Could Minnesota See Similar Union Fights As Wisconsin?

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Minnesota union members are watching the labor unrest in Wisconsin closely. And the head of the state’s 43,000-member public employees union says what’s happening in the Badger State is also headed for Minnesota.

Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, calls it a “deliberate plan” to break unions.

“This attack on unions and on working people emanates comes out of Washington, D.C.,” said Seide. “By extreme, cheap labor conservatives who want to pit public workers against private workers and drive down the wages and benefits of all workers.”

The Minnesota AFL-CIO has identified five separate bills they say are Republican attempts to break up unions, including cuts in wages and benefits to public workers and a “right to work” amendment to the Minnesota’s constitution.

But Minnesota Republican leaders say voters are fed up with what they say is public union benefits that private sector workers don’t have.

“Government employees have become the haves and the private sector the have-nots,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa.  He is the author of the “right to work” bill.

“And now it’s being challenged. It’s being challenged because we can’t afford the types of Cadillac versions of pensions, of health insurance and even salaries,” said Drazkowski.

Hundreds of union members — public and private — protested at the State Capitol on Wednesday denouncing what they called “anti-union” bills.

One target is an effort by Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina, to cut the size of Minnesota’s state employee workforce by 5,000.

Some protesters were inflamed by the Republican descriptions of public worker cuts as “starving the beast” of government.

During the rally, Mike Lindholm, a state snowplow driver, drew cheers.

“As you can see, I’m not a beast,” said Lindholm. “I’m your friend. Your neighbor. Your snowplow driver.”

More from Pat Kessler
  • Get a Grip

    MinneWalMart??? Give me a BREAK!. You liberal idiots, they are NOT cutting salaries, WI wants the public officials to actually use part of their existing salary to fund their own retirements… Heaven forbid, they pay into their own pension. Pay an additional 6% of their health care premiums. So I ask anybody to see what they pay for insurance premiums, I will bet you it’s much more than 12%. Doesn’t seem that is asking to much. If you love paying higher taxes to fund other peoples benefits then move to CA!!!! See how well that state is doing. You union fools are so brainwashed it’s comical. Do you see the republicans hopping in a car driving to another state because they can’t get their way??? Those dems in WI should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of debating it, they run and hide like a 5 year old… What a joke!!!!!!!

    • Get a Grip

      Hey Paul, where in the bill does it state they wont’ get raises??? Your right, they won’t bring as much home as they actually have to pitch in for their own retirement and health care…WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD PAUL!!!! Plus they can still negotiate compensation… ahhhhh but here’s the problem, it probably won’t be enough…never is to the union! So before you leave some lame comeback comment finish your Kool Aide, think about your thoughts and then reply YOU IDOT!!!!!

    • molly

      OK Paul, I think it’s funny how you are telling” Get a Grip” to go back to school when you can not even form a coherent sentence. You feel the need to call him “Stupid”, but your the one who sound rather slow. At least Get a Grip can write an idea clearly. You can’t even form a damn sentence.

    • Living in WI

      Thank you “Get a Grip”. You put it in perspective. I live in WI now and used to live in MN. I have been on both sides of the fence as far as unions go. There was a time when unions were beneficial, but things need to change. This state and country cannot keep putting monies that they don’t have into these pensions. I believe that all workers should contribute to their own pensions.

      • RightUnite

        Well, if they don’t want to deal with the issue, there’s always layoffs. Would they rather deal with layoffs?? I won’t lose sleep over it. Lay them off, and don’t rehire them. End of problem.

      • TW


        Unfortunately, those of us who are at the lower end of this will be the ones to be laid off. They never start at the top. If you read any of my previous posts, I am a government employee and what they are asking is more than reasonable. They really need to look at the top where the leadership gets 500K a year and 90% retirement. Hell I work three jobs to make ends meet, but I will be the first to be canned, especially if they read these posts.

    • Mike

      Get a Grip – You are being disengenuous, its clearly obvious this legislation is designed to incapacitate the ability for unions to exist! The union in WI has always been willing to negotiate, but with Republicans its their way only. I really don’t think anyone would be willing to take a 20% paycut without a fight including you, if you could let go of your mama’s skirt that long.

    • Get a Grip

      Mike –
      20% pay cut??? Where do you get these numbers? 6% more toward health care PREMIUMS. 5% toward their OWN pension = STILL THEIR MONEY!!!!

      Where is the 20% paycut??? They ARE NOT CUTTING WAGES!!

    • TW

      So make a choice and don’t fund your retirement if you can’t afford to. Your argument doesn’t hold water. You either wouldn’t fund your retirement so heavily or you would and take a little less home every month. Not that unreasonable. I am a public employee and I would gladly do that. Get the union corruptocrats out and cut at the top like I said in previous statements. If the Dems, libs and Repubs were truly concerned about “the little guy” they would see what needs to be done. They are too busy lining their own pockets. They love that we are arguing like this, cause it covers them.

    • Robert

      Get a Grip – You are being disengenuous, its clearly obvious this legislation is designed to incapacitate the ability for unions to exist!”

      Really, Mike? Show us the language in the bill.

      • SirGareth

        Why is that a bad thing?

    • Jim Ness

      Welcome to the world all the rest of us live in !

    • a_teach

      the dems truly showed their trued colors as they hee-haw’d their way to another state… when u were young someone may have told you “a true bully will run the other direction when confronted” the dems PROVED who they are, bullies…and just in case a certain 5th grade teacher is home “sick” this week and happens to read this post… Al Qaeda is not a country, it is a group of people, an militant Islamist group to be more exact…please update your geography and history books an stop teaching children false knowledge. we will be checking.

      • John

        Governor Walker is the real bully, with a hidden agenda. Gutting unions is political and has nothing to do with the buget. This is class warfare sponsored by the Koch Brothers Tea Party against working people and their rights and YOURS to be part of organized labor and collective bargaining.

      • Hal McCombs

        Really John? Teachers getting a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS for working 9 months has nothing to do with “the budget”?

    • Hal McCombs

      You mean they actually want our wonderful public workers to help pay for their own healthcare and retirement? Like -ugh- private citizens? Even though it still isn’t one tenth what those -ugh- private citizens pay, still creeps me out. To put us down to their level. I’m going to be sick.

      I thought we were special!

    • GKPAL

      You hit the nail on the head

    • BJP

      The Dems should be prosecuted or fired for not doing what they are supposed to do. As for the workers…grow up. The bank is busted and you need to realize it was due to your union bargaining that helped contribute to the busted bank. Now it’s time to pay the piper. Not only the average worker, but you as well.

  • Steve

    There is no sympathy on my end for teachers who are complaining about losing there collective bargaining arrangements. I was paying $10,000 dollars a year for health care for my wife and I when I was working for minimum wages after getting laid off. The unions are part of the problem with most states and there budget deficits. Time for everyone to share in the cuts

    • PAUL


      • NO UNION

        Paul takes the short bus!

      • Mr. Kelly

        No, greed is tacking something that is not yours regardless of if they want to give it to you. Except for when government gets involved, you have the right not to give your money to the businesses you think are greedy. But you do not have the right not to give your money to the public sector. You have no choice. Taken from you. And when we question if they should be able to take our money without accountability… We are called greedy? Bass ackwards my friend.
        There is absolutly no doubt that the progressives in this state and anywhere are by far the definition of greed and selfishness. I don’t know how they can sleep at night?

      • Read More Paul

        Spell check, please. Paul, if you are jealous because you are not rich, study more, learn to put together a cohesive thought, and work more hours. Most “rich” people I know didn’t magically come in to their cash, they worked hard, lived within their means, and saved like crazy for an extended period of time. And please, don’t think that union bosses and the politicians your union dues have purchased aren’t corrupt and greedy as hell. You can’t really be that short-sighted, are you?

      • Hal McCombs


        How can you argue with that? If you see guys like Paul running towards you, shoot first, and ask questions later.

      • michelle

        I agree with paul give credit where credit is due. This is just an attempt to union bust. We have heath care and sick days in the private sector because of unions. We have living wages because of unions. Do you like having weekends? Thanks unions

    • Tracker

      Instead of showing envy for other people benefits, why don’t you ffight for your right to get better pay and benefits yourself?

      • Frank

        Before you call any one an idiot in writing,check your spelling.MORON!!!!!!!

      • Dan from Newport

        I strongly suspect we are paying for your cushy benefits with our tax dollars. Public unions are the only group that fights for better pay and benefits at the expense of the taxpayers. I have not had a raise for three years and “fighting” to get better benefits from businesses that are struggling as it is will not get the private sector workers anywhere. I’m looking at writing out another check to the state this April and I’ve had it with public unions (and yes they are our neighbors, I have a whole family full of bonus baby public employees that are living the good life as retirees on the state dime).

        The money is not there public employees. Let’s see how the “public servants” feel when the state starts to cut the benefits for children and seniors to fund the benefit packages of the public employee unions.

  • tom

    Again Goverment at its best, as far as wages below poverty, They already are. When will COMPANIES quit trying to make more in the CEO’s pocket and realize with out the workers they would not be as rich as they are. I think its time for a labor revolt in this country. The average wage of a worker today is $10-13.00 and hour. Now you figure that out, back in 1985, that was a good wage to START a job, now 26 years later people start and stay at that same wage. Sounds crazy, it is. While the cost of everything else has gone up dramatically wages have stayed the same. But , that ceo and all the managment that goes with him, they have seen increases. Time for the middle class to become one and tell these employers and the goverment, Its NOT RIGHT, you take all our wages in taxes, cost increases, health care , and we are suppose to live off it??? Get your fat scrubby butts out of the chairs and from around the cooperate meetings and come down on the floor of your companies and find out what is going on with the lives of your workers. Its not a pretty site. I challenge any CEO MANAGMENT to TRADE PLACES with a General worker of your company, take their same wage and try to live off it for one month. Bet you can’t do it.

    • Reason8200

      If you dont like the way a CEO does business get off your @ $$ quit your whining and start your own business. Companies arent created to give people jobs they are created to make a profit for the owners or shareholders. If you want more money maybe you should do some research on how much money it costs a business to hire one employee and vote in a politician who favors less taxes. Here’s a list of what an employers have to pay in addition to your salary. Matching social security and medicare tax at a rate of 6.2 percent, Federal and state unemployment tax, and some of your health insurance. In addition to all the benefits they already give you. This adds up, imagine how much it would be with 100 or 1000 enpolyees.

      • Mom

        Totally agree with Reason8200. Obviously Tom needs an education. You wouldn’t be making low wages if you had the skills and education necessary to compete for a better job.

    • Union Member

      As an aside…does anyone say anything regarding Union bosses, who make just as much as many CEOs, off the backs of dues paying members, and who routinely receive political favors from democrat politicians via quid pro quo free union labor to run their campaigns?

      Just wondering…

    • BMan2011

      This is simply Marxist lunacy. CEO’s are highly paid in some cases, others not so much. There is a market for them, as if you have a good one, your company stands a better chance of success and thus (the employees) will benefit. Are you better off at a good company that is suceeding and is profitable so they can give you raises and promotions, or are you better off at a company that is barely able to exist and make payroll? Easy answer, but I bet you are scratching your head. Re-distribution of wealth does not work. If you want to live a country similiar to Cuba or the old Soviet Union, just move away. Nobody is stopping you.

    • Tom's Uncle

      I bet you couldn’t hack being a CEO for two days and make their kind of difficult, long-term decisions, either. No CEO was ever born in their chair, the vast majority worked their way up the ladder, worked more hours in more determined fashion the “general worker on the floor”, studied rather than partied, and actually sacrificed a lot for what they have.

      There is hope for you, though. You do voice a big concern about not keeping enough of what you earn because of taxes and the high costs of health care. Guess what the math will tell you if you research it? High taxes are, in part, due to the high cost of government union workers, their inflexible work rules, and free benefits. High medical costs are due, in significant part, to high costs of unchecked litigation and good doctors overtesting due to increasingly complex medical legislation.

      The middle class in this country is disappearing becasue it now costs an exorbidant amount for the pay and virtually free cadillac benefits paid to union workers, plus ever-increasing pensions that are routinely gamed so that early retirees take home more penions cash than they ever did for wages on the job. That is blatantly unfair to workers under 30 and the generation behind us. Hard to believe you ever thought everyone else owed you free increasing benefits forever with other people’s money. Who’s greedy again?

      • Steve Grotkin

        “the middle class in this country is disappearing becasue it now costs an exorbidant amount for the pay and virtually free cadillac benefits paid to union workers, plus ever-increasing pensions that are routinely gamed so that early retirees take home more penions cash than they ever did for wages on the job. That is blatantly unfair to workers under 30 and the generation behind us.”

        Really, really! Somehow I thought the middle class was disappearing because of the exporting of millions of jobs to low labor cost countries for the ,last twenty years, the economic change over the same twenty years from an industrial base employing millions of well paid employees to a financial/service base employing millions less and paying just over minimum wage and last but not least the upward redistribution of income that has been going on since 1980. Guess I was wrong about that. It was union wages and pensions all along. Who knew?

    • Hal McCombs

      Yeah. Those damn CEO’s make nearly as much as our wonderful Union Bosses. That’s not right.

  • Jason

    Really not going to cry for the unoin on this one. I contribute about 11% of my gross income to pay heath premiums. So boo hoo, pay more for your insurance. I do. Another thing, if you don’t get paid what your worth get a different job!

    • Been There

      I pay 20% and I’m in a union. Part of my paycheck also goes towards my pension. I think some people misunderstand union wages and benefits and that’s part of the problem. People need complete information so they can make informed decisions and comments. Unions aren’t perfect, but they are better than nothing. For example, you can’t get fired because you got on the wrong side of a supervisor. Unions are more than just wages…

      • RightUnite

        Unions also protect the worthless workers who should be shown the door. Been in unions and have seen that on more than one occasion.

    • Mike

      Let’s all race to the bottom with Jason! You should be advocating for more not less idiot.

      • Jason

        Someone dosent agree with you so lets get to the name calling. Way to go. What do you not understand NOTHING IS FOR FREE!! EVERY ONE HAS TO PAY FOR SERVICES. You would think this would be common sense??? What ever happend to the children anyway???

  • John

    Clearly we need to cut back on total state employees or on the total compensation going to state employees. Or both. We can’t burden our children with these costs. However with Dayton at the helm, this will continue to be a problem for MN taxpayers for at least the next 4 years.

    • RightUnite

      We need to cut state employees period. Government should not be the largest employer in the country.

      • mnworker

        If only the dang rich that were given tax breaks to create more jobs would actually DO that…we wouldn’t be having this argument.

    • TW

      John, your right but in a commonsense way. Look at the very top first. The agency heads and the leadership, and union leadership. Follow the money, see who gets it. You can read my other posts but there are alot of leadership positions and wasteful positions that no one looks at. I have been a state employee for quite a few years after retiring from the military. I work three jobs now. I have seen alot of good folks, who did good work, get forced out so that fat cats at the top could maintain their status and even get more. That is where the unfairness is. By the way, the politicians of all stripes are in bed with them and they could care less about any of us.

    • mnworker

      Yes, everyone needs to cut back and contribute. But NOT take away the right to collective bargaining – the right to organize. You need to negotiate. And this goes both ways…no tax CUTS…

  • Bob

    GOOD comment. Thanks you got it right!!!!!

  • Dream-On

    There is more money to be had in cutting the entitlements to all the farmers. if we are going to start going after the “little guy”, then lets go after everyone the same. Lets start with cutting all aid to farming operations. Why stop with teachers and gov. employees? I dont farm, like many here dont teach, but I think they must sit and do nothing while there is snow on the ground and get paid to do nothing. TAX EM.,…thats the Republican way!
    P.S. Thats not what I believe, but thats what others think of teachers, and thats not fair. This is Irony Folks. This is just plain down in the mud nastyness..

  • Incredulous1

    More blatant efforts by Republicans to redistribute the wealth – upward! Glad to see the people in Wisc. standing up for their rights.

    • Norge

      What a crock..must be a union crone. The people of Wisconsin stood up at election day last Nov. and now a couple thousand union thugs want to overthrow the elected government…and they derserve their union jobs??? Thats incredulous! They make threats, unauthorized work stoppages, cancel schools and create a atmosphere or terroristic threats in the state capitol and some poeple have the audacity to say that “they’re standing up for their rights”? So according to you; public union employees have the right to void an election and in doing so negate the peoples right to vote, violate the rights of students and parents by shutting down their schools, threaten their opponents with out consequense, infringe on the rights of business owners and non-union workers and that is all OK with you? Union thuggery must be your main source of income.

    • me first me first not me not me

      It’s Bush’s fault. Have you ever known a liberal to take any form of responsibility for their own lives. Nope, just an entitlement mentality. Now they may have to join the real world of working people.

      • mnworker

        Ah, public employee’s DO work..just as hard as you. The point is that you cannot take away the right to organize. If you ask people to share the sacrifices, then share them…don’t CUT taxes for wealthy the same breathe you are asking public employee’s to sacrifice their paycheck.

  • Lance

    whats their share? and what are you going to do in 2 years? More of their share?

    • Fanny Forbes Franklen

      “If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.”
      ~ H. L. Mencken

    • Rasputin

      I am a Federal worker who pays over $4800.00 for my share of BlueCross/Shield every year. I also contriburte a substantial portion to my Pension/retirement. It is no free ride. We all have to make sacrifices. Local employers in my area have cut back to 32 hrs per week. there is no more money in the checkbook. I will partake in any cut back, as all US Citizens will.

    • Detter

      When you see a “civil servant” protesting, you see a person who has no clue what it means to serve at the behest of the public. Fire the lot and hire teachers that want to TEACH, not preach.

      Make state employees pay into their health and retirement benefits as much as the FEDERAL employees. Over 30% to health (and that carries on into retirement) and 10% into their retirement system

  • Mike

    I work for the state and in a union. I currently pay 14% of my health insurance and 50% of my MSRS retirement. I have been at the top of my pay scale for the past five years (low $20’s per hour). My homeoners insurance went up 50%, Auto 10%, property taxes go up 8%/yr. Those along with the rising cost of gas and food, has this state employee tightening his belt along with everyone else. Also my defined benefit retirement would be $974.69/month if I don’t get any more raises in the next 20 years.

    • Lon Dugan

      When employed I paid approximately 25% of my health insurance. I was in the teens for pay, My 401k was 5% of my gross, and the company matched $.50 for each dollar I put in. I wish they would have paid 50% of my retirement. The retirement plans lost half their value. $974 would be a huge jum for me. As I look for jobs now, I am lucky to see anything in the $12 per hours range, and you complain about $20 something per hour. I feel no sympathy Mike. PS. I worked at a skilled trade in the printing industry.

      • Mike

        So let’s set the bar real low and that’s the way things will be. Could you be any more stupid? I worked in the skilled printing trade for 40 years and 35 years ago I made more money then you do today! That is what you are asking for, lets all be an idiot becaues Lon is!

    • Norge

      BOO-Freakin HOO, your homeowners insurance went up 50%? Don’t believe you! Auto went up 10%? Thats your fault, thats why they raise rates! Property taxes up 8% serves you right. 88% on avg. of all property taxes go straight to unionized employee wages and benefits, ie: school teachers, (who eat up on avg 88-91% of the avg MN school districts budget, truth! So when they cry at referendum time that “it’s for the children”, don’t believe it, this is just another union lie.) Don’t like it get a job in hte private sector, no-one ‘deserves a job, it isn’t a ‘right’, they must be earned, like pay-raises, after you get a job. Your Pity-pot makes me want to puke in it.

      • Tea

        Right on, Norge! Shall we discuss how many tens of millions of dollars of union money from the teachers’ union to SEIU went into electing Democrats? I have no pity for these union thugs. The Teacher’s Union could care less about children their only interest is in lining their own pockets.

    • Jason

      Maybe its time to contact your home owners/auto insurance work out a better plan for you, I did. I also contribute 50% to retirement. What the hell is the problem. EVERYONE has to make cutbacks no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Its very simple, either unions take consessions or people get fired.

    • TW

      I think their rage is blinding them to your point. He isn’t saying anything I haven’t said. You are looking in the wrong place and that is why we never get ahead. Mike is doing the right thing, working, paying into his retirement (so as not to be a burden on society or his children later), paying into his healthcare and all the other things that a responsible person should do. I do the same. As do you fine private sector workers. We should not be playing the politics of envy here. Look where the real money is going! The top level people in the state and local governments, who are in bed with the corrupt union leadership and the politicians! Poking Mike in the eye is like floating in a sesspool and picking up one turd and declaring that to be the reason for the smell!

      • Thumper


    • Thumper

      Mike – I appreciate your candor. Please also appreciate that if your job was made available tomorrow (as tight as your belt is), over 1000 people would line up for it and be thrilled, since we are a nation with 10% unemployment and 20% underemployment (gallop poll out this week).

      I lost my pension ten years ago and will never have a defined benefit, but my (and my kids at a much higher rate) taxes will pay for yours. Tell me some more about your troubles and how unfair life is.

  • Jon

    Little dictator in Wisconsin. Let these people negotiate,repeal Walker.repeal all politicians health care,lower their wages by 10 percent,cut there pensions,that should help solve there budget deficit. But it’s really about busting unions across this country.

    • Norge

      Unions and their thugs are the abusive dictators…they are cheap-shotting the schools to protest, doing unauthorized work-stoppages and making threats on the lives and welfare of their opponents…but they are used to getting away with murder….ask Jimmy Hoffa. Fire all public sector union employees and start over with people who really want to actually work!

      • TW

        Norge, take a breath your hyperventilating! I am an unwilling union member. they take money from me and declare me a union member, I don’t have a voice because I don’t choose to give them even more money to be a paying member. In Minnesota it is so corrupt the union has to give us all back $17 cause they funneled too much money into Daytons’ campaign! Under your knee Jerk reaction I would be fired too so really? You don’t want to hit the people who really teach our kids (not the over paid college professors either), put out fires, kill bad guys, plow streets and do the things we need. ,

  • Papa K

    Bring it on. And you’ll never have a majority in the House or Senate again. Will not lay down and play dead. You don’t KNOW what you’re even suggesting.

    It’s NOT about the unions, it’s about compromise and the RIGHT better understand that.

    I have no health insurance and I have spent 50% of my retirement making ends meet and I have been in business for myself for almost 30 years. Something has got to change and I will STAND up and be heard.

    I have seen JOBs go to China because it’s cheaper … You’re DAMN right it’s cheaper … It’s JUNK. I work with big corporations and there number 1 problem is product reliability. Thank God the medical industry doesn’t manufacture over there or your DAMN pacemaker will fail. It’s a throw away society. Nothing is made as well as it used to be.

    Kessler is right on reporting this … He was a classmate I knew at St Thomas.

    GOOD JOB …

    • &%@$

      Let us start by gutting the pension and health benefits of all elected politicians … Who is Rep Drazkowski listening to? You’re sucking on your golden spoon and can’t hear what going on. Do you think WI is an island?

    • TW

      Tariffs on imports as opposed to all the “free trade” we have been force fed for decades would take care of that.

    • Mark

      We are not responsible for your survival, you are. Get you hands of my wallet, thief.

    • Frank

      Hey PaPa K the union philosophy is sound. It’s the members that corrupt any organization just like the big companies.The company protects the big fat cats to get outrageous salaries and stock options and the unions protect the lazy worthless workers who have accumulated seniority and think they should have control and reap benefits while they f_ _ _ off and badmouth their coworker friends. They sit on there butts and steal from the company, trying to get their coworkers fired to secure their positions in the union. I can’t support a union that protect these people. Unions are out dated and corrupt just like the CEO’s, Politicians,Senior Employee’s

    • Michael Spurlock

      No, it’s about the unions. It’s about union corruption and the illegitimate influence held by them in our government. It’s about a President and a party that has declared war on the American people in favor of union thugs who suck up our money like parasites until our economy collapses.

      Well, Cloward-Piven Democrats, the well is dry and we are on to you. It’s you or America and we choose our country. If you don’t like it, go over to China. Oh, that’s right. The unions already have.

  • Lon Dugan

    I have been underemployeed for almost 2 years now. As I have been searching for jobs, public sector job are paying almost twice the rate that private sector jobs are paying. Along with that, the people in the private sector pay a much higher percentage of their health insurance and contributions to thier 401k’s and retirement plans. Government employees do not produce anything that brings in income, no revenue production. All they do is take money from it’s citizens. (Taxes) The teachers unions has been holding school districts hostage for years, and there are built in “raises” for each year of teaching.
    Unemployment is rampant, and revenues are going down and there are huge deficits for cities, counties, and states. The current levels of pay are unsustainable. If you don’t like your cushy public sector job and don’t think you get paid enough, go find a job in the private sector!

    • just saying

      It’s interesting that you say that public sector jobs pay more than private sector jobs. As a HR person in state government, we are constantly having people turn down jobs because we can’t pay them as much as a private sector employer. Perhaps you should apply for a state job since the state workers all have cushy positions with high incomes – that way you won’t be underemployed any longer.

    • mnworker

      Lon, my husband…the teacher…has got nothing more than a 1% salary increase in the 10+ years he’s been teaching. We’re really not pocketing the cash you think we are…

  • Denise

    I have been working in a private small business for 28 years and got laid off 6 month ago. Where do I and the rest of the non-goverment go to protest? One of the protesters said “How do I put food on the table with such low wages or no wages at all?” Well honey get in line with the rest of us in the food bank. If I can lose my job and benefits after 28 years why can’t you? Why are the govenment jobs supposed to be secured and not mine? Deal with it like the rest of us!

    • Lon Dugan

      Go girl!!!!

      • nikole

        This is the argument I can’t stand! One of the benefits of working for ‘the state’ is the job security, pay, and benefits. You chose to go the route you did 28 years ago. Unions were around 28 years ago. You had to have known all along that your job was vulnerable. I’m not saying your situation isn’t horrible. What I am saying is that all jobs are not created equal!!!! That’s why jobs require different qualifications! To say, “if I can lose my job…why can’t you”…well, that ‘you’ you are referring to chose to educate themselves or prepare themselves for a government job, just as you chose a private sector, non-union position. I don’t work for the state, but I do work for a union. I like the job security of working in a union position. There are lots of things about my contract that sucks, but I choose to do what I do, just like you chose to do what you did.

    • Norge

      There should be NO JOB SECURITY…absolutely NONE…when working for the public! The government…ie: the people should and do have the right to hire and fire AT WILL for a multitude of reasons..including getting rid of deadbeat employees, reducing expenditures, and providing accountability to the taxpayers who elected the government to do exactly that!! Public employee Unions are the life-suckers that are killing education, infastructure and accountability in Minnesota, the public unions must die and if the public employees don’t like it they are free to get a better job in the private sector.

      • Pensieve

        I feel strongly that the unions have to pay towards their pensions, insurance, etc.

        However, I do feel the public has never understood the reason behind tenure. In the private sector, the boss fires people who are useless and replaces them with better workers. In teaching, without tenure, teachers would get fired, not in favor of better teachers necessarily but to hire someone’s cousin or someone with less experience, because the pay is less. Don’t assume that once tenure is gone, you’ll be getting better teachers, because the people who hire and fire them have no real skin in the game. Believe me, the taxpayers aren’t the one making staff decisions – if they were, it might be different.

  • Goob

    Bring jobs back to the US…I’d be willing to pay more for shoes, toys clothes, etc…as long as the ceo’s and those types only made around 200,000 or so. I bet there’s some guy who’d create these companies and not make 100,000,000 bucks. We need to remember the value of a buck again..

  • Lon Dugan

    I am wondering what planet you were on. I worked for 2 different companies. At one I no raises at all for 6 years. At the other I got a 2.5 – 3 % raise per year.
    I agree with you that we should cut government employees numbers and pay scale. Quite frankly the place I would start is the legislature, both state and federal, and posibly even city and county as well.

    • mnworker

      Lon, for the past 10+ years my husband has got a 1% increase. He’s a teacher. But look at the salary increases for the elite top 5%, it’s much more. We’re in the same boat, Lon. Teachers are not your enemies, direct your anger to the person that is stuffing his wallet with cash while not giving you your fair share. Believe me, it’s not the teacher, policeman, or street maintenance person doing that to you….

      • Wilbur

        The teachers are never the problem money wise. It is the Teachers Union. They promote based on time, not on skill. They need to get rid of the unions strong hold and go to a Achievement based pay scale.

        Why should we be mad at the people who have busted their butts getting where they are, suppling jobs, and reeping the reward of their hard work. Capitalism works great, capitalism will fix this economy faster then the idiots in DC.

        Don’t drink the Hateraid

        • CppThis

          Well put. The employees never were the problem, it’s union leadership making unreasonable demands and generally expecting the world to revolve around them and their various petty dramas. And like any oppressive bureaucracy, they respond to anything resembling change by threatening to screw everyone over and/or pull a guilt trip.

          For the record, I recently moved here from California, which has been utterly run into the ground by bitchy, unreasonable public-sector unions and their spineless political enablers. Does MN really want 12% unemployment because they ran off all the businesses that aren’t stupid?

        • SirGareth

          The only system of merit payment that actually works must be based upon the ability of a free agent to pass on what is being offered.

          Government and merit pay occupy parallel universes. They cannot co-reside. Government uses a gun to collect its revenues. It would be similar to asking John Dillinger to establish a merit based pay system for his employees.

  • Norge

    The REAL question is unions for PUBLIC employees….period, not private sector! And common sense should tell the taxpayers footing the bill that those who feed at the public trough should not have the right to negotiate how full the taxpayer must keep it! Who is running the government, the taxpayers or the unions? Public employee unions must die.

  • Tea

    This is clear case of the Have Nots (us private sector employees) being asked to pay more of our diminishing wages for the wealthy public sector employees. Most of us in private sector aren’t going to receive any pension, while we are being asked to pay for and fund union thugs opulent pensions. Democrats always try to pit the well-to-do against the poor, this time the poor are now in the private sector while the well-to-do are public sector employees. Try to raise my taxes again and we shall see some good old class warfare at the next election.

    • MIke

      In other words YOU want to set the standard for health care, benefits and wages on YOUR perception of what is fair? It would seem a better outcome for ALL, if you let the unions set the standard instead of the race to the bottom which is EXACLTLY WHAT YOU PROPOSE!

    • mnworker

      Actually, we’re only asking the rich to pay more taxes…so if you are rich…technically you are not a “Have Not” you are a “Have a lot.” Asking the poor to take a pay cut, while not taxing the rich, and not allowing the people to organize is the definition of facism.

    • ignats

      Nice mnworker, steal the money from someone else. It’s the responsibility of the rich to educate your kids. Do you steal cows from your neighbor because he has more than you, because it’s only fair?

    • mnworker

      Ignats, Walker’s “budget” simultaneously gave tax cuts to the wealthy…AND not only asked public employee’s to pay more for health insurance and pension (less in pocket) but said they can no longer essence, bust the union (which actually saves NO money.) How can you give a break to the rich and ask the middle class to pay more? That is the question…if taxes were increased for the wealthy the same time you are asking the middle class to pay more, then you would have a different story.

    • M.C.


      Taxing the rich and Union Labor Law are two different issues. Union workers are paid with tax dollars period. I am not wealthy but I PAY taxes. I work for a private corporation which means I am also “at risk” for paying a portion of my benefits and I am not guaranteed “tenure”. Because I am not wealthy, I demand (as your employer) that YOU (a PUBLIC SERVENT) accept the SAME RISK as I accept by choosing to work in the Private Sector.

      Welcome to reality!

    • classical liberal


      Benito Mussolini said “Fascism has taken up an attitude of complete opposition to the doctrines of Liberalism, both in the political field and in the field of economics”

      Economic liberalism is free markets.
      Political liberalism is the freedom from State oppression.

      Fascism State control of private property for the national or State good.

      Benito Mussolini also said,
      “Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade-unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which diverent interests are coordinated and harmonised in the unity of the State.” -Doctrine of Fascism

      Fair share is equal percent taxes. They pay more than that unless they get subsidies. END CORPORATE WELFARE, not punish their success.

      Learn more about fascism buddy.

    • mnworker

      Classic Liberal – Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism

      Walker’s budget simultaneously gives the rich a tax CUT…while asking middle class to tighten their belts. Why not all? And talk about complete power…take away the labors right to organize and negotiate…that’s fascism.

    • Detter

      I’d not wait for the next tax hike. Where are the people who are against the state employee unions? You out number them big time.

      Heck I’d love to have had a state job. City jobs are even more better. They suck the very life out of a taxpayer. Pay nothing into their systems and whine when asked to pop for 10%. Weak sauce on their part. Unions are self-serving. Get out of the union and use those cost avoidance to pay for your increased health and ret.

  • Papa

    Truth is, what really is going on here is Americans have had enough. Whether republican or democrat, public or private, we have had enough! Our elected officials from Obama to local government have no idea how we feel. I have no more money to give the government! My wife and I make less money today than we did 5 years ago! My job went overseas. My health insurance is nearly unaffordable! My property taxes went up even though my house is worth half as much as it was 5 years ago. Andersen Windows can only afford to give their top managment profit sharing, bonuses, and raises while the regular work force is put on 4 day work weeks and watch their jobs go to India. In the last couple years, both my elderly parents lost their retiree medical and forced to find their own when their companies they worked at for 35 years dropped them. Fair? Rise up America! Use Facebook, the pulpit, whatever!

  • Peter

    The budget crisis MN faces is the same as the federal government and we need to fix the problem not feed the problem. Both have made commitments they cannot keep over time. The MN budget will get larger and larger as state employees retire, healthcare rises, government expands, etc. Taxing is only a short term solution and can only rise so much. We have to shrink the size of government not the function. This can be done through allocating work to the private sector. Does the state really need to employ electricians, engineers, survey crews, etc. etc. etc. Why can’t we scale it back to a good management team that can call on the best in the state private sector to do the work.

  • Union Made

    Pay attention and start doing your research Drazkowski, as a union employee I have a high deductible health insurance plan, that covers 80-20 after my ridiculous deductible is met, if you think that’s ‘cadillac’ then you truthfully don’t have a clue. It isn’t all ‘union employees’ that had an effect on this states 6 billion dollar budget deficit. In all of these budget talks why isn’t there near the attention given to cutting government aid to the worhtless? The programs that those who are a detriment live off of? We wouldn’t want to cut their strings and let them no that’s not the politicaly correct thing to do but it is politically correct to cut the working class’ benefits some more. Get a clue

    • Union Made

      Correction: The programs that those who are a detriment to our society, live off of.

    • Reason8200

      Talk to your liberal demorcrat hacks, they are the ones who started those types of programs with no accountablility. About your health care, welcome to the real world. The only difference is you cant be fired unless they find a body in the trunk of your car or something, then they’ll put you on a paid leave of absence for 2 years while they try to figure out how it got there. Those in the private sector dont have that type of job security. Look around, is it government employees who are getting laid off or people in the private sector.

    • Jason

      Your not alone my coverage is 80/20 as well. It is time To cut in the Goverment. Taxpayers are no longer willing to get exhorted.

  • Mike

    That’s right. Bring back all those jobs. Make sure CEOs have to stay at their company for 20 years to get their “Golden Parachute” and lower the expectations of the shareholders.

    My homeowners insurance went up $500/yr (50%) because eveyone elses rates went up between 35% and 65% based on the amount of claims in the last 5 years. My wife and I have clean driving records and no accidents.
    While you’re at it why don’t you repeal the labor laws? No overtime, no min wage, no 40hr work week, no insurance, no retirement.

  • Madashell

    It’s simple. The have nots are mad at the haves – can’t take no more. My private sector job of 30 years was cut do to budgets. My wife is on 4 day work weeks while still doing 6 days worth of work for her private sector job. I’m forced to start over at 54 years old with half wages and no vacation. Her company just paid the top management huge bonuses while announcing plans to send all call support functions to India. If we tried to walk off the job today in protest we would be fired. My neighbor is a street maintenance for St. Paul. Many dayys he brags of how little he has to do for his $35 bucks an hour. He can’t hardly use his 6 weeks of vacation and holidays each year. He just got back from a 10 day Carribean cruise. My wife and I haven’t taken a vacation in 4 years. Hard to feel bad for anyone in a union these days.

    • Reason8200

      Many of us feel the same way. Time to bust these unions.

    • mnworker

      It wasn’t your street maintenance neighbor that caused your company to lay off. Direct your anger and frustration to the cause of the problem – not your closest punching bag.

  • Ginger Shepla

    How do you know the private sector got raises? I’m in the private sector and we had to take unpaid time off, had wage freezes and saw medical coverage go through the roof. I now have to pay $350 out of pocket each year just to go see the doctor before one penny of my insurance kicks in. The private sector is living in the real world dealing with much less pay, paying more for our benefits and for sure paying more in taxes to cover the unions so they can keep everything they want.

    • I'm overpaid

      A $350 deductible is pretty darn good right now. As one of those overpaid, underworked, terrible public sector workers, I wish that mine was $350. It is $1700. If I would have stayed with the $350 which you think is so bad, my premiums would be $1200 per month out of pocket. Boy, I have it good.

  • Matt

    Really? If unions fall society will fall? Even at the PEAK of unions it was only 35% of all workers and today that number is a little over 12% with over half of them working in the government.

    Do you want to take a guess as to why? Unions are past their prime, in an age when information from around the work is available at your fingertips you don’t need a union to protect you.

    • RightUnite

      Couldn’t agree more! Their time is up.

    • Reddog

      The unions and politicians need to take a lesson from Reagan and the air traffic controllers union. Thugs and thieves make up most of union leadership, and their time has passed. Go to work, or lose your job. No one is irreplaceable, especially in this economy.

    • Pete

      Agreed. People who say to look to the past for a reason to keep unions are not living in the present, and can not see the future. Unions were fantastic… were. But informatin flows now like water.

      Its time people stop depending on others to do for them. Its time to pull your selves up, less you pull others down.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live