Wis. Gov. Signs Bill Taking Away Bargaining Rights

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker succeeded Friday in taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from the vast majority of the state’s public employees, quietly capping weeks of contentious debate and delivering an epic defeat to the labor movement with a private bill signing.

Walker planned to hold a ceremonial signing later in the day.

The proposal touched off a national debate over labor rights for public employees, and its implementation is a key victory for Republicans who have targeted unions in nationwide efforts to slash government spending. But labor leaders said they plan to use the setback to fire up their members nationwide and mount a major counterattack against Republicans at the ballot box in 2012.

The measure passed the state’s Assembly on Thursday following more than three weeks of protests that drew tens of thousands of people to the Capitol in opposition. The Senate cleared the way for passage with a surprise move Wednesday that allowed them to move the measure forward without 14 Democratic senators present.

The bill forces state workers to pay more for their pensions and health care benefits, which is estimated to save Wisconsin $30 million to help pay down a $137 million budget shortfall projected by July 1. The higher payments for state workers will take effect over the coming weeks.

But portions of the proposal had to be removed in order for it to pass the Senate without Democrats, meaning the Legislature will have to take more action later to balance the budget.

Walker had repeatedly argued that ending collective bargaining would give local governments the flexibility they needed to confront the state aid cuts necessary to fix Wisconsin’s deficit, which is projected to grow to $3.6 billion deficit over two years.

“This is ultimately about a commitment to the future, so our children don’t face even more dire consequences than what we face today,” Walker said at a news conference in the West Allis community of Milwaukee on Thursday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Republicans were fulfilling campaign promises with enactment of the law.

“It shouldn’t have taken two years for the recession to finally affect the government, but the public sector is finally sharing in the pain, albeit with modest concessions,” Fitzgerald said.

Walker’s Democratic predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle, ordered 16 unpaid days off for state workers over the past two years that amounted to roughly a 3 percent pay cut.

Walker said his plan would avoid the need for any furloughs or layoffs. He had issued public employee unions a notice last week that up to 1,500 layoffs would be coming if the bill didn’t pass. But just before he signed it Friday, Walker rescinded the notice.

“We came into office promising to help the economy and create jobs,” Fitzgerald said. “This budget repair bill prevents 1,500 real layoffs, and countless more at the local level over the next few years.”

The Wisconsin Assembly voted 53-42 Thursday to pass the bill after about three hours of discussion, far less than the 61-hour, three-day marathon it took to approve a previous version two weeks ago.

The passage drew shouts of “Shame!” from protesters in the gallery and came only a day after the dramatic action in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Republicans said they were simply doing what voters wanted.

In last year’s election, “people spoke very clearly and very loudly and said they wanted government to change here in Madison,” Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said. “It’s a tough vote, but it’s the right vote. People are sick of the status quo.”

Shortly before the vote, police had to move dozens of protesters who were sitting just outside the Assembly chamber doors, blocking the way for lawmakers. Officers dragged many of them away, but there were no arrests.

Dozens of protesters returned to the Capitol on Friday, shouting “Recall Walker!” Another large rally was planned for Saturday.

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

  • jimmy

    Now all the union members that voted Republican for anti choice or for their gun rights or for lower taxes. Will now vote Democrat for their jobs, they never dreamed that the nut job Republicans would mess with their money.

    • jpick

      count me as one of many. you are exactly right. I was a Republican my whole life and i was made a Democrat in one week.

      • scott

        Why balance the budget on the back of working america, right size if need be, but stripping bargaining rights is nothing but union busting. Ask yourself if it isnt political union busting why the fire and police bargaining rights (traditional republican strongholds) are not being touched by this legislation. I agree that there is too much me me me but the way it is being done isnt right sizing, it is about power and balancing the budget on the back of working americans. Take a look at the budget for corporate tax breaks and move the tax policies for the ultra rich back to the pre-Reagan days and then take a look at union busting if none of that matters. The budget is the smokescreen people, the agenda is the issue. If the benefits are out of proportion, they can be renegotiated (with lots of the same handwringing and bulldozers) but you dont have to subvert the process. yes I think the 14 democrats leaving also subverted the democratic process.

      • insignificant

        jpick…aren’t you aware that it doesn’t matter republican/democrat as they are both in bed with banksters? With the exception of Ron Paul,a true republican.

      • Papa K

        Interesting Read … Corporations Versus Individuals

        Learn how the politics of being a Democrat or Republican is changing to

        Corporations Versus Individuals and the The End of the Left/Right Paradigm


        I’m voting for the Individual Rights of every American and to stop Corporations from destroying America.

      • John Frykman

        Perhaps you were a RINO for your whole life (since birth????), but you certainly have no conservative values. How nice that you can finally come out of the closet and declare yourself a statist socialist.

      • Steve

        Time to end collective bargaining onces and for all. Also time to bust the Unions who are crippling the economy.

    • Matt

      Nothing scares me more than the selfishness of this nation, the selfishness to want want want and when something, anything, doesn’t go their way the they throw a temper tantrum.

      Right or left everyone is for stabilizing the budget, everyone is for putting the national and state budgets on firm footing, UNTIL it hits them, until they have to feel the pain.

      I don’t know how to tell you it’s to late, there have to be cuts to protect this nation for our children, the government was not designed to provide jobs and healthcare and social security, the one singular funtion of the government is to ensure freedom.

      Personally I’m willing to take the cuts in services and pay higher taxes if it means that my son will get the same freedom that I have experienced, but I don’t feel there are many people out there like me. There are to many ME ME ME Jimmy and jpick’s out there who only care about themselves.

      Anyone who can look at the selfishness of the public union debate in Wisconsin and not see it as a VERY forbidding sign doesn’t have their eyes open. America is hooked on government spending and government programs and it’s bringing this nation down like every other great nation before it.

      • mike

        Thank you Matt. You hit the nail. The polititians have over the years created this entitlement thinking and now when they want to backup and try to correct it, the recipients wont let them

      • Kally

        Very good Matt. You are 100% correct! Anyone who can not see this bigger picture has a very small closed selfish mind.

      • amanda

        Until we start to look at the greed of the upper class and corporations you should fear for our children, because what we saw was the rich taking priority and a governor being bought by greed. The outcry from not only Wisconsinites but the majority across the country was loud because the people had no voice. When the decisions of a handful of men squash the will of the majority of citizens, you should worry.

      • Matt

        Amanda, when has a business or rich person come to you asking for more money? When have taxes been used to pay for the wealthy s retirement? When have the wealthy abused the welfare system?

        Tax breaks is the extend of it, they are sick of footing over 90% of the tax bill in this country. It’s not business that’s the problem it’s the government that’s burning the money that is the problem. If you can’t see that basic fact there is no common ground.

      • M B

        The purpose of our Government is only to ensure freedom?

        So, based on that rationality the government shouldn’t provide Emergency services, Education, Road maintenance, water, sewer, environmental protection, mass transit, or dozen of other important things that we rely on day to day. Or did you conveniently forget about all those? Of course you did. Without those services, you wouldn’t be able to take a shower in the morning, be educated, be able to get to work and would have a polluted environment thanks to the greed of big corporations.

        Of course, that’s what many people seem to want these days: a dumb spineless populace that will work like Chinese Slaves.

        I prefer to think on my own, thank you very much, and I am thankful for those little services that the government provides.

        Now, what you and so many people forget, AND try to rationalize away to make yourselves feel better about your political choices is that the unions AGREED to the benefits cuts.

        Yes, Virginia, they AGREED to the cuts, but WALKER wouldn’t take that as enough. He HAD to take their bargaining rights, just to jam the knife in a little deeper. This wasn’t about the budget. This was about castrating the Unions, or else Walker would have actually, you know, NEGOTIATED with them like he claims he did. This is about Walker laying the groundwork for disassembling the unions.

        Despite my apparent pro-union stance, I’m not a big fan of them, but I AM able to see that they serve their purpose. As I’ve said before, most of the benefits at work we enjoy are due to union lobbying. Of COURSE the Republicans hate the unions, they represent loss of profits. Of COURSE they’re going to take every opportunity to get rid of a roadblock to making money. I however prefer to not be turned into a slave. Because of that I support the unions on this.

        But I suspect that like most, as soon as you read something that differs from your viewpoint, your mind will snap shut and you’ll stop objectively listening, so this was probably pointless.

      • Matt

        M B,

        See this is were our beliefs very significantly because I don’t feel that we need the government to provide the services you listed. Transportation, water ect is a convenience and personally I’m OK with the governmental involvement in those areas but not for a second do I feel that without government we wouldn’t have those services. All I want is for the government to ensure the freedom that allows me/you or the guy down the street to provide those services.

        As far as unions go, I am fine with them in the private sector, I agree with you that I don’t feel they are optimal, but in the private sector to much union greed will force a company out of business. Where I could NEVER justify a union is in the public sector where it creates a conflict of interest. The union can hold hostage the government which has a legal monopoly on power.

        As far as your gripe about republicans wanting profits, that’s what business is about, without a profit motive you loose innovation, efficiency and desire, profit is good, in facts it’s necessary.

        In the end, here is my viewpoint and one of which I will not waver from. I want freedom and equity to all people. I want the same opportunities, laws and taxes to all people. To those who say this is fixing the budget on the backs of the middle class? Why should the middle class escape some of the budget cuts and tax increases, why should it always be only the rich responsible for propping up the safety net? AND… This is 10% of the population which still has better benefits than without collective bargain than the private sector has.

        It’s the collective greed of those who abuse government that will eventually be the unraveling of the US economy and the US dream. It’s really sad to see.

      • paab

        Thank you Matt, I can hear the frustration in your voice and I feel the same that has been the plan all along, get as many people on the government dole as possible, either through welfare or government jobs, and we will have socialism. I hope it is not too late to turn back the clock, but doing away with collective bargaining rights by public unions is a step in the right direction. Government doesn’t have any profits for the union to share, government should work to see that the taxpayers money is used wisely and never wasted.

      • jean

        Mat,I personally don’t agree with you because we the people,did not create this mess.. I believe the ones who put us in this mess should pay..The banks,wall street,oil companies,big business and yes the republicans who put us into 2 unfunded wars..The republicans lie all the time,they succeeded in convincing a lot of people that the public workers and the unions were the culprits..Not true, there’s a lot more at work here than you seem to realize ..

      • Don_J

        Hmmm… so the fact that the unions were willing to GIVE the Governor EVERYTHING that he needed was not enough “unselfishness” for your taste? I guess it’s OK for billionaires to pump unknown amount of money into elections but when unions stand up for their rights, they’re selfish. You’ll be next and than what will you have to say.

      • Roger

        First of all, I want to say that I have been a union man for over 40 years, but that was in the privare sector,m we were not able to extort money from our employer, because if he promised too much, he went broke. Not so the public sector, the democrats promise their union buddies these grand packages that we can’t afford, solely for their votes, they just raise taxes on the rest of us. Well said Matt, keep up the good wor, although you will never convince the freeloaders.

      • Don_J

        Amanda, when has a business or rich person come to you asking for more money?”

        Really, are you serious? Every time Target or Medtronic or some other huge corporation demands more in tax breaks to “give us jobs”, that’s when! Do they knock on my door, no but they may as well because they go directly to the source, the politicians that we elect. Can you honestly say that the jobs provided by any large corporation balances out what they receive in return in tax breaks… can you, if you can then you must work for one of these corporations and if you do then you may be next to loose your job when they want to “save money” by outsourcing what you do to China or India.

        And please, stop calling people selfish because they do not agree with your opinions.

      • Don_J

        Hey Roger… a word of advice… you can’t call people names if you can’t spell.

      • Matt


        It sure seems to me like a tax break is pretty different from spending tax money. If you would have went with NFL owners asking for public money to build stadiums I would have agreed with you 100%. Your argument points out to the bloated government taking to much. Please try again.

      • Gertrude

        Matt, couple of points. You are probably very comfortable financially. Just a guess. Not everyone is that fortunate. So people do the best they can, attempt to get the best job they can, factor in its benefits. To then reach mid-life and have their peace of mind taken from then is something you need to “try on” and see how you would feel. Our nation can afford national health, we can provide social security, medical assistance, welfare to those in need if we cut spending in other ares, such as defense/wars/coproate bailouts/executive pay ad parachutes. I have a cousin who went overseas for labor back in the 80’s so his company could make more money. He said so. Had nothing to do with unions. All the rich retirees in AZ go to dentists and get their drugs in Mexico cause it’s cheap. The wealthy hate spending a dime, don’t care about others and you call that redistribution of wealth. I think we need to redistribute humaneness. Our middle class is going away. Is that what you want to see. Average workers “earn” their pay possibly even more than you do. Maybe you are in sales or marketing, or some other predatory industry that lies to sell things, or sneaky half-truths to deceive.

      • Matt

        Gertrude, I appreciate your pain but vastly disagree with your approach. To answer your question I am “comfortable” not because of my wages, but because I live within my means.

        As far as your statement about having your peace of mind taken from you. the only person that can do that to me is me. I save my money and invest and expect nothing in return from the government. I don’t count on social security to survive into my retirement. I give my time and money to the charities that I choose and am always willing to help a neighbor or friends.

        All that I ask is that government doesn’t take away what I have earned, that’s the only thing that I can’t count on. See society and government are two very different things and until that is understood we will have a country hooked on government spending on broke.

      • dphilips

        Heres an idea Lets cut your salary,make you pay more for your healthcare! Easy for you to bark up the tree and criticize union members,futhermore why should we care about your kids?

      • Matt


        Go ahead and cut my salary and benefits, I’ll find a new job. I’m not afraid of putting my services on the open market.

      • Ralph

        @ Matt in response to amanda Consider the money that goes to retirement accounts as part of their wage. Your tax money goes to the rich in the form of subsidies to farms. oil companies, TIF just to name a few things I can think of off the top of my head. It is not their retirement money, but it is money, Defense contractors, have you heard of one of them going broke?
        Yes wages need to be kept in line with what is happening in the community, but don’t hammer the foot soldiers, go whack at the administrators, the ones making the large profits.

      • Sarah

        THanks matt, well spoken…
        Finally we can have some peace!! :)

    • Jayne Stoner Thompson

      nicely said!!!!!

    • Harry Dilworth

      It is too late for that, pray that the man will pay them minimum age out of the goodness of his heart. There is little chance of negotiations, even less f a living wage – except for his own I am sure.

      • Wealthy people aren't perfect

        The owner of a large restaurant corporation that operated in 5 states had a daughter who had a baby out of wedlock. He is one of the richest men in Southern MN. She moved into subsidized housing and collected welfare benefits. They all thought it was funny. Not only did she take the housing and benefits from someone who really needed it, they made a big joke out of it and said they deserved it because of the taxes they pay. However at tax time, the grandpa bragged that he had the best accountant around and didn’t pay any taxes. That is when the wealthy abused the welfare system….

      • Matt

        Wealthy people aren’t perfect…

        I agree that they are not, but you just highlighted EXACTLY what the problem is. Our welfare system is broken because anyone can abuse it. The only fair way to do it is to restore the power and the money to those who earn it and let them support the social framework.

        I hate when people abuse the system poor or rich, which is why the system needs to go.

        I hate when unions abuse the system or when business does which is why the system needs to go. This isn’t that complicated.

    • yep

      A lot of people feel this way exactly. They voted to cut spending but never dreamed it would directly affect their job.

    • Smarter than the average Dem

      Unions have done nothing other than destroyed America since the ’40’s, they were a good idea at one time, now they are pure corruption.

      You say the Republicans are rich, check the tax returns of any union boss for the last few year (oh, never mind, you won’t be able to find them).

      Find any union shop that any employee DARES to express any conservative views.

      You don’t like your “gun rights” that’s fine, keep marching with the rest of the Lemocrats.

      As far as the liberal media thinking they are going to make anyone with a brain believe this is going to make those of us that can think run scared good luck with that.

      Oh, that’s right, the Democrats would never think of “messing with our money” or voting against jobs (seems to me Walker did this to avoid laying off a bunch of idiot union members that the state couldn’t afford to pay any more??)

      Don’t Stop Believin’

  • Right on Walker

    Typical union bull$hit – death threats,intimidation, etc. They need to get a life!!! Hats off to Governor Walker – We need more politicians who stand up and do what’s right.

    • MNTP

      That’s right! Wisconsin is safer for Freedom loving Americans now. Minnesota is next!

      • TF

        I hope so…

      • mn

        I’d like to understand your comment. Explain how you lost freedoms because of Unions.

      • MNTP

        Unions destroy free enterprise and allow lazy socialsts to make more money than they are worth. Freedom loving Americans want a return to open shops where Liberty is the rule, not socialist control by DemocRAT thugs and gangster bosses.

      • Heididog

        Not with a Democrat for a governor!

      • M B

        Wow. The ignorance here is so profound I don’t have a rope long enough to measure the depth.

        Do you like your 40 hour work week? How about Holidays off? How about Weekends off? Or, maybe vacation Time? Benefits from your company? How about Overtime Pay? Minimum wage? Do you like these things?

        If so, then SURPRISE, you have the Unions to thank for these. Without the unions you so revile to lobby for worker’ rights, you would be working for less, working longer, working harder, have no benefits and would work yourself into a grave with no retirement.

        Is that what you want? Is that what you stand for? An under compensated and slave workforce? If you are, then you’re part of the problem. If not, then I suggest you actually LEARN about what happened in America’s past before the unions. I suggest that you read Mr. Sinclair’s “The Jungle” sometime. I’m not a great fan of unions, but they DO serve their purpose.

      • MNTP

        MB, the 40 hour week, weekends off, overtime, etc are all extortion. Paid vacations and other benefits are for those who have MADE something of themselves and EARNED them. Socialist unions extort benefits and higher wages that drive honest entrepeneurs ouit of business. American workers are lazy, undisciplined, greedy and ungrateful. They should be glad to have jobs and demonstrate their appreciation by working HARDER rather than greedily demanding more and more. Maybe if you and your lazy union buddies wanted insurance and vacations, you should have studied harder in the public schools that my tax dollars already provided. Now you’ll get exactly what you deserve.

      • Pieter


        Yes, thanks to the unions for the 40 hr work week, vacation time/pay, weekends off etc.

        However, those items are now considered the norm. As a private sector employee, if my employer took those items away from me I would just leave the company and work for someone who provides them. Simple supply and demand of the private workforce: supply the right pay/vacation/benefits and you will receive a demand for the job.

        The government needs to get out of the business of doing business. Slowly phase out certain jobs to the private sector and supply contracts and create bidding wars.

      • M B

        MNTP, Thanks for showing your true colors.
        Use the education YOU paid for? I paid for all my own college, and YOU weren’t the ONLY one paying for my Public Education. Don’t think you are so special to claim that exclusive right. Unless you went to private school, you weren’t the only one to pay for yours either, so don’t try to act high and mighty on that count. I pay into my local schools even though I have no kids, because I believe they deserve an education. Obviously you don’t.

        “Greedy, ungrateful and should work HARDER instead of demanding more and more?” You DO realize that American workers are currently making record productivity gains, right? Is that not enough? How much is enough? Should they all work 12-14 hour days? Should they give up their families, spouses, their whole lives to become your servants?

        Who are you comparing us to when you say we should work harder? The Chinese? Do you forget that they are still a Communist country and their wages average 57 cents and hour with abhorrent working conditions? We can’t EVER compete with that. Is that what you want the American worker to be like? If not, then tell me what you do want, because I’m not sure you even know yourself, but I am genuinely interested to hear.

        You assume I’m a Democrat. I’m not. I consider myself independent (please read carefully, I said independent, not An Independent). You assume I’m friendly with the Unions. If you actually read my post instead of frothing as soon as you read something you didn’t like you’d know I don’t particularly like them. But, they DO serve a purpose. You assume that just because I support the union on this issue, I’m a socialist. Guess what, I’m not. That’s a lot of wrong assumptions. To use your phrase, maybe you should “use that education WE paid for” for and educate yourself without relying exclusively on the hard right bias.

        I have no problems with companies making money. Not in the slightest. When they start to abuse the system so they can abuse the workers, THEN I have a problem. The problem is, that companies without oversight will ALWAYS abuse employees, because if there’s one fundamental factor, it is that once someone has money/power, they seldom want to give it up. Religion certainly doesn’t seem to be curbing the greed.

        Removing the unions unfortunately is one step to removing that oversight, and that’s what this whole argument is about: removing unions. Because if Walker was true to his word about bargaining, this wouldn’t have gone past the point where the unions agreed to the benefits cuts.

        Next time you think public unions aren’t a good idea, and if/when they’re gone, go ahead and call 911 when your house is burning down or being broken into, because I’m sure being underpaid and overworked is going to motivate them to risk their lives for you.

    • Mike

      I’m voting for Walker!!!

  • Roger

    Why does everyone get upset when the will of the majority votes for change? This is what Wisconsin voters wanted and what the people of America wants. And for God’s sake, someone do something about Jesse Jackson.

    • gauffsa

      Wanting change does not mean ANY change. Clearly, it was NOT what they wanted, and what a surprise, the Republicans passed what will work best for them (“them” being the rich CEO’s, not the lower-down the chain Republicans brainwashed into believing these higher ups are even marginally interested in doing anything for their benefit).

      It will always confound me how anyone but the rich would be Republican. All I can say is I hope they learn something from this.

      • TF


        I’m a Republican because I believe in being paid based on the results of my work, not the redistribution of wealth. Personally I am annoyed by the Christian right because church and politics are two different ballgames.

        I can not understand how ANYONE could justify the democratic redistribution policies as being fair. PLEASE someone explain that to me.

    • scott

      I am from wisconsin voted for this loser. I guarantee he wont get back in. We want goverment smaller not less for the blue collar people

    • dphilips

      The people made a huge mistake in voting! Most people dont know the issues when thy go to the polls! This is not what America wants You will see come 2012 As for your comment in Jesse Jackson RACIST! What would you suggest
      lynch him?

  • Drilled in Philly

    If you have a Union job an voted Republican these are the consequences.Get ready Philly you are about to get drilled big time,oh sorry the drilling has already started.

  • dan

    Everybody wants lower taxes and a balanced budget…..as long as it doesn’t affect them. That’s not going to work people. Cuts have to affect someone. Let’s not lose sight of what’s important here.

    Unions should not be able to force people to pay union dues as a condition of employment. If want to participate, fine. You have no right to force your coworkers to join.

    If public sector unions do exist they either have to give up collective bargaining or not contribute to political campaigns. Give money to those you are going to be bargaining with is ridiculous. We know this doesn’t work. Just look at some of the insane benifits and rules that have been collectively bargained. Bus drivers and prision guards would never make $150k in the free market. How about completely eliminating merit and performance when it comes to pay or promotion?

    Employers should have the choice to collectively bargain or not. No employer should be forced to work with a union. Voluntary association is the bedrock of a free economy.

  • shirley


    • TF

      So if you write in all capitals it makes it true.

      Shirley, if you are such and expert please explain the pro’s and con’s of outsourcing?

      • Rep. Michele Bachmann

        The pros and cons of outsourcing. Pros they get cheap labor. CON we the american people lose jobs. What do you not understand about that?

    • Taking jobs

      shirley, The unions are the main culprit for taking jobs out of the country! Between the unions and the taxes, many companies can’t afford to hire people and will go overseas to do it!

      • TF


      • Don_J

        @Taking jobs… you REALLY don’t believe that BS do you? What you meant to say was that Union jobs are the only jobs that ARE protected (somewhat) from being sent overseas, right?

    • scott

      You still get your fat check Michele and your goverment benny’s the unions were willing to give up money. not there rights

    • sad

      a balanced budget and a safer economy? come on Shirley if we keep spending the way we have been, we will be a third world country, how can that be better than taking cuts now so we ensure a stronger future. Something is better than nothing. Just because you get yours, but nothing is left for your children? That sounds mean. Take some cuts now, so there is a future for our children.

      • Don_J

        OK… say the budget gets balanced… if we’re not taking in any money in higher taxes what happens in the next go round, where doe the money come from? Maybe the Koch Brothers and their rich buddies will make us a loan… but for what in return, you’ve already sold them your soul.

    • Pieter

      I don’t like your tone ma’am.

    • Chris



  • TF

    This whole thing is smoke and mirrors by the unions, they are busing people in and rallying the naive college students to inflate their cause.

    If only we had an unbiased media to tell a true story this would be a complete non issue as the public union benefits WITHOUT collective bargaining are still better than the private sector.

    • Taking jobs

      TF, I did notice that there were a lot of college kids protesting, in which most of them don’t even have a job!

      • Badger Man

        Really….you’re asking about college kids protesting in MADISON. Love my Badgers, but it is one of the most liberal schools in the country. Of course they will protest. Walker will be famous for this. No longer will the Unions chase jobs away by making corporations pay $40+ an hour for unskilled labor. Have you been to Detroit lately? Wow, look what the Unions did there. Peace!

    • scott

      What Walker did was cause division. This is why the rich get richer they stick together,Thats why this wont happen in the medical field they are all over paid but no one will go after there rights because of fear of what would happen if the doctors and nurses didnt go to work. Blue collar people are to stupid to stand by each other. We deserve the money we are making today and more by way of inflation. But because we dont stick together it wont happen and the rich will get richer. Its true we dont have to be supported by high buck unions. We can suport ourself with independent unions where all the dues go back to the people.

  • Jon

    taking jobs! The jobs are going to China because they pay on average 13 dollars a day! Unions aren’t the bad guys here, it’s the corrupt politicians who are bought and paid for by likes of the Koch brothers and others. Maybe gun rights should be debated next, we can’t afford to keep America safe because it cost too dam much! Our country is going broke because of handguns.how do you think this debate would go! NRA would bus people in to the ends of the earth to defend their RIGHTS!

    • Take jobs

      Jon! Gee, I wonder why people in China are getting the US jobs? China has no union…! I don’t know what gun rights have to do with this anyway! I will give you a good example….Department 56 ….The little lit houses cost us around $75-$100 because Department 56 sends the work to China. If they didn’t and we had union workers do the work, do you know what kind of increase those little lit houses would cost? Nobody could afford to pay what they would cost!

      • Fred

        It’s nice to know that Republicans want to bring the average Chinese worker’s standard of living here to the United States. I hope this is their campaign message.

        Yeah, China has no labor unions. They also have a brutal dictatorship, environmental disaster, and no rights for the common man. Sounds like a Republican’s wet dream.

  • Mike

    I am a blue collar worker from Wisconsin and all I ask is for the Unions to help out a little bit . 6 % of their retirement and 12 % of their health costs . Boy I wish I had a deal like that . It’s time for the Union to quit fighting for status quo and realize that we are hurting . I’ve had to cash in 100 % of my 401 k just to get by while still paying almost 100 % of their benefits . Fairness Please !!

    • Annoyed

      Sounds like someone is a little jealous???

  • David M x-dem

    I want Minnesota have a law like Wisconsin. Does anyone know where we can go to STOP this breaking of America by public service unions? I too just switched form a life long DFLer to GOP because of this issue. 50 yrs. The truth is simple. DFLers support public unions having lavish pensions to get votes now and then let future generations pay for these pensions. The DEMs who jump on this bandwagon think voters are stupid and will not see through all the hype and lies of why voters want public pension reform.

    • dan

      We’ll need a Republican Governer for that. Either that or a veto proof majority. Let’s hope that happens.

    • Working at 70


      Not in Minnesota pal.

      • David

        W 70, please give me an example if this is in reference to a normal government pension. Maybe I need to learn something. thanks.

  • Kurt

    Go on STRIKE and RECALL his butt

  • Stien

    Who in MN is collecting a fat pension that is breaking our state? When they collect these pensions, where do they spend the money? Sounds like a few folks need some education! Maybe in more ways than one!

    • Matt

      Stein, right now there are $15B in unfunded liabilities because of public sector unions in the state of Minnesota.


      Like Social Security, it’s not a problem now, but it’s going to be a big one in the future.

      • Stien


        Love it! Who is funding this organization? I know, you can’t tell me! They hide behind IRS codes. Also, let’s actually see the numbers not some manipulated numbers by a far…. far….. right rag! Keep drinking the tea! A REAL report will be out before July……stay tuned!

  • Stien

    Public pensions in the St of Mn are funded not only by the tax payer, but also by the employees. Fact is the majority of the benefits are paid by investment returns. Public pensions pump 3.7 billion into our states economy. Let’s take 3.7 bill out of this state……….please! That’s what we need right now.

    • BLIND from your tears!

      WHO PAYS the Public workers PAY! Tax payers?

      See! You people can not see the forest through the trees!

      • Stien

        You are right! Lets get rid of all Public workers! Who needs cops, teachers, roads, parks, jails and such. I could go on, but I doubt you’ll get it! These public workers you speak of also make less money than private sector employees. So not only do you get these perks, but you pay .06 cents on the dollar for it! What a rip off huh?

        Who pays your wages? Careful how you answer! Are you really that smart?

      • Fred

        Yes, the public pays for public services. Republicans don’t want to pay taxes–OK. Just don’t call the fire department when your house is ablaze, and stay off all publicly funded roads.

  • Dang Straight

    Canceled a family reunion in the Wisconsin Dells this morning. Walker doesn’t need my Minnesota money nor that of relatives from Indiana and Illinois. 32 people total.

    Anyone know a family friendly resort in Illinois? I’d like to have it in Minnesota, but that would mean a big drive for the Indiana rellies.

    • MNTP

      Lots of room in socialist Illinois, DS, now that the treasonous DemocRAT senators have vacated their hotel rooms. Enjoy your pinko vacation. Real Americans are still welcome in Wisconsin, land of Freedom!

      • Fred

        All you’ve got is name calling and childish nicknames. I bet you’re a huge hit on the playground.

    • Money Bags?

      WOW! You MUST be a UNION member to be able to AFFORD that!

      Trust me…that reservation will be filled up quicker than it was made….don;t think that action will have ANY affect….

      • Fred

        Yeah, the Dells is like the Taj Mahal of the Midwest.

  • barb

    Way to go Walker!! If I didn’t detest the Packers so much I would move to WI

    • U Haul

      I’ll help you pack, Barb.

      • Someone else Haul

        U Haul…I’m SURE she would ask you…..but I am SURE your UNION would demand pay that is 20% HIGHER than the average worker….you would DEMAND breaks every 10 min…and the second you DIDN’T SHOW to complete the job..the UNION would hire a lawyer to SUE barb to pay you!
        No thanks

  • RN in MN

    If it were not for the unions you would not have the boundaries that exist in the workplace now. Unions fought for fair labor and won, because of a union I am paid a living wage that is fair for the state I live in and for the education that I have acquired through hard work. It was not given to me as many people suggest. I pay for my health insurance and contribute to a 401K, as well as pay my union dues!!!

    • A sip of tea a day keeps the DR away

      @RN….Yes….back in the 20’s!!! Unions were GREAT back when factory workers had their HANDS cut off due to poor working conditions…and were FORCED to work 18 hour days…..but those days are WELL behind us!
      With Fair Labor laws and OSHA……there is NO LONGER a NEED for unions…
      Seems the ONLY people that fight for Unions are the ones who get paid BOAT loads of $$ or have benefits that FAR exceed the ones the private sector get….
      Just like when Unions were formed a long time ago….it’s JUST as important in the 2000’s we REFORM what they do!
      Even buildings built by UNION LABOR from 80 years ago have to be rebuilt as the TIMES CHANGE….and there are UPDATES needed….the SAME is said for the unions….Time to CHANGE!
      You still have a union….you still have a job with FAIR pay! The second that changes….let me know..THEN you have an argument!

      • Vote Union Yes

        Guess again IDIOT.

      • Fred

        Overuse of ellipses is an INCREDIBLY compelling argument. Keep it up.

    • an Old Teacher

      Dear RN in MN-

      YOU have what you have because you were smart enough to get an education in an important industry, not because of your union. You are successful not because of your union but because of your skills and our system of capitalism. I am glad you are talented and successful RN. I was a teacher for 35 years and I loved every day of my career. During that time my union did nothing but take my money and protect those teachers who had no passion and or skills.

      • Right on Walker

        @an Old Teacher
        Well said!! And you are 100% correct. Unions promote mediocrity -tenure over performance. They use bullying tactics and union leaders get paid big bucks to tell the average worker to go on strike and battle for their protection – all the while they get paid and the front line worker suffers. Figure it out – get a job where performance is rewarded and you may even want to go to work, then you will realize how worthless your union really is!!!

      • Tea thinks you ROCK!

        Teacher….we NEED more people like you!!!! God bless you and the job you did! I bet you were a GREAT teacher!

  • Tea says STOP! It's OVER!

    I LOVE IT!! I LOVE that the Cry Baby Dems are saying this is not “FAIR”! Fair? It’s not FAIR my PAY was cut 20% from 2007…..it’s not FAIR I pay MORE for health insurance today than I did 2 years ago…it’s not FAIR my PAY was FROZEN for a year and my raises were LESS than inflation for the last 2 years!
    Bottom line is WE (The tax payers) pay THEIR (Govt workers) Salary!
    If WE are all taking the hit…THEY should to!
    Walker is fighting to keep the WI State Govt a WORKING (non-profit) BUSINESS! The min you cry baby Dem’s (Again..not ALL are cry baby) and “Union Protected” workers REALIZE that…you will understand!
    It’s about FAIR and EQUAL pay and benefits! NOT about “stripping rights”!!!!
    So…..let’s ALL band together and do what’s RIGHT for all of us! The min you union workers make LESS than the private sector, or teachers are subject to unfair labor laws…I’ll be 100% behind you…but for now….suck it up and do what the REST of the US is doing, and change with the times!
    MAN I am SO SICK of this complaining, when you STILL have jobs and FAIR PAY!

    • Constitutional Guy

      Rights, granted by law, were stripped away by Walker today.

      Will your rights be next? If so, I know I won’t be whooping a hollering if it happens to you.

      WE the people……….

      • MNTP

        Rights? What rights? I keep hearing all this crying and whining about “rights”. Where in the Constitution does it say that lazy socialists and their gangster bosses have a right to a free ride? I’ll tell you what your right is. You all have the right to work for what you’re paid or starve. If you don’t like it, get on the bus to Illinois.

      • Just STOP with you WORTHLESS points!

        Where are UNIONS listed in the Constitution! WOW! Keep grasping at those straws!

      • kjc

        What rights would you be commenting on…………….oh yeah, thats right…..the majority of us are not Union….we are had working Americans that have to stand up for ourselves when it comes to certain items and realize that things need to change before the entire Country falls apart, and if that means, taking a pay cut, well then so be it………..I also miss the part in the constitution where it states that rights include Healthcare and Pensions for Unions…….

      • Cindy

        What about my rights and the rights of my children not to pay for lavish government union pensions? Stop hiding behind words the “workers rights”. I am not rich but do not want ot pay more taxes to support these pensions that are out of line with the private sector.That is MY RIGHT! I do not have a life time, inflation protected pension handed to me by the government paid with tax money from real working people. … stop muttering “works rights” between your slurpping at the government trough… we are very sick of that.

      • Matt

        If this was a RIGHT it couldn’t be stripped away. This was a privilege that wasn’t even afforded to public sector unions until 1959. Stop calling it a right.

      • Fred

        “Right” isn’t really the correct word in my opinion. But the government of Wisconsin entered into agreements with teachers’ unions that this governor has now weaseled out of.

    • kjc

      Well said!

    • Annoyed

      Sounds like a little jealousy going on??? I think some are forgetting who these “Govt workers” are? My husband is a Public Union Employee in Wisconsin. The next time it snows, please tell me who is going to plow you out of your driveway and fix the roads you drive on everyday. If anyone claims these guys have it “easy”, I’m sorry, but you are sorely mistaken. Do a little research on the subject.

  • Unionguy

    The unions should have been busted… The only thing a union provides is Job security and gaurentted wage increases foir lazy city and government workers… Trust me I was a city worker for 5 years and a union meneber. Unions are worthless and cost way to much money

    • demodan

      Agreed… you are right on!!!!

      • supporter of unions

        I worked my A** off to get a good job (county)…..Very Very Very happy I don’t have a guy like that for a Gov.

        I’ll be keeping my money in my state……….

        so many jelous people on here geez……..

  • Dave

    Breaking news: “Unions Are Now Demanding Multi-Million Dollar Refunds From Democrats”

    • HAHA Tea!

      LOL! I love it Dave!

  • joe union

    Every day should be kick a REPUBLICAN”S ass day.

    • 6' 4" of Repub FURY!

      OH…boohoo Joe…..Funny a DEM like you is threating violence! I bet you were the 1st one on the “Anti-republican violence” bus after the shootings….

      Shows your TRULLY a moron!

      • Fred

        “Shows your TRULLY a moron!” = IRONY

  • barb

    wow Joe. You’re showing your bully side.

  • Rich

    I’ve cancelled my trip to the Dells and my Lake Michigan fishing trip is leaving out of Illinois this year. You’re broke Wisconsin –getting broker!

    • Right on Walker

      I’m sure the couple hundred bucks you were going to spend will break the state! You are hilarious – I’m also sure Wisconsin could care a less if a union goon like you doesn’t lower their average state IQ while you’re in town!

      • Fred

        Personal insults. Is that all you have?

        I avoided filling up in Wisconsin the other day so as not to contribute to their budget. Almost ran out of gas, but I made it to Minnesota. Maybe if enough like-minded people do the same and similar, it will have an effect. Elections have consequences. So do decisions made by elected officials.

        I’m looking forward to the personal insult that’s sure to follow this post. Fire away.


    Are you suggesting that because I am a “Union Government Employee” that I DO NOT pay taxes? Are YOU suggesting that I have it made because I am a “Union Government Employee”? When my taxes go up my wages DO NOT, which means I am taking the hit just like everyone else, hit twice as hard if you put any thought into it! Inflation effects everyone, even the “Union Government Employee”. I don’t know how to balance the budget and neither do you or the politicians for that matter. We all have to wait to see if the decision made by Walker was the right thing to do for the state of Wisconsin.

    • Tea again

      Hey CatMB…I understand your point….and thank you for the response…I guess my point is my pay has decreased….and due to that…..the amount of taxes I pay in is LESS! I also no longer have the disposable income to buy items that are taxed…again…resulting in LESS tax to do things like pay you…..OR..this would be the case in a FAIR world….
      So…with these situations…WHY should my taxes go UP to support your pay increases and benefits….and yes…my taxes have gone UP! (Just like yours!)
      So…I make LESS money than I did in 2007…yet my tax rate is HIGER?
      Your tax rate is higher as well…..BUT your pay has either remained the SAME, or in typical “union” fashion…has improved!
      All I am saying is the private sector has taken a larger hit than the “public” sector…and you really cannot argue that…..

      • CATMB

        Hey Tea…I haven’t had a raise in 5 years or a cost of living increase (COLA) in 3…If you really want to be informed about what happens in Government ask a Government employee. I live in a house in a community much like you, my taxes go up, yet my wages go down … I am not insulated from what happens in the economy because I hold a Government job. I get taxed on most everything I do or buy, heck I shop out of the County I live in because the taxes are too high in the County I live in. It is the wolrd we live in… I work hard and everyday I am in fear that my job will disapear too, like 5 of my co-workers (all laid off in the past 2 years). My message is… don’t sit there and act like you know how it is in Government. Our opinions are biased because of who we work for, but our butts are on line everyday no differently. I will say it again, if you really want to know what goes on in Government, then ask someone who works in Government.

  • MN Mic

    From a person who is middle of the road. Meaning; a person that would like to see a fairly balanced budget. I’m not proposing that a cut wasn’t needed, but why just the Unions?

    Aren’t police, firefighters, and the representatives also public employees? And why were these exempted? I think people are asking the wrong questions in this forum. A balanced budget is something everyone should strive for, but it looks like the only one part of the WI family is ponying up the difference (at least from the cuts in the state employee salary and benefits).

    • MN Mic

      To add to my original:

      The greatest sin that a parent can do is favor one child over another. I think the same holds true for Government or anywhere else in which people must try to get along and live/work with each other.

    • Annoyed

      Exactly! When is Governor Walker going to forfeit his income to help with the budget. Oh yeah, that will never happen….

  • Murph

    Hillbillygoverning is here! But for how long?

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