Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here They Come: Unions In Wisconsin Go On The Attack

Protestors to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers demonstrate Wednesday, at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Protestors to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers demonstrate Wednesday, at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
   We can't keep giving the public unions everything they want. We are out of money and the credit cards are full. States must make cuts to public employees as well as other parts of the budget. If states don't make cuts then they will risk bankruptcy. Public employees make way more then the private sector. It's time to fix the inflated salaries and benefits these public servants. They deserve a competitive wage, nothing more and nothing less. Union greed has pushed our state and federal budgets to the breaking point. There is no reason that public employees should make more money then the public sector jobs. Their high pay and benefits does come out of our pockets. If the greedy public unions don't like the cuts then let them try and strike in this economy. We the tax payers are getting sick of the greedy public unions bullying us for money. It's the actions of the unions that will make them obsolete in the near future. I almost forgot. Did anyone notice the violent signs coming out of those union protests? I wonder if the liberals and Democrats will call them out for the violent rhetoric coming from them? Is the MSM calling out the violent rhetoric coming out of these protests?
WATCH video of the rally at the Capitol on Tuesday, shot by an attendee:

Do you think the public union are trying to intimidate anyone? Are they just being greedy? Do they care about Wisconsin going under?


  1. By Kathy Barks Hoffman
    The Associated Press

    LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget would cut spending for public schools, universities and local governments while ending many personal tax exemptions, the governor told The Associated Press on Wednesday, a day before he was to present the proposal to lawmakers.

    The $47 billion proposal includes $1.2 billion in permanent spending cuts to help deal with a $1.4 billion shortfall in the budget year that starts Oct. 1.

    It adds $1.7 billion to revenues by eliminating tax breaks for low-income workers, phasing out most senior tax breaks and getting rid of many other income tax deductions, such as one for donating to public universities. Personal deductions would be phased out for individuals making at least $75,000 or couples making at least $150,000.

    "This is approaching it as a total solution," Snyder said. "We're getting rid of all the special-interest kind of items."

    Under his plan, public schools would see a 4 percent cut, or about $470 per student. Intermediate school districts would be cut 5 percent.

    The state's 15 public universities would get 15 percent less, but $83 million would being set aside to be shared with universities that kept tuition increases around 7 percent or less, according to state budget director John Nixon. Community colleges would get the same $296 million they're getting now.

    Spending on universities and community colleges would be switched from the state's general fund to the school aid fund. School districts have criticized the move, saying it would draw money away from public schools just as the school aid fund begins to again build a surplus that could allow per-pupil payments to rise. In all, $12.2 billion would go to funding public schools, while $1.4 billion would be set aside for universities.

    State employees are going to be asked for $180 million in cuts. Nixon said he expects unions will agree to increase the share of health care premiums workers pay and make other changes rather than cutting wages.

    Local governments would see their state payments cut. Most depend on the state for much of their funding because they can't raise their tax rates. Local governments have complained for years that revenue-sharing cuts have left them increasingly unable to provide basic services, such as police and fire protection.

    Some revenue sharing is required under the Michigan Constitution, and that actually would increase 4 percent under Snyder's plan to $659 million. But more than 500 governments also split $300 million annually in statutory revenue sharing payments, and they would get nothing under Snyder's plan. Snyder would put aside $200 million for a new incentive-based program that would reward cities, villages and townships that agree to share services or change their pension plans from defined benefit plans to defined contribution ones.

  2. The Republican governor wants to cut business taxes by $1.8 billion by switching from the unpopular Michigan Business Tax to a new 6 percent tax on corporate income that would affect only large corporations. That cut is larger than the $1.5 billion he originally said the switch would cost.

    Snyder's budget maintains Medicaid payments for health care providers. It gets rid of a 6 percent tax on health maintenance organizations that doesn't meet federal guidelines and replaces it with a 1 percent tax on all health claims.

    Nixon said the governor would like to close a state prison, although no decision has been made yet on which one should go. The budget recommends closing the Shawono Center in Grayling and reducing the capacity at the Maxey Training School in Whitmore Lake, two detention and treatment centers for young men.

    The plan also calls for eliminating 300 field worker positions in the Department of Human Services, before- and after-school program and reducing the hourly rates paid to unlicensed aids and relatives in the child day care program.

    The plan still must be approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Snyder plans to give lawmakers just two combined bills, rather than separate ones for each department. That could make it harder for lawmakers and special interest groups to pick apart the governor's proposals.

    One of Snyder's bills would include all education funding; the other would include everything else.

  3. I've figured out the issue. You speak like a salesman. Is that what you do? You never offer statistics just "your OBSERVATIONS" about what you feel is true.

    So again let me counter point your "opinions" with evidence in the form of statistical studies.
    Here i offer a study showing that the workforce in public sector is not overpaid.

    Now feel free to use any of the Cato analysis to challenge it. I've read most of it and in the end what we end up with is that the attack on collective bargaining rights is ideologically driven.

    I say this because in the end when you look at jobs security, benefits and the relatively high numbers of public sector workers vs. the pay per experience and education end of things a logical person would find that the public sector has some advantages over the private if not salary like you suggested. Thus leaving their bargain rights intact and working towards concessions would be a thoughtful persons tact.

    I realize to those here thought and logic should never get in the way of a tea bagger driven ideologue but it time yoou step away from the sales pitch and start offering reality.

  4. Joe I have done many posts on how much more the public sector is paid much more then the private sector. See you need to look at all their benefits to get the full picture and all the variables. You tend to leave out a lot in your theories Joe. That makes what you say more of an opinion then what I have said. Joe you keep smoking your "reality" because that is all it is is smoke.

  5. The typical federal worker is paid 20% more than a private-sector worker in the same occupation. Median annual salary:

    Federal Private Difference

    $66,591 $55,500 $11,091

    Sources: Bureau of Labor statistics, USA TODAY analysis

    ShareYahoo! Buzz Add to Mixx Facebook TwitterMore Fark Digg Reddit MySpace StumbleUpon Propeller LinkedInSubscribe myYahoo iGoogleMore Netvibes myAOL
    By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
    Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds.
    Accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector.

    Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.

    CHART: Federal salaries compared to private-sector

    These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Federal pay has become a hot political issue in recent months because of concerns over the federal budget deficit and recession-battered wages in the private sector.

    Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., made federal pay an issue in his successful campaign to fill Edward Kennedy's seat and is fighting for a pay freeze.

    The federal government spent about $224 billion in 2008 on compensation for about 2 million civilian employees.

    "The data flip the conventional wisdom on its head," says Cato Institute budget analyst Chris Edwards, a critic of federal pay policy. "Federal workers make substantially more than private workers, not less, in addition to having a large advantage in benefits."

    But National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley says the comparison is faulty because it "compares apples and oranges." Federal accountants, for example, perform work that has more complexity and requires more skill than accounting work in the private sector, she says.

    "When you look at the actual duties, you see that very few federal jobs align with those in the private sector," she says. She says federal employees are paid an average of 26% less than non-federal workers doing comparable work.

    Office of Personnel Management spokeswoman Sedelta Verble, says higher pay also reflects the longevity and older age of federal workers.

    USA TODAY used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to compare salaries in every federal job that had a private-sector equivalent. For example, the federal government's 57,000 registered nurses — working for the Veterans Administration and elsewhere — were paid an average of $74,460 a year, $10,680 more than the average for private-sector nurses.

    The BLS reports that 216 occupations covering 1.1 million federal workers exist in both the federal government and the private sector. An additional 124 federal occupations covering 750,000 employees — air-traffic controllers, tax collectors and others — did not have direct equivalents, according to the BLS.

    Federal jobs have more limited salary ranges than private-sector jobs, some of which have million-dollar payouts.

    Key findings:

    • Federal. The federal pay premium cut across all job categories — white-collar, blue-collar, management, professional, technical and low-skill. In all, 180 jobs paid better average salaries in the federal government; 36 paid better in the private sector.

  6. Job comparison

    Average federal salaries exceed average private-sector pay in 83% of comparable occupations. A sampling of average annnual salaries in 2008, the most recent data:

    Job Federal Private Difference
    Airline pilot, copilot, flight engineer $93,690 $120,012 -$26,322

    Broadcast technician $90,310 $49,265 $41,045

    Budget analyst $73,140 $65,532 $7,608

    Chemist $98,060 $72,120 $25,940

    Civil engineer $85,970 $76,184 $9,786

    Clergy $70,460 $39,247 $31,213

    Computer, information systems manager $122,020 $115,705 $6,315

    Computer support specialist $45,830 $54,875 -$9,045

    Cook $38,400 $23,279 $15,121

    Crane, tower operator $54,900 $44,044 $10,856

    Dental assistant $36,170 $32,069 $4,101

    Economist $101,020 $91,065 $9,955

    Editors $42,210 $54,803 -$12,593

    Electrical engineer $86,400 $84,653 $1,747

    Financial analysts $87,400 $81,232 $6,168

    Graphic designer $70,820 $46,565 $24,255

    Highway maintenance worker $42,720 $31,376 $11,344

    Janitor $30,110 $24,188 $5,922

    Landscape architects $80,830 $58,380 $22,450

    Laundry, dry-cleaning worker $33,100 $19,945 $13,155

    Lawyer $123,660 $126,763 -$3,103

    Librarian $76,110 $63,284 $12,826

    Locomotive engineer $48,440 $63,125 -$14,685

    Machinist $51,530 $44,315 $7,215

    Mechanical engineer $88,690 $77,554 $11,136

    Office clerk $34,260 $29,863 $4,397

    Optometrist $61,530 $106,665 -$45,135

    Paralegals $60,340 $48,890 $11,450

    Pest control worker $48,670 $33,675 $14,995

    Physicians, surgeons $176,050 $177,102 -$1,052

    Physician assistant $77,770 $87,783 -$10,013

    Procurement clerk $40,640 $34,082 $6,558

    Public relations manager $132,410 $88,241 $44,169

    Recreation worker $43,630 $21,671 $21,959

    Registered nurse $74,460 $63,780 $10,680

    Respiratory therapist $46,740 $50,443 -$3,703

    Secretary $44,500 $33,829 $10,671

    Sheet metal worker $49,700 $43,725 $5,975

    Statistician $88,520 $78,065 $10,455

    Surveyor $78,710 $67,336 $11,374

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA TODAY analysis

  7. The 14 Senate Democrats who are boycotting a vote on a controversial "union-busting" bill have left the state, a Wisconsin state senator said.

    Sen. Jon Erpenbach says the group wants to force negotiations over the Republican-backed bill, which would strip most public employees of their collective-bargaining rights.

    Erpenbach said that he and his colleagues had left Wisconsin, but he would not say where.

    He said the plan is to slow down the bill because it's "tearing the state apart."

    Senate Republicans hold a 19-14 majority but can't vote on the bill unless at least one Democrat is present. Police could be dispatched to retrieve them, but it was unclear if they would have the authority to cross state lines.

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    Fitzgerald said the apparent boycott may force the State Assembly to vote first on the bill. But he added that if police officers find the lawmakers, they will bring them back to the chamber for a vote.

    "This isn't something I've ever seen in the state of Wisconsin," he said. "It's a very volatile situation right now but those people were elected to do a job and unfortunately they're not doing it. They're not representing the people of their district."

    Newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker has called on the Democrats to return to the chamber.

    "Out of respect for the institution of the Legislature and the democratic process, I am calling on Senate Democrats to show up to work today, debate legislation and cast their vote," he said in a statement. "Their actions by leaving the state and hiding from voting are disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of public employees who showed up to work today and the millions of taxpayers they represent."

    The bill has sparked a storm of protest for three days. Teachers marching at Wisconsin's Capitol Building in Madison shut down schools for a second day Thursday so they could demand collective bargaining rights that they say are essential to keeping kids in school.

    Dozens of schools closed as a result of high absences as thousands of protesters, including students and teachers, marched on the Capitol building to demand state lawmakers strike down a bill that would require union concessions worth $30 million by July 1 and $300 million over the next two years.

    The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America said it is playing an active role in organizing protests against the bill.

    The bill, which also bans collective bargaining rights for teachers, requires educators to contribute 5.8 percent to their pensions and 12.6 percent to their health care. Currently, educators pay 0.2 percent for their pensions and 4 to 6 percent of their health care costs.

    "Our goal is not to close schools, but to instead to remain vigilant in our efforts to be heard," said Mary Bell, president of the 98,000-strong Wisconsin Education Association Council.

    These fucking unions have to stop this shit! And the Democrats better vote and do their fucking jobs.

  8. Seriously, Rome is burning and this ass bag is fiddling. We are in an ECONOMIC CRISIS! HE's the one who tells us we must ALL make sacrifices. The biggest drain on the states are union related.

    Fortunately for us, this president is toxic and has the reverse Midas touch. Everything he touches makes him look bad, and goes to utter crap. His decision to take a side only lets the US populace see who the enemy is, and how much he lies when he talks of sacrifice

  9. Republican hack politicians in the same class as Chris Christie, Nikki Haley and Haley Barbour are under siege by crowds of union workers who learned something from Cairo. They learned that you don’t just cave because the Republican party and their Republican governor along with virtually every Republican politician in America wants to destroy American unions. Walker has also notified the state’s National Guard to be on alert for actions taken by unsatisfied state, county and municipal employees.

    SEIU warns the governor’s actions could have national ramifications: “If Governor Walker pulls this off, if he succeeds in taking away collective bargaining rights from the union, AFSCME, which was founded in Wisconsin back in the 1930s, if he takes down one of the strongest and most effective teachers’ unions, WEAC, in the country, then we really are going to see this sweep across the United States.”

  10. thousands of union workers have stormed the State Capitol in Wisconsin, and are attempting to bully lawmakers into siding with public employee unions just as Wisconsin's Governor, Scott Walker, is attempting to instill some fiscal responsibility to that state's budget.

    Politico has broken the news this morning that Obama's campaign arm "Organizing for America" is responsible for most of the chaos, and has been filling bus after bus with protestors and shuttled them to the State Capitol. This was not a spontaneous uprising - this was an organized effort by Barack Obama to further his radical, leftist agenda.

    Below is the "Workers' Rights" graphic from Organizing for America, Obama's campaign arm along with a picture from the Wisconsin mob.

    Obama's "Organizing for America" has been promoting the effort to instill chaos in Wisconsin, using email lists, Twitter, and Facebook urging liberals in the state to bully lawmakers into siding against Governor Walker. They sent out 54 messages on Twitter alone!

    This is one more reminder why it is that we must Defeat Barack Obama once and for all. Friends, we have to fight back if we're going to save our great nation.

  11. Long and Short We cannot afford to PAY Public Sector at current Rate. All the rest is smoke YOU cannot pay what you dont have. Private Sector cannot afford employees they are laid off. May be cruel but you can only keep what you can afford!
    Public Unions are NOT exempt from Common Sense!

  12. Chris, you could do a thousand posts using the same antiquated analysis and still be wrong. For someone discussing variables you and the USA today statistics did not account for any. I'll bet you didn't even take the time to look at the link judging by the lack of references.

    In fact i think (and that is an opinion so we can avoid debate there) that you have shown an incredible lack of education and sophistication in your points. everything is haphazard and with very little given to sound study of issues, but instead relying on things like a short term non-scientific wage comparison. At least if your going to claim some level of correctness within your discussions it would behoove you to have actual points worthy of your belief.

    Its not to say that USA today isn't a decent reporting paper its just that scientifically we both know its been ripped to shreds. Well maybe you don't. I shouldn't assume that you operate with any background or criticism knowledge of the things you put out.

  13. And just so you'll have some more scientific studies to ignore i have included these links;

  14. Joe Still Public Sector Unions are under the same Rules as any other workers. If ENTITY cannot afford them Wages must be Cut or Jobs must be Cut. You cannot take $1.00 and buy $5.00 worth of product. The same goes for LABOR!
    In Private Sector if Company goes under jobs are lost. In Public Sector if Government goes Bankrupt Country is Lost!
    Accountability in Government Spending in all forms of Government has been missing for Decades and now its time to bring Control back. The days of robbing Peter to save Paul are done. Soon there will be MORE Pauls and then what? Just my uneducated opinion!

  15. Joe the source is the Bureau of Labor. Statistics. If you believe that union members don't make more thern the private sector then there is no getting through to you. If you said that to anyone they would laugh in your face. hahahhahahaha.

    The divide between public employees and the private sector has gotten much wider since Obama and the Democrats took over.

  16. The unions are showing their true colors. The teachers unions have said that cutting back their benefits will harm the kids education. I think that is both a promise and a threat. But we know one thing for sure. If we give them what they want, like we have been doing has put us at #34 in Math and Science. That hasn't been working and uit would be crazy to keep doing the same things and expect different resultes. But that is the union and the liberal way.

    If the teachers unions held my kids education hostage to get what they want, I wouldn't want them anywhere near my kids. These unions better wise up and shut up or start looking for work or get arrested.

    Has anyone noticed all the violent signs and rhetoric coming from these left-wing protests? I think Obama and the Democratic Party needs to tell them to calm down and go home,like they did to the Tea Party.

    Why is it the left-wing and unions want what Egypt has right now? Didn't they see the blood,violence and rapes? Why would they want that in this country? Why are they calling for Cairo in Wisconsin?

    Soon the anarchists and revolutionist will join the union labor and liberals. They will end up becoming violent and destructive, like they said the Tea Party would and never did. Soon we will see what the unions and the lefts true colors are. I pray it doesn't but I have little hope for these liberals.

  17. Chris, did i challenge the source? No i did not. I challenged the methodology and the lack of control over variables. USA Today did not do a scientific study accounting for all the variables.

    The studies i linked account for a great deal more variables and are a closer examination of apples to apples.

    Did you read them???

  18. I notice that you've avoided the "Could Higher Food Prices Lead To American Unrest Like Egypt?" thread.

    Awww whats a matter. Thought i didn't know the difference between Core CPI and historical. guess you tired of being slapped around by reality.

  19. Chris, i had to come back to one point.

    Did you actually say that if i presented my understanding of the situation i would be laughed at?

    Does that prove me wrong? Does it make me wrong? And who are these "Anyones"? What do they actually know about the subject? are they guilty of apriorism like you?

    Perhaps you'll say "common sense" to which i suggest that prima facia evidence is more times than not wrong.

    but one thought. I thought that public sector employees had to be making more just judging on the attacks of the right. I gave you more credit than you deserve. not only was i suprised to find the studies i did, i was surprised to find that you hadn't. Clearly an intelligent person would read both that which endorses and that which opposes his views and let the evidence affect his judgement. Your not that guy.

    So while the public sector with its benefits clearly holds a slim edge in overall compensation the deciding factor would be the evidence that the public sector is considerably more educated than the private. Would you compare the salaries of a high school graduate to a worker with a masters? I won't answer that.

  20. When Public Sector Unions have more Power than the Citizens who pay them OUR Country is in real trouble.

    Seems in Private Sector every time Unions gain Power over Companies the Companies have problems.

    Private Sector Companies problem,Public Sector Citizens Problem.

    Just like Private Sector now would be great time to investigate and see just how many Public Sector jobs are actually NEEDED for Our Governemnt to run effectivly.

  21. Its begininng to look like the "Public Sector" Unions and their NEEDS will be a issue to me in 2012 elections.Public Union Leaders seem to think that Citizens can and Will meet their demands. I beleive Unions as did Liberals have once more BADLY misjudged majority of Citizens and what Citizens beleive is the right direction for OUR Country.

    Now the DNC is sending protesters from other states to Wisconsin. Hell send them all for the Citizen to can get a good look at what the Public Unions stand for"Themselves". DNC and Unions must have alot of Cash to put into Wisconsin and other states that WILL follow. Citizens aint stupid so seeing all these Protesters,Leaders and their signs will once again back up on the Liberals like a dozen Slidders.

  22. Joe you keep quoting USA Today when the source was from the Bureau of Labor. Talk about ducking the facts Joe. You refuse to look at the truth. Good luck with your idea of truth. You will need it because reality is coming no matter what you say.

  23. Chris, Again i am not challenging the raw data which i mentioned once before i am challenging the use of the data. I don't get why you can't agree with me on that. Could you be ignorant of your own posted material? Surely you know that your post says this;

    Chris said... Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA TODAY analysis

    So tell me what I'm ducking? And what is truth to you when you deny what you posted in two different postings afterward.

    So far i have given you what, 6 other studies that contradict your points and you've looked at how many? Have you even looked at any of them? Any comments or criticisms of them?

    In fact lets review this thread.

    Chris posts opinion based on a priori
    Chris backs it up with MSM non-scientific analysis of DOL statistics
    Chris doesn't read contradicting study
    Chris claims DOL was source of analysis
    Chris claims he's right because "anyones" will laugh at me
    Chris doesn't read more studies that contradict him
    Chris again claims DOL as source of analysis

    This fallacy as exhibited by Chris is known in the study of logic as aprioristic.


Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.