Union Protests In Madison

Wisconsin State representatives start to fade as they listen to arguments on one of the expected 200 amendments to Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill in the early morning hours on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the capitol building for the past nine days protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Lawmakers Listen To Filibuster Wisconsin State representatives start to fade as they listen to arguments on one of the expected 200 amendments to Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill in the early morning hours on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the capitol building for the past nine days protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Protestors sleep in the rotunda of the state capitol on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capitol for the past nine days protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Sleep-In At The Wis. Capitol Protestors sleep in the rotunda of the state capitol on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capitol for the past nine days protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Protestors sleep in the rotunda of the state capitol on February 23, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capitol for the past nine days protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Sleep-In At The Wis. Capitol Protestors sleep in the rotunda of the state capitol on February 23, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capitol for the past nine days protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Protestors walk through a hallway in the State Capitol on February 23, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capitol for the past nine days protesting the Republican Governor Scott Walker's attempt to push through a budget bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Protestor In Capitol Hallways Protestors walk through a hallway in the State Capitol on February 23, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capitol for the past nine days protesting the Republican Governor Scott Walker's attempt to push through a budget bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Maureen Look-Ainsworth, the Wisconsin State Teacher of the year, rallies the protesters who filled the steps and grounds surrounding the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers. (Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill all three floors of the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
College student Heather Roberts joins protesters who filled the steps and grounds surrounding the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters filled the steps and grounds surrounding the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters filled the steps and grounds surrounding the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
John Nichols, a Wisconsin native and activist rallies the protesters who filled the steps and grounds surround the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters filled the steps and grounds surrounding the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Democratic Wisconsin Senator Mark Miller waves to protesters marching at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
School teacher Terry Grogan (L) of Milwaukee joins protesters in the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
School teacher Terry Grogan of Milwaukee joins protesters in the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters fill the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Teacher Cyndi Ehrhart (L) and Anne McClure (R) join protesters marching at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters posted signs in front of a bust of former Wisconsin Governor Bob Lafollette in the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Wisconsin State Workers Protest Proposed Cuts To Benefits
Protesters placed an apple, representative of teachers, in front of a bust of former Wisconsin Governor Bob Lafollette in the Rotunda at the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
(credit: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
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One Comment

  1. mark from MNtaxwaste says:

    Now lets do the same in Minnesota

    1. Pipemajor says:

      What? Win the Super Bowl??
      That’s TOO funny…

    2. kathryn says:

      Don’t hold your breathe; we have an intelligent governor for the first time in 8 years!

  2. John says:

    Unions should be banned and done away with everywhere. Almost everywhere they exsist there is wage problems. All unions do is to way overpay underskilled people in many situations ( Auto, Airlines, Ect. )

    1. Ms. B. says:

      “Almost everywhere they exsist there is wage problems.” Hmmmm. That comment proves the need for a good education. Kudos to Wisconsin for standing up to draconian cuts and further dumbing down of America!

  3. RB says:

    Unions made the middle class. Do you want to eliminate the Middle Class?

    1. @RB says:

      Wrong, Unions destroyed the middle class, they sold them out and pushed for migrant workers

      1. Union Yes says:

        Unions are run by it’s members, they have a vote, if they were sold out they have no one to blame but themselves.

  4. Jake says:

    Anyone find the signs a little hypocritical? “Care About Educators Like They Care About Your Child”? Really? So we are supposed to walk out on teachers whenever something bothers us?

  5. Todd says:

    Though a lot of unions go too far these days, i.e. not taking into consideration the companies financial status, the economy, etc. without them we wouldn’t have the 5 day work week, vacations, minimum wage and lots of other things. And the government unions are some of the worse ones. There are good unions and bad. Companies should not be able to get record profits then cut employees pay (Hormel back in the 90’s for example). They kind of screwed themselves into being the bad guy. The formation of unions back in the early days was crucial to the American way.

    1. M Gonzalez says:

      What I can’t believe is the fact that no one is mentioning the BILLIONAIRES behind this whole union busting theme. Gov Walkers campaign was financed by the MULTI BILLIONAIRES who’s agenda is getting rid of Unions everywhere. Google KOCH BROTHERS and WI and you will see the NEW YORK TIMES has found the link and motivation behind this whole deal. If you appreciate your 5 day work week, and 8 hour day, and the fact that we don’t have 8 year olds making your damned gym shoes in this country then THANK A UNION. Google the Haymarket Riots and see how people died so you can spend the week end with your family

  6. Carol says:

    With the deficit as high as it is, drastic measures must be taken. Everyone else has made sacrifices, it’s time the unions do too.

  7. KC says:

    Really Carol?. What sacrifices have you made?

    1. @KC says:

      Wow, you really back them words up with structure.

      1. Jay Hedin says:

        How bout you KC?

  8. Gee says:

    John, remember that when the plane your sitting in is about to corkscrew into the ground and you say to yourself, “If only I had paid a trained, Union Mechanic a living wage to keep this bird in the air.”

  9. Jerry says:

    The same people who are complaining about unions are the same one complaining the loudest because their taxes are going up. They have to pick-up the slack when good paying Union jobs disappear along with the taxes collected on them.

  10. Mike says:

    Has anybody looked at the state budget? State government is just 3-4% of it. Education takes 38% and health and Human Services take another 20-some percent. Everyone wants a target to vent their frustrations and they want to pick an easy target. State employees haven’t had a raise since the 2006-2007 budget and it was just 2.3%. We’ve had no raises since then and none in the budget cycle before. So we have made sacrifices before 2008.
    I put 6% on my pay in my pension and the state matches 4%. That sounds like other private companies retirement. Medical I pay around 8% of my pay. We’ve been lucky the last couple of years by not having double digit increases like the 15%/yr from 2002-2007.
    State employees are in the public eye. Every little move is watched, spending is scrutinized. We don’t get bonuses, some of us work irregular hours and missing our children’s activities. We get cursed by the public while doing our jobs and get cursed when a job isn’t done. We work for the state because we want the best roads, schools and eniviroment for the public.
    Go to the Minnesota, Management and Budget website to look at the wages that are paid to the unions and how many are in each union. Everyone sees AFSCME which has about 18,000 members with average top pay $20.50/hr, but look at MMA, MAPE, MGEC, MSUAASF, IFO, MNA, SRSEA, MLEA. Those unions combined have roughly 22,000 members with an average pay of $35.00/hr.

    1. Jay Hedin says:

      I will move there when these ungratefulls quits and take the job.

    2. 2V says:

      So many of these posts give the impression that state and government workers are highly paid and doing nothing. I work for a county. I got this job after being laid off from a truck manufacturing plant. For the first year I took home a grand total of $10.31 (YES, ten dollars and thirty one cents) per hour. I am required to put money into retirement funds; no option. I have been there for almost three years, and am now making about $12 per hour. I am 57 and have worked all my life; managed doctor’s, small business offices. This income pays the mortgage and nothing else. I pay for my health insurance coverage, my state and federal taxes, my life insurance, my dental. There have been five retirements in my department of 28 people; one more announced last week that retirement will happen April 30. Five have had hours reduced to 32 per week. There are no plans to replace these workers; we all pick up more and more. Funds have been cut to all types of programs, state and federal. The ONLY reason governmental workers are being focused in Wisconsin is because they are the last ones working. The auto mfg is gone, the beer is gone, the motorcycles are ready to move on out. AFTER the republicans get done with the workers in Wisconsin, the retirees will be next. In Alabama, one city decided that the retirees cost too much, so they quit sending out the retiree funds. The retirees do not get any special bonus, they get what they put in. IT IS THEIR OWN MONEY.

  11. Hayward says:

    We need more photos and video. All of the teachers who called in sick need to be fired and charged with felony theft of government services.

    1. Barney for President says:

      I agree!!!!

  12. Randy C says:

    KC – Union I take it

    The fact that State employees and teachers feel their jobs are secure forever and any contract written 75 years ago that include a pension can never change. Get in the Private sector and see how long you last with your call-in sick campaign. Collective bargaining only holds the employers by the throat or in this case the Sate of Wisconsin taxpayers. If the teachers dont like the contract they walk off the job and dont teach our kids. Nice way to negotiate. I suggest you crawl back to the union and ask them what you should have for lunch today.

    1. Milkman says:

      Folks, Can someone explain to me why private sector workers don’t have the same benefits that union workers receive? If it is true a teacher gets 2 1/2 months of vacation a year, why isn’t everyone demanding the same from their employer? 33 years as a Teamster and I could never understand why we settled for so little.

  13. Dan says:

    I do not have a problem with the amount paid to the state employees on the check. What I have a problem with is the defined benefit plans. When the unions overspend on providing pensions to their members, they just take their problems to the legislature and expect the taxpayers to bail them out and make them whole. The rest of us have had our 401k’s devastated but yet the unions expect us to bail them out on top of our own burdens. It’s time for a reality check. It’s obvious by all the media time purchased by the MEA and Tom Dooher in MN that they would rather market their way to prosperity rather than discuss the merits of their demands. I am sure there are many qualified unemployed individuals in WI who would gladly go to work in place of those who walked out in WI. They would have no problem being measured on the merit of their performance, versus keeping a job only because of a union agreement giving them tenure.

  14. Lisa Gonyea says:

    Number 1…they are not taking away bargaining for wages…they are just asking for them to anty up @ 8% for health benefits and pay a portion of retirement, and take that off bargaining table. That makes them a little closer to private sector but still with bargaining rights…where is the big problem?

    1. 2V says:

      you need to pay attention. Gov is trying to cancel the union bargained rights.

  15. Coon Rapids says:

    If you lose the Union you will not ever make good wages. I was told that when I first started working at the Utility Company I now have worked at for 30 years. I am non union and I work with all Union Employee’s. These employee’s work on 50 plus foot poles, with live electricity, windy, cold, wet or just plain hot conditions. What most people don’t know is these employee’s have to go to lineman’s school to be employed. Then more training and an apprentices training before they make the wages some are talking about. Imagine yourself working under these conditions. Now think of Lawyers and the wages they make or the Baseball player and the millions they make. What have they done for you? If someone wants a job, than go to Lineman’s school, and hope the Union is still around to fight for your safety to keep you alive.

    1. 2V says:

      …and if you die on the job, you will be surprised to understand how little your family will end up with. First, probably none of your retirement; half at the most. You are an OSHA statistic; you accepted the danger of the job by gong to work.

  16. Jon says:

    Sounds like a lot of Limbaugh talking points! Hate unions, hate O’bama,hate dems,hate gays,hate everyone that’s not white and I’m white. Hate the poor,hate the government. Hate breast feeding,hate telling people to eat healthy,if he told people to hate your mother, brother, and sister 20percent of the country probably would! Time for Rush to leave! this country would be better off. Mis leading Americans to win the next election is his only goal and union busting fits in with that goal!

  17. Bruce H. Garrett says:

    The nation’s medical bill let us determine to be 14 trillion dollars. 2% of that bill is actually the services provided by the doctorsa and nurses. The 98% is from the paper schufflers in our offices that play email ganes and collect statistical and needlless medical minutia. In other words, we can eliminate our medical bill and the companies can begin to hire our populace. The Chinese will be profoundly gratified because ouir debt to them will not exist. Their economy will plunge into financial ruin because our people will be working, manufacturing American made products. They will scurry to for another economy who has reaped such profits that we failed to realize. Just don’;t buy anything for one week and the prices in this beloved country of ours will go down. Remember your basic economics course? So sorry Charlie… I remain, Naval Operations
    USS Saratoga….How you doing?

  18. HHH says:

    That is, everyone else has suffered from worsened working conditions because they don’t have unions to protect their rights. If you think that unions are no longer needed, just remember; in times of economic difficulty, the worker is most vulnerable to oppression. Trust me, those on top are not going to suffer. They have succeeded in turning workers against one another. I’ll tell you one thing; all of you non-union workers out there who had to make concessions when the times were bad, are going to have a difficult time getting their rights back when the times are good, because they have no one to represent them. Instead of trying to bring down those who presently have better conditions, they should instead be fighting for better conditions for themselves.

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