Friday, February 18, 2011

BEWARE! RANT! WISCONSIN LOOKS LIKE EGYPT!


Wisconsin, where in 1959 was the first state to introduce collective bargaining for public employees, and was the birthplace of the national union representing all non-federal public employees, has again become the battleground for labor versus capital. And I could spell that Capitol for that is where over 70,000 firemen, policemen, teachers, paramedics, and all other supporters of labor and our long fought battle for collective bargaining are rallying to protest our new Republican governor's budget bill that smacks of at best union busting and at worst arrogant dictatorship.

Rallies are also being held all over the state and schools are closing and one parent is objecting for her favorite baby sitters are not there for her today. That public employees need to pay for some of their pensions and health care, I have no argument. But to take away the right of teachers, firemen, and other public workers the right to collective bargaining is downright wrong. I am a former teacher and we fought hard for smaller size classes, for a preparation time during the school day so that we could help students that needed extra help or make-up tests, for sick days and comp time, for lunch time away from supervising students-- not only money matters--through collective bargaining. That battle was fought long ago and won as one of our basic freedoms in this country. How can the governor take it away in one fell swoop of ill use of power! Then he says if they will not accept this, he will cut 10,000 public service jobs--policemen, firemen, teachers, paramedics, ambulances etc.

The rush to push it through in five days gave no time for adequate debate or discussion. Telephone calls and e-mails have flooded the state house. That the Democrats had to leave the state to delay the vote was a last resort. Don't the Republicans hear their constituents outside their doors and windows? On the one hand, the governor tells the Democrats to come back and they will discuss the bill. The bill was to be voted on yesterday! The next interview he says he will not retract any phase of the bill. He speaks with a forked tongue. Or, as some have ventured to say, this is pay back time to all the big corporations who put him in office--to bust the unions.

He is targeting the middle class and that is the strength of America. They have already been hit in many directions already so we will have essentially only the very rich and the very poor.

The state is in debt and out of money. We know that. But does this one group have to take the brunt of the economic downturn? Have them pay for some of their pensions, and for some of their health insurance, but leave the right to collective bargaining alone.

11 comments:

Deb Shucka said...

Well-said, Bernie. You should consider submitting this as a letter to the editor. I'm in shock that this is even possible in America. But maybe I shouldn't be. I live in a state with a constitutional mandate to fully fund education where the governor is not only revoking initiatives about class size and cost of living increases for teachers, but also pulling back money promised for this school year.

CherylK said...

This is just excellent, Bernie. It's a travesty what they're trying to do. I agree with Deb...this would be a great letter to the editor...of every newspaper in the country. Good job!

Jenean said...

Well said! I think a lot of folks forget what unions have done for them, even if they are non union, lunch breaks, for one. I second or third the other ladies, this would be a great letter to the editor.

Fragrant Liar said...

Bernie, I've been watching this, and it's incredible. The Wisconsin people make the rest of America look like the Army of Apathy. I'm so proud of them taking these issues into their own hands, standing up and letting their voices be heard, and not allowing that dictator to ride roughshod over them. Good for them! I hope they remain strong and committed long enough for the GOP to back down.

Bernie said...

I have been watching this on CNN and MSNBC and my stomach is in knots. This governor has no intention of listening or negotiating with the people of Wisconsin, but the people did vote for him in November......did he campaign on other things Bernie? I cannot believe he is allowing the corporations needs/wants over those of the his own middle class people. I keep trying to see and understand both sides of this issue but so far all I am seeing is that this man is just wrong. Am praying for the people of Wisconsin, I am concerned for all the other States as well, I think the plan is break the unions one way or another. I do hope the people hold strong and support each other. Be well my friend and have a good weekend....:-)Hugs

Donna said...

The same thing is going on in Ohio, Bernie. My son and his wife are teachers in Columbus and they were at the statehouse today about that very issue. I agree with all you have said...you say it well!!!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Oh la la, Bernie. Indeed send this on to your representatives, the teacher's union, and the media. Fascinating to watch the situation from Texas where the school I'm currently working will lay off 13 teachers. That means 100's for our district. Many other changes as well.

Many seem to miss the fact that those in the unions are willing to discuss the changes in pension and health care percentages. Where the demise of collective bargaining came into the matter is entirely another issue. Very sad.

Send this post on to Madison!

Gail said...

Very well stated!

Jane said...

I hope wisconsin wins big time! I agree this would make a great letter to the editor. This is just one more of our freedoms going down the drain. Blessings jane

Jane said...

I hope wisconsin wins big time! I agree this would make a great letter to the editor. This is just one more of our freedoms going down the drain. Blessings jane

Jenean said...

Hi Bernie, by all means, add the comment! But I think you had it pretty well covered with out my "help" :) come visit me again too!

Oh and bunco was fun...especial through a lemon haze :)

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