Hundreds Gather In Hudson, Wis., Over Collective Bargaining Bill

By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) — It’s more than four hours away from Madison, but on the streets of Hudson, Wis., crowds gathered making it look very similar to the capital.

“This is union busting at its finest,” said Steve Hartman, an AFSCME union member.

Anger over a money-saving bill to end collective bargaining, as well as have workers fund more of their pension and health care plans, has reached all corners of the state and beyond.

“Maybe we should pay our fair share, which is fine. But why cut out bargaining rights,” said John Kucinski, a protester in Hudson.

“We’re standing up for all worker’s rights, not just our rights,” he said.

Some Minnesotans have crossed the border to support their fellow union members.

Linnea Andreson, a teacher from Monticello, Minn., said that she wanted to support her fellow educators and union members in Wisconsin.

“We’re concerned about what’s happening over here,” she said.

A group who hoped their message would also carry through was mingled among the pro-union protesters.

“I’m supporting Walker, because we’re broke,” Joey Monson-Lillie said.

“We’re ready to go, because this battle needs to be fought,” said Michael Krsiean, who also supports Walker’s bill.

Gov. Walker’s supporters may not have the turnout, but they argue that they still have plenty of people on their side.

“The silent majority is supporting us well right now,” Warren Vitcenda said. “We’re getting honks all the time up and down the road and it’s going really well.”

“I think we’re on the right track, finally,” he said.

The goal of the bill was to make the state stronger during a tough financial time, but days of protesting show it has caused a divide.

Gov. Scott Walker is touting this bill as a way to save money while the state deals with a multi-billion dollar shortfall.

More from Rachel Slavik
Comments

One Comment

  1. Paul says:

    Scott Walker needs to GROWUP and learn that nagotiation on this problem is his ONLY option . to try to balance the budget on the backs of Unoin worker especially police,firefighters,teachers,all law enforcement,city,and state workers,is WRONG especially when you just gave tax cuts and breaks to the GREEDY CORPORATIONS mr walker think about who is more important to your state clue: YOUR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES!!!!!!!

    1. jjr says:

      who left the state in hiding?

      1. robb says:

        I agree with jjr, the cowards slipped across state lines and are hiding, what a great example to teach our kids, if you dont get your own way-then cry and run away and pout, as for this bill being crammed down anyones throat, two years ago the party in charge gave the other party ONLY 24 hours to talk about the bill and then passed it (because they were in the majority–I dont recall ONE person on the minority side running across state lines, throwing afit or calling in the jessie jackson butthole……..thats america, you fight and win and sometimes you lose but you keep up the fight- not run and be a coward……..

    2. Raul says:

      Paul, this is just like having health care jammed down my throat. But I think teachers get paid enough for what they do, and that is not much in this day and age.

    3. Rachel says:

      Good idea tell the guy who didn’t run away to grow up! Tell the guy who isn’t hiding out in a different state to grow up! Police and firefighters aren’t part of this bill so skip that part and learn who you are talking about. Teachers ought to pay for their benefits just like everyone else. Paul let the grown ups handle this, they are the ones that know that you don’t spend money you don’t have. The kids are the ones who spend without thinking.

      1. T-Bone says:

        Look at this thread. The ruling class elite has the average Joe complaining teachers are wealthy. We are all pawns in their game. They’ll do anything to distract you from the real issue…wealth is getting concentrated more and more. Notice wall street got bailed out then they start complaining how the national debt will ruin us and we better pull back. The last thing wall street wants is the dollars they stole being worth less. The funny thing they have average Joes doing their bidding by complaining about teachers…think about it. We went from evil bankers to evil teachers in less than 1 year

  2. larry badman says:

    i was in hudson hundreds of people-get real – i seen about twenty people on the 94 over pass and some those were for the cuts. do we have a horse in this race?

    1. Jim says:

      The rally ended at sundown. Hundreds at Govt Center and on the overpass earlier in the morning…come next weekend !

  3. tellitlikeitis says:

    Keep up the good work Gov. Walker. We need more governors like you willing to stand up for the average citizen of your state. The unions have had their moment and they blew it!

  4. Mr T says:

    After eight years on easy street, teacher unions have to start fighting again for the many privileges they have. This means they will have to spend more of their time, money and effort right here in Wisconsin rather than trying to influence the national elections as they did several years ago. They have catered to the democrats to the “nth” degree giving them tons of money, campaigning for them, endorsing them and soliciting votes for them. Most teacher unions nationwide have evolved into nothing more than an arm of the Democratic Party, even promoting their liberal agenda. Maybe the teachers, and especially their unions, should stick to teaching and conduct their political activities on their own dime and on their own time. They are now reaping the rewards of their political partisanship after loosing the battle last November. Really now, what did they expect?

  5. shirley says:

    The union people should tell walker, they want a medical plan equal to his, a pension equal to his along with a respectable wage. He comes off looking like the BULLY of the block.

    1. jjr says:

      what about THE people who are not in the unions who make up the majority.

    2. Rachel says:

      If that is what they want then they should get a job just like his! No one is stopping them from finding a new career. There are plenty of people out there looking for jobs and would be willing to pay the minimal portion of their benefits that he is asking.

  6. Jim Paxton says:

    Unions are on the way out, finally. Time to get real.

    1. T-Bone says:

      Corprate America acted real well prior to Unions…I am sure they’ll keep the workers intrest in mind..tell your grand kids to prepare for 7day work weeks and peasent wages going forward

      1. Denise says:

        Your right T-Bone. Walker just had to give Wal-Mart a tax break and now he wants teachers and other union people to pay for the bail out. Triangle Shirt Waist Company is due for a comeback.

    2. Mike says:

      Must be a dream for guys like Jim Paxton to have the opportunity to strip democracy out of the workplace and have workers running scared, tired and broken down so they will accept third world standards for American wages, and benefits.
      Good bye middle class and welcome to conservative servitute in our newly invoked corporatocracy.

  7. Sunshine says:

    Dear Shirley,
    Walker has been the Governor for about six weeks now. I seriously doubt if he had anything to do or say about his benefit package. Be real! Wisconsin is 3.6 billion dollars in the hole thanks to the Doyle democrats of the past eight years. The teachers are a bunch of whining and very greedy people who have been spoiled by getting whatever they have wanted the past eight years. They less give damn about any of us. They are now acting like three years olds and throwing temper tantrums because their free ride is ending. Walker is right on track here. I commend the man for his actions. He is doing what is best for Wisconsin. He is the good guy in the white hat whether you want to think so or not!

    1. Marissa says:

      Dear Sunshine,
      Why are you accusing teachers of being whining and greedy when they are the ones who are underpaid and underappreciated in the first place. If you don’t believe that, spend the day in a school and see what it is like. The PUBLIC EMPLOYEES that are “acting like three year olds and throwing temper tantrums” are just standing up for their rights just like you would do if your rights were being taken away. Remember that this is not all about the money, it is about the stripping of bargaining rights. On the money side, can the local economies really afford to have all the PUBLIC EMPLOYEES in the community lose $3,000 to 4,000 which they would then have turned around and spent supporting the local businesses in their community?

      1. Rachel says:

        What are you talking about? They don’t have the right to a job! They have the option to take the job at the wage and benefits offered or not. And lets not whine about having to pay $3000 to $4000 to get the benefits and pensions they get. The reality of it is this: Wisconsin can’t afford to pay these teachers the way they are. This is why the government has the option to pass bills such as this one, to give them negotiating power to get teachers at a price they can afford. They don’t like, they can go somewhere else. No one is forcing them to be a teacher in Wisconsin. They wouldn’t be underappreciated if they weren’t underperforming. They can bargain on their own with the school districts. Unions simply allow those who do the least to carried by those who actually have work ethic. Rewards based on achievement don’t exist in unions.

    2. ohhellno says:

      3.2 billion that’s all, and that’s by the Dems?? What does that say for Minnesota who had a Republican governor with a deficit of 6.2 BILLION???

      1. Mr T says:

        You really don’t want to know what I think about Minnesota, do you?

  8. CJ says:

    River Falls teachers told their students that if they didn’t walk out with them Thurs, then the students would fail classes. Nice…very nice.

    Notice that the teachers are OK with walking out on their 9 montha year jobs. Could YOU wallk away for 2 days from your job and have nothing done?

    Walk into the Hudson school at 335pm. Chances are you won’t see more than 10% of the teachers still in the building.

    To all the teachers who are whining…QUIT! Somebody else will be glad to get those benefits and work day.

  9. Renee says:

    Walker is trying to bust the unions and make Wisconsin a right-to-work state. It’s that simple.

    I’ve never belonged to a union, and I’m self-employed, but I recognize the role unions play in protecting ALL workers’ rights. Walker has overreached with this legislation, and he needs to step back and negotiate in good faith.

    Wisconsin’s economy will spin down further if these people lose 10% of their paychecks. As an independent business person, I REALLY don’t want this to happen. It means 10% less spent in their communities,and more jobs lost in the private sector as a consequence. This is not a winning strategy for Wisconsin.

    1. nc says:

      Wisconsin is suffering from a revenue problem because they are giving tax breaks to millionaires and allowing the corporations to pay slave wages to the working class so that they do not make enough money to survive. Many of us find ourselves making half of what we made before the layoff.
      Just try to raise a family on $39,000 to $45,000 a year.
      I STAND WITH THE PROTESTERS FOR STRONG UNIONS!
      WE NEED TO GET UNIONS BACK FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR TOO!

  10. MR T says:

    Hey Marissa,
    Like the Geico commercial, it’s time for you to come out from under your rock. The average Wisconsin teacher has a wage and benefit package of over $85,000.00 a year. And that is for working about eight months each year! You may call that peanuts but to me, that is a lot of money we have to foot out! Most private industry employees are on their third year of wage freezes. The teachers are not! And, not in the least, the teachers are NOT taking a pay cut. This bill will only slow down their wage and benefit packages in the future. Now you know the real truth!

    1. Marissa says:

      Hey Mr. T
      Please remember that this doesn’t only affect teachers but all public employees. Just because the media mainly talks about the educators, they are not the only ones protesting! The “average” you are talking about is extremely skewed by the teachers in the southern half of the state. Take a look at the teacher packages in the rural areas, especially Northern WI. The eight months out of the year comment is ridiculous. Most teachers work 60-80 hours per week for the NINE months that school is in session, then do curriculum work on their own time in the summer. A lot of the teachers in my district start working in their rooms at the beginning of August to get ready for the school year that starts September 1. Teachers in some districts have endured the wage freezes just like the private industry employees.

    2. nc says:

      No wonder the state is in such a mess. All the private sector employers are cutting the wages of their workers by laying off the workers in their 40s and 50s. The jobs out here only pay half of what these workers were making so THEIR TAXES GO DOWN. Less revenue for the state means budget short falls.
      Why would we want to do this to even more workers?

  11. Renee says:

    “The teachers are a bunch of whining and very greedy people who have been spoiled by getting whatever they have wanted the past eight years.”

    They haven’t gotten whatever they wanted these past years. Many have had wage freezes and have made benefits concessions. Positions and contracts have been cut.

    US teachers work more hours and are paid less than their counterparts in many other industrialized nations. Take a look:

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/teacher-pay-around-the-world/

    The teachers I know work very hard — long hours in a demanding environment. In fact, I taught for one year and was utterly exhausted. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a schoolteacher (and I make more in the private sector with less stress, so I’ll stay here, thank you very much).

  12. Renee says:

    ” And, not in the least, the teachers are NOT taking a pay cut. ”

    Yes they are. Having to pay more for healthcare and pension, without pay increase, IS a pay cut. Their take home pay will be reduced. In my world that’s a paycut.

    1. Mr T says:

      So you believe that we, the taxpayer, are supposed to pick up the increased cost of health care for all the teachers? Why is that? No one is picking up my increase in these costs. You need to remember that taxpayer money, our money, is not free and unlimited money. So I end up paying my increases and then I have to chip n on the teachers increase while they laugh all the way to school. Is that fair? Don’t give me this stuff about their work environment being tough. Between my military and law enforcement employment, I have over 34 years experience………… And by the way, I was in a union member for more then twenty years.

      1. Marissa says:

        Who said that the taxpayer is picking up the increased cost of health care for “all the teachers”. Most teachers have picked up the increases over the last few years just like everyone else.

        If you don’t believe that teachers have a tough work environment, go to work in a school and deal with kids whose parents don’t care about their education so they don’t care about their education and do their best to disrupt the process. Maybe your law enforcement background would come in handy there!

        The issue being protested is more about the bargaining rights than the money.

  13. Sunshine says:

    Where have you people been? Most teacher unions operate at national level these days. As far as I know they are all democrat and they are all liberal in their philosophy. They have become an arm of the Democratic Party. They do everything they can to get democrats elected so they can get more money and better benefits and all at our expense. This is about one thing. Listen carefully. It’s all about the MONEY! Our MONEY! They want o get as much of our money as they can. They lost the election in Wisconsin last November. The lived by the political sword for the last eight year and now they are reaping the rewards of their partisanship. It’s as simple as that! Holding down their wage and benefit packages in the future is only going to help our deficit and our economy. Contrary to what the democrats believe, we cannot spend you way out of debt!

    1. Renee says:

      “It’s all about the MONEY! Our MONEY! They want o get as much of our money as they can.”

      I can’t stop laughing. Anyone who wants to make money DOESN’T become a schoolteacher. I can’t think of a more thankless profession. They have to put up with people like you, AND teach your kids.

      1. Rachel says:

        Don’t tell me they aren’t making money, the average salary of a teacher in Wisconsin is $85,000. That is a lot more than my husband makes and he works longer hours, and is in charge of and responsible for the saftey of a lot more people than any teacher is.

  14. linda hopkins says:

    I was in Hudson today protesting Walker’s bullying tactics. And I do not work the state of Wisconsin.
    I was there (among 600 others) who do not believe that bullying people who have given their careers to helping the citizens of this state should have political and economic rights taken away by a bully.
    The reason unions were established in the first place was because each and every person employed does not have enough power by himself or herself to make sure they have a safe work place, decent, wage, and retirement fund.
    That why people literally died to have the right to organize.
    Now, in Wisconsin, the representatives of the party of big business (who have taken this country into bankruptcy) want to destroy one of the few remaining economic organizations that benefit the middle class as opposed to their masters, the corporations.
    I boggles my mind that educated people think that the party that instigated or allowed two illegal and expensive wars; a broken health care system; a broken banking system; a stock market shellgame; internal spying; and a real estate disaster should demand that they know how to fix the disaster they created. Would you ask the accountant that stole funds from your company how to set up your new accounting system?
    Wake up and smell the coffee

    1. Mr T says:

      I can only say this dear lady: Ignorance is acceptable in certain cases: stupidity is not! Please go back to your side of the river. You can’t go wrong with Dayton and Jesse and Franken. Don’t criticize me when you elect people like that!

    2. Rachel says:

      I’m confused, who is in power right now? Who has more than trippled the national debt in two years? Who thinks that trillions of dollars in debt is much better than billions? Ohh thats right Obama. And who said the housing market was wonderful and in no need of reform? Wait let me think…Barney Frank. And who had the genius idea of making money, by providing a product that people want? I know you can get this one… Private business. What product does the government make? None. What product does the government sell? None. But they sure can spend can’t they. Obama said he was ready for this job, that unemployment would never rise above 8%, 9%, and then 10%. Maybe if you realized that only by providing a product can someone make money, provide jobs, and help the overall economy you would understand why the smart people are saying stop spending us into debt. (See not all Minnesotans are stupid, just those in hopkins).

  15. jj says:

    Did you know that teachers spend their own money to pay for classroom staples? While that teacher may be making anywhere from $25000-54000 depending on where you are, that is money helping your children. Plus some of the pictures that they send home for you that isn’t paid for by the school district, get real. Districts have tightened their belts too. If we let the collective bargaining go away what will happen to schools? When walker gets this through he’ll reveal his budget. Why not show the budget now. My brother is a Prison Guard in Wisconsin. He said that the plan was to contract out the guards. So that will be Wisconsinites losing their jobs? Sweet huh? When my husband lost his job and was unemployed and couldn’t find a job for nothing we thought to ourselves that there were still worse people out there living in way worse shape than we were, and we didn’t wish it on anybody to ever have to be in our place. Except those people that think that all unemployed people are freeloaders and the ones that will throw you under the bus to save their spiny backs. To Mr. T those teachers have been on a wage freeze also. Maybe read a little more.

  16. Renee says:

    Thank you, Linda. Walker’s plan is destruction of the middle class. Collective bargaining is the foundation that holds up the labor house. Without it ALL workers are vulnerable.

    If you want to see what a world without collective bargaining is like for workers, take a look at the worker abuses and low pay in China. Walker wants that world for workers in Wisconsin.

    “Wisconsin is open for business!” but not for the middle class, apparently.

    1. nc says:

      How can any state survive financially giving huge tax breaks to millionaires and allowing the corporations to pay slave wages to the working class so that they do not make enough money to survive. Many of us find ourselves making half of what we made before the layoff. We are now living on Food Share, Medicaid, Energy assistance…and we are too poor to be taxed.
      Just try to raise a family on $39,000 to $45,000 a year.
      I STAND WITH THE PROTESTERS FOR STRONG UNIONS!
      WE NEED TO GET UNIONS BACK FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR TOO!

      1. Rachel says:

        We have a family of 5 on less than $45,000 a year. It isn’t that hard, you watch what you spend, you spend time with your kids, and you know what we don’t have any government assistance. Giving tax breaks to big corporations allows them to hire more people, provide healthcare for those people, and helps to support families. And I would rather earn my wages based on performance reviews rather than some guy walking into a room and bargaining for me. Unions support the lazy, they hold up the least among us. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a good worker will not get fired. And why is it that these all caring unions have no problem taking millions from the workers to line the pockets of Democrats? I thought their job was to negotiate wages with the employer.

  17. carol in wisconsin says:

    Unions …they are a great tool…keeping the super rich from making us their slave labor….Most teachers are in the 50,000 wage bracket…and well deserved……..Gov. Walker just wants to break the unions…the teachers agree to the wage cuts..they just dont want to lose thier rights to belong to the union…those rights cost the Gov. nothing…Our Gov. will be recalled as soon as the law allows..so lets not let him ruin Wisconsin in the meantime…c

  18. Mr T says:

    So you believe that we, the taxpayer, are supposed to pick up the increased cost of health care for all the teachers? Why is that? No one is picking up my increase in these costs. You need to remember that taxpayer money, our money, is not free and unlimited money. So I end up paying my increases and then I have to chip n on the teachers increase while they laugh all the way to school. Is that fair? Don’t give me this stuff about their work environment being tough. Between my military and law enforcement employment, I have over 34 years experience………… And by the way, I was in a union member for more then twenty years.

    1. Renee says:

      “So you believe that we, the taxpayer, are supposed to pick up the increased cost of health care for all the teachers? Why is that? No one is picking up my increase in these costs.”

      Yes. Most college-educated professionals employed in high responsibility, high impact jobs receive a compensation package — whether they work in private or public sector. This compensation package includes wages and benefits (health care, pension or 401K match, bonuses and stock (private sector), etc). Most of these employees pay a portion of their health coverage, copays, etc., but these benefits are subsidized by the employer. This is standard. Should the teachers pay more? Perhaps, but it should be negotiated. In the past the public sector employees have traded off lower salaries for better benefits through collective bargaining. Taking away their ability to collectively bargain is just wrong. Fine, ask for concessions, but don’t take away their ability to negotiate . . . without it they work for a tyrannical employer (citizens who would prefer to pay them nothing if they could get away with it).

      Take away collective bargaining and reduce the already-low salaries, and the best teachers will leave Wisconsin. Minnesota will be a huge beneficiary . . . let the dumbing down of Wisconsin commence . . .

  19. Mr T says:

    Carol, You are low on that $50,000.00 figure and then add 30-35% for their benefit package thet we pay for!

    1. Renee says:

      All professional employees receive 30-35% in benefits. This is standard for those in professional jobs with higher levels of education. Why are you saying that teachers don’t deserve those benefits? When I worked for private employer my benefits were 30-40K a year above salary. This is standard. Health insurance is expensive.

  20. Sunshine says:

    Dear people,
    Please start using the actual budget figures rather then the ones provided by the media reporters or the teachers. It may sound good for their cause but if it is not accurate, it must be a lie!
    Thank you!

  21. Lasselanta says:

    I think, Mr. T., that rather than asking why “we, the taxpayer, are supposed to pick up the increased cost of health care for all the teachers?” we should be asking, “why is the cost of health care increasing so much?” For those of us in the working class – public or private sectors – these are questions related to issues that impact all of us.

    Teachers are taxpayers, too, and their money is not free or unlimited, either. I seriously doubt there are many (if any) teachers who “laugh all the way to the school” based on their earned income. The way I understand it, educators have negotiated their benefits packages in exchange for lower-than-average salaries…salary and benefits together make up the entire compensation package. This whole argument really can’t and shouldn’t be boiled down to a public-vs-private sector battle. There are bigger issues at stake here.

  22. jj says:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/video/html_1bcf2092-3c71-11e0-a8b0-001cc4c002e0.html

    AWESOME! Watch these sleezeballs! Mr. t Workers in this state pay about 500 out of their pocket for health insurance premiums every paycheck and some of them only make 30000 a year.

  23. tom says:

    Unions are only good for high wages period!!! The only problem with not having unions anymore is that since 1980 the basic wage has gone DOWN. You may think thats not true, but in 1985 a man could start working in a warehouse for 10.00 an hour, today that same job is 9.25. A welder in 1985 could start a job at 16.00 a hour, today that is now 11.00. The problem is that states cannot dictate the wage for a non union worker, the company does, and seeing they have that right they have EXPLOITED people to become little robots in there factories. Why is our economy so BAD, lets see, FOOD prices go up, Gas prices go up, TAXES go up, Health care and insurance goes up, but your WAGES go down. Now if our GOVERMENT can’t see that try getting off your asses and come work out in the real world, where there are no perks, health insurance, gas cards, just come and work in a factory for one month making 9.25 an hour to feed a family of 3 or 4 and pay your bills. And you sit and try and take workers rights away. I do not know why we keep voting people in that have their heads where the sun doesn’t shine and it stinks.

    1. captainobvious says:

      if your making $9.25 you should be arrested for having a family in the 1st place, only a clueless person starts a family without being in solid financial shape.

  24. Badge 2603 says:

    Mr. T: If you indeed had over thirty years in law enforcement as you say you have a mental defect. I had thirty five before i retired so your trumped. Any one in law enforcemnent knows what teachers and staff put up with.No doubt you had blinders on your “career as you say”. Take them off and remove your purple sun glases..and get me what ever your on..legal or …

    1. Juls says:

      That’s an awesome comment! But so right on. teachers have to put up with the criminals when they are delinquents first. I’d say some have risky jobs security guard at the school or not! if they are willing to concede but don’t want to lose the collective bargaining rights what’s the problem? Sounds more like a major dislike for unions.

      1. Badge2603 says:

        Thanks Juls..Gotta support teachers. Worked too close with them..us against the kids whose parents turn them over to teachers to raise them.

  25. nc says:

    How can any state survive financially giving huge tax breaks to millionaires and allowing the corporations to pay slave wages to the working class so that they do not make enough money to survive. Many of us find ourselves making half of what we made before the layoff. We are now living on Food Share, Medicaid, Energy assistance…and we are too poor to be taxed.
    Just try to raise a family on $39,000 to $45,000 a year.
    I STAND WITH THE PROTESTERS FOR STRONG UNIONS!
    WE NEED TO GET UNIONS BACK FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR TOO!

  26. juls says:

    Is this really about the unions or are state and federal governments be fiscally irresponsible? They keep giving tax breaks to the rich. Maybe we should change the course of the protest and stand up for what we all believe in! Private sector vs Public Sector is wrong. We shouldn’t be fighting against each other because in the end we all pay taxes to the rich fiscally irresponsible people of this country and world just so our elected officials can maybe get some extra money in their pocket. Enough is never enough for them. Maybe we need to all head to our nearest protesting state and tell our government we thought the healthcare reform was suppose to make insurance affordable, without denying anyone. Oh that’s right will pay for everyone that can’t afford insurance anyways. What difference does it make we’re all going to pay one way or another.

  27. Pate says:

    Not all teachers are union.Look at childcare.None of my fellow childcare teachers or I are union or receive benefits,yet we’re busting our butts to provide the care and education our families expect,and then some,and we don’t go out protesting our low pay or our ‘right’ to flagrant privileges.

    1. Linus says:

      The last time I checked, Daycare providers are pretty well paid and can set their own wages. Well deserved too, not arguing that. But you’re comparing apples and oranges and actually just sound a little whiny and jealous

      1. Linus says:

        And before you ask how I know this, my wife runs a daycare in our home that makes more than I do at my union job, and that’s after my so-called gold benefits you are all whining about.

  28. Renee says:

    Pate, your situation is what teachers can expect if they lose collective bargaining (union). Low pay, no benefits, and busting butts to provide education for kids.

    And since when are basic medical care and a retirement plan “flagrant privileges”?

  29. Bonnie says:

    Bonnie:
    Fire them all! What parent wants liers teaching there children, just look at how bad they have been doing. It is time to get rid of the teachers and the entire public education system. We tax payershave to fund the liers and cheats and then we have to work a extra job to send our children to a private school so they get a decent education. I say STOP wasting the tax payers money. And for every bad protesting lying teacher that says they care about the students there are at least 50 just waiting to get a chance to WORK. If i walked off my job I would not have a job to go back to . I just hope we can say GOOD BY to all you losers and get some NEW teacers that CARE about the students and not stealing from the tax payers. START PAYING YOUR OWN WAY.
    And let us not forget the losers hiding in ILL. Best job of running I ever saw a Democrate do. Please stay where you are and keep running we sure don’t need you losers in WI.
    THANK YOU GOV. WALKER Make us proud.
    FED UP WI. TAX PAYER

    1. foridealists says:

      I want to extend a special thank you to some of you for your thoughtful responses. I’m from Minnesota, but before you tell me to go back across the river, just let me say that I have a vested interest in Wisconsin because my husband and I are both originally from there, and all three of our children are Wisconsin tax payers. (In case you were wondering, the irony that Minnesota is in worse shape than Wisconsin is not lost on me.) So I’ll talk about Minnesota because that’s what I know, and our differences are only differences of degree. According to a MN Dept. of Revenue Tax Incidence Study, our tax rate ranges from 22.1% to 8.8%, with household incomes ranging from under $11,202 to over $481,439 (which represents the top 1%). Guess which income is taxed at the lowest tax rate? Now if I were a member of that small select group, I would certainly want to protect my protected status. What better way to do this than to enourage (and given my protected income, boy can I encourage) the remaining households into fighting over the same bone. That way they won’t notice me over here eating Foi Gras with Truffles at $25.00 an ounce. Some of your responses have given me hope that the 1% and people like you are just what the rest of us (and ultimately all of us–you included) need to reach the tipping point, that point when we all wakeup and smell somthing rotten in America. Now lets get back to the hypothetical me. How about if I actually share in the pain and pay my fair share and not engage in extortion by saying, “If you make me, I’ll take my toys and move my corporation to another state.” Hell, I’ve already moved most of my toys to another country, but I’m good, and you’re stupid, so you have either not noticed or taken the time to process how this affects you. (Please note that I said corporations not small businesses because most of you small business folks are not in my league, but I certainly want you to imagine that you are.) So…I could share in the pain because it’s the right thing to do (After all, I did well even when others were not.) or because I’d actually benefit in the long run by not carrying the burden of having more wealth than 99% of the country. Seriously, why are we protecting the rich? The usual arguments don’t stand up under a clear light. That light reveals greed not necessity. More importantly, why are we allowing them to make scapegoats out of government workers who are also tax payers. Wisconsin 14, demonstrators in Madison, thank you for your voices, thank you for your courage.

  30. Erik says:

    Way too much subjectivity in this discussion. How about some basic real world principles…

    Scenario A: Teachers take a cut to pay, benefits, or both, and be thankful they have a job. Certainly not an entirely unattractive option in today’s job climate.

    Scenario B: Teachers keep pay and benefits status quo but reduce the number of teachers by ‘X’ to pay for the cost. Appealing to those that aren’t fired, right?

    Welcome to the real world.

    1. JJ says:

      Erik,
      You have selective hearing. The Teachers have already agreed to Scenario A. Walker has rejected it becuase that is not his agenda. His goal, like Republcans in Ohio and New Jersey is to bust unions.

  31. Wake UP says:

    Wake Up!
    Wake up people and look around! You are in the middle of a class struggle, and the Middle Class is losing the battle. The secret Republican agenda at the Local, State, and National level is all about making the rich richer and you poorer. Since the 1980s the Middle Class has watched their standard of living diminish and yet the rich get richer. Your unions, your health care plans, and your pensions have ended, and your jobs have moved to non-union, poverty ridden markets across the globe because of greed. Is it any wonder, that the Republicans want to end the memory that those benefits were at one time enjoyed by many, instead of a few? Weren’t those benefits part of the American Dream? The Republicans blame State Employees for enjoying a standard of living that is supposedly so much better than citizens in general. I blame the Republicans for making it that way, for being greedy to the point of absurdity and I blame myself for not waking up to it sooner.
    “It is the duty of governments, and of individuals, to form the truest opinions they can; to form them carefully, and never impose them upon others unless they are quite sure of being right.” John Stuart Mills

    1. Erik says:

      Flexibility and nimbleness is the only path to success in today’s global economy. The company/organization/government entity that has the most efficient way to deliver a product or service sets the standard. The private sector is way ahead of the public sector in recognizing and adapting to this reality.

      I get the sense the Teacher’s Union would be better served to find a way to deliver a superior, results-based service rather than pining away for the “old days”.

      There are private sector examples of how the “old way” failed organized labor — see GM and Chrysler. More efficient competition eroded market share resulting in less or no money to pay anyone — neither management nor union. If only Teachers had competition to force them to adapt more quickly.

      LACK OF COMPETITION LEADS TO PROLONGED SURVIVAL OF ANTIQUATED SYSTEMS LIKE TODAY’S LABOR UNIONS. I wonder why a group of forward-thinking teachers doesn’t organize separately using a system based on merit, efficiency and results… THEY WOULD NEVER BE OUT OF WORK OR BENEFITS as the “old guard” withered on the vine.

      I’m sure it was painful to watch buggy whip manufacturers fail too. Cheers to dreaming.

    2. bethinhudson says:

      Wonderfully said, Wake UP.

  32. JJ says:

    Snow is on the way.
    I hope all the snow plow drivers call in sick today before the storm hits. It would send a clear message this is just the beginning of a very long stalemate. Just think how many dollars we could save. If they called in sick tomorrow also, all the schools would close so we would save money there too.

  33. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    If the snow plow drivers call in sick, FIRE every last one of them.

    1. Try a little kindness says:

      What if some of them really ARE sick?? Let me guess, You would make them get a Dr’s note. Not every illness needs a Dr., and if you require that, it would cost the plowdriver money to go to the Dr for a wasted visit. Wasting the Dr’s and office staff time as well. If they showed up for work sick, you would be mad that they made everybody else sick. You can’t just keep lumping all union people or any other similar group into one big pille that you hate!

    2. How's life at Lake Minnetonka? says:

      If you really were a former business owner as you claim in a previous post, YOU and your “I’m perfect, the rest of you are idiots” attitude are EXACTLY the reason Unions were formed in the first place. Take some of that moldy money you so proudly earned without the help of anyone (except of course the poor slobs who had to work for you, probably for little or nothing while you raked it in) and go out and buy some empathy and class.

  34. captainobvious says:

    Go to work and deal with what comes, you think standing on the street with a sign for 5 days will matter, your voice doesn’t count ,remember that your just wasting time. I’m so glad we voted the union down 5years ago otherwise i’d be unemployed.

  35. chimp says:

    unions protect the LAZY………..no wonder why so many of you support them worthless p.o.s.

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