Wrapping up Wisconsin
Now that it’s official, here’s what they did in Wisconsin regarding public employee unions.
1) “…the bill meant that the state wouldn’t have to lay off public employees.”
2) “…[took] away the ability of unions to bargain over pensions and health care.” Just like the Federal Government employees. This was an attempt to gain flexibility not provided by 3-year (or more) contracts. Health care and pension costs have climbed faster than contracts make accommodation for.
3) “…limit pay raises, which can still be negotiated by unions, to inflation.” Of course, if the cap in a collectively bargained agreement is set by CPI/inflation, what’s the point in collectively bargaining?
4) “…requires public-employee union members to contribute 5.8% of their pay to pensions”. Rhode Island workers would dream of that number.
5) “…pay 12.6% of health-care premiums out of their wages, up from 6% on average”. Again.
6) “…eliminates automatic collection of dues by the state”. That’s a hit to organized union leadership.
7) “…requires each public union in the state to get recertified every year by vote.” Again.
As William Jacobsen points out, the rubber will hit the road when:
…tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employee union members…will have the choice for the first time in memory of deciding whether to join the union and pay the union dues, which have been estimated in the $700-1000 per year range.
The public employees will have to make a choice, take a pay increase or pay the union.
I think we know how that vote will turn out, and whether the employees — once given a choice — will buy what the unions are selling.