On Wisconsin

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field,
A touchdown sure this time.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame
Fight! Fellows! – fight, fight, fight!
We’ll win this game.

I mentioned Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s budget plans that include a reconfiguration of state employee union benefit packages and collective bargaining, in general. Union members aren’t happy, with teachers staging sick outs and protests being held. About that. Remember how we were all told that it was a time for reasoned, responsible debate? Apparently that didn’t get through to Wisconsin unionists.

Here’s a summary of why they are upset:

Pension contributions: Currently, state, school district and municipal employees that are members of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) generally pay little or nothing toward their pensions. The bill would require that employees of WRS employers, and the City and County of Milwaukee contribute 50 percent of the annual pension payment. The payment amount for WRS employees is estimated to be 5.8 percent of salary in 2011.
Health insurance contributions: Currently, state employees on average pay approximately 6 percent of annual health insurance premiums. This bill will require that state employees pay at least 12.6 percent of the average cost of annual premiums….
Collective bargaining – The bill would make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum. Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units are required to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues. These changes take effect upon the expiration of existing contracts. Local law enforcement and fire employees, and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from these changes….
Limited term employees (LTE) – The bill would prohibit LTE’s from being eligible for health insurance or participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System.
State employee absences and other work actions – If the Governor has declared a state of emergency, the bill authorizes appointing authorities to terminate any employees that are absent for three days without approval of the employer or any employees that participate in an organized action to stop or slow work.
Quality Health Care Authority – The bill repeals the authority of home health care workers under the Medicaid program to collectively bargain.
Child care labor relations – The bill repeals the authority of family child care workers to collectively bargain with the State.
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) Board and Authority – The bill repeals collective bargaining for UWHC employees. State positions currently employed by the UWHC Board are eliminated and the incumbents are transferred to the UWHC Authority.
University of Wisconsin faculty and academic staff – The bill repeals the authority of UW faculty and academic staff to collectively bargain.

University of Wisconsin law professor Anne Althouse has more pics and vids. This is only the beginning, too, as both Republicans and Democrats–including the Obama Administration–look to re-tool teacher compensation and work rules and implement various reforms.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
“Forward” is our driving spirit,
Loyal voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise her glowing flame
Stand, Fellows, let us now
Salute her name!

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bella
bella
10 years ago

Walker won the election, and if he can get his legislators to approve, well to the victor go the spoils.
Where Walker goes off the deep end is his intent to deploy the National Guard to impose his political will. That use of our military by Walker, Chafee or any other governor is beyond the pale and an insult to the fighting men and women who signed on to defend our country. This is something you expect to be reading about happening in Iran or Venezuela, not the United States.
Thankfully, a number of veterans are calling Walker out;
votevets.org/news?id=0411

michael
michael
10 years ago

The Republican Party’s war on labor will be their undoing. The feeble attempt to seperate the classes with ridiculous designations such as “The Productive Class,” and The Public Sector Union Class” won’t last, or take hold on the consciousness of everyday Americans. It failed in East Providence, it will fail in New Jersey, and it will fail in Wisconsin.

bobbbbb
bobbbbb
10 years ago

This will gather momentum across the nation.
It’s warm and sunny out, it’s just a great day in America!
This about sums it (Milwaukee Sentinel):
“Deb Parman, 56, a RETIRED educator from Beaver Dam, said the demonstration “goes beyond parties. This is all about workers and their rights.”
Retired at 56, yet the unions see no problem with this!

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

It was revealed earlier today that “demonstrators” have been bused in from out of state and were recruited by the Obama website Organizing for America (one of the most hypocritical names in history – should be called Organizing for Oceania).
It was also reported that these protests are being held at the homes of the Governor and other state officials, terrorizing their families.
So the President and his party are behind the entire thing. Obama and the Democrats are trying to sabotage the legitimately elected government of the state of Wisconsin in defiance of the will of that state’s voters.
It looks like Greece, almost like Egypt, and Obama’s people are behind it.
Don’t anyone try to tell me that Obama and his Obamunists care for, or even understand, the values and principles of the American republic.
And what happened to all the calls for “civility”? Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat, and Union is thy twin.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

michael,
You are so wrong on this comment: “The Republican Party’s war on labor will be their undoing.” Get a clue – the gig is up.
If your unions weren’t such egregious pigs, they could have extended their lives. As the saying goes, “…pigs get slaughtered.” How apropos in this case. There is little to no sympathy left by the taxpayers. The taxpayers have been awakened to the corrupting influence and the destructive role public sector unions have wrought on municipalities finances.
Are you crazy, michael? Do you really think that unemployed/underwmployed taxpayers looks at so many of your comrades retiring in their 40’s with gold plated benefits, and pensions they would love to have as a paycheck from working? michael, your unions do NOTHING for the taxpayers. They are an outrageous and obvious cancer to the taxpayers well being.
There are plenty of taxpayers without jobs willing to do all of those jobs for less money. When they see what so many public employees get and then what they do for it – it closes the deal in their mind that they are getting screwed.
Wake up, michael! This is no different than the awakening around the world from the new age methods of obtaining information.
michael, you sound intelligent. Stop drinking the f’n union kool-aid and run the numbers. The game is over. It doesn’t matter anymore what you or I or anybody says. The numbers don’t lie.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

btw michael,
take a look at this comment from our new Treasurer – a Democrat.
“It is a fallacy to think that those benefits will be there if we don’t fix this system. And the system that we have today calls for a billion dollars to come out of the budget in about 10 years to pay these benefits. I cannot look in the eye of a state worker and promise that that will be there.”
I t ‘ s O V E R ! !

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Michael will never get it, not because he isn’t smart, but because he doesn’t want to.
Governors Walker, Scott, Christie and others are not waging war on labor. They are finally standing up for the rights of citizens and taxpayers who have been victimized by Big Labor’s corruption of the Democrats for decades.
This is not aggression, it is defense. And long overdue.

bella
bella
10 years ago

We’ve heard the arguments about public sector unionization until both sides are blue in the face – it’s all old hat.
This story is about an elected official using a military agency to enforce a political vendetta. This is the kind of thing that happens in Egypt, or Iran, or Venezuela.
This should not be happening in the United States.
This is about a governor who is asking National Guard members to take up arms against fellow citizens, friends, neighbors, possibly even co-workers and family.
Or as Gov. Walker thinks of them, domestic terrorists.
If I’m a Republican legislator in Wisconsin, I don’t want this Mubarak wannabe costing my party its majority. Walker is like a teenage boy in gym class bragging to his mates that his thing is bigger than theirs.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Bella, if you’re getting all your news from the Leftist megaphones, it’s no wonder that you are so poorly informed. Here’s a news item from that Lefty organization, Politifact, that you guys love so much. I got it from the JS website.
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
New this afternoon from PolitiFact Wisconsin:
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says Gov. Scott Walker “has threatened to call out the National Guard if workers protest against” changes to bargaining laws. Pants on Fire.

bella
bella
10 years ago

The same Politifact you always dismiss at a lefty tool…two can play that game, Bob.
I’ll keep this in mind next time you complain about a Polifact finding.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

bella,
You reap what you sow. Public sector unions have been raping us for years. Payback is a bitch!

michael
michael
10 years ago

You folks obviously haven’t noticed that you are in the vast minority, and the whole class warfare thing will only backfire. You are the ignorant pig, Mike Capelli, and your words only strengthen labor’s position.
It will be impossible for you to rally the troops when they are sitting at home watching their big screen TV’s, going on cruises and driving new cars.
Most people wouldn’t know hardship if it were sitting right next to them. Public sector unions have it a little better than most, but most have it pretty darn good.
As long as we can spend billions a day of foreign wars and aid, I’m not going to worry about what some kooks say on Anchor Rising.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

There is a difference between Poltifact’s biased interpretation of OSPRI’s survey results and the very plain fact that what you allege happened in Madison DID NOT HAPPEN.
Of course, that is a nuance I can’t reasonably expect you to understand.

bella
bella
10 years ago

Mike, I’m glad to see your misguided sense of vengeance extends to people who have never belonged to a union, including myself. Within your arrogance lies your doom.
It’s not just union people who are sick of the games. The sooner you see that people like Walker and his cohorts are using you as their fools, useful idiots, bobos, whatever, the sooner you will benefit. Because after they trample the unions, they will turn on you and the other working people they have successfully conned.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

“You folks obviously haven’t noticed that you are in the vast minority, and the whole class warfare thing will only backfire.”
You’re delusional, Michael. You really need to stop reading the union newsletters. The latest polls indicate that the public is evenly split on whether they view unions favorably or unfavorably. Pew says that this favorability rating is the lowest since the polls started being conducted 70 years ago, and it has dropped double digits since just three years ago, before the financial crisis. The tide is quickly turning – AGAINST the unions. I agree with you on one point – it took this severe of a recession for people to wake up and realize how badly they were being ripped off for all these years. When everybody’s riding high they don’t notice the extra $20 missing from their paycheck each week.

Bob
Bob
10 years ago

The New York Times cites Wisconsin as perhaps the beginning of a movement among leaders in several states who are dealing with budget crises. “No more apologies, no half-measures. Given the dire straits of budgets around the country, other state leaders may take similarly drastic steps with state workers, pensions and unions.”
Politico says about 1,000 Wisconsin teachers called in sick Wednesday to join protesters in Madison. The Washington D.C. newspaper and website theorizes Wisconsin’s protests might be a sign of the remaking of the politics of education. “Teachers unions, historically one of the most powerful interest groups in American politics, are being besieged like never before – under attack from conservative GOP governors with a zeal for budget-cutting even while taking fire from some Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who has suggested he agrees that unions can be an impediment to better schools.”
OUCH – when the NYT, Politico, and Obama aren’t on the teachers side that says the boycott and protests are a lost cause.
Soon, the tail won’t be wagging the dog anymore.

OldTimeLefty
10 years ago

michael, bella,
Thanks for your attempts at reason, but you are dealing with the willfully ignorant.
“Oh no you can’t scare me, I’m stickin’ to the union” trumps “On Wisconsin” as Sr. Comtois will soon discover. This is indeed class warfare. I hope it does not become bloody, though we do have a history of firing upon workers (See Hershey police and the Pinkertons) and the demonstrating poor (See Douglas MacArthur firing upon WWI veterans in Washington DC)
OldTimeLefty

kathy
kathy
10 years ago

There is no money, but the greedy unions won’t be happy until they own your house too. Glad to see we have some good Gov’s in NJ and WI. Our village idiot is totally controlled by the unions.

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

Kathy
How did you like the choice of the people in EP?

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

michael,
You don’t have to tell me it won’t happen here in RI, but that’s worse for you than it is me. In Wisconsin there are people trying to fix things. Notice how the union owned Democrats fled the state so they couldn’t vote anne lose. Wow! Real f’n heroes you got there michael – those are yours. And they are no different than the coward Democrats here. The big problem for you is that here they control things – which is why you’re screwed. You’re going down like the Titanic.
I mean, just think about it for a minute, will you – Wisconsin, California, New Jersey, Raimondo’s comments right here in RI, Vallejo Ca files bankruptcy, a town in Alabama just stops paying pensions to their retirees.
You’ve got to be a real dope if you can’t see the writing on the walls.
The biggest problem you have is this – the numbers don’t work. Cry all you want about how mean we are. You’re still screwed.
(I really have to laugh at the thought of your tough union owned Democrats fleeing the state of Wisconsin – that is f’n priceless.)

OldTimeLefty
10 years ago

Kathy,
There is more money. It’s obtainable by increasing tax rates. How about increasing taxes on people who make more than union scale? I bet that frightens you because it touches too close to home.
OldTimeLefty

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“How about increasing taxes on people who make more than union scale?”
Make that at or above union scale and it definitely gets my vote.

Bob
Bob
10 years ago

A counter-rally in support of the Gov’s plan is set for Saturday.
It has to be on Saturday. They can’t skip work to do it in the middle of the week.

bella
bella
10 years ago

If Walker wants to send state troopers across state lines to arrest the Senate Dems (or commandeer FAA radar, as Tom DeLay did in Texas), let him.
One problem: there will be news coverage of these arrests. Think Walker wants the general public to see pictures of Democrats in handcuffs for not doing his will?
DeLay won the short term – he got his redistricting through. But it also started the chain of events that got his ass bounced out of Congress. Saddam Walker might want to keep that it mind.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“It has to be on Saturday. They can’t skip work to do it in the middle of the week.”
Bingo. Unlike the incredibly selfish and unprofessional teachers who called in sick (“it’s for the chiii-hhhillll-dren”) or the bussed in unionistas who crowded the state house to protest against the very people (i.e., taxpayers!) who were paying them to take a day off to protest.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

OTL-I think you really are hoping for bloodshed.You’d find a few martyrs useful.I wonder if you pay your taxes on time and in full.Always preaching,aren’t you?Never contribute a single worthwhile item of information.
I noticed the signs comparing this guy Walker and lo and behold,at least one with crosshairs.Probably some OFA operatives.This interference with a state/local labor dispute by Obama’s team is pretty f**ked up.

Joe Bernstein
Joe Bernstein
10 years ago

I meant to say comparing Walker to Hitler and Musolini.I really don’t want to hear whining now when Obama gets portrayed that way.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

“Saddam Walker”?
Poor Bella. Her mind is completely gone.
They wouldn’t be arrested, they would be escorted to the Capitol so that there would be a quorum. It isn’t a matter of arresting a criminal, it is state law that compels them to do their jobs, for which they were elected, and for which they are paid.
How anyone can read that as oppressive is a mystery to me.

bella
bella
10 years ago

Handcuffs or not, what’s the difference?
Every criminal in Wisconsin is smacking his lips at the thought of the staties being occupied with carrying out the governor’s threats.
If you’re supporting something like this, you need to think about what would happen if the other side had that power. Would you be cheering on Chafee if he went to these kinds of extremes to get his way?

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

You might notice that the only two times this cowardly tactic has been used were by Democrats, once in Texas and once in Wisconsin.
Republicans are made of stronger stuff, apparently.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

Talk about making it clear for voters who is in bed with the parasites. Recent events clearly show Obama and the DemocRats are telling the taxpayers to shove it. michael is delusional if he thinks this will play out in the unions’ favor…cutting their own throats is more like it.
Well done!

Bob
Bob
10 years ago

“Would you be cheering on Chafee if he went to these kinds of extremes to get his way?”
Not only would I be cheering, I would donate $500 to his reelection campaign and immediately begin work on a marble statue commemorating this great leader.
Sigh….instead, we’ll get our food taxed.

michael
michael
10 years ago

In the big picture, this Wisconsin Debacle will accomplish nothing, long term. Most people are not fooled by the propaganda stating that public sector unions are the ruination of state and city budgets. Right now there is a blip on the radar on the republican side, but reality will set in. Take away bargaining rights for the unions, eliminate their pensions, do whatever, and the deficits will still be there, the politicians will simply find somewhere else to spend the money. People can only be fooled for so long, the truth always prevails.
It is tough to rally the troops against a segment of the population that may have it a little better than the average guy, but the average guy still has it pretty good

bella
bella
10 years ago

Nobody’s intimidated on either side. If Walker thought he could intimidate the working class (union and nonunion alike), he badly miscalculated.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

What makes you think that Gov. Walker and the Assembly are trying to intimidate anyone? They were democratically elected and are doing their jobs, keeping their promises to the voters.
Show me some video of Republicans trashing the streets, raising hell at the private homes of union members, calling in “sick” and forcing closure of schools to engage in politics, waving signs that are “uncivil” at best and call for violence at worst.
From the video and photos I’ve seen all the “intimidation” is from the Leftists and the unions – led by your President.
And over what? A request that public-sector employees (I can’t call them “workers” since they do so little work) pay, at most, half as much toward their fringe benefits as private-sector employees do.
(cue Bella, Russ & Co., fingers in their ears, eyes closed, yelling “La-la-la, I can’t hear you…)

bella
bella
10 years ago

The union has given Walker all the economic concessions he wanted, and that’s still not enough for him.
Walker and the corporate power behind him have done everything to intimidate the working people of Wisconsin. The people have every bit as much right to fight back as the people of Egypt and Iran do against their leadership…a right opponents of Obama have absolutely no problem exercising themselves.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Of course, we fight the evil forces of Statism within the Constitution, and the Left eagerly takes to the streets and has a romantic view of violence. That’s a rather large difference.
Where did you find the assertion that the union had assented to all of the state’s economic demands in the negotiation? It’s not in any news stories that I saw.
You know what this incident is really about? It’s about two elements of the Wisconsin bill: the annual recertification requirement by 50% of members (of course, using a secret ballot) and the ending of paycheck deduction of union dues. The unions know that these two provisions will give members the freedom to refuse to pay their tribute to the fat-cat union leaders, and they feel threatened by it.
Seems to me that if the union were providing a valuable service to its members, they would be happy to pay their dues voluntarily, and would be glad to express their continued approval of the union in annual elections.
So why does the union object to this? Why does the union want to hold its members hostage?
How does Bella feel about the Islamofascists of the Muslim Brotherhood hijacking the democracy movement in Egypt?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

bella-with every post you further descend into dopiness-the Us and the state of Wisconsin aren’t comparable to places like Egypt where strongmen and oligarchies rule for decades.
Yes,we have a military-industrial complex which grew opportunistically during the Cold War,but it isn’t comparable to what exists in Egypt,China,or in some Latin American countries.

bella
bella
10 years ago

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the union has agreed to all financial demands, from an interview with a Dem senator this morning (also been on TV).

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Why not quote your source, or did you not actually read the article in the Journal-Sentinel?
quote: The Walker statement was in response to a statement earlier Saturday from Erpenbach, who said he had been informed that all state and local public employees had agreed to the financial aspects of Walker’s budget-repair bill. Erpenbach added in his statement that the groups wanted, in turn, for Walker to agree to let labor groups bargain collectively, as they do now.
unquote
Did you know that the union leaders have said nothing and that the message came from a Dem state senator only this morning? Why didn’t the union bosses hold a press conference of their own to announce this? Because they plan to renege on it, that’s why, and the third-party gives them deniability.
Just like the teachers in Central Falls, they’ll say conciliatory things only when their backs are against the wall and then when the pressure is off, go right back to their antagonistic, selfish ways.
Your post makes it seem like the sickout and near-riot came after the publication of this “concession” – but you can’t screw with the facts any more because we’re all on to how you Leftists lie.
This Wisconsin incident has done a great service to America. It has fully exposed the craven hypocrisy, callous greed, and infatuation with violence of the unionists.

bella
bella
10 years ago

Bob, in an attempt to reason with you:
Instead of cutting down public sector workers, maybe you should fight to improve the lot of private sector workers, who are getting screwed by corporate America and politicians like Walker without a union to speak for them.
Only a corporate tool could argue against THAT.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Bella, I’m not surprised that your “attempt to reason” with me consists of a blanket statement ending with a blatant insult if I don’t agree with you.
I’m not taking that bait. You first need to show your ability to reason with anyone here before you get condescending.

bella
bella
10 years ago

Uh, Bob, you haven’t proven you can deal with reason, whether it’s coming from me or others. And I’m not even a union member.
But then, if you would prefer to be used by corporate power, well, there’s not a lot I can do.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Bella has the same snotty,condescending tone that “klaus”over on kmareka uses.These people “deign” to reason with you and if you don’t show doglike appreciation that they’re sharing their “wisdom” you’re just beyond help.
Fortunately they frequently have little facts to back up their assertions.

bella
bella
10 years ago

The same “piss up a rope” stuff we’re used to from Mr. Bernstein. I accept it with the same grin-and-bear-it smile with which I hear theories about the Illuminati from a fellow wedding guest who’s had a little too much to drink.
I drink a toast to the Klauses and Art Handys of the world, Mr. Bernstein.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

bella-I hope your toast is drain cleaner

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