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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Think Wisconsin is alone in the Public Sector Battle?

America, Democrats, Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Protest, Public Sector Unions, PUP

Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Wisconsin please click on links and understand what is happening here isn’t new or just in Wisconsin.  I have highlighted a few things.

 

Christie: "You Laugh, But That's The Crap I Have To Listen To In New Jersey!"

 

Chris Christie advises incoming GOP Governors about unions

 

Indiana: kicking out public unions before it was cool

 

Upon taking office in 2005, Gov. Mitch Daniels ended collective bargaining for state employees.  He didn’t work in the margins, adjusting benefits here and there, he just kicked the union out.  It was awesome.  When unionized, state employees were forced to pay compulsory dues to their union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  Today, membership in AFSCME is nearly nonexistent.

 

Invoking 9/11 (for some reason) AFSCME assailed the action, saying Daniels ‘trashed the rights of state workers’ and set out a new era where state employees could be fired if they didn’t perform their jobs while those who did well would receive raises and bonuses.  The humanity!  In reality, a non-unionized workforce benefited far more from a governor free of union bargaining agreements than they ever did with AFSCME’s ‘help’.

 

In 2006, state employees received a pay raise for the first time in four years.  It was no mystery why state employees were not receiving raises.  By 2005, the state budget was in its 7th year of deficit spending.  So Daniels focused first on balancing the budget.  Everything else was second.  By 2006 the state was operating in the black, which allowed other priorities, like state employee benefit increases, to move forward.  State employees received a raise in 2006 and the state nearly doubled the contribution to state employees’ health insurance plan.  By 2008, the governor was able to increase state employee salaries an average of 4.8%.

 

Merit pay and bonuses were implemented, awarding innovative ideas and hard work, while automatic and arbitrary raises were ended.  In 2006, Gov. Daniels and Republican lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act 340 to guarantee the jobs of state employees who were displaced due to privatization.  Legislation was passed to allow state employees to partially vest in retirement in the event they left state government before their 10 year vesting period to work for a private company.  Other policies and laws were passed to provide incentives to state employees who were near retirement to leverage benefits that allowed them to retire on their terms while taxpayers benefited from a leaner workforce.

 

In 2008, state tax revenue plummeted and raises and bonuses were frozen just like they were in the private sector economy.  But earlier this year, Gov. Daniels reinstated state employee raises while maintaining his dedication to a merit based system that rewards performance.

 

In the public sector, unionization is about the union, not the worker.  State employees who are working hard everyday to provide the best necessary services to their fellow taxpayers are doing better as individual workers than they ever were under the collective control of AFSCME.  State employment is at its lowest level in 30 years, a result of attrition and retirement while state government is delivering services in more efficient ways.  Gov. Daniels has proven that you can balance the interests of state employees and taxpayers without self-interested third party unions that take more money out of employee paychecks than they ever put back in.

 

Source: Capitol and Washington

 

Thousands of public workers expected Tuesday to protest Republicans' plan to overhaul collective bargaining law

Source: Cleveland.com

 

Kentucky's Phil Moffett: Take on the Public Unions

Source: Newsmax

 

New Jersey Governor and Teachers Union Chief Wage Public Battle

Source: Wall Street Journal

 

Political Fight Over Unions Escalates Across US

 

(WSJ) - The clash between Republicans and unions that caught fire in Wisconsin during the past week escalated as labor leaders planned to take their protests to dozens of other capitals and Democrats in a second state considered a walkout to stall bills to limit union power, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

 

The protests ignited a wider national debate over the role of labor unions and who should shoulder sacrifices as states tackle yawning budget deficits.  Governors in both political parties are seeking union concessions as they struggle to balance budgets, and some are even pushing aggressively to curtail the power of unions to organize or collect dues.

 

On Monday, thousands of steelworkers, autoworkers and other labor activists surrounded the Indiana state capitol to protest a bill that would dramatically weaken the clout of private-sector unions.  That is in contrast to Wisconsin, where a newly-elected Republican governor is in a standoff with public-sector unions and their allies.

 

In Ohio, union officials expect at least 5,000 protesters to show up Tuesday at the state House, where a legislative panel is considering a Republican-backed bill supported by Gov. John Kasich (R) that would restrict collective-bargaining rights for about 400,000 public employees.

 

In Indiana, a House committee approved legislation Monday to change state law so that private-sector workers would no longer be required to pay dues or belong to a union that bargains on their behalf.  Unions claim this would erode union membership, and eventually their finances and political clout.  Supporters, however, said it would increase competitiveness and attract employers.

 

The state's Democratic representatives caucused into the night Monday, discussing a possible walkout to deny Republicans a quorum, and plan to meet again Tuesday morning.

 

About 22 states, mostly across the South, have legislation similar to the one before Indiana lawmakers.  Current Indiana law states that if a union bargains for a group of employees at a workplace, all workers covered by the contract must belong to the union.

 

Its Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, aggressively went after the state's public-sector unions, taking away their collective-bargaining rights on his first day in office in 2005.  He was also urging the state legislature to weaken tenure protection for teachers this session -- but opposed the right-to-work bill that is now stirring anger, fearing it would distract from his main legislative priorities.

 

The protests in Indiana were reminiscent of ones that choked the Wisconsin capital over the past week as teachers, students and prison guards opposed a bill to limit public-sector unions' collective-bargaining powers.  Democratic lawmakers there fled last week to thwart a vote.

 

Republican and Democratic leaders and strategists appear to be relishing the broadening fight over labor unions, believing it energizes their core supporters and clarifies key differences between the two parties.  Democrats claim the fight injects fresh energy into the ranks of labor unions, which are a major supplier of campaign money and volunteers for Democratic candidates, while Republicans argue that the battle shows their willingness to cut spending.

 

But for the White House, the state budget fights pose a quandary.  President Barack Obama wants to show support for the unions, but the White House is also eager to show that he is ready to make tough decisions to cut the federal debt.

 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

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