Wis. Assembly Reaches Deal To End Debate, Vote

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched Thursday to the doorsteps of some of the AWOL Democratic senators in hopes of finding at least one who would come back to allow a vote on a measure to curb the power of public-employee unions.

The stepped-up tactic ordered by the Republican head of the Senate came amid reports that at least a few of the missing senators were returning home at night before rejoining their colleagues in Illinois.

Meanwhile, the state Assembly appeared close to voting on the union-rights bill after more than two straight days of filibustering.

Democrats agreed before dawn Thursday to limit the remaining number of amendments they offer and the time they devote to each one. That could bring a vote later in the day on the measure Gov. Scott Walker insists is necessary to ease the state’s budget woes and avoid mass layoffs.

“We will strongly make our points, but understand you are limiting the voice of the public as you do this,” said Democratic state Rep. Mark Pocan of Madison. “You can’t dictate democracy. You are limiting the people’s voice with this agreement this morning.”

The marathon session in the Assembly was grand political theater, with exhausted lawmakers limping around the chamber, rubbing their eyes and yawning as Wednesday night dragged into Thursday.

Around midnight, Rep. Dean Kaufert, a Republican from Neenah, accused Democrats of putting on a show for the protesters. Democrats leapt up and started shouting.

“I’m sorry if democracy is a little inconvenient, and you had to stay up two nights in a row,” Pocan said. “Is this inconvenient? Hell, yeah, it’s inconvenient! But we’re going to be heard!”

Democrats, who are in the minority, don’t have the votes to stop the bill once the vote occurs.

But even after the bill passes the Assembly, it cannot become law until it also passes the Senate, where action has been stymied by the absence of the Democrats. At least one of them needs to be there in order for Republicans to take up the bill since the GOP is one seat short of having a quorum.

The Senate convened at 7 a.m. Thursday just long enough to take a roll call, which allows for the sergeant at arms staff to go to missing lawmakers’ homes with police.

Troopers went to multiple homes but left after finding no one home, said Sergeant at Arms Ted Blazel.

Wisconsin law does not allow police to arrest the lawmakers, but Fitzgerald said he hoped the show of authority would pressure them to return. He would not say how many Democrats were being targeted, but said it was more than one.

“Every night we hear about some that are coming back home,” Fitzgerald said. Whether to send police out again is a day-by-day decision, he said.

Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who was in the Chicago area, said all 14 senators remained outside of Wisconsin on Thursday morning and would not return until Republican Gov. Scott Walker was willing to compromise.

“It’s not so much the Democrats holding things up,” Erpenbach said. “It’s really a matter of Gov. Walker holding things up.”

Walker’s spokesman Cullen Werwie issued a statement praising the Assembly for moving toward a vote and renewing his call for Senate Democrats to come back.

Walker has repeatedly warned that if the budget bill does not pass by Friday, the state will miss a deadline to refinance $165 million of debt and will be forced to start issuing layoff notices next week.

While Walker is trying to increase the pressure to act, the deadlines may not be quite as strict as he says.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said in a memo sent to lawmakers earlier this week that the debt refinancing could be pushed as late as Tuesday in order to achieve the savings Walker is seeking.

The governor is trying to balance a projected $137 million budget shortfall by July.

Based on a similar refinancing in 2004, about two weeks are needed after the bill becomes law to complete the refinancing, which means if the bill is adopted by the middle of next week, the state can still meet a March 16 deadline, the Fiscal Bureau said.

Walker has suggested the deadline is actually Friday in order to pressure lawmakers to act on the bill, which has drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol. The rallies reached a high of 68,000 people on Feb. 19 and hundreds have stayed overnight.

Fitzgerald said the real deadline is “up in the air.”

“Everything’s in place, it’s ready to go,” he said. “It just needs to be finalized.”

Werwie said the governor was “uncomfortable with the time frame for refinancing if the bill passes after Friday.”

Walker also threatened to start sending layoff notices to up to 1,500 state workers next week if the bill isn’t passed, arguing he has no other choice to deal with the shortfall. He has not said who would be targeted.

School districts have already started sending out preliminary layoff notices in case they are needed later.

The battle over labor rights has been heating up across the country, as new Republican majorities tackle budget deficits in several states. The GOP efforts have sparked huge protests from unions and their supporters and led Democrats in Wisconsin and Indiana to flee their states to block major legislation.

Republicans in Ohio offered a small concession Wednesday, saying they would support allowing unionized state workers to bargain collectively on wages — but not for benefits, sick time, vacation or other conditions. Wisconsin’s proposal also would allow most public workers to collectively bargain only for wages.

The Ohio and Wisconsin bills both would strip public workers at all levels of their right to collectively bargain for benefits, sick time, vacations and other working conditions.

Wisconsin’s measure exempts police and firefighters and still lets workers collectively bargain their wages as long as any wage increases stay below the rate of inflation. It also would require public workers to pay more toward their pensions and health insurance.

Ohio’s bill, until Wednesday, would have barred negotiations on wages.

Ohio’s measure sits in a Senate committee. No vote has been scheduled on the plan, but thousands of protesters have gathered at the Statehouse to demonstrate, just as in Wisconsin.

In Indiana, Democrats successfully killed a Republican bill that would have prohibited union membership from being a condition of employment by leaving the state on Tuesday. They remained in Illinois in hopes of derailing other parts of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ agenda, including restrictions on collective bargaining by teachers.

And in Oklahoma, a Republican-controlled state House committee on Wednesday narrowly approved legislation to repeal collective-bargaining rights for municipal workers in that state’s 13 largest cities.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Belongs to neither party`

    “I’m sorry if democracy is a little inconvenient and you had to stay up two nights in a row,” Mark Pocan.

    No, Mark, it’s inconvenient when you abandon your job and duties by escaping to another state to avoid democracy.

    Bottom line, the republicans were voted into office by Wisconsin citizens, and since your party is a minority you have to deal with your lack of voting power in the legislature (or run away…). Your tactics are conniving.

    • Kristi K

      Isn’t it about time that the Democrat’s grow up and get back to work!!


      they were voted in to balance the budget…..not to cut employees right to bargain!!!! If the unions go down Corporate takes over.all campaign money for dems will be only from individual taxpayers.talk about a dictatorship……

    • bethinhudson

      The conniving comes from your elected governor, who wants to repeal
      the rights of Wisconsin workers. As Paul Krugman of the New York Times said earlier this week,

      “There’s a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America’s oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.”

      Take a deep breath before you place blame here. And read everything you can get your hands on so you are correctly informed. It’s more critical now than ever.

    • Tom

      nicely said! Thank you!

      • Bill

        Yeah. Dems never get any corporate money. Seriously, turn off MSNBC.

  • Melissa

    If Republicans refused to show up for a vote we would be called every name in the book, and the President would probably take some kind of action. But, because the Democrats are the ones who are AWOL, they get every drop of sympathy and cheerleading from the major media outlets. Bottom line, you are refusing to do your job because you won’t get what you want. This is just a major temper tantrum!

    • Hannah

      It’s more like the democrats are sore losers!!!! I agree with Melissa! Obama won’t step in because he is on their side!! If Reagan was President, this would be all over with by now!! He stepped in when the air traffic controllers went on strike and Reagan told them to get back to work or be fired!!! Obama should do the same thing!!! Obama has no backbone!!

      • PAUL

        Hannah One BIG difference beteen President Obama and Reagan ! Obama will step in when needed . He won’t threaten people like ron (i’m not as smart as Bonzo) reagan ths trickle down theory did NOTHING for the GREAT PEOPLE OF AMERICA

    • Paul

      Melissa it is a matter of priniples not a tantrum and as for getting sympathy from major news outlets I would hardly call that sympathy we need to rid Wisconsin of the dictator scott walker

      • Melissa

        If you have ever lived in a communist country, I would let that last line slide. But, I’m confident that you probably haven’t. You have NO idea what it’s like living under a dictactor, so stopped being inflammatory!

    • GomersPile in WI

      happened before …. do your history research. There’s a thing callled Google and there’s the internets….aaah GWB we miss you ….. and last one I recall was the flip side with the GOP fleeing to stalemate things.
      Its called politics and it is why we never get a fricken thing done right in the first place. He wins this time – He wins next time and trashes out all the first He did. Great system huh. About as dysfunctional as a crack heads family. Or a drunks.
      The system need a overhaul at the top and then maybe we have a functional gubbermint ….

      • Chuck

        Settle down Gomer….
        It is still the best system in the world.

  • Holysmokes!

    Can’t wait until the people of MN realize that this is a great idea, and start the ball rolling here. We are one of the top taxed states, and our coffers are pretty darn empty just like our neighbors in WI. The only difference is Walker and the rest of the (elected by the voters) Republicans see this is a necessity. Our Governor, already said the other day that he would not allow this in MN. Typical Democrat..wants to give everything away at taxpayers expense. His reasoning is to tax everybody more who works hard for a living, and makes good money. Heaven forbid, he would suggest cutting back on things and make MN public workers pay a little more for their bloated benefits. It will be coming here, so MN public workers, get ready to start whining

    • Nica

      Exactly what I thought. I am reading a lot about how public employees have these bloated benefits but no one gives facts on what those are.
      Here are the facts about one public employee that I know that teaches in Minnesota. Average salary in this district is $47, 881 (not a bad salary). However, over 60% of the teachers in this district have taught for 18 or more years so this is a teaching staff with a lot of years of experience and education beyond a Master’s degree. (Starting salary is $34,547). Family health insurance premium PER MONTH for a $2000 deductible plan for that same teacher is $982.00 ($11784 per year). The district contributes $5100 PER YEAR. The district contributes 5.5% of the teacher’s salary for their retirement plan (TRA). This is $2633.45 per year for this teacher. That same teacher also contributes 5.5% of their salary – so $2633.45 per year towards retirement. They can also contribute to a 403B plan and the district will match that contribution up to $500. per year. Those are the facts.

    • Nica

      Can you list for me the bloated benefits that public workers in Minnesota get? What do they pay for retirement? What do they pay for health insurance? Do you have facts to back up your statement that their benefits are bloated?

    • Josh

      Bloated benefits? My teaching job last year left me with such small insurance that I was deemed under-insured by every health care facility that I went to. And that was AFTER union negotiations.

    • PAUL

      Holysmokes! wakeup you cannot expect ONLY the state employees pay for everything . we pay our FAIR SHARE . we shouldn’t GIVE CORPORATE WELFARE and then say those making under 50,000 pre year pay for everything.and if you would read the Thursday addition of the Minneapolis Tribune you would see that we do pay into our pension .if we had an idiot like scott walker as our govenor I would vote to IMPEACH HIM!!

      • Belle

        Paul, You are a moron! This is about the unions! I have been there and as a result I hate the unions and what they do to the country! Because of these unions, we get teachers who do not belong in the classroom teaching our kids just because they have “tenure”!!!! Look at some of these posts….some people don’t know how to spell or do a sentence right!!! So grow up and face the facts!!

      • PAUL

        Belle you need to take a chill pill your a IDIOT this is about the suck-hole gov of Wisconsin is a dictator and a moron. Until you learn how to read and right SHUT UP you are a absolut IDIOT . this is about making everone pay their fair share NOT ONLY Union even the big corporations so go take your PROZAC and another beer you moron

      • Luke

        Back off ON Paul! THe Gov is trying to eliminate worker unions, and THAT is an ATTACK on EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN!! Collective bargaining is critical TOOL for workers, and I am sickened and disheartened by the anger and anomosity being directed at UNION workers–

    • Chris

      Holysmokes, you have hit it exactly on target…
      Wisc is giving us a gift with a heads up lesson on this!
      I can’t wait to get going on this ASAP.

      • PAUL

        You Guys need to WAKE UP the rebublicans keep GIVING TAX BREAKS TO THE RICH AND TO ALL CORPORATIONS Is that fair NO walker and the rebublicans were voted in by a bunch of IDIOTS some of us voted for the correct candidates but unfortuntly they didn’t win ! what until 2012 we will see what happpens, I will bet that many of your rebublican cronis will…………LOSE!!!!

  • TheCruxOfTheBiscuit

    Raise tax rates until the rich start to jump from the tops of buildings. Then, back em down a percentage point or two. After all, why should poor and destitute people be the only ones that kill themselves over money?

    • Chris

      What a theory and philosphy….
      Let’s offer up a realistic approach if you can!


        that’s Easy….close all corporate loop holes & Just add 2% tax increase to those over1 million $.tada 1.5 trillion dollars in 5 trs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Employed

    I’ve been a public employee for 30 years. I make less than 30,000 and pay 77.17 into my retirement out of every check. I’m a high school secretary and have a BA in business. How is this in anyway a “bloated situation”??!!

    • Hannah

      Well, guess what???? My husband worked for an electric utility. He was non union and he had to pay into his retirement fund and then his employer matched what he put into it! There is nothing wrong with that system!

      • Hannah

        Dave! From what I have seen about teachers cleaning classrooms is NOT my idea of a very good cleaned classroom!! I was a school custodian and I saw what teachers and the kids do to a classroom so don’t give that bit about how teachers clean classrooms, because they don’t!!!!!!! They leave them in a pigsty and just walk out the door and go home!!

      • Hannah needs a life

        So what your really trying to see is that you’re prejudiced because of your bad experience, and are lumping ALL teachers together in one big evil package. There are bad teachers, there are bad cops, there are bad lawyers, there are bad insurance agents, and yes, there are even bad janitors. GROW UP

      • Union Member

        Well Guess what??? I am a union member and I pay into my retirement too. My employer doesn’t match it, they pay a much smaller percent than I do. I make less than $20 per hour, work nights. holidays and weekends. I pay 40% of my health insurance. And yes, I will pay more if I have to and I don’t care. Where does this false information come from? I’m not an evil, greedy person. I’m just a person trying to get by in life…

      • Tired of Ranting

        I just took another look at my teacher paycheck to be sure. Yup, I contribute to my own retirement and my own insurances. And when the district reports a settlement, they include everything they contribute as part of my compensation package. Teachers choose if they get paid in benefits or salary, but it all comes out of the same pot.

        I remember trying to get a cost of living increase as part of a contract I was negotiating. We NEVER got that, even including benefits. I started my career at $11,000 a year. It was half what other professions were making, and most of those required far less training. So when things are good we can’t make the same, and when things are bad we are supposed to take less.




        Lucky fella

      • Melissa

        Tired of Ranting—Do you get the option to not pay your union fees? What if you don’t like how the union handles those fees?

      • PAUL

        that is exactly what we do as State Employees

      • Get Real People

        I work for a MN County. There are four unions for the highway dept, the deputies, the jail staff and some courthouse people. The non-union employees, including probation agents, social workers and nurses make on average $30,000 MORE than the union people. Why, because the social workers are required to have Master’s Degrees, even though nowhere in MN law does it say they should. The nurses have higher education, so their salaries are higher, as they should be. But really, probation agents making more than cops and the guys building and maintaining highways? Get real! The highway department does more work in a day in brutal conditions than the probation agents do in a week sitting in their climate controlled offices. And when probation agents have problems with their clients, they back off and call the cops! All you anti-union people don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. There’s government waste all right, but it’s not the unions fault! Oh and the beneifts for both union and non-union suck! Unless of course you’re a county commissioner, than your health insurance is paid in full for life, even if you only serve one term!

      • Josh

        Melissa: Yes. At the beginning of the school year, teachers choose whether or not they want to be a part of the union. If they do, then they pay dues. If they don’t, they don’t.

    • Charlie

      Employed, Your situation is probably an example of how it should be and maybe is an exception to the rule. It looks like you are not a case of this “bloated benefits” situation. It still emphasizes that the whole system needs to be fixed. You have maybe even been overlooked and should share in the “gap” between you and the $50K average state employee average?

      • PAUL

        Charlie the average state employee makes 35,000 to 40.000 per year we ALL pay 6 to 7% of our gross out of each paycheck we also pay 12 % of our insurance, as well as our taxes do you pay this in fees and taxes ? probably NOT ! I would say that our benifits aren’t as bloated as you think ! read the artical in todays Minneapolis Tribune and you may learn something about our benifits

    • Holysmokes!

      Employed…….The immediate perception of your situation is…..do you work the same hours as teachers???? If you work only during school years, then you do not work full time. I never understand how teachers say I work all year for XX number of dollars. The amount of days out of a whole year they work turns out to be a VERY good salary, and all that time off…..a dream for many of us. They want more…..If you are in the same work schedule as teachers…working when the schools are open, which is darn little, then don’t complain.

      • Josh

        Most teachers work through the summer- attending meetings/workshops, planning lessons- you just don’t know about it because that time isn’t paid for. Most teachers take their work home with them. Last year, I taught fifth grade. I worked from 7:00am-5:00pm. I took work home with me and worked into the evening. A teacher’s work is never over. You should really spend some time in a school before you say things that are grossly incorrect, and insulting to the people that are serving YOUR communities.

      • Dave

        I’m a teacher and I typically work 11 hours a day/ 6 days a week doing my job, The actual teaching part during the school day is only part of a teachers’ job. It also includes cleaning up from yesterday (grading/entering grades), and getting ready for tomorrow (lesson planning), not to mention cleaning/organizing my classrooms, fixing equipment, ordering supplies, endless meetings… which means if you do the math, I am putting in the average 2080 hours a year most full time people work in about 31 weeks. I have never had a summer off. My summers have been spent going to school which I am NOT get paid to do, but pay for out of MY OWN POCKET so I can be a better teacher, or I work summer jobs so I can pay my bills.

        I know it was my choice to become a teacher, I do enjoy helping young people find their way in life and become adults and I do think I am very good at what I do, but with all this negativity and lack of appreciation toward teachers, I have had enough.

      • Milkman

        Why don’t you demand your employer give you the same amount of time off? Why don’t you join with your co-workers and demand more money? Sorry, I am not really pickiing on you but I don’t understand why so many are just jealous and don’t do anything about it. I spent 33 union years in the dairy industry. The union established the base pay and benefits and I had to go and bargain on my own for what I was worth. I worked nights, weekends, holidays; many 80 hour weeks. I retired and now I work in a school as a tutor. After my six hour days I come home exhausted and take a nap–something I never did in the dairy. Oh, I’m 56.

      • Melissa

        Dave—you go to school every summer?! For what? I was under the impression that to get a higher degree you go to school for a certain period of time, not endlessly!

      • Josh

        Melissa: It’s called professional development. It’s required in order to be a teacher with the most up-to-date practices and methods. It is also required to renew your license every five years. That’s why teachers go to school endlessly.

      • Melissa Loses

        More proof that Melissa is ignorant and just likes to bash people and things she knows nothing about. As another poster said on this page to another whiner –GROW UP!

      • Luke

        Holysmokes! …
        STOP,STOP STOP spouting misinformation about teachers! I am married to one, and your perceptions ARE WAYYY OFF BASE!! Their time off is UNPAID, and hey, they are PROFESSIONALS; their salaries SHOULD be pretty good!!
        But really, the most frustrating aspect of this is that teachers are being demonized (by morons like yourself) based on half-truths and incorrect information. Sure there are a few teachers who probably shouldve chosen a different career path, but c’mon…a FEW bad apples DOESNT spoil the whole bunch!!

  • mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM

    Lets do this in Minnesota!!

    • Wish I was a Billionaire

      Mark, so you want the Koch Brothers to come in and buy the GOP here in MN so they can own everybody and do what they want? When the Koch Bros rule the US, there won’t be any labor laws, OSHA, minimum wage or any other employee protections. You are all right about one thing, this is just the first step in WI and none of us are going to like it at the bottom of the stairway. Has anyone looked to see how the Koch Bros built their empire? It wasn’t by being fair to their employees…

    • How STUPID

      HowTrue…….Where did THAT come from? And I quote “Give big business huge tax breaks causing a surplus to turn into a deficit” This has NOTIHING to do with tax breaks! It has to so with an unsustainable benefits package the Govt sector has in place!
      It’s SO FUNNY to see “moron’s” like you (as you stated in your OWN post) be so far off base! Maybe you and Dew should just stick to Facebook and YouTube….

      • ??

        Isn’t it true that the Gov. gave huge tax breaks to big business in January? If it is, this has EVERYTHING to with tax breaks.

        • PAUL

          the more tax breaks you give to large corporations the less goes into the state coffers think about it you IDIOT !!! THIS DOES HAVE EVEYTHING TO DO WITH THE BUDGETS

    • Mike

      Chuck: Don’t cry, little man. Maybe it’s time to put the internet away for a little bit and concentrate on “See Spot Run”. That’s more appropriate for your reading level.

    • Chuck

      Pretty hard to follow that logic…
      You must be a quite a bit smarter than the rest of us…
      When will you be running for office?
      It looks like you are practicing your use of confusing retoric…
      And it makes my head hurt.

  • Rob Wagner

    Democrats are nothing but cry babies. A lot like the teachers and govt employees. I’m a teacher in Stillwater, Make good money and have great benefits. GO GOV SCOTT WALKER !!!! I support you, and probably the only teacher that does.

    • Glad Rob's not my teacher

      Look to see what teachers were making in Stillwater before unions. You wouldn’t be making a good wage and or have any benefits.


      an obvious teabagging hypocrit

    • Milkman

      I hope you don’t teach history.

    • Don

      You make good money and have good benefits because of your UNION.

      • Erik

        My opinion… Unions have become uncompetitive. It would be healthy to Organized Labor if a group of teachers were to break away and form a separate union. The New Union would compete with the Old Union for jobs and perhaps differentiate themselves by advocating merit advancement, specialized education, etc.

        It would provide a system of checks and balances on the taxpayer / union relationship, no? The market could better dictate comp/bene’s etc. just like in the private sector.

    • PAUL

      Your the only teacher o agree we the Idiot scott walker maybe you should get a job in Wisconsin as a teacher but than again they probably wouldn’t hire a dip like you

  • C Nablus

    Yeah – Where’s Minnesota’s equivalent to the Koch brothers? Let’s get them in here to take charge. I’m sure things will be much brighter when they get all the favors and maybe take over our power plants with no bid contracts, too. Watch out middle class, soon we’ll all be in a surfdom.

    GOP = Greed Over People


      right on……..collective bargaining is NOT broken.its the workers only tool to help with the Greed Lors of corporate america & their puppets

  • DEW

    Really,whydo the Republicans want to vote for this. How is itt going to help the Wisconsin budget. The republicans are just wanting to get rid of unions. Unions are a threat to them. Just trying to get rid of the middle class and unions help out the democrats during elections. How is getting rid of union negotiations going to save money to there deficits. If you read those union members are willing to negotiate their benefits and pay. ITS THE REPUBLICANS ARE SPOILED AND NOT WILLING TO NEGOTIATE. THEY ONLY WANT WHAT THEY WANT. LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE.

    • Holysmokes!

      Hey DEW….They ARE LISTENING to the voters. They got elected because the voters want the system fixed, and the bloat reduced.

      • Mike

        It seems Gov. Walker is more interested in what his billonaire buddies need then what the people of the state want. He won the race, but it was by a small margin. He is a leader of the people, not just half the population of Wisconsin.

      • PAUL

        they were voted into serve ALL of the people not just the IDIOT rebublicans

      • Melissa

        If they were voted in to serve all the people, how are the AWOL democrats practicing that? Be consistent!

      • PAUL


  • scubasteve

    or maybe he is in a school system that knows how to use what they get wisely? and take care of there students and workers. I know allot of teachers just like Rob that make good money, great benies and also say GO Mr. Walker!!! Comes down to this- dont like your job, wages and benies go find it someplace else. Talk to the teachers not working right now and I bet they would love to work with out collective bargaining rights

  • Tea has the statment....

    I LOVE IT! It’s GOING to happen! And you know what…..Dayton and his “this will never happen while I am here” speech just SHOWS this guy is a FRAUD and has NO CLUE on the changes needed to continue to keep MN a WORKING, growing state!! It’s SO NICE to see so many people responding to these posts in SUPPORT of change!
    I hope I speak for MOST of you when I say:
    Teachers, Public workers, we appreciate your hard work, and your dedication to your position, but all we are asking for is for you to do what the REST of us have had to do, and that’s CHANGE! You will STILL have JOBS, benefits, and a retirement plan, it will just be different than what you had in the past, and will be more in line with the MAJORITY of the working public that PAY YOUR SALARY! You will CONTINUE to have OUR support and appreciation in the jobs you do. THANK YOU!
    Huh? I LIKE IT!!!

    • Nica

      Honestly, we ALL pay each others’ salaries. Depending upon what service your employer sells, I could be paying YOUR salary when I purchase that service.

    • Hannah

      I couldn’t have said it better, Tea!!!

    • PAUL


  • DEW

    iS THAT WHY they are protesting IIN Wisconsin. Really how is collective bargaining going to help save moneyon the state budget. Answer that? Theyare willing to take cuts on their benefits, if you loke at what they want also. I am not a union worker but I stand up for them. Sounds like a lot of people in Wiscnosin are for the workers. Look how many protest.

  • Dew DROPS (IQ)

    DEW….WOW! How did you find this site? I am surprised you didn’t mis-Spell WCCO!
    And your point? EVEN WORSE….do you have clue?
    Do us all a favor and just keep watching skateboard videos on YouTube….


    time to take a breath and think a little rationally.
    Bargaining has NOTHING to do with Budget.
    Think about it. If any bargaining goes to arbitration…it will turn out for the most logical.approach. some favor management.some Management.some both.its the American way…….

  • Cluelss Badger

    WHAT? And I QUOTE “Bargaining has NOTHING to do with Budget.” You’re kidding me right? Bargaining has to do with PAY (that cost $) and benefits (Again…cost money) and therefore has EVERYTHING to do with budget!

    WOW! No WONDER you guys can’t figure this out! With a statement like that…..you have just proved to the WORLD WHY your argument is worthless!


      Clueless……….read my lips……….Collective bargaining can help either side…..not just the Union……..IT’s a Tool for Workplace safety ,conditions,harrassment, right to know.not jusy PAY.get it??

  • bla bla bla.....

    OK…then, rephrase your comment….”A portion of bargaining has nothing to do with budget” But I think we ALL can agree…with labor laws…and OSHA, the MAJORITY of what is discussed is PAY and BUDGET related issues? I don’t have a union at my place of work….yet there are set rules in place for safety issues, harassment, and right to know.
    So again…..this PROVES unions are MAINLY for “pay” and “benefit” related issues…..
    Sorry…..this really looks like your grasping at straws!
    Cut your LIPS off in spite of your face….


    concessions have already been made for wages, insurance prems & pension..now get off it…………admit your falisy

    We are talking Badger State right…hmmm
    Employers have to report incidents..osah etc..good luck.do it yourself.Good luck @ ur place of employment Lucky.

  • Working in MN

    OH! SO wait…after that response I must ASSUME your UNEMPLOYED? (Hence the “lucky” comment?)
    Also….my question is…..when were these “concessions” made? Am I missing the issue here?
    In addition….what do you mean in “Employers have to report incidents..osah etc..good luck.do it yourself”? I have NO idea what his means….
    So are you an unemployed UNION worker, or an unemployed NON-UNION worker…all kidding aside….If you are unemployed….I hope that changes sooner than later……

  • chump

    please tell me these picketing fools are gonna return to work after this, time wasters…..

  • captainobvious

    I can’t believe all the social and financial problems u people have me and my girl bought a house last year after the crash we have $900 house payment on 4br house don’t over extend ur credit and u can take hits here and there, its not a perfect world gas is $3.50. i pity you saps that over extended themselves haha i hope you lose your houses fools

    • More Like Captain Stupid

      Well, aren’t you wonderful and perfect. Please, run for office and solve all the world’s problems.

  • HERB

    Once again for all of those who didn’t go to school (like Scott Walker). Scott Walker does not represent the majority of people in wisconsin, nor was he voted in by the people of Wisconsin. He stole the election with help from those with the most to gain (corporations and special interest with deep pockets). The deal was obviously they give him unlimited funds in return for spearheading a national movement to dismantle unions in America. There is very little left of the America our founding fathers fought to establish. Tyranny (taxation without representation) is rampant in American politics since the supreme court sanctioned unfettered quid pro quo through the Citizens United debachle. I fully support the actions of the Democratic representatives of Wisconsin and pray that this goes to a protracted battle that cripples the GOP from stealing more tax dollars to give to their corporate masters in Wisconsin and other states. Go get um Dems!!!

    • Herb is SMOKIN' it

      Herb, you are trully CLUELESS!
      And I QUOTE
      “Scott Walker does not represent the majority of people in wisconsin” You are SO WRONG! Over 60% of the people in WI SUPPORT this and..he was elected by the MAJORITY of people in WI! What he was doing was part of his OPEN agenda while running!
      You are SO WRONG!

      • PAUL

        thaat means that 60% of the Nice people of Wisconsin were duped by the rebublicans …………………………..we will see what happens in 2012 …………….VOTE DEMOCRATE ………..PRO-UNION

      • SHow Me The Money

        Show me one speech or article in which Walker said he was going to take away union’s bargaining rights. He talked about unions paying more out of their own pockets for their benefits, yes, but never said anything about the bargaining rights that I saw during the campaign. And that is the only thing holding up in this vote. If you have the actual quote, please share it with us.

  • Nancy Aleshire

    My boyfriend lives in Wisconsin (born in Milwaukee) and he tells me school teachers are paid $80,000. We are talking basic teacher–not special ed. Minnesota teachers average $40,000 if I am not mistaken. How can Wisconsin teachers complain if they are asked to pick up more of their health care costs?

    • Nica

      My neighbor, Fred, says a lot of things. But, just because he says it doesn’t make it true.
      When I want to know the truth I search for facts. Where are the facts to back up that teachers in Wisconsin make $80,000? Did you verify that rumor before you posted it? Or, do you just assume because your boyfriend from Wisconsin said it, that it must be true?

  • Another union member

    I am a union member in a small government agency in southern MN. We get average pay and average benefits and most of us are happy with that. The most senior union member, MR Republican and makes it very clear about that, is the biggest pain in the rear during contract negotiations. He is the one who complained the loudest when we agreed to no pay raise and to pay more of our health insurance two years in a row. He is ALWAYS the biggest complainer that we need more, we need more! He always votes No whenever we have a vote, because it’s not enough! His example to me is pure greed. I’m beginning to believe its true that Republicans get rich off the backs of the little people. My co-worker is the best example.

  • Sometimes unions are wrong too

    A co-worker of mine who got caught sleeping on the job and falsifying daily activity reports was fired twice, and both times the union got him his job back. It didn’t matter that even his union co-workers did not support him and wanted him fired. He finally went too far and was charged with a crime, theft of public funds, and got fired for good. This process took years! That is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. No wonder people hate unions. They are too powerful for their own good.

  • Hannah

    Hey Hannah needs a Life!!! What does prejudiced have to do with teachers leaving the classrooms in a pigsty? For a fact….most of them do, and if you are a teacher, you know they do! Yes, I have met some nice teachers that make the kids clean up and the teachers do too but most of them won’t lift a finger to clean up after themselves! I was a custodian and a union worker!!

    • Hannah needs a life

      I’m not a teacher. You came across as prejudiced against teachers because of your one experience. Ironic that you don’t understand the definition of prejudiced. I stand by my previous statement – GROW UP.

      • Hannah

        I think you better get a life, fella and grow up yourself!! You are an idiot!!! I am glad you are NOT a teacher…I wouldn’t want a person with your mental ability to teach my kids!! As I said there are some good teachers and some bad teachers!!!

      • Hannah needs a life

        What’s your definition of “mental ability?” Whining about having to do your job as a janitor and clean? You sound like a 12 yr old. I’m so glad your glad, I’m not glad, your glad, blah,blah,blah. Hey Nancy Drew, meet me by Mystery Lake and we’ll talk about the evil teachers who don’t clean because they’re too busy teaching 40 kids in one room and are exhausted at the end of the day and they thought the janitors were supposed to clean!

    • Hannah needs more than a life

      Let me guess, you got fired from your janitor job because you are a first class whiner who didn’t understand that it is a janitor’s job to clean??

      • Sometimes unions are wrong too

        She could not have been fired–she was union!!

      • Hannah

        I was not fired!! My husband had a job change from Iowa to Minnesota so we moved to Eden Prairie where I worked for 4 churches NON UNION jobs!!

      • Hannah needs more than a life

        So you were a janitor at a school in Iowa and know nothing about the teachers in WI. The only thing your posts have been good for here are laughs! Whine, whine, whine, poor me, poor me. I’m a saint, I work for churches. You’d think working around all that religion you’d learn not to be so judgmental. That’s God’s job, not yours… But since you worked for 4 different churches, maybe they didn’t want you around either.

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