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.

More on the Collective Bargaining Privilege

Budget, Scott Walker, Union, Wisconsin

I think taking some of the power away from the public sector unions is a major part of Governor Walker’s plan, has been from the get go.  Whether it was directly stated or not doesn’t really matter since Governors do many things that they NEVER said during the campaign trail time.  It is silly to think otherwise.


That is something people will sort out in four years from now and my guess is people will for the most part will be happy that this happen and will reelect Governor Walker. 


What are the public sector workers going to do if Governor Walker puts in a plan to lets say, delay early retirement?  Cry foul that Scott Walker NEVER talked about that before.  The left is manufacturing a new rule - Governors can only do things that they previously talked about.


May 22, 2010

Walker championed his record as county executive, telling the audience that he would bring his record of fiscal conservatism to Madison.


He told them of his habit of packing his own lunch and driving an aging Saturn with 104,000 miles.  He's used these stories as fodder to tout his "brown bag movement" during his campaign.


Walker said that his policies as county executive reduced the county's debt and helped shed government jobs.


"If I did it in Milwaukee County, we can take on the political machine in Madison and win for all of the taxpayers in the state," he told delegates.


July 8, 2010

Scott Walker, Milwaukee County executive and candidate for governor, at a Brown Bag lunch at Green Bay Packaging, Inc. today in Green Bay, unveiled his proposal to save $284 million a year by permanently reducing the state workforce by 4,000 employees.  These permanent cuts would be effective immediately in his first budget.


“I believe that smaller government is better government – that’s why as county executive, I’ve reduced our government workforce by 20%,” said Walker.  “It’s unacceptable that under Governor Doyle, for the first time ever, government jobs in Wisconsin outnumber manufacturing jobs.  Right now, our state has 4,000 employee positions that are vacant.  Unlike the bureaucrats in Madison, I say if we can live without 4,000 state employees for this long, we can live without them forever - that’s why in my first budget they will be off the taxpayer’s payroll, this time, for good.”


As Milwaukee County executive, Scott Walker has given $370,000 of his personal salary to the taxpayers over eight years, voluntarily reduced his own pension benefit, and in his most recent budget successfully worked on a bipartisan proposal that asked county employees to contribute to their government financed healthcare plans, saving millions for the taxpayers.


November 3, 2010

Tuesday's election marks the first time in 72 years that the control of state government shifted entirely from one party to the other.  With Republicans running the Legislature, Walker gains a major advantage in trying to advance his agenda.


Walker beat his Democratic rival, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by a wide margin, according to an unofficial tally of votes.  His win was part of a national surge by Republicans as voters turned away from Democrats with worries about the economy, deficits and the size of government.


Walker promised to bring jobs to the state, cut spending and stop a federally funded passenger train from Madison to Milwaukee.


"You have given us a mandate for true reform, and I appreciate that.  I will not let you down," Walker told supporters at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha.


Did he not kill the train?


Is he not working on cutting taxes?


The jobs part will be coming once Wisconsin’s Government is better under control.


Did he not say this is a mandate for true reform and how much truer can you get then reforming the public sector unions and getting a long-term budget fix in place?


Wisconsin will move from a purple state to a solid red state for five reasons.


As the Wisconsin economy improves and it will under Governor Walker’s leadership, this subject will matter less and less.


Voter ID will make sure the voting taking place is fair and correct.


Governor Walker will accomplish the goals and promises he made during election time.


Will less money being taken in from union dues that means less money going to Democrats for election use.


With that, less money going to Democrats from Union dues there is much less of people saying scratch my back and I will get you funding. 


Now back to Collective Bargaining.


As I have said before the issue with giving into the CB is the concessions can and most likely in 1 or 2 contracts will be restored.  Think of this even if concessions were approved by the State, the local unions could say, "That doesn't apply to us, we won't accept the cuts.”  Those tactics were applied while Walker was Milwaukee County Exec, and it will do the same to all the local municipalities if this bill isn't passed in its current form.


They will force it to binding arbitration and the arbitrator is the government.  Ask any of the labor or trade unions how often they use it and it is very little.


I have talked to a few public sector unions members and they say the same thing, “We will gladly take it to arbitration because 90% of the time we will win.” 


One even told me “We don’t have to take cuts if we don’t want to!”


The time for compromises has passed many years ago!


Maybe looking at the recent willingness from the Union Leaders, Workers, and Democrats to take the cuts without “Collective Bargaining” cuts  can be summed up by the Mary Poppins’ quote, “a pie crust promise ... easily made and easily broken!”


It was easily made and can be easily broken.


One of my Republican friends had this to say while him and I were talking with another friend who is a Democrat, “As your guy President Barack “censored” Obama put it - Elections have consequences, we won, deal with it. 


The public has spoken, and all the public unions can manage is useless rhetoric and protests.  All of this in an effort to try and nullify the November elections.  But aren’t you the same group that sued to try and win the Presidency?  What charactership and role models you make!  What sense of honor and respect you display for the process of democracy!  Democrats and democracy, polar opposites.  When you can't get what you want, runaway and hide.. the liberal way.”



In national appearance, Walker questions sincerity of unions


Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday the quick passage of local union contracts around in the state in recent weeks shows public workers aren’t committed to paying more for their retirement and health care.


“We’ve seen union local after union local … rush through contracts that had no pension contributions,” Walker said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


Actions speak louder than words or piecrust promises!



Many city officials think union limits go too far


Of course, they would feel that way because no longer will they be able to just simply give in to the unions during negotiations and now they a) will have to take a real stance on contracts and b) if they raise taxes they will be held directly accountable for the tax increases.


Tom Barrett on June 8 2010 said that "gimmicks and trickery" were used the last 20 years to balance the state budget and he was right.  Which is why Governor Walker is giving the state and local governments a tool to balance the budget going forward after all the contracts expire.


As someone pointed out, Mayor Tom Barrett (the other guy who ran for Wisconsin Governor) didn’t think it went far enough if they were going to go ahead with this plan. 


Read Barrett’s message between the lines!!!!!


Emphasis is mine!


In a letter sent late Monday to lawmakers, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the city would miss out on $19million in saving because police and firefighters are spared the cuts other public workers would have to make under the bill.


The city could save $14.4million in pension contributions and $4.7million in health care costs - $19.1million in all - if police and firefighters had to make the same sacrifices as teachers, correctional officers and other public workers, Barrett's letter said.


The city would save $14.3million from general employees by making them pay more for health care and pensions, according to Barrett's letter - $8.3million for pensions and $6million for health care.


Walker's plan would require most public workers to pay half their pension costs - typically 5.8% of pay for state workers - and at least 12% of their health care costs, but it does not apply to police, firefighters and state troopers. Those public-safety unions would continue to bargain for benefits under current laws.


For other public employees, raises would be limited to inflation unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum.  Those unions would lose their rights to bargain over anything but wages, would have to hold annual elections to keep their organizations intact and would lose the ability to have union dues deducted from state paychecks.


Walker, a Republican, beat Barrett, a Democrat, for the governor's job in November.  Walker secured the endorsements of the unions that represent state troopers, Milwaukee firefighters and Milwaukee police officers. Almost all other law enforcement unions - as well as most unions representing other types of public employees - backed Barrett.


Barrett opposes Walker's plans for public-sector unions, but he said if lawmakers were going to go through with it they needed to treat all workers the same.


"The budget adjustment bill pits general City of Milwaukee employees against the fire and police unions," Barrett said.


Source: MJS




Barrett also ripped the bill for pitting "firefighters against nurses" by exempting some public safety groups from the collective bargaining changes.  He said that not only should all public workers share in the state’s fiscal struggles, but that the bill's impact on his local budget would be negatively impacted by those exemptions.

"This legislation does not even touch two-thirds of my problem, because it leaves out many workers," Barrett said.





Please take note of the items I bolded and ask yourself, with the current set of bargaining how was Walker going to do this?


Much of Wisconsin’s economic woes have resulted from years of delaying prudent financial decisions while making little effort to implement a pro-growth agenda for the state.


The decisions that our state and local leaders make now will determine the health of our economy for a generation.  We cannot afford to perpetuate Wisconsin's fiscal woes by continually raising taxes and fees to avoid making the tough choices to prioritize spending.



In every other profession, excellence is rewarded and teaching should be no different.

To make sure our children are receiving the very best instruction, we have to reward the best teachers and provide support for the underperforming ones.  Persistently underperforming teachers, however, cannot be allowed to continue to fail our students. Under my plan, teachers will be evaluated based on the following five criteria:


•planning and preparation,

•classroom environment,

•quality of instruction,

•professional responsibilities, and

•yearly student progress.


Teachers will receive an overall rating of “ineffective,” “needs improvement,” “satisfactory,” or “exemplary.”  Teachers who are rated “ineffective” two years in a row will lose their teaching license, while all teachers rated as “satisfactory” or “exemplary” will be eligible for bonuses.  While teachers should be held accountable for their students’ progress, they cannot control what happens to students outside the classroom.  That’s why student evaluations are only one of five criteria used to evaluate teachers.


We will also create a new class of highly qualified, well-paid teachers who will be given the opportunity to advance in their career.  These highly qualified teachers will be called on to mentor other teachers, while still devoting most of their time to classroom teaching.


Finally, we must streamline the licensing process and open the door to aspiring teachers with real world experience.  We must also remove arbitrary barriers like residency requirements that keep qualified teachers out of struggling districts.


Finding Efficiencies


School districts must be given the tools to reduce the burden on property taxpayers by sharing resources, pooling purchasing power, contracting for services, expanding the use of technology like online learning, and even voluntarily merging, when appropriate.  Meanwhile, parents should have the ability to scrutinize spending decisions which is why I will facilitate local efforts to post expenditures online just as I have done in Milwaukee with the county budget.


The Qualified Economic Offer (QEO), which helped hold down local school costs for more than 15 years, will be restored and tied to revenue caps to align each district’s expenses with their revenues.  Mediation and arbitration changes will also be needed to ensure that local economic factors are considered along with other common sense factors when arbitrating teacher contracts.  And we can save more than $68 million per year by allowing school districts to enroll in the state health care plan.


When I was elected to serve as Milwaukee County Executive, I promised to spend the taxpayer’s money as if it was my own.  I’ve kept that promise, and I’ll keep it if I’m elected your next governor.


For eight consecutive county budgets, I have cut spending and vetoed tax increases because it was the right thing to do.  Over the last eight years, we’ve worked together to maintain funding for essential government programs without increasing the property tax levy from the previous year, cut debt by over 10%, and cut the county work force by over 20%.


We’ve scaled back government without sacrificing quality.  In fact, our county parks just won the gold medal for being the best parks system in the nation, and Mitchell International Airport has seen the expansion of Air Tran, the arrival of Southwest, and just this week Republic Airlines announced over 800 jobs will be moved to Milwaukee County.


It’s time to tackle our state finances in the same way – through creativity and by doing more, with less.  The last thing Wisconsin needs is more of the Doyle-Barrett style of governing that taxes more to fill budget shortfalls.


This September I presented my 2010 Milwaukee County budget and asked the County Board to work with me to rein in government spending and lower our debt without cutting essential services or raising taxes.  We proposed having private contractors perform services like cleaning the courthouse, and we sought to create a balance between the benefits received by public and private sector employees.


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