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ConnieWI ConnieWI is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
Senior Member

ConnieWI
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
Senior Member
In a Nutshell...
Old 02-20-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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In November, Wisconsin elected a new governor. His name is Scott Walker (Republican), and he was formerly the county executive of Milwaukee County. He didn't win by a landslide, but he won. Along with his win, state voters elected a Republican State Assembly and State Senate. This was pretty much a green light to the governor to propose what he wanted, and he would get it!

To make a long story short, Governor Walker is beginning to enlist the help of our Republican Assembly and Senate in proposing that Wisconsin state workers, including teachers, pay 12.6% of their health care, 5.8% of their retirement which is based on take-home pay, and lose all collective bargaining rights. The latter would mean workers would have no right to negotiate anything except salaries. There would be no bargaining on retirement, early retirement, or health insurance. Things like grievence mediation or arbitration, protection from discipline, suspension, or layoffs, and other permissive subjects would become void. Over the years, teachers and other public employees have taken benefits instead of raises. With this bill, these benefits would disappear.

Police and firefighters are not included in these cuts. Their unions supported Governor Walker in November.

Governor Walker and the Republican Assembly and Senate refuse to sit down and talk about any of these issues. Public workers have come to the conclusion that money contributions are a done deal, but would like to save collective bargaining. Still, the governor, senators, and assembly people refuse to have a conversation. Our governor's proposal was made on Friday, February 11, and he wanted it passed by Thursday, February 17...no debate, just pass it.

Last Monday, state employees began gathering outside our State Capital in Madison. The crowds have grown each day, and school districts have even closed because too many teachers called in sick. Many of those who called in went to march in Madison.

On Thursday, the day the State Senate was to vote, our fourteen Democratic Senators left the state. They knew if they stayed, there would be no debate. The bill would be voted on and passed. Instead, they had a meeting outside the Capitol and went to a hotel in Illinois. No one is likely to go get them from another state.

Crowds continue to grow...college and high school students, parents, and other union and non-union workers have joined the daily gatherings. We are talking tens of thousands of people! The estimated crowd on Saturday was 70,000! The Tea Party showed up on Saturday, but their numbers were few compared to the other group.

I hope this helps you understand what is happening. Wisconsin teachers at ProTeacher are finding so much support because in Ohio, Tennessee, and Indiana, states with Republican governors, the same thing is happening/about to happen. What is happening in Wisconsin is bound to spread across the nation if someone does not take a stand!!
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