American Elephants

Congratulations, Gov.Walker. A Job Well Done! by The Elephant's Child

Governor Scott Walker has stood fast against an angry mob — a mob that is all seething emotion incited by the usual demagogues — chanting their hate for Gov. Walker and making bizarre claims about what was actually transpiring.  While the mob shrieked about their “rights,” and the future of the state, without any realization that Governor Walker was saving their jobs. It takes courage to stand up for what is right.

Union power was out in full force, defending their right to the power and influence of union dues.  The usual rabble-rousers arrived to rouse rabble — inciting and egging on protesters to violence with outrageous language.  Michael Moore, multimillionaire hypocrite, was there to proclaim his solidarity with union workers who he refused to allow in his movie crews.  He obviously was hoping to rouse the mob to revolution. (Were the cameras waiting behind the scenes?) Jesse Jackson turned up to incite once again.  He has never missed a chance to address a protest, and will go wherever the cameras are.

Wisconsin schools, which are failing to teach basic reading and math, will have a chance to keep outstanding teachers, instead of losing them to antiquated seniority rules. Governor Walker wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.

Ms. Sampson got a layoff notice because the union leadership would not accept reasonable changes to their contract. Instead, they hid behind a collective-bargaining agreement that costs the taxpayers $101,091 per year for each teacher, protects a 0% contribution for health-insurance premiums, and forces schools to hire and fire based on seniority and union rules.

The most important element is quality education is the excellence of the teacher in front of the classroom.  A good teacher makes all the difference. I was fortunate enough to spend two years in a one-room school with 8 grades and perhaps 20 children and an excellent teacher.  It wasn’t one of President Obama’s “crumbling schools” but it didn’t have indoor plumbing either.

Union members retain the right to bargain collectively over wages.  They are asked to contribute 5.8% to their pensions and 12.6% contribution to their health insurance — a situation that would be deeply desired by most people in the private sector.  And the massive layoffs of teachers and other public employees that were the alternative aren’t going to happen.  Unions don’t care much about their members losing their jobs, it’s losing their dues that matters. The taxpayers have won a great victory.

2 Comments so far
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My understanding is the bill essentially results in an 8 pecent pay reduction due to the requirements that workers contribute more to their pensions and healthcare. I believe that all leaders who ask for something should be willing to go first. My question is how much are the elected officials of Wisconsin including the governor contributing to their healthcare costs and pensions?


Comment by Robin McKenney

Your health care and pension are part of your pay. It is not a “reduction.” Liberals claimed that during the Bush years the middle class wages were stagnant. Take-home pay may not have been increasing dramatically for some, but their benefits were increasing dramatically. Governor Mitch Daniels in Indiana accomplished much the same thing with an executive order 8 years ago when he first became governor. Everybody squawked, his approval ratings went down to 30%, but he stuck by his policies. Worker’s pay went up and approval rates went way back up, and he was reelected with high popularity. The amount that Wisconsin public sector workers have to pay for their OWN benefits has gone up, but is far less than anyone else pays. The benefit package that they had was a corrupt burden on the taxpayers that should never have happened. And what Gov. Walker did saved the jobs of 1500 government employees. Don’t fall for union propaganda.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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