A GOOD DEAL SCOTT WALKER IS CERTAIN TO REFUSE…. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) insists his union-busting plan is simply about the budget. He created a fiscal mess for himself, and now he wants to improve the budget on the backs of public employees.
If Walker were sincere about this — he’s not, but if he were — the governor should gladly embrace an offer like this one.
The head of the largest state workers union said Friday that his group is willing to give in to Gov. Scott Walker’s demand for concessions on their benefits if the governor gives up his bid to repeal nearly all bargaining rights for public worker unions.
Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, which represents some 23,000 blue-collar state workers, said his group would agree to pay more of their pension contributions and health insurance benefits.
“We are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help bring our state’s budget into balance, but we will not be denied our God-given right to join a real union…we will not — I repeat we will not — be denied our rights to collectively bargain,” Beil said in a statement.
As Jamelle Bouie noted, “If Walker were acting in good faith, then this would be a win-win situation: Workers keep their right to collectively bargain, and the governor can close the budget shortfall.”
But as is painfully clear, Walker’s goals go well beyond improving the budget shortfall that he created, and acting in good faith is the furthest thing from his mind. The conservative governor could strike a deal immediately and get all the cuts he wants from state employees. The problem of course, is that he’s also demanding superfluous union-busting measure, not to improve the budget, but just because he feels like it. Taking away workers’ collective bargaining rights won’t save Wisconsin money, but it will crush labor, which is the point of the endeavor.
Indeed, it’s worth emphasizing that these public-sector workers are ready to accept less pay, but the governor refuses to even talk to them.
Also note, before Democrats handed Walker a budget surplus he immediately eliminated, the former Democratic majority faced an even bigger budget shortfall a couple of years.
They managed to close it, and get the budget back on track, without crushing unions. Imagine that.