radio and see on TV commercials day in and day out.  All this crap about "You've made a sacrafice, shouldn't they?".  Yes, the middle class again, making the sacrafice.

 

 

 

This just comes to mind.

add.jpg

 

post #50 of 207
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickP View Post

I can see both sides of the argument, I live in the Milwaukee Area, and even sports talk radio is talking about this, can't blame them, Football is over and the Bucks suck.  The one thng I don't like, is the war rhetoric I hear on the radio and see on TV commercials day in and day out.  All this crap about "You've made a sacrafice, shouldn't they?".  Yes, the middle class again, making the sacrafice.

 

 

 

This just comes to mind.

add.jpg

 


 

Spot on.  That cartoon reminds me of the line from Jaws, "you see that sign?  those proportions are correct."  Seriously, where is the remuneration for the states for the millions that were lifted wholesale by Wall St. through this derivatives scam.  And the tax cut to corporations Walker pushed through on his second day in office do not ask corporations who benefit from the common services of the state to sacrifice.  This is the Shock Doctrine on steroids.  Wall St. destabilizes the economy, destroying the real estate market and thousands of jobs, steals from everybody's pension funds and 401ks, pays themselves huge bonuses for all the trouble they've caused, and then their friends in the "sober" GOP turn to the remaining people with jobs with a hammer to pound what's left of a people's voice into submission.  There is no shame anymore. 

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