The Great Wisconsin Union Debate
I'm not going to get carried away here; I've read the 2 lengthy threads dealing with this issue. Just a couple of facts to toss in, because I think I probably looked kind of like a goldfish, reading those threads (my mouth kept opening and closing).
Walker did say he intended to force the public employees to pay (personally, not as part of their wage package, via their employers) more toward their retirement benefits. Okay; times are tough, and I could suck that up.
The public employees in my bargaining unit did go to the bargaining table and offer to do just that--prior to the bill being introduced. The employer told us that they would not accept that concession because Walker was going to take care of it. Not real good for employer-employee good faith talks nor for anyone's morale.
Scary, really. We had a very cordial relationship; the government entity for which I work and us employees. We've been like a family, and this sudden change of attitude really hurt. Up here in the north, we don't make much money, but we're a tight knit community and we all get along and get by okay. Nobody's getting rich.
As part of the budget bill, Walker took $42 million out of our Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Fund. All gone.
Most folks don't even know that.
There's not much complaining about the money we're paying out of each paycheck for health insurance and retirement. The biggest deal is the inability to bargain for ANYTHING except wages, as long as we don't get more than the current Consumer Price Index (which varies depending on who says what it is). So we opened bargaining, and asked for a wage increase, and they just said no. End of story. This is bad--we go through a lot of heating fuel up here, groceries aren't any cheaper, and we do have mortgages.
Can't help but think there's a lot of "Where's MY stuff?" "Why should they get more stuff then I do?" And like that. If you thnk about it, wanting to drag down folks who get benefits that you don't get in order to make us more "equal" is pretty socialist, right?
By the way, I voted for Walker and am deep in the throes of buyer's regret, as you can imagine. Talk about betrayal.
I don't know; there are many, many arguments here.
More later. What's the point of all this, anyway? More later, maybe.
We're taxpayers, too.