By Pat Kessler

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pat Kessler

Comments (453)
  1. Get a Grip says:

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

    1. Get a Grip says:

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

    2. molly says:

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

    3. Living in WI says:

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

      1. RightUnite says:

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

      2. TW says:


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

    4. Mike says:

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

    5. Get a Grip says:

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

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

    6. TW says:

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

    7. Robert says:

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

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

      1. SirGareth says:

        Why is that a bad thing?

    8. Jim Ness says:

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

    9. a_teach says:

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

      1. John says:

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

      2. Hal McCombs says:

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

    10. Hal McCombs says:

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

      I thought we were special!

    11. GKPAL says:

      You hit the nail on the head

    12. BJP says:

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

  2. Steve says:

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

    1. PAUL says:


      1. NO UNION says:

        Paul takes the short bus!

      2. Mr. Kelly says:

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

      3. Read More Paul says:

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

      4. Hal McCombs says:


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

      5. michelle says:

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

    2. Tracker says:

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

      1. Frank says:

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

      2. Dan from Newport says:

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

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

  3. tom says:

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

    1. Reason8200 says:

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

      1. Mom says:

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

    2. Union Member says:

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

      Just wondering…

    3. BMan2011 says:

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

    4. Tom's Uncle says:

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

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

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

      1. Steve Grotkin says:

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

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

    5. Hal McCombs says:

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

  4. Jason says:

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

    1. Been There says:

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

      1. RightUnite says:

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

    2. Mike says:

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

      1. Jason says:

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

  5. John says:

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

    1. RightUnite says:

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

      1. mnworker says:

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

    2. TW says:

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

    3. mnworker says:

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

  6. Bob says:

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

  7. Dream-On says:

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

  8. Incredulous1 says:

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

    1. Norge says:

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

    2. me first me first not me not me says:

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

      1. mnworker says:

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

  9. Lance says:

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

    1. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

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

    2. Rasputin says:

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

    3. Detter says:

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

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

  10. Mike says:

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

    1. Lon Dugan says:

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

      1. Mike says:

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

    2. Norge says:

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

      1. Tea says:

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

    3. Jason says:

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

    4. TW says:

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

    5. Thumper says:

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

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

  11. Jon says:

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

    1. Norge says:

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

      1. TW says:

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

  12. Papa K says:

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

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

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

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

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

    GOOD JOB …

    1. &%@$ says:

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

    2. TW says:

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

    3. Mark says:

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

    4. Frank says:

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

    5. Michael Spurlock says:

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

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

  13. Lon Dugan says:

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

    1. mnworker says:

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

    2. just saying says:

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

  14. Denise says:

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

      1. nikole says:

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

    1. Norge says:

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

      1. Pensieve says:

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

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

  15. Goob says:

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

  16. Lon Dugan says:

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

    1. mnworker says:

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

      1. Wilbur says:

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

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

        Don’t drink the Hateraid

        1. CppThis says:

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

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

        2. SirGareth says:

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

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

  17. Norge says:

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

  18. Tea says:

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

    1. MIke says:

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

    2. mnworker says:

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

    3. ignats says:

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

    4. mnworker says:

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

    5. M.C. says:


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

      Welcome to reality!

    6. classical liberal says:


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

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

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

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

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

      Learn more about fascism buddy.

    7. mnworker says:

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

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

    8. Detter says:

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

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

  19. Papa says:

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

  20. Peter says:

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

  21. Union Made says:

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

    1. Union Made says:

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

    2. Reason8200 says:

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

    3. Jason says:

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

  22. Mike says:

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

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

  23. Madashell says:

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

    1. Reason8200 says:

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

    2. mnworker says:

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

  24. Ginger Shepla says:

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

    1. I'm overpaid says:

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

  25. Matt says:

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

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

    1. RightUnite says:

      Couldn’t agree more! Their time is up.

    2. Reddog says:

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

    3. Pete says:

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

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

  26. Matt says:

    If it’s so bad, then find a new job… It’s a FREE MARKET….

    1. CJ says:

      exactly! so if you think the government workers have it so good, then why dont you go get a government job?!

    2. Mr. Kelly says:

      In response to CJ.
      Because it’s not about me. It’s about what’s right. those wages are not sustainable, and they are on the backs of other people by force. Have ethics much?

    3. CJ says:

      I know plenty of people who have been at their jobs a much shorter time period and they are making more money than their “public employee” counterpart, so explain that to me. are those wages unsustainable as well? and why arent we looking there then?

    4. Robert says:

      I know plenty of people who have been at their jobs a much shorter time period and they are making more money than their “public employee” counterpart, so explain that to me. are those wages unsustainable as well? and why arent we looking there then?”

      You’re joking, right? It’s called “profit,”–like what made Oprah a billionaire.

    5. Sheila says:

      I don’t think you would qualify for government employment…you don’t have the same benefits, find another job yourself.

    6. maryh says:

      Because the tax payers don’t want to pay you what you are asking. Don’t like it.. find a new job.

    7. Pablo says:

      Gov’t isn’t a free market…that’s the problem. Matt, I like the way you think. Most gov’t workers couldn’t handle the private sector. The stress of having to perform and be held accountable would be too much for them to handle.

    8. Jim says:

      Wisconsin public employees have already taken pay cuts. They have worked without contracts in good faith for years, as negotiations proceeded. A month or so ago, with contracts finally hammered out, Gov. Walker and Republican legislators refused to accept those contracts — and now want to ram through this proposal in less than a week. Without even speaking to the employees first. This is about power and domination.

      Wisconsin has a long proud labor tradition. Betraying our heritage and destroying the unions won’t make a bit of difference to the budget. This is about power and domination.

      Wisconsin public employees are not overpaid. A recent study found that they make 4.8% less than private sector employees with comparable education and experience. Oh, but they get all those benefit, you say. No — they make 4.8% less even COUNTING those benefits. If you look at salary alone,they make about 25% less. Benefits cost the state less to provide than actual salary, and so public employees have always accepted that trade-off. To revoke that trade-off after decades of lower salaries is a “Heads I win, tails you lose” argument.

      A recent report by the state itself says we are not in the dire financial straits which would demand these massive cutbacks and overturning our labor heritage. We have been cutting back for years, and are in decent shape, considering the economy. Had Gov. Walker not pushed through a raft of tax give-aways to businesses in the past month, we would not have a projected deficit at all.

      And finally, public employees do work which the citizens of Wisconsin need done — maintain the roads, teach the children, inspect nursing homes and restaurants, run the courts, keep track of vital records and licenses. Shouldn’t all the people who benefit chip in to cover any shortfall? There are about 24 citizens for every public employee — is it fair to ask a secretary who happens to work for the state to pay the budget shortfall share of 23 other Wisconsites, including CEOs and corporate attorneys? Wouldn’t it be more fair to pay for some of that shortfall with a temporary income tax surcharge, so we all contribute according to our ability to pay? Oh, but I can’t afford that! cries the guy with 2 houses, 3 cars and a boat. But you’re asking each public employee pay 24 times that amount — to pay the extra amount you would pay annually, every 2 or 3 weeks. What next? Require Department of Transportation employees to get out their chceckbooks every time we need a new road? Ask Viatal records employees to kick in a dollar every time someone needs a birth certificate?

      Public employees have been willing to do their fair share — even to pay twice their fair share. Five times their fair share. But they can’t bear 24 times their fair share. They did not cause the economy’s problems or the budget shortfall. Scapegoating them and destroying their right to bargain will not balance the budget or fix the economy.

  27. Larry Dean says:

    Unions brought this upon themselves. While once worthy and useful in correcting abuses by businesses, the teeter totter flipped and the corruption is now found swarming throughout the union industry. Their value and worth is now at zero until members leave the ranks of dues paying enablers and demand they clean house and become legit once again.

    1. RightUnite says:

      Couldn’t have said it better Larry!

  28. TEXAN1 says:

    Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, calls it a “deliberate plan” to break unions…How much does Eliot make a year>

  29. firethem says:

    With a 10% unemployment rate nation wide, there are many that would love to be working those jobs right now! Put them to work and fire the teachers not wanting to go to work. You can’t keep raising taxes on the “rich” for healthcare, bailouts and other state and federal programs…the money runs out! Everyone is in a finacial pinch.

  30. ray says:

    Under Walker, Unions still could represent workers, but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Unions also could not force employees to pay dues saving workers $600 per year and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized. Workers are only being asked to pay 5% towards their pension and 12% for a gold plated health care. In exchange public employees were promised no furloughs saving 6000 jobs.

    These are not underpaid abused people:

    Average Secondary School Teachers Salaries: * Green Bay: $55,110 * Kenosha: $68,400 * Madison: $50,770 * Milwaukee: $54,620 * Racine: $49,710
    6-7 hour workday
    15 weeks per year vacation
    Paid Holidays
    Fully paid medical, dental
    Generous Benefits , and Pension totaling 70+% of wages.
    Pre-approved pre-selected curriculum teach to test
    Low cost of living in state.

  31. skoch says:

    Bob, I would suggest you take a look at what we are getting from you worthless DO NOTHING unions. If union thugs gave an honest days work for a reasonable wage there would be no market for illegals. You have created the market, now go to sleep in it sweet prince.
    These are not YOUR jobs. You did not create them and you cannot pay your own wages. Your wages are paid by people that must compete for the money they earn, that is then confiscated by the state and given to you. In the last forty years the quality of education has become the laughing stock of the reast of the world.
    Well the people that pay your livelyhood are saying enough is enough. Either get back to work and earn your keep, or be replaced.

  32. Reason8200 says:

    People dont hate unions, they hate public employee unions. There is a difference. The tax payers are tired of funding outrageous salaries,pensions and benefits. Public emplyee unions have to pay next to nothing to fund their pensions and health care. All states are asking is that these unions contribute to their own pensions and health care like everyone in the private sector does. No one but me pays for my retirement. My employer pays for some of my health insurance. Why makes you think you are special and shouldnt have too.

  33. Dave march says:

    LOL. Unions have RUIN this country you jackwagon!!

    1. TW says:

      No corrupt union leadership and politicians have ruined this country

  34. Al J says:

    Walker needs to lay own an ultimatium today. Return to work by noon today or face firing. Then send a SWAT team to the land of Obama and round up the derelict dems and forcebly return them to Wisconsin and tell the head of the state police to arrest Obama if he sets foot in Wisconsin ever again on charges of inciting to riot, vagarancy, imitating a US President. Put the National Guard on the street to restore order using water cannons in 6 dgeree F weather. You unionized thugs want to play, I’ll show you play. Ever heard of Gitmo?

    1. James Bond says:

      Way to restore order there AI J, I mean Arminijad from IRAN. Notice Republicans have lots in commen with Dictators.

  35. Bye Bye Unions says:

    …and a bunch of unhappy union members that would then complain about companies hiring illegals to do the job that Americans complained about doing. We don’t need illegals to do the unions jobs…just some good-fashioned, common sense Americans. There are millions of people that are out of a job that would love to earn a paycheck and pay for health insurance. Thee unions are just worried about losing there “collective” power. Just wait until next year when the 99ers “welfare” check runs out! This is just the beginning of a long, hard road.

  36. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

    “It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously. ~ H. L. Mencken

  37. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

    It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously. – H. L. Mencken

  38. james smittthy says:

    better quality

  39. John Hart says:

    Union sluggards constantly twist the arm of the Democratic Party to keep raising my taxes to continue to pay for their slothfulness and cushy benefits. And don’t give me that old saw of “the rich don’t pay their fair share.” The top earners in this country pay the greatest percentage in taxes for the federal and state revenues. SO QUIT YOUR CRYING!!!!

  40. BOB says:

    I have been a forced member of AFSCME for 26 years. I have never been able to vote for the state or national leader of .AFSCME. It is a monopoly across the nation. The only thing AFSCME worries about is losing union dues. They buy the politicians so they can keep bringing in the millions for the AFSCME leaders

  41. Concerned for the future says:

    It’s time that quality of performance gets rewarded instead of sucking up to the nearest labor leader and voting the “right way”! Especially when it comes to those entrusted with the education of our children. It’s time to reward quality instead of quantity. Time to loosen up, study up and perform……or get out!

    1. Edson says:

      You hit a homerun.

    2. jane do says:

      Right on, concerned…………….what ever happened to people being rewarded for doing a good job? I’m sick of people relying on the “nanny state” to take care of them. Minnesota has one of the highest tax rates in the country…………guess why?

    3. dawn says:

      This was an excellent piece of work You have no idea how many kids can’t spell or count it’s disgraceful when I went to school I had to learn my subjects or I stayed in the same grade until I did.

    4. mike says:

      well said- as a private business owner I want to pull my hair out at what state employees make and receive for benefits

      1. mike says:

        Jealous??? It’s just Bussness!

    5. Jim says:

      Why do all reporters, even the sympathetic ones, get the cost of public employee benefit math wrong???

      Everyone’s employee total compensation package has two parts: wages and benefits. The benefits don’t show on the employee paycheck (usually referred to as “employer contribution”), but the employer pays for them as just like they pay for the employee’s wages.
      For the same total employment compensation package, public employees typically devote a greater portion of that package to benefits and less to wages. The employer pays the same either way, but because a greater share is going to the benefit portion, less is dedicted from the wage portion – there is a smaller deduction from the employee’s paycheck and it appears that the employee doesn’t pay much for insurance. The employER pays the same for the employee’s insurance.

      There are reasons for this; private employees change jobs more frequently so it makes sense to get your benefits in cash so you can take it with you

      Except that the wages for public employees are usually substantially ower so the total benefit package usually ends up about 5% less.

    6. brad says:

      If this bill passes, it will have dire consequences for public safety. I am a food and meat safety inspector in Wisconsin.I am also a union steward. We now have agreements in place to protect my fellow employees when they are doing their jobs. This will be gone.
      If one of us sees a problem in a food processing facility or a farm or a meat plant that might get someone sick, we have a legal, ethical and moral obligation to take regulatory action. But doing so could well get us fired, under this proposal. If one of us steps on the wrong politically connected foot, our job and career is in jeopardy, and we have no recourse to defend ourselves. This will have a very chilling effect on all of us, in every decision we make.
      Think of it this way: every time you drink a glass of milk, of eat a burger,or get in an elevator, or enter a building, or go to an amusement park, or see your doctor, or put your parents in a nursing home, somewhere along the way there was a government inspector working to make that product or structure or profession safe for you and your family. Do you really want him or her to be afraid of being fired every time they do their job?
      Having the protection of a union contract and the procedures that go with that will not only protect the worker, they protect all of society.
      In my 23 years I have seen countless cases to confirm this idea.

  42. Jon says:

    I’m not a fan of unions,but they have a place in our society.negotiating is the American way. dictating is not.maybe we the people should slash benefits for these politicians,they need to put some skin in the game.

  43. Reason8200 says:

    People dont hate unions, they hate public employee unions. There is a difference. The tax payers are tired of funding outrageous salaries,pensions and benefits. Public emplyee unions have to pay next to nothing to fund their pensions and health care. All states are asking is that these unions contribute to their own pensions and health care like everyone in the private sector does. No one but me pays for my retirement. My employer pays for some of my health insurance. What makes you think you are special and shouldnt have too. The tax payers are tired of being over taxed to fund public empolee’s who make more money than they do. They’re tired of the democrat party buying votes by giving the unions plush salaries and benefits. Everyday these protests continue is a good day for tax payers because it shows the people the unions true colors. We in the private sector have been sacrificing now its time for union to also.

  44. Dave says:

    I can not afford to fund your pension and healthcare Mr./Mrs. Public Union freeloader. I pay for my own. I expect you to be responsible and pay for your own. If you want to pay into a union pension fund or healthcare fund, more power to you. If you want to take control of your own life, do it yourself. But do it with your own earnings; not mine.

  45. johnd says:

    Should not the dead beats who drain our economy have to pay also? The top 5% already pay 98% of the taxes. How much more do you want?

    1. mnworker says:

      Do you really think policeman and teachers are dead beats?

    2. Mr. Kelly says:

      Exactly. Minnesota governor Dayton and leftists across the country keep talking about having the rich pay their fair share, but never once do they mention that “Fair share” would mean that you would cut taxes for the rich. Who’s definition of fair? Heck, the bottom half of the country pays 2.97% of the taxes. That’s half of the middle class and lower. Who’s not paying their fair share?

    3. Rich says:

      The 5% pay 98% of the taxes because they have 95% of the money.

      If you have 50,000 shares of a company that pays a $1.00 dividend, you get $50,000 that is taxed at 15%. If you work a job that pays $50,000, it is taxed at a higher rate. The rich are taxed at a lower rate for doing nothing but holding stock. Is that fair?

  46. Joan Sprain says:

    Please know the facts. Read the exerpt below. Unions are not always good but what most of us don’t realize is that we all benefit from unions. Do we want to return to Scrooges management style of employees? He didn’t even want to give Cratchit Crhistmas day off. Walker is trying to bust the unions so he can have control and that’s all it is. And by the way WI emplyees make a lot less than MN. I know. I am one of them. Read this news and see what side you are on.

    “In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.
    To the extent that there is an imbalance — Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January.”

  47. Godfather says:

    If unions are all that great, they will have no problem competing for membership. In other words, eliminate the closed shop.

    1. Mike says:

      For the state you can be full-share or fair-share. The fair-sharers get the benefits that full shares negoiate.

      1. Wayne says:

        Fair-share union members pay a large percentage of union dues but do not receive full union benefits. State employees are not allowed to opt out of their state union. I believe state employees should have the option to opt out of the union that claims to represent them: e.g. AFSME or MAPE.

  48. M.C. says:

    I work for a large corporation and am not in a union. My job pays well and I am treated with respect. Also, I pay my “fair share” of company sponsored benefits.

    Stop fear mongering about “history” and accept the fact that the Unions have grown into something that “history” never intended. The gravy train is about to end. Welcome to the real world!

    1. mnworker says:

      M.C>, you are very lucky to work for a company that respects you. I do too. But my husband does not…as a teacher, who makes very little in salary compared to private sector for his degree, has not had a raise in years, gets called lazy and worthless. I would like to see all of you calling him lazy try to do the job he does every day. Please stop attacking people who are really no different than yourself. Middle class should not be attacking middle class.

    2. Henry Johnson says:

      M.C…’re right. When things are great….public service unions want the money to flow…and tie those benefits to 3-4 year contract terms. When things are bad…they say screw everyone else…we got ours through “collective bargaining” as it that provides some moral cover for their actions. If the public service unions want a fight…they got it. Hard to eat from the trough when the trough is empty. As for the M.C’s response to this post…if your husband is underpaid and under appreciated for his degree…then join the private sector where one is paid for performance…not for showing up. I don’t think anyone is calling teachers lazy, although there are lazy teachers.

  49. Red Ruffansore says:

    Unions are a bloated top heavy corrupt tool of the DNC. Best pull off that python boot darlin, I think you got stinkfoot.

  50. aaron says:

    Ask your union president how much he makes. look, i was in a union while in college. and i sat by and watched as it literally f’d ups employees out of thousands.

    you remembe the strike in the 90’s? you shoul have seen he deal the teamsters told the union members to reject.

  51. Chaz54 says:

    Taht is because Union workers were getting paid and extraordinarily high wage years ago…pleae compare apples and apples.

    1. James Bond says:

      See Chad, this is why you need a good education system. Your spelling is horrible!

  52. tom s says:

    The gravy train is coming to an end Unionists, you need to join the rest of the real world and fund your own retirement, healthcare etc…..all the rest of is in the private sector already do. Why should you all get a free ride at OUR EXPENSE when the rest of us don’t. The party is over!!!!

  53. BankruptCountry says:

    I have been reading the comments on this site and it sickens me, it is always someone else’s or fault. Unions want us to make cuts elsewhere just don’t cut my stuff. And what is the first thing they do, call in sick and who does that punish? The children. The ones for years we have been told to pay more and more for our children. Give me a break, the fact is the country and states are broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. Hard choices lay in front of all of us. Private sector jobs are being cut everyday people are not only losing their jobs they are being asked to cut their wages, benefits and to do more with less. So explain to me why the government shouldn’t cut their costs just like everyone else?

    1. Chaz54 says:

      Bush’s fault….just wait.

  54. Matt says:

    There are only 2 choices here…bust the union or bust the state. Looks like the union bosses could care less about their fellow citizens in the state.

    1. Chaz54 says:

      Good point…it is always about “me” when it comes to the Unions. years ago they were essential….not today. This scare tactic of ‘look out for the return of big bad corporations not taking care of and abusing their people’ are long gone..that was a different culture.

  55. Chaz54 says:

    Unions have outlived their use. It is a high cost fraternity that WE THE CONSUMER pay for. Think about it…..$7k per automobile goes towards Union wages and all the BS that goes with their cozy work environs. I hate Unions.

  56. Shane says:

    Give me a break….you people are pathetic! Cry me a river that people are on to the ponzi scheme that is the union pension! Cry me a river that you might actually have to contribute to YOUR OWN retirement and and health benefits like the rest of the working stiffs! Unions make up less then 10% of the working force nationally, but compared to their counterparts in the private sector they make almost double when salary and benefits are included! Unions can take a hike…I am sick of you leeches!

    1. Chaz54 says:

      My brother is a union worker at John Deere Tractor Works and the stories he tells me are appalling. Strong arm tactics, loafers that know that they need not worry for sanctions against them and a lack of pride in ther work are the norms. I hope that this is the end of UNIONS as it has recently been the end of MUBARACK!!!

      1. GenEarly says:

        Isn’t John Deere relocating down South to a Right To Work state? Come on down we like to work in the South, no Union Whiners here, cost of living is lower too.

        1. Chaz54 says:

          I dont know about JD’s move as i havent spoken to my brother in years…partly due to him being in the Union 🙂 I lived in Houston and u are rite, the south is great.

        2. Jimbo says:

          John Derre no longer has major operations in the U.S. Those jobs went overseas

  57. Greedy says:

    Yada yada yada. Unions can suck it. If you want to know the real difference between the right and the left it is simple. Right: If I plan to succeed in life it has to be by my own doing. Therefore I plan my life ahead and understand that I must protect myself and my family, not my company, not my government, me. If I want a retirement then I must save the money given to me, not demand some else does. Left: The government is here to make sure I can retire, to protect me from being fired, and generally wipe my butt from time to time. I’m all for a budget as long as I don’t have to sacrifice anything, let the rich pay the bill. After all they are clearly the laziest, least intelligent and least motivated because they never had to work hard to get where they are. (let me just remind you that the 2000s saw way more self-made millionaires/ billionaires than inherited). Pay your 5% retirement fee and your 12% health care fee and bargain only on wages you still are making out like a bandit in the end.

  58. art says:

    The Dems have spent years giving away the state of Minn to the public employees. We can no longer afford you “fat cats”. Time to back the state.

    1. TW says:

      Be careful, the union leadership and the powerful unions like the faculty in higher education and upper management unions are the ones draining the budget, Not the rank and file workers. I am a public employee, work three jobs, am not expecting a big retirement. I don’t get paid anywhere near what I should given my education and experience. I am not a paying member of the union, they confiscate money every month and then want more if I want to actually have representation. I would gladly accept the concessions that Wisconsin is asking and I hope Minnesota does go in this direction. We have too much dead weight at the top though. The Chancellor at the state college system makes over 500K a year? Faculty at the universities and colleges make well over 120K? The management of the government agencies all make in excess of 150K? They get 90% retirement? There is your problem, not the people who make your kids safe, protect the environment, put out fires and kill bad guys.

      1. Jeff says:

        Where are you getting these numbers from? If you were to cite numbers from the top 5% percentile of Chancellors, you would be looking at $300,000+/-. As for college professors, it depends but generally they make less than $100,000. The top 5% tier places them in the $175,000. I can guartee you that Minnesota, Wisconsin and other Midwest states don’t come close to paying anything beyond the 75% percentile at best, and probably somewhere more around the 50% on the mean.

        I of course to could make up numbers if I had an agenda against unions or somehow saw the alleged liberal elite as the cause of all of my problems. I choose not to let people with significant ties to large business decide what I believe and do not believe. You, however, have been socially conditioned.

        1. Not gonna happen says:

          It does not matter there is no more MONEY. It is over, the wailing and gnashing of teeth do not matter. My children will not go without so a union member can get theirs. This will not happen so stop twisitng on the hook and figure out how much to give to keep your job that is the option..

    2. Kropotkin says:

      Dont back the state SMASH the state!

  59. Rocky says:

    Where were they when?

    Where were the large amount of protesters when the rest of the country were losing their collective bargainin and union paying manufacturing jobs? I read numerous comments regarding that, and there was plenty of rah! rah! too bad. So why should I feel sorry for the guarenteed for life, high paying, every possible holiday, sick days galore, state workers. There was a saying from a holocaust survivor during world war II and it went something like this: When they came for the communists, I didn’t stand up for them, when they came for the Jews I didn’t stand up for themg, and now they came for me and there is noone left to stand up for me. Exactly! Now they are coming for you. Have a good day.

  60. BoDiddly says:

    So… “Shared Sacrifice” means that the rich should Sacrifice and the public employees ahould get more. That seems like it’s fair. They should cut the government services (which includes employees until the budget is at a sustainable level.

    If you are in a union where the union collects/controls/distributes your pension, they are just using your money. They are living high on the hog with your money. I can guarantee you that when you retire and they run short they will leave you hanging. All your loyalty, protesting on their behalf, and letter writing will be forgotten just as you will be. You will then start living in reality.

    1. mnworker says:

      BoDiddly, Walker was giving a tax CUT to the wealthy, the same time he is asking public employee’s (and by force) to sacrifice. Where is the shared sacrifice?

  61. melvin says:

    Why do these people Pretend that there is No serious money problem in the state coffers. Don’t you realize that you appear to be greedy in a time of economic strains.
    I guess not, since your pay and benefits have insulated you from what most everyone else is enduring while paying the taxes that pays for your cost of living. I am not against good pay but I think its time to get real about funding your pensions on the broken back of the public coffers.

    We see through the bulling tactics you use. You refuse to make ANY concessions while the ship goes down. And in the process you cry foul. And lash out.

    And what is with the physical threats being made at the people who oppose your position. Where did you learn those tactics ? Do you think it helps your cause to to intimidate those who sign the checks. Keep it up and galvanize the rest of the population against you.

  62. InTheWoods says:

    People do realize that Unions cannot unilateraly enter a contract with any employer, right? Management is always an equal partner in the process. If Unions are out of control than Management has been willing colaborators. This applies to both the private and public sector.

    I find it odd that Walker is leaving the law enforcement and fire fighter contracts alone. Typically those types of contracts are the gold plated ones. One would think that Walker would gut those contracts along with the ones that represent teachers, janitors, and librarians.

    1. GenEarly says:

      You might have a point in the private sector of negotiations between employee and employer. Public sector was a collaboration between willing Dimicrat Politicos and Unions, a real money/benefits for votes/donations scheme.

  63. pdaddy says:

    “By extreme, cheap labor conservatives who want to pit public workers against private workers and drive down the wages and benefits of all workers.”

    Give me a break! The WHOLE ENTIRE SYSTEM IS CORRUPT PEOPLE!!! And by the way you liberal progressives, money doesn’t grow on trees and this whole thing is what you get because of FRACTIONLIZED RESERVE BANKING and by allowing one ethnic group to have control over all the money in the world.

  64. frank says:

    NO MORE COMMUNISM! Organized labor (unions) is what communism is. “Workers of the world – unite”; dictatorship of the proletariat”; etc. The DFL party was established here by the communist party (under the direction of the mother Soviet party) in 1924. It started with the labor union movement.

    Nowhere where communism has been established has it benifited the common people, it has enslaved and impoverished them. What is has shown itself to be is the most ruthless state run mass murder machine and engine of human carnage in history. Our own government has estimated it to have been responsible for more deaths DURING PEACETIME than all the wars of history COMBINED.

    That is what it will get you in the end. Just look around.

    1. Wayne says:

      Excellent point, Frank. You correctly stated the history of communism, socialism, and fascism in the 20th century. Unions, claiming to be on the side of the workers, are a common tool used by the left.

  65. bsmdbt says:

    Supposedly they are out there for the “children”. Apparently on the scene interview crowds have been asking the very young participants why they are there…THEY UNANIMOUSLY DONT KNOW. They were told by their STRIKING TEACHERS that they HAD TO GO, so they did. This is teachers looking out for our children? It is illegal for Government employees to strike…FIRE THEM! FIRE THEM NOW. I bet their positions will be filled real fast with 10% unemployment.

  66. Taco Tuesday says:

    Really? Maybe it’s YOU that need a history course. There were NO unions for public employees prior to 1954 and the very idea was opposed by numerous Presidents including the author of some of the biggest government programs ever, Franklin Delano Roosevelt!

    Unions are a business. They don’t need support. Period.

  67. Middle Class and Mad says:

    Eliot Seide is a hypocrite and a left wing tool. He attacked Dem Rep Rick Hanson for voting against the rights of workers, under Attorney General Lori Swanson, to form or join a union, and then turned around and attacked Hanson’s Republican opponent during the 2008 election for using this issue during his campaign. Also, Seide and other union leaders work hand in hand with the Democrats in allowing cheap labor into our country, by ignoring illegal immigration, thus undermining middle class wages. Union workers make up only 13% of the work force in Minnesota but are the perennial ‘boots on the ground’ for every Democratic candidate every election cycle. Ask any Democrat legislator why they cater to the unions with ‘shovel ready’ projects yet ignore the needs of the other 87% of Minnesota’s workforce. Good luck. See if you get a straight answer.

  68. An80sreaganite says:

    These are major points of the WI bill as I understand it:

    • Restricts public employees from negotiating everything except their wage
    • Does not affect police and fire workers
    • Limits wage increases to the rate of inflation
    • Requires any larger wage increase to be approved by referendum
    • Requires public employees to pay 5.8 percent of their pensions and 12 percent of their health care benefits
    • Requires that collective bargaining units take annual (secret) votes to maintain certification as a union
    • Prohibits employers from collecting union dues
    • Releases members of collective bargaining units from dues paying requirements
    • Authorizes restructuring of principal payments in the current budget for general obligation bonds, reducing debt payment costs by $165 million
    • Increases general revenue for Medicaid to cover an estimated $153 million deficit
    • Provides $22 million to address shortfalls in the prisons budget
    • Authorizes the Department of Administration to sell state heating plants, with the net proceeds deposited in the budget stabilization fund.

    There may be some contentions points, but I happen to love the union busting points. Anything to weaken unions in Wisconsin will strengthen the state from a business perspective. It is no coincident that Toyota, Mercedes, KIA, Hyundai, BMW, Volkswagen have all built (huge) plants in right to work states despite there being much more established supply chains routes available to them in the rust belt.

    There is no doubt Walker has mishandled this from a PR perspective, but I happen to love the bill.

  69. Jon says:

    Union haters, I probably hate Fox news as much as you hate unions for feeding you this demonizing crap. Scott walker doesn’t have balls to re- negotiate.dictating the rules does not work for anyone in America.sure concessions need to be made,but not Scott walkers way.

  70. BillyBob says:

    In my 45years I have never ever heard a teacher/school say stop giving us money we have enough! Every single year they are always crying that they don’t have enough! Well I have news for them! We THE PEOPLE ARE OUT OF MONEY! Something has got to give and looks likt it is your turn to give back! Most of us in the private sector have not had raises nor bonus for the past three years while most of you have been getting cost of living raises every single year!

    TIme to pay the piper!

  71. Chuck Curry says:

    Why do teachers keep saying they are underpaid? Don’t they know we all have google now, and can easily see that average teacher pay in the public sector is twice the average pay for Americans in the private sector? And that’s before you take the bennies out of the private paycheck that the public teachers don’t have to pay. What rubbish. I sure hope these aren’t math teachers!

    1. Chuck Curry says:

      Check the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s all there in black and white folks. Don’t believe the hype!

      1. AmberJohnson says:

        Why do you have to go “black and white” racist all the time?

  72. TW says:

    Stop the rich vs. poor crap. The real deal is corruption and they are all guilty as sin. They like when we engage in that because it takes the focus off of them. The media is a co-conspirator in the corruption. In Wisconsin they aren’t saying take away collective bargaining. they are saying the worker needs to pay more into their own retirement (reasonable) and a little more for their health insurance (still reasonable). They can’t negotiate on that or it will bust the budget. So no bargaining on that , it is do or die. The union hasn’t lost anything, except possible membership later when people realize they are nothing but corrupt money grabbers who were only interested in themselves.

  73. GenEarly says:

    Relaaax Minnesooota has a Dimicrat Governor as well as NY and CA noooo problems in the land of Dimicrat Milk & Honey.
    Government PAY now equals or exceeds private pay, In Wisc. Gov’t Employees were asked to pay 5% of their Pension and up to 12%? of their Health Insurance. Wow, that is soooo Draconian. Why do the meanspirited unemployed sheeples from the private sector not understand the pain they inflicted by electing these really mean Repubs. to take over state government. The Dimicrats when they were in power used to give out benefits and money like candy. Waaaa I want my candy!

  74. awill says:

    I would like public sector union employees to pay a portion of my retirement contributions and health care benefits.

    Its laughable watching these people in their “day of rage” in Madison. As if they are repressed peasants under the Russian Tsar. Just look at them. Hypocrites They have nothing to complain about; their lives and livelihoods are better than about 80% of the people in this country.

  75. isukusa says:

    I will begin driving American cars again once the UAW goes away; until then I will keep buying foriegn. Buying an American car is a donation to the Democrate Party that uses unions to force their members to contribute to the distruction of America.

  76. TW says:

    Neither of your answers is correct. The budget busters are at the top. The 90% retirements, no one deserves that. The outrageous salaries for higher education and the state agency heads. Frankly if they cut that then the folks who keep kids safe, plow streets, put out fires and kill bad guys would not have to be cut or pay anything more than they are now. By the way, the corrupt union leadership and the politicians are the ones at fault here, they are happy we are fighting amongst ourselves. They jumped on a bus and headed out of state like a bunch of cowards instead of dealing with this like they were elected to do.

    1. Jim says:

      As to the actual cost of state employees, here is a study that was taken up in advance of this situation and was published the day Walker’s bill was announced:

      Gov. Walker is ignoring what the purpose of unions is and is making a fundamentally false set of claims. He says there is no money so there is nothing to negotiate, so the conclusion is to strip unions of collective bargaining rights. This assumes that the only thing unions want is money. Forget things like safe working conditions, due process, and resisting the casualization of labor. This continues the false claim that unions are an ill in society rather than a way for workers to establish what they consider fair working conditions rather than simply having a standard (usually the lowest possible) imposed on them. Walker clearly believes in imposition and does not support a democratic process in any form whatsoever. This is not, primarily, an economic decision but an attack on organized labor generally.

  77. Sailordude says:

    Sounds like people way high up are pulling some serious strings, and I include the Middle East in this observation. Happened right after the GOP got control of the House too. I smell a conspiracy, a Democrat activist conspiracy. Move On, George Soros, Barry Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Google, this is their D Day!

    1. GenEarly says:

      You are so correct. Barry Sotero is going to make his play this year,his time is running out. Cairo USA or a wag the dog moment if he can find a mooslim or communist country he doesn’t like.

  78. TheTruthHurts says:

    I love when I hear how little teachers get paid…..they work 9 months a year and make 35-60k in Wisconsin….The median salary in Wisconsin for people who actually work a full 12 month year is only 45k. With 9% of American’s neighbors unemployed you all should be ashamed at protesting sacrifice.

  79. TW says:

    Not sure of who you are talking about but when the head of the state colleges and universities is getting 500K, tenured faculty are getting 120+K, and agency heads across the board make 150+K and have 90% retirement benefits, that isn’t fair or sustainable. The state government is too top heavy and the corrupt union leadership (not rank and file) and politicians are to blame. I agree with everything else you said and I voted for T-paw, cause Dayton and his ilk are even worse!

  80. Kropotkin says:

    You are right friend. Every single thing people take for granted at work is from unions. 40 hour work week, overtime, safe working conditions, etc.

    Either we get what we deserve or we will turn the capital into Cairo! If the budget is hungry for money it can eat the rich!

  81. RSB says:

    All government employee unions must be banned! If it takes a budget crisis to bust the unions, then so be it.

  82. Pete says:

    I would argue that when 30% of the people in the nation are paying 70% of the taxes… they are already paying more then their share.

    1. mnworker says:

      “Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.”

      1. Taxasota says:

        Mr. Buffett went on to explain this apparent discrepancy by explaining that his secretary resides in Minnesota… closed.

    2. Mr. Kelly says:

      “I would argue that when 30% of the people in the nation are paying 70% of the taxes… they are already paying more then their share.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:35 am”

      Actually, 10% of the people pay 70.454% of the taxes, yet make only 46.645% of the income. That’s the richest 10%.
      The middle of the middle class and lower (Bottom 50%) pay 3.106% of the taxes, yet make 12.691% of the income. If one wants the rich to pay their fair share, the rich would be in for one huge, massive tax cut. At least by traditional definitions of the word “Fare”.

      Other fun facts. The middle class and lower makes 12.691% of the countries income but pays only 3.106% of the taxes. While the top 6-10% of the country makes a little less of the nations income than that at 10.747%. Yet they pay 3.5 times more of the countries taxes.
      The top 1% make 21.109% of the income (Not the 90% the democrats like to pretend). yet pay 39,426% of the nations taxes.
      I would love to hear what the definition of fair is to a union thug or any democrat for that matter. But if you think the rich should pay their fare share, they would absolutly have to get a massive tax cut. Or a give the poor and middle class a massive tax increase.
      Just the facts. IRS website has all of this information very handy for anyone to export so you don’t have to be lied too by the democrats or taken for fools. Check for yourself.

      1. Tom says:

        Actually Mr. Kelly. From the Dept. of Labor
        The wealthiest 1 percent of families owns roughly 34.3% of the nation’s net worth, the top 10% of families owns over 71%, and the bottom 40% of the population owns way less than 1%.

  83. Waldo says:

    Dear Education Minnesota Board, Stop all the advertismants and return the money to your members. Restructure your pay so that the difference between new and senior teachers isnt four fold. Agree to be “Essential Employees” (as you truly are like firefighter and police ) and agree to NEVER strike. (If a chikd in our district mess a hand full of days they can fail a grade, what would a strike do to a whole town?) Agree to final offer total package abitration and strile the state law that fines only the district if the contract not signed. Stop hold our kids as bargaining chips!. If we have to pay to get the kids to school on a bus, why are you still getting car allowances and over seas continuing education?

  84. Ron says:

    Many people do not understand union organization in today’s world. The hatred as it is understood comes from the old Hoffa days. When there was corruption and head banging.
    These comments suggest the difference between the haves and the have not. If you fieel that the union member makes a better pay package quit your job and become a union member. There is no restriction. No more than a regular job. You can make the same salary as the union and not complain of your salary.. When the unions are busted , the private sector is next. Your $ 15 a hour wage will become minimum wage. The reason that unions want to be messed with is unions have a control point called a contract. Most are in place for a 3 yr period. In a job with no contract do they mess with the CEO or administrator. NO. The worker gets fired. Why. Because he or she has no contract.
    Stop bashing the Union, they are your neighbor and contribute more to your town and meaning that you would possibly imagine. The over ride and waste is by the state and not the worker. What is thought saved will line the pockets of the Government members. It is called the ” Color of Law ” Contribute by a Union I.E.B.W electrician.

    1. Joe Pipefitter says:

      I have worked both sides of the fence in construction both union and non union. They are different for the most part than what is going on with Public Sector and Teachers Unions. The Trade Unions have to keep pace with the Merit Shop Trades people and vice versa or no one will hire them. Wages and training. I would also add that you and I both seen that in 2006 and 2007 with all of the work that was going on that the market price for electricians and pipers even exceeded union contract prices. My point is that competition keeps the construction industry healthy. When work is plentiful we make hay while the sun shines. When times are slow we take less hours, less per diem, less wages and drive further to find work. It is the old supply and demand at it’s best. These other unions don’t have competition too keep them healthy and without a doubt you are seeing what happens when the animal left unchecked eats all it wants. It gets big, fat and lazy. Our rank is 14th in the world for math and science. If teachers unions want to command the top money they should be at or near top performance. They aren’t and now they have hit the wall to where there is question in the value of their services.
      The Teachers Unions are about to begin a media blitkrieg of the tune of $30,000,000 dollars. That is $30,000,000 that you and I paid these teachers to educate our kids. Not to mention the Millions that pony up every election to support the liberal candidates. Frankly I am disgusted by slobbingly drunk the public sector unions have gotten drinking from the Tax Payer Bar. Now they have been confronted about their drinking problem and they are in denial. Time for a drying out period and detox.

    2. Worker says:

      Unions suck! They suck for workers and they suck for taxpayers. They steal and they bully. They shut down government services…makes one wonder if those services are necessary let alone useful. I can’t imagine a mindset that demands others give more than they have in order to have more than others. What greedy ungrateful person would actually hold and sign and scream for such an imbalance and unjust cause? If you are a union worker, you have to ask yourself ‘what good is the union doing when they require of me such an immoral position?’

      1. Jim says:

        If you’re going to mention how “generous” public employee benefits in Wisconsin are, you really do need to mention how generous public-employee salaries are *not*. They did negotiate for better benefits and take home 6% less than similarly qualified private-sector workers as a result.

        If private-sector workers are so envious of this arrangement, there’s nothing stopping them from asking their employers to take a few thousand out of their paychecks and put it in fringe.

      2. Jim says:

        In regards to the comments that refer to teachers as “liars” and democratic legislators as “cowardly deserters,” I ask you what is more detrimental to the public at large:

        a) an organized group of teachers who utilize one of the only tools they have left to signal their “leadership,” which continually ignors them and won’t negotiate with them, that they, at least, need to be recognized as part of the solution,

        b) a group of legislators trying to represent the views of their angry constituents in the face of an opposition which refuses to negotiate with them, or

        c) a governor who takes office in a state that has weathered the recession with relatively low unemployment and a projected financial surplus, and proceeds to ram enough tax breaks for corporate special interests through an overly agreeable legislation to create a deficit that he then wants to take out of the pockets of his employees – and here I mean “take,” without asking or negotiating. The public employees in question already lag behind other public and private sector workers in compensation packages, which are modest by any standards. Teh budget would then be “repaired” by raiding hundreds of thousands of households across his state from money that would be otherwise spent on food, childcare, and mortgages on modestest homes.

        I, for one, condone the actions of the teachers and democratic senators of Wisconsin as brave acts meant to protect the working families of the state, which do not deserve to bear the financial burdens incurred by a making good to wealthy corporate donors. These public servants do not deserve to have their future bargaining rights effectively squashed in the name of a fabricated budget shortfall.

        1. SirGareth says:

          They sure are “brave acts” It takes equal courage to rob a bank; not for the faint of heart.

          In either case the cash is taken from unwilling participant held at gunpoint by those who never earned the right to withdraw it from the accounts of those who actually earned it

        2. Reason8200 says:

          Blah blah blah its always the evil rich and special interest with you Dems. Get some new talking points. The fact is an employee doesnt dictate to its employer i.e the taxpayer the terms of employment. We tell you what we will pay you to do the job. If you dont like those terms than find a job elsewhere. Govt. unions need to go. People dont hate unions, they hate public employee unions. There is a difference. The tax payers are tired of funding outrageous salaries,pensions and benefits. Public emplyee unions have to pay next to nothing to fund their pensions and health care. All states are asking is that these unions contribute to their own pensions and health care like everyone in the private sector does. No one but me pays for my retirement. My employer pays for some of my health insurance. What makes you think you are special and shouldnt have too. The tax payers are tired of being over taxed to fund public empolee’s who make more money than they do. They’re tired of the democrat party buying votes by giving the unions plush salaries and benefits. Everyday these protests continue is a good day for tax payers because it shows the people the unions true colors. We in the private sector have been sacrificing now its time for union to also.

  85. dankamm11 says:

    I work for a public sector union and i couldn’t agree more with the Governor of Wisconsin. First of all he is not calling for the end of collective bargaining for wages. He wants to get a hold of legacy costs on pensions and health coverage. I unlike my useless union brethren am more than willing to pay my fair share to get the state of Minnesota on the right track fiscally.

    1. AFSCAM PIGS says:

      I too am a forced union member I too wish I had the choice to be in a union or not. $70-80 a month to the union could be better served at the grocery store. I want to be paid a fair days wage for a fair days labor. I do not need union management to negotiate for me….. It is time to pare down the cozy relationship between Unions and politicians.

  86. Waldo says:

    Minnesota IS a “Right To Work” state.

    1. jc says:

      no, it is not. it is an employment at will state, pal. Look it up.

    2. Steve says:

      I looked it up for all of you…
      We are a forced Union state.

  87. AquaHolic says:

    Government employees should never have been allowed to unionize. The Gov’t is a monopoly. Unions hold the public hostage to get their way on demands. Taxpayers are the losers, with no choice but to give in. The party that supports their growth the most gets supported by the dues of their members. That’s called paying for votes.

  88. Ro says:

    Get people back to work! Revenues cannot go up if people are not working. Those who are not working cannot support those who are. Sounds like the obama administration way of thinking,” if you are going broke spend more money”. You may be my neighbor and you may be my friend but it is not my responsibility to support you. That is yours! Are you ok taking the food from my children, or raising my property taxes enough that I cant pay them? Is it more important that you and your children go to the doctor than it is for me or my family? Who are you to take what little bit I can put away for my non-existant retirement and put into a coffer to pay for your retirement? If your needs cannot be met by you, what right to you have to expect me to pick up the tab? Do like I would have to do! Find a different job!!!!!!

  89. Watts Harrison says:

    Perhaps WWIII is around the corner with these Farmer/Laborers going to war w/ the Tea Partiers. One group are ‘producers’ and other are ‘takers’, meaning that one group vehemently demands a redistribution of wealth to finance public institutions, while the other vehemently rejects the same redistribution. In the law of physics, you have two polar-opposite groups that are never going to agree out of a matter of principle, so what’s the answer. TeaParty revolts in the summers and Publc Union revolts in the winters? Grow up everyone, the well is dry, and the trillions of $ the U.S. pumped into local and state gov’ts over the past 2 years is now gone. Now it’s up to the “people” to figure out how we’re going to pay for things, and everyone is going to need to take a haircut. I know I already have…with income down 40% from 3 years ago and health care costs up 20%. Of course, I work in the private sector. What say you….Public Service Union members?

  90. MinnFinn says:

    Public employees today are not “poor downtrodden, under paid, etc.” that you and other unionists make them out to be. Unions protect employees who aren’t doing their jobs in too many cases. They ensure that budgets at all levels of gov’t will be busted with the highest benefits, retirement and salaries of comparable jobs.
    Even the big “Progressive” FDR saw the dangers of allowing public employees unionize and prevented it. Public employee unions spend many millions $ of what should go into their own retirement and benefits to elect primarily Democrat politicians who turn around pay back the union bosses with $ billions for those unionists’ budgets, contracts, etc. It’s an incestuous relationship, which shouldn’t be allowed.

  91. Harry in Mn says:

    I am not a member of an Union, and hopefully, I will never be a member of a Union. I am a person that can negotiate my pay on my own based on the quality work I provide my employer. If my employer will not give me the raise that I earn, I can leave and find another job. Unions members give up that right when they are members of Unions, and submit to collective bargaining, which means that everyone is paid the same if you are a productive worker or a deadbeat. Unions speak of fair pay for their members, I think fair pay for fair work is a good idea. But the thing Unions should be saying is fair pay for every worker not just Union Members. The problem with Unions is that when every other worker has to make sacrifices for jobs, Unions do not want to make those same sacrifices. Unions for the most part, think they are better then the average worker, that they do not have to make any sacrifices. And when you are talking public sector Unions, they think that the governments have to take more money from the citizens so that they can keep their wages and benefits and everyone else should sacrifice for them. How is that fair? Why does governments all over the country have to keep Public Unions off of budget cuts? Again, here Unions are better then the poor who is using government programs, or the helpless who needs government programs. Unions rather see those programs cut in order to keep their wages and benefits. How is that good? All the governemnts are asking the Unions to do is pay a small percentage of their wages towards their benefits and retirement, which is still much smaller deduction and still better benefits then the Non-Union workforce. Unions like to blame evil corporations for not wanting to pay Union wages and moving offshore for all of their woes. Lets look at it this way, how can corporations continue to allow a Union workforce when that Union caused the price of the product or service to rise in order to pay for the wages and the benefits provided to Unions? In order to continue to stay competitive, the corporations have to look for a workforce that is cheaper in wages and benefits. I do not blame Union Members, I blame the Union Management, because they are truly the greedy people in all of this. We can look at the education system for an example. This country is one of the highest spenders on education in the world, yet comparitively, we have the lowest scores in Math and Science. What do you think most of those education dollars are spent on? Teachers. How is the citizens getting their value from the tax dollars paid to governemnts when the product that we are purchasing is not getting better but getting worse. What happens to Unions when there is no more money to pay them? What happens to Unions when there are no more companies to hire them? Wake up Unions! One day you will cause your own extinction.

    1. Mike says:

      Harry, without unions everyone would earn less. Many large corporations pay higher wages and supply better benefits to keep employees from organizing. And as for who to blame, blame the management that SIGNS the contract, agreeing, in good faith to provide what has been negotiated. If management doesn’t give in to unions, who can blame the unions for asking for the moon?

      1. Harry in Mn says:

        While it is true that we are paid more because of Unions, it is also true that we also pay more because of Unions.

  92. classicalliberal says:

    The top 5% pay over 40% of the income taxes and they make less than as a percent annually. Equal percent tax is “fair”. Anything else is theft. END WARFARE, CORPORATE WELFARE and WELFARE.

    The greedy and selfish Government monopoly unions should stop. People should have a choice to join and pay dues. They make way too much money especially when the tax payers are hurting. They should contribute to their own health and pensions. Government union monopolies should cease or offer a choice to opt-out. Inflation adjusted income is a good gauge.

    “The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused he evil in the first place: legal plunder. -great liberal Frédéric Bastiat

    1. Mr. Kelly says:

      Just a quick correction. The top 5% pay 59.816% of the nations taxes. That’s people making $153,869 a year. A decent income, but they are asked, no forced to pay a disproportionatly high share of the tax burden.
      By the way you top 5%. If no one says this to you… Thank you.

      1. mnworker says:

        ( – Middle-class Americans–not the rich or the poor–pay the majority of annual tax revenues taken in by the federal government, according to data released in a new Congressional Budget Office study. Households earning less than $34,300 per year, meanwhile, actually pay a negative average federal income tax rate.

        Middle-class households that earned between $34,300 and $141,900 paid 50.5 percent of all federal tax revenues in 2007 (the most recent year analyzed), according to the CBO study released Thursday, and households that earned between $34,300 and $352,900 paid 66.7 percent of all federal taxes.

        Households in the top 1 percent for annual income (those earning more than $352,900) paid a healthy 28.1 percent of all federal taxes,

  93. The Big Al says:

    As a true conservative, I support the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively? How else can there be a balance of power in a democracy? Like many true conservative in the last two months, I’ve decided that I can no longer vote for the thugs in the GOP. They care only about managers and not about workers. I’m disgusted with the GOP – they’ve betrayed every working American.

  94. Rjpin23 says:

    I am 54 years old and have sadly watched this country decline with the growth of union protected jobs. Auto workers demanding more and more from the car companies without raising production or quality in return. Road crews working half days where one guy shovels as two supervisors watch from their trucks, teachers who won’t submit to competency testing even though almost every other profession demands it. The results are clear as day, look around you. Look at how strong the reputation of Japanese cars have become, look at public school graduates who need to take remedial classes in college because they can’t perform the basic skills a tenth grader should know. Unions are the “kiss of death” to many industries.Textiles, gone, big steel gone, cars still here, but subsidised by the taxpayers. How many Americans have their houses built by union carpenters? Why so few? Because no one can afford to pay $65 an hour for a guy who takes breaks every hour and half and won’t work on rainy days? But no one cares. A union built bridge falls into a river killing drivers, New York City schools have a “rubber room” where almost 100 teachers report daily to get their pay despite having committed actions that demand that they not be allowed anywhere near children, but they can’t be fired because of union contracts. Desperate parents in urban areas scramble to get their kids into private schools (or magnet public schools) because they know what the outcome of the child’s education. Children in my end of town go to private schools because their parents don’t want their kids to be lectured about politics for half the class by their math teacher!

    The complaint the teachers union has is that they are being asked to contribute a small amount of their income to their pensions. Every other employer in the US does this. Teachers don’t, and won’t.

  95. Mike says:

    I put 5% of my pre-tax pay into my retirement every two weeks and my employer matches my contribution. When I retire I maybe lucky to get $11,000 a year.

  96. parker4499 says:

    Hey morons…unions served a purpose 50 years ago, they don’t anymore. Most people are tired of corrupt unions bullying business owners and emplyees. If you’re in a union and think it’s the only way to survive, how about growing a pair, stand on your own and quit relying on someone else to always protect you. And…if that statement “makes you mad and hurts your feelings”, you’re soft – the exact reason why you feel the need to be protected by a union.

  97. Hank Warren says:

    Useless unionized public employees, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  98. Michael Spurlock says:

    If we ever needed proof that unions are un-American, here it is.

  99. Mr. Kelly says:

    No Ralph, The public sector has been against the private sector for years. We are just now more vocal in fighting back.
    Every dime the public sector gets, comes out of the private sector. Every dime. I don’t feel I should be forced to pay the public sector a higher amount in wages and bennefits than the public sector gets. Period. If you do, you are taking from me by force. That was your sides action.
    I don’t want to take anything from any public sector person, just not let them take more from me. The same can’t be said for the public sector side.

  100. Jim Vertein says:

    All government employees, yes that includes the politicians should be on a 80/20 insurance plan with at least a $25 deductible. there should be no pensions provided by the government, instead you can have a 401k where the state can match up to 6% just like the rest of us, this alone would save a billion a year at least. But unions would never let that happen. See the unions of today are what they were originally set out to protect the workers from. Union leadership only cares about union leadership, While unions were needed at one point, there are many laws and regulations protecting workers today. Kudo’s to Wisconsin Gov. and as for the 12 senators that abandoned their jobs, they should be fired, I know I would be if I just got up and left

    1. Mike says:

      The state has 4 levels of health care. Each provider negoiates with the state to see what level they will be. Most are level 2 providers meaning co-pays are $22 and coinsurance is 5%. Mayo Clinic is a level 4 provider which has $37 co-pays and a 25% coinsurance (75/25).
      Retirement/pension: I pay 5% and the state matches 5% (each $199/month).

  101. Titan says:

    My property taxes here in St. Paul have doubled in the last 6 years. My equity in my home has all been lost including my 10% down payment. This year they increased 11.3% dispite my valuation going down again. I didn’t sign up for this.

    I have resigned to stay as my home is modest so relatively cheap to live here but more then current rent all things being equal. I have resigned to stay for now. Should these prop taxes continue to increase at these levels I will just walk. I’ve had it with overbearing Government and their insatiable appetite for ever large and larger regressive tax increases.

    So keep it up public sector keep asking for more and you can take free delivery of my home. I owe you nor this city nothing after the way I have been treated and the banks can eat it too. We bailed you out deal with it.

  102. Mike says:

    Governor Walker’s biggest mistake is not cutting the wages, pensions and health care benefits of government officials FIRST, including his own! Then I could see going after the rest of the state employees. Clean your own house first Governor! I’ve had a union card for over 30 years, and agree that there’s too much spent on govt. benefits, but this guy is a hypocrite!

  103. hilllbillymama says:

    BEWARE MINNESOTA……what is happening in Wisconsin is a travesty. This gov was elected to do what he is trying to do. I have no sympathy for these protests…and if the same happens in St. Paul…..I will say “where were you all when the Range was going down the tubes?” The unions up there ran the plants into the ground until the companies bailed. And ask them why my widowed mother is getting 1/10th of my dads pensions…….she got a letter in the mail all of a sudden telling her “whoops, sorry….these pensions are no good….” at 70 years old. Where were these useful idiots then. But I bet the union fatcats are living high in their retirement homes…..

  104. Greg says:

    The only class warfare happening is the tax feeders versus the taxpayers. The tax feeders always think that we do not pay “our fair share” while they live in palaces and fly their private jets to Vale, CO to ski for the weekend. The tax feeders keep the taxpayers at war with each other by inventing a false dichotomy called partisan politics. It is not a question of R versus D. It is a question of freedom versus slavery. Do we really need overlords to tell us how to live our lives and keep us at war with each other?

  105. Rocky says:

    “First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew,Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.” -Pastor Martin Niemoller.

    I would have been on the side of the union people 10 years ago. But not anymore. Where was this crowd when the private manufacturing sector union jobs left this country? No where. You lost my vote. Good Luck

    1. Gopherstate says:

      Actually, weren’t the unions against NAFTA and other free trade agreements? so now that is their fault too?

    2. maryh says:

      Speak up for yourself, vote and vote with your feet if necessary. Cirporations discovered that years ago.

  106. Timm says:

    Mr Seide’s comments are interesting. I certainly HOPE this is a deliberate attempt to break unions. Nothing could be more wonderful than to see those organizations which extort and theive from us wiped-out. Especially the atrocities of the teachers’ unions.
    I also liked his comment : “This attack on unions and on working people …” Clearly two different groups of people.

  107. hilllbillymama says:

    LOVE THE SOUTH……….GONNA RISE AGAIN!! If only because of right-to-work…..

  108. Bob Smith says:

    Why is it “fair” to have the rich pay the same percentage of state taxes, but it is also “fair” to have the rich pay a MUCH larger percentage of federal taxes? Pot, meet Kettle.

    1. Congress Works For Us says:

      If a State over-taxes its rich, they move to another State.

      See: New York, Maryland, California, Illiinois for case studies on this phenomenon.

      You see, unlike the rest of us, the rich have the resources to move on a moment’s notice.

      But this is what the Founders wanted; they wanted not only the private sector to be competitive, but the very nature of our states to be the same. Most northern jobs that have been lost due to businesses moving, haven’t been lost overseas; they’ve been lost to the southern states who are simply more competitive. (And have nicer climates!)

  109. Gopherstate says:

    I love it how in Republican circles, unionized public workers, who are struggling to stay in the middle class, are demonized for making too much money, but millionaires, who are controlling an ever-increasing share of our nation’s wealth, are off-limits for criticism or asking to help solve our nation’s problems.

  110. Rman says:

    Crying Class Warfare is a Democratic strategy by and large. Don’t you cry becuase it’s been turned back on you.

    If 1% paying 35% of the tax and 5% paying 45% of the tax and the lowest 50% not paying ANY tax is still tilted towards the Rich, All i ask is that you fill in the appropriate number and let us all see what you think the “Rich” should pay. Can you also define “the Rich” becuase the “wealthy” which are not the same as the “rich” in the tax code pay very little tax.

  111. Fed says:

    Stop perpetrating the LIE. They will not lose their CB right. Only in regards to benefits. They have the right to negotiate pay and all the rest. As a fed employee we have CB rights but WE NEVER had the right to negotiate pay and benefits and we cant strike. Please read and do some research before posting lies.

  112. Jimbo says:

    I was born and raised in Mn. Ran a Floorcovering shop for 22 yrs. before I left. Some yrs. ago I was doing new carpet at county library in Edina. Non-union. 3/4 way thru job I was booted off job for being non-union. How did they find out you ask? I was cranking out work fast-dead give-away. Since leaving have just down sized income to keep from paying exorbinate taxes. I’ve gone John Galt! You take my moey thru taxation I just won’t work! Suck it up liberals.

  113. commonsense says:

    Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

    Who said this???

    Hardcore Progressive – President FDR in 1937

    A private sector union organizes for protection from the company. Why do public sector workers need to organize, protection from whom? The public? Public Civil Servants are just that, they serve the people, not the other way around.

    Every time the public sector donates money to a political campaign and in return receives increases in pensions & pay – it is the TAXPAYER who must foot the bill.

    What happens if someone who lost their job is unable to pay their property taxes which help finance schools or other taxes? First a Lien is placed on the homeowner. If he continues to not pay his property taxes, the home is seized. Yes this is what public sector workers support, everyone must pay their taxes and if they do not, then you are sacked.

    Time for a change, public sector workers have no right to unionize just as FDR said. Public sector worker pay should be fixed to the CPI & average private sector wages. Don’t like it? Get a job in the private sector.

  114. Big Sam says:

    Tell the cheese heads to stay home

  115. Scott says:

    Don’t miss the real issue here for all of the other bickering. The government is running at a deficit. The only way to make up the deficit is to cut spending and/or raise income. This isn’t union / non-union or class warfare, its simple economics. We either raise taxes on everyone to increase income, or we cut public costs (and services) to lower expenses. Regardless of what sector you are in, the realistic way to do this is a combination of both. Don’t let a handful of politicians who are not serving our interests frame this debate as anything other than simple economics and in doing so turn us on each other.

  116. Chris says:

    Here’s a challenge. Boycott all companies and services that utilize unions. If UPS uses a Union and FedEx does not, use FedEx. If you buy food from a grocery store that is unionized and a competitor is not unionized, go to the competitor. If you have your trash picked up by county or city unionized employees, elect officials that will cut them and utilize private companies.

    Take America back from the socialists. Get rid of unions. Elect those who will break them. Stop funding them by supporting those that don’t have them. Break them.

  117. BMan2011 says:

    I guess it’s time to educate liberals again.

    First, the rich pay more than their fair share of taxes; guess you’re not knowledgeable enough in our system – we have what’s called a progressive tax system here. The more money you make, the more taxes you pay, and you pay a much higher percentage of your pay in taxes. So, unless you’re one of the rich liberals who avoid paying taxes (such has about 1/2 of the Obama Cabinet to date) to state the the liberal lie that the rich aren’t paying their fair share is simply a flat-out lie.

  118. Jeramie says:

    Let’s take a step back for a second.

    The Have’s: POLITICIANS (republican and democrat), celebrities, and corporate execs.

    They are trying to pit middle America against each other on their respective sides and it’s working. We are all being blinded by thinking that politicians have our best interest at heart.

    We should stand united or we will fall–quit letting the politicians separate everybody!

    Politician: ( b : a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons

  119. Bman2011 says:

    In response to idiot “Tired of hypocrits”….This liberal lunacy on display. What is being discussed, is to reduce the budget deficity by having union thugs take a pay cut/ and/or pay a little more for their outrageously expensive benefits packages. private. To jump to the extreme that this will cause the state to become MinnWalMart, is just a lunatic fringe phrase. I work a private sector job where I don’t have to be part of a union, so my pay is not skimmed and I have the right to bargain with my employer myself for raises etc. I get overtime pay, I have excellent benefits, I have health insurance, and other than compared to union govt workers, I make a really good wage. The problem is, union Govt workers get paid much more than the utility of what they provide. Being a pencil-pushing Govt beauracrat, should not be worth $100,000+ in pay and benefits. I know people with professional degrees and years of schooling who don’t make $100,000 in a year. Those people SHOULD make $100,000 +, and Govt workers should not. We need to get rid of Govt unions altogther…there is simply no need for a union when it comes to govt work.

    1. JH says:

      Bman2011 – Sorry, but I don’t make anywhere near $100,000 a year in pay and benefits, and I am a state employee. Not only that, but there are plenty of people working for this state that HAVE professional degrees and years of schooling. The outrageously expensive benefit package you refer to? Please, tell me what it is, because I pay for my benefits, just like everyone else. Do you pay for your health insurance? Do you have expensive co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses? We do. Get the facts straight.

    2. paul says:

      I work for private employer in a unionized workplace. I’m not a union worker but a manager. Our union does not have a ‘power grip’ over us. In fact, we sit down together and practice Interest Based Bargaining, sharing our financial information, and together work out a mutually agreeable contract. Our employees, both union and non, have paid more for healthcare, taken pay freezes to help our company stay afloat and get along quite well. It can be done in a civilized way where everyone is honored, budgets are balanced and both sides ‘win’.

      What Walker is doing, besides the obvious, is refusing to sit down and discuss anything. His actions and rhetoric demean the work of public employees and teachers. This is not the way mature adults, with common interests, get jobs done and keep our workplaces and states running.

  120. Bob A says:

    The “public sector” is making twice as much as the tax paying private sector. Its time to defund these Democrat urban terrorists!

  121. gopherstate says:

    So unions are at their lowest percentage level of the US workforce since before the Great Depression, but somehow now, they are the biggest threat to our economy? Something does not compute here . . .

    1. jsuzla says:

      Union Membership in private sector 7%. 90% of working population. Unemployment rate 9.6%.
      Union Membership in Public sector 7.3%. 10% of working population and 200,000 Federal jobs added in 2 years. Average Federal Employee compensation increased 20%. Looks like Unions are a good thing for anyone that votes for Obama and Democrats.

  122. Wilbur says:

    So, do you think the top 1% of wage earners paying 40% on federal income taxes fare. OK, how about the top 10% paying 70% of federal income taxes. OK, top 50% pay 95% of federal income taxes. Tell me Ralph, what is fare.

    The unions of the past built America, but now with greed a Job preservation… the Union Leaders are destorying America

  123. liberalism is a mental disorder says:

    um media bluff? how about they talk about our moronic president and his failing policies that have left us right here in this spot. stop blaming republicans they only want this president out of the office.

    1. mnworker says:

      He was handed this mess by Bush…this didn’t happen over night.

      1. Taxpayer Jim says:

        Give us a break!. It is over 2 years since this incompetent administration got in office. Stimulus 1 was suppose to bring unemployment down to 8% over a year ago. It’s still above 9 %. You are drinking cool aid, if you think this is Bush’s fault Man up and admit you put the wrong guy in office. These Union Thugs are all for law and order, when The Govt. is catering to them, but when the taxpayers say enough, and elect politicians who will say enough is enough to the unions, these thugs go to the street and close down the schools. Fire them all and give out vouchers for private schools!

      2. Wayne says:

        You do realize that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress between January 2007 and January 2011, right?

  124. WIscoDoc says:

    I always see democrats and especially liberals say tax the rich more and I wonder why. So I am a medical doctor (surgeon) and make about 350k after taxes, overhead etc. I would consider myself rich. I don’t mind paying taxes at all, but, this whole tax the rich thing I think is truly out of ignorance. I make a lot of money, I know, and to those that don’t make a lot they see that and it makes them angry I guess. What they do not see is that for four years of undergrad I studied my backside off while friends were out partying. Then for four years of medical school, while my friends were starting careers and starting to make money I was 1) Still studying my back side off working extremely hard, 2) not making any money and 3) going into debt (175k total) in order to pay for my education…THEN for 6 years in residency I worked 85-90 hour weeks for between 50k-60k dollars a year! Which is about half of what some of these teachers are paid if you break it down by the hour. Look, I am not saying I had it rough or I deserve something special, I made my choices and it has paid off, BUT why should I be punished by having to pay even HIGHER taxes (to pay for welfare for people who are lazy and don’t want to work, and yes I know that is not always the case)?

    Yes I make a lot of money, and yes people see that, what people don’t see is that I worked harder than 90% of the population and DESERVE to make more money, I should not be punished for working hard. I would say most rich people have worked extremely hard (I know that is not always the case just as you can not say most poor people are lazy). But every single rich person I knew has worked hard to get where they are, harder than most realize.

    So, I just wonder why this call for higher taxes on the rich when what you are doing is taxing those that have worked hard (not that teachers and such don’t work hard but they have not put in the hours, investment, or effort that I have, just a fact, and not that they are any less important, I believe they are just as important)…

    I don’t know, I just think these calls for higher taxes on the rich or made from a pretty ignorant view point.

  125. John the Fierce says:

    Wisconsin is not even close to doing what you claim, they’re simply asking certain public employees to contribute more to their own pension and health care costs. Public employees in Wisconsin will still have salaries and benefits better than the comparable private sector employees. Times are tough and the idea that simply working for the government grants you immunity from that which affects your neighbors is a bad card to play in the current scheme of things.

    1. sabinal says:

      that’s the BEST statement I’ve heard over this WI mess…seriously

  126. BMan2011 says:

    Corporations pay higher wages and supply better benefits because of COMPETITION against other companies in that industry, for good employees. Unions always want to take credit for good pay, good working conditions etc, but that is B.S. maybe that was partially true 70 years ago, but nowadays, competition for labor increases pay/benefits much more than any union.

  127. GO_FLYERS says:

    Yeah!!!!! just like those poor above the poverty line snow plow drivers in New York City during the blizzard. Evil people who want work done for the money over paid…

  128. Vyrl says:

    I’m going to guess that the people you are referring to aren’t working for companies that are running a huge deficit. They are also helping pay for the cost of their health care. Most companies don’t offer a pension plan anymore, so these people that you are referring to are also paying for their own “pension plan”. These people are not only providing their own retirement, but are being forced to provide for the state workers pension. That sounds reasonable.

  129. mnworker says:

    ( – Middle-class Americans–not the rich or the poor–pay the majority of annual tax revenues taken in by the federal government, according to data released in a new Congressional Budget Office study. Households earning less than $34,300 per year, meanwhile, actually pay a negative average federal income tax rate.

    “Middle-class households that earned between $34,300 and $141,900 paid 50.5 percent of all federal tax revenues in 2007 (the most recent year analyzed), according to the CBO study released Thursday, and households that earned between $34,300 and $352,900 paid 66.7 percent of all federal taxes.

    Households in the top 1 percent for annual income (those earning more than $352,900) paid a healthy 28.1 percent of all federal taxes, “

  130. Mike says:

    What the answer. there is no more tax money.
    Unless we start taxing the 50% of the popluation that doesn’t pay tax.
    We must then go to a National sales tax whereas everybuddy pays?

  131. silverbreez says:

    Too bad.. the Public Sector.. does not mean FREE RIDE.. if you want welfare.. go apply with everyone else on the breadline, and stop hiding behind a union.. and use that “Voice” everyone seems to chant about

    1. PHD says:

      For sixteen years, as a professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, I have watched my class sizes rise, until now I teach 250 students each fall in a single course, and I have watched my salary fall.

      The governor says that his budget repair bill is necessary to bring public compensation in line with the private sector. But if this were the case, we would be due a substantial raise–29%. The independent Economic Policy Institute found that those of us with a doctorate in the public sector earn 29% less total compensation than our peers in the private sector.

      The governor claims he needs to destroy our collective bargaining rights because we have refused to negotiate. But this is simply not true. For the past decade, we have made substantial concessions to help the state address budget deficits. For ten years, we have deferred our raises. In 2000, salaries of UW-Madison faculty were equal to the median salaries for our peer group in similar public universities. But after 10 years of salary concessions, our average salaries have dropped to 11.5% less than our peer group. We are now at the very bottom of our peer universities–below Purdue, Indiana, and even Michigan State. And this was before the last 2 years of furloughs, which cut our salaries by an additional 3% each year.

      Why did we agree to these concessions? Not because we couldn¹t find better jobs elsewhere. Many of us have been courted by private and public universities outside the state, but we have stayed in Wisconsin because we believe that our research, service, and teaching can lead to a better life for our state’s citizens. We have stayed because we believe in public education for the public good, not just in private education for the elite few. We believe in the fearless sifting and winnowing of ideas that has long marked the University of Wisconsin. We believe that a great state deserves a great university, and we were proud to be part of both.

      Destroying collective bargaining rights will do nothing to address the budget. The damage it would do could take a generation to heal.

      1. SirGareth says:

        Do what everyone else does when they feel they are “undervalued” (at least by their own lights) simply quit and find a lucrative career in the private sector.

        Oh, they do require you to “produce”, that is, to actually generate profits that exceed the costs of keeping you on the payroll. If you are really good they will keep you on the payroll and let you have a couple of weeks off each year.

        If not, they will give you a week or two of severance if you are lucky.

        Good luck with your career search but don’t oversell your Phd, in fact it would be far better not to mention it; competitive enterprise is someone disillusioned with the value of Piled Higher and Deeper certificates these days.

      2. SirGareth says:

        You have no “peers” in the private sector.

        The private sector must compete daily for their bread – no unwilling taxpayers to bilk. One would wonder why any of you people still cling to the government teat with all that private sector gravy to suck down.

        Just what is your retention rate? The private sector likes to see about a ten percent volunteer resignation rate as a signal they are not paying their best employees too much. Of course they equally let the bottom 10% go each year to rid themselves of dead wood.

        Of course this all presumes economic tiimes are good, when they are bad they slice to the bone until they can re-achieve all of those “evil profits” that government taxes for all of your unearned benefits.

      3. NDSue says:

        With all due respect (and I really do mean that sincerely), there is a huge problem with public schools across the nation. Our students are getting weaker, not stronger, in the years since teachers have been guaranteed tenure and salary increases based on years of experience and classes taken towards higher degrees instead of on their ablities as teachers.

        As a teacher who became a private business owner, I can tell you two things for sure: #1. I never spent one minute in a real classroom during my 3-1/2 years of college until my final year. Is that how it was for you in your field? Is that how you teach your students – in theory only, no hands-on experience? #2. Once I left teaching, I realized it was about the only profession where people felt they could not be evaluated (although they themselves evaluate students everyday) for proficiency. Now unionized and protected, the public sector is being supported by the private sector – in which we are evaluated and held to high standards to improve in our professions – or find other work.

      4. Charles54 says:

        If u dont like your pay, go find something else to do! That is what I did when i left education.

  132. GreyGhost says:

    To those for free markets and anti-socialist legislation I say…”L’audace, l’audace,
    toujours l’audace!”

  133. chad says:

    Government workers are vastly overpaid. One was whining yesterday about “retirement”. Well – most private sector employees have no retirement! 401k’s are not a retirement plan!

  134. TeeOhh says:

    The bottom line is that tax payers are out of money. The current system is unsustainable. Whether you are Republican or Democrat, how hard is that for you to comprehend? Why do you think that California and Michigan are in such a state? It doesn’t matter if you feel you deserve this or that from your union. If it is public sector then it must come from tax payers. Since 40% of Americans do not pay tax then that leaves the rest of us slobs to pick up the tab. As entitlements expand, there will be even less tax payers to foot the bill. Eventually, we will be like Greece. It is not a difficult scenario to understand if you step back for a moment and think with your brain.

    1. Dan says:

      Don’t forget about that bastion of liberality- Texas. Yea they have a $28 billion dollar deficit for their 2 yr budget. Seems to be a lot more than Michigans 2.8 billion and Wisconsins $3+billion.

      The problem is not the public sector workers but that 30 yrs of Reagenomics has led to no change in the average wage(adjusted for inflation) for Americans. The destruction of any kind of pension system for private sector employees. Is it the public sector workers fault that they have what we all used to have? Maybe there is something else going on here. Like the deliberate destruction of the Middle Class.

    2. PHD says:

      What no one has mentioned is how Wisconsin’s state workers are “lean and mean” as well as very, very angry at the moment, and for good reasons.

      National coverage of the situation has not mentioned that state workers already agreed to a “furlough” plan that cut 3.1% from state workers’ salaries in the 2009-2011 biennium. This shows that the state workers understand that we have to help put the state back on a sound fiscal footing and were willing to cooperate– it is not as if state workers have been intransigent and refused to do their part. The average state worker in Wisconsin makes $48,000 per year. According to the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Wisconsin’s current tax code is significantly regressive. Families making less than $20,000 per year pay 9.2% in sales and excise, income and property taxes; those making over $388,000 pay only 6.7%, and as has been noted already, corporations pay 0%.

      While Governor Walker campaigned with promises to bring the state budget into line and create jobs, he NEVER mentioned gutting unions– with a few exceptions whom he needs to keep sweet at the moment. However, state police and firefighters are standing with the other unionized state workers as they can see the handwriting on the wall. He is betraying all state worker union members who voted for him.

      According to the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Wisconsin ties with Indiana for having the highest ratio of manufacturing jobs to public sector jobs at 1:1, which is almost twice as high as the national ratio. The national average is .52 manufacturing jobs to public sector jobs. Our public sector workforce is 4.4% below the national average. Yes, the benefits packages for state workers are generous, but the wages are not terribly competitive.

      For many, many years, faculty recruiting in the Wisconsin State System has had to point to the benefits package to hire new faculty, because our salaries definitely are not competitive nationally. Faculty have been hit harder over the years than other public workers because we have not been allowed to unionize. Two years ago, the state legislature finally gave us the right to unionize and next week we will vote on whether or not to form a union. I feel certain that faculty will vote for the union, even though Walker’s union busting will make that decision relatively meaningless if his “Budget Repair” bill is approved. Faculty are standing with their fellow K-12 teachers and other unionized state workers against Governor Walker’s “Budget Repair” surprise.

      Walker wants his changes in what state workers pay for health care and retirement to start this April, before the next biennium even begins. This means that the 3.1% reduction state workers agreed to kick back to the state over this current biennium will now be 5.1%, with the extra 2% taken with no warning in the last three months of the biennium– the worst possible time for faculty on nine month salaries who have to save enough to survive over the three months of summer when we are not paid.
      Once Walker’s “reforms” kick in, the reduction in state workers’ pay will be roughly 6%.

      I have “run the numbers.” My official salary is a little under 53,500 per year after 25 years of service. No, university faculty are NOT all upper middle class. Over the last biennium and the next, if Walker’s proposals are enacted, the state will have taken $11,000 away from my paychecks over four years. This is ON TOP of what I and other state workers already pay in sales and excise, income and property taxes. I and other state workers are being selectively targeted by Governor Walker. This is not chump change and I am very, very angry about it.

      Governor Walker is taking from working people to give to the wealthy and to corporations. His budget will NOT stimulate the economy in Wisconsin but will further damage it. Those of us who live on Wisconsin’s state borders are already talking about driving over the borders to Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan to do our shopping. There will be nasty consequences for Wisconsin if Walker’s “Budget Repair” surprise passes– everyone working for the state who can manage to leave after such abuse will leave, there will be less money circulating in the state, and tax revenues will decrease rather than increase. Mr. Walker is yet another Republican who has refused to abandon the discredited “trickle down” economic experiment begun by President Reagan. Although he bragged during his campaign that he had been a great fiscal manager as mayor of the city of Milwaukee, now that he has departed Milwaukee, the city is bankrupt. We are trying to stop him from doing the same thing to the state as a whole. Wisconsin is only “open for business” for those who support Governor Walker’s agenda.

  135. MrX says:

    The selfish attitudes of the WI teachers are reason number 1,351 why we homeschool our kids. And as a private sector tax payer, I FULLY support any effort to rein in the public employee unions and their outlandish benefits. Instead of asking me to “spread the wealth”, why not ask me to “spread my work ethic”? I truly hope we are witnessing the death knell of unions in America!

  136. Joe Pipefitter says:

    Here is what I think.
    Teachers want the top money but don’t deliver top money results. Freeze salaries where they are and discount them the same % as our world standing in math and science. Currently we are 14th. You make a 100K a year but loose 14% for lack of perfomance. Across the board for all states and teachers unions. You don’t think that’s fair because of less desireable schools and what have you dragging scores down hpow can you be for one voice, collective bargaining and all that comes with it.
    As far as snow plow operators in this state. I am so sick of seeing these plow trucks scraping dry pavement on Sunday afternoon that I could bleep. I say there are plenty of heavy equipment construction companies with yards full of equipment sitting idle in the Winter. Subcontract it out. You only pay for it when you need it. We don’t need garages full of snow plow operators year around.

  137. Middle class and proud says:

    I can not believe the stupidity of the American working people.To buy in to the republican BS.Get your head out of the sand!
    The republican “upper class” are trying to destroy the middle class and bring us back to the 1930’s when police and military were forced to stand on the side of big business, shooting workers on the streets.
    People get a grip !!!!

  138. brian edward says:

    Goodbye Mr Public Sector Union Management person. You can’t fool us. Mooch that you are, you will never turn down free health care & free pension with Zero contribution. NPR & MN UNIONS are going on the ask heap.
    We voters will take back our country. If you don’t like it get out on a rail!!

  139. Jsuzla says:

    Why shouldn’t public employees help pay for the benefits THEY receive? Private sector employees are contributing to public sector employees benefits, (taxes) along with their own. What about the excessive amount of PTO public employees get? It is so much that they can’t even use it all, so it gets built up and they can CASH out at retirement!! This is all about Union leaders not wanting to get real jobs. Union bosses get fat and happy by forcing all members to pay dues, and then they use the money to elect Democrats? We keep throwing more and more money into the educational system and performance keeps getting worse!! Do it for the kids like they claim and not for the Unions.

  140. MNoir says:

    If only the same type of thing happening in Wisconsin could happen in Minnesota…. unfortunately Gov Dayton would never sign onto any common sense piece of legislation – let alone going against the unions, of which gives him the political power that he craves, and addressing the problems that these union pensions are causing state taxpayers and economies.

    1. Middle class and proud says:

      MNoir, “better to thought of a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”

  141. James Active Aggressive Kasal says:

    Wisconsin has no intention of cutting all benefits and pensions. You do not know what you are talking about. Do a little research before commenting on the issues.

  142. SeniorNoPension says:

    The majority on here are mission the key point. States and the Fed are broke, or soon will be. We can throw tantrums all we want. When the pot is empty, it is empty. I will be going on Social Security soon. I don’t like it but I know it is going to have to suck-up some of the pain eventually. I have no other pension. Just what I’ve saved. I plan a vegetable garden, a part-time job and austere living. It ain’t what I worked for all these years but it is what it is. Throwing tantrums might lef off some steam but that’s about it. Deal with it folks. Our Federal Government has fought wars we couldn’t afford, supported illegals we shouldn’t have, and been a sugar tit for too many lazies. It is time to pay the piper.

  143. Todd P says:

    This is PROOF POSITIVE that the Democratic Party is rife with LAWBREAKING DIRTBAGS! Obama sending his UNION THUGS to Madison to foment this FAKE OUTRAGE will NOT help their cause. In fact, this will be the demise of the Democratic Party for the next 20 years!! NOBODY TRUSTS the Democrats anymore. They are all about TAKING and SPENDING OTHER PEOPLE’S money for their OWN gain! Obama and his ilk actually believe they are “above the law”, but the vast majority of Americans CITIZENS disagree. Keep up the union MOB TANTRUMS at your OWN peril, Dems….

    1. Middle class and proud says:

      CITIZENS, this is called: Cranial Rectal Inversion!

  144. Buck says:

    Don’t worry Seide – you know you bought off Dayton a long time ago… your union is safe.

  145. robertg says:

    Fire them all and replace them with people that will actually “work” for there pay.

  146. GO_FLYERS says:

    First of all you all have to wake up!!!! It is not about money. It is simplified as a money issue and it does to some degree have an effect. The real issue is control. Forbes put out that two of the richest men in the world, and rightly so, are Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. They have absolute power over large assets. That goes on here. Some peole can’t spend all the money they have in 100 life times but they can control events.

  147. JDK says:

    I was thinking West Somalia but yea your on the right track

  148. Sam says:

    The fundamental piece missing here that people dont seem to understand is that when you work in the public sector, and the government runs out of money, chances are you will have to make some sacrifices to keep your job. This is no different than someone working in a factory that has to take a pay cut, or see there benefits slashed when the companies bottom line begins to suffer due to economic factors, or bad business decisions (which is how I would describe our government the past 10 yrs). The days of pensions, full benefits and affordable salaries can no longer exist. Stop whining and either accept the facts, or move on. FYI – WE HAVE NO MONEY! WE ARE BROKE!!!!

  149. Cogito says:

    Right now Minnesota has the name of MinnieMarx.

    You can have all of those things. You will just have to pay for some of them like those taxpayers that pay you way.

    Poverty line? According to the OECD the U.S. teachers starting pay ranks 3rd in the world. Wisconsin teachers receive $89,500 in pay and benefits paid for by people whose annual income is $39,750.

    Republiccan will reject freebies as soon as Democrats do, but everyone knows the Democrats all would rather live off the sweat of the taxpayer than to pay for anything themselves.

  150. GO_FLYERS says:

    Sorry Libs but you guys got us here just as much if not more than anyone else. I live in NJ but was born in Minnesota( I have a real birth certificate long form and know my Dr and the birth was at St. Joe’s) and I travel around the country. The last 2 decades, or even longer, your nick name around the country was “Moneysota”. There wasn’t a liberal or union cause you wouldn’t fund. Well now you have no money and you are starting to throw insults and blame. It used to be Minnesotans would say “that we are more compassionate” and admit to there spending. Now you don’t and the insults and blaming is starting.

  151. MidwestJim says:

    The problems occurring now are exactly why even FDR – the biggest liberal icon of the 20th Century, and the President more responsible than any other for allowing unions in the first place – was absolutely AGAINST allowing public sector employees to unionize.

    Private sector unions negotiate with private sector companies. If the unions get too greedy – then they will bankrupt their employer and lose their jobs. Government employee unions do not really “negotiate” with anyone (the “other side” in these negotiations is often the same public officials that unions just helped to elect), If government unions get too greedy – State and local governments won’t go out of business, they just go BROKE, and it is always expected that taxpayers can be bled dry to cover the shortfall. NO MORE!!!

    1. Wayne says:

      Wells said. I agree wholeheartedly.

  152. tired of this says:

    free??? how is it free? does the money just fall from the sky? or maybe all the democrats are fronting the money… oh, wait! i know, obummer must be paying it out of his pocket right? wrong dummy, it is coming out of every American who already had a job, and already had health care to pay for the ones who do not!!! IE welfare, unemployed etc. think before you talk!

  153. Jonah Lind says:

    The Mn DFL and Dayton are so in the bed with the teachers union. Dayton has propose education increases only to payoff the union. He will veto any treat to the teachers union.

    Does he have a plan other then sit back and make the Republicans come forward with spending cuts, then demonize them.

    Obama’s proposed budget increase spending does get a backbone and help solve the problems. Quit kicking the can done the road.

  154. Mike says:

    It would be enlightening to sit down and have a face-to-face discussion with the pro-union and the anti-union. With data to back both sides and see if any agreements could be made. I not talking about union bosses vs management, but rank and file members and off-the-street citizens. I bet more would get done there than through our elected officals.

  155. Steve B says:


    1. Brandon says:

      One of my grandfathers suffered through the General Strike of 1926 in England to try and establish a decent society for all. We all too soon forget that Unions arose to combat very real abuses. The abuses haven’t gone away. These abuses spring from human nature at its’ very basest. Unions, by their actions, promote those “better angels of our nature” that distinguish us from the “beasts of the field.”
      The new Republicans aren’t “starving the beast.” They’re encouraging and nourishing a new age of “beastliness.”

      1. SirGareth says:

        Ahhh those abuses, It’s the government’s money and they don’t shinmeare it?

        How about a taxpayer union or is it taxpayer abuse just ducky with you?

  156. Evan says:

    I have had it with the overpaid, winy govt. workers. I would love to have the benefits that these ingrats get that feed off of my tax dollars. Fire them all. The teachers in this country are total idiots, most people I know either send their kids to private school or home school due to the poor education in this country.

    1. JeanP says:

      Right on Evan!

      The voters are getting tired of paying the bills when they can’t even pay their own bills.

      Many of us who have no jobs at all, are watching these greedy snobs who should be thanking the good Lord that they are working and will end up living a lot better in retirement than those of us who are footing the bill.


  157. Worker says:

    Unions suck! They suck for workers and they suck for taxpayers. They steal and they bully. They shut down government services…makes one wonder if those services are necessary let alone useful. I can’t imagine a mindset that demands others give more than they have in order to have more than others. What greedy ungrateful person would actually hold and sign and scream for such an imbalance and unjust cause? If you are a union worker, you have to ask yourself ‘what good is the union doing when they require of you such an immoral position?’

  158. Mike Wood says:

    I only wish private sector employees could see the truth. The fact is, most private sector employees had pay and benefits at or above those of public sector people4 until the politicians allowed the corporations to “outsource” those jobs. Now their answer is to punish the public sector workers instead of laying the blame at the feet of union-busting Ronnie Reagan and his successors.

  159. misslapresents says:

    Unions are ruining Minnesota. And the education is a real joke. Ever been to a St. Paul School Board meeting? It is nothing but a parade of no nothings with their edu-speak, wasting our hard earned money, getting their advanced degrees on our nickel. I’m from Louisiana and all I ever heard about Minnesota was how great the schools are. Well that was then and this is now. Go to a school board meeting. What an eye opener and an IQ destroyer.

  160. Eddie Estes says:

    The problem with state jobs now is two fold. You have percentage raises which help people at the top but do little for those at the bottom. So most state employees at least in my state do not make very much.
    Thanks to the HR crap that has taken over the hiring process the new state employees make far more than those who have been there for years. That is the unfair part of it.
    In Virginia at the the highway dept there is a small minority that make really good money. Most of them have been here 10 years or less.
    Those of us with 20+ years have gotten the shaft even when we do get raises because 2.25% of $38,000 is not much but 2.25% of $80-$100,000 is a good raise. If they would just do a $.25 an hour raise for everyone it would probably cost a lot less and be more fair.

  161. John Pinches says:

    What pro-tax liberals just don’t seem to get is that the states are broke. Your solution is to increase taxes on the private sector. The problem is that we are over-taxed already. Taxes and regulations have driven industry, which creates tax paying jobs, off our shores. Increasing taxes now will kill even more tax paying jobs resulting in less state revenues and more government payroll deductions. The simple fact is that cuts must be made to stay afloat just like in the private sector. It is a simple grown-up reality. The unions should be working in good faith to make the necessary adjustments now so more of their members don’t lose their jobs. This is simply political theater to rev up the base. It does nothing for solving the problem which everyone has an interest in.

  162. Vic C. says:

    Let’s not distort what is happening in Wisconsin they are not losing their benefits, they are being asked to pay 5.8% towards their retirement and 12% towards medical. I seriously don’t see that as being to much to ask for. And I’m in the majority on this one. As for raises what is wrong on merit base raises, this is what I am subjected to, this will rewards those who do a good job.

  163. Vic C. says:

    I live in Maine and we just do our jobs, either you do a good one and succeed or your fired. Benefits are negotiated and that’s been good for us. Now if I decided to go to work for the state I expect I’d be treated fairly seeing they make the rules and laws along with all labor laws. I don’t even see the need for a union under those circumstances, yet unions act as if all will be destroyed if you get a raise by merit. Come on give me a break, these arguments are nothing but a straw man argument.

  164. Wayne says:

    Econ 10.:MN’s state government brings in revenue in one of two ways: it can confiscate the property of its citizens (i.e. taxes), or it can sell bonds. That’s it. The money paid to public-sector employees must be taken from fellow citizens who create wealth in the private sector. Members of the private sector have had enough. We understand the enormous amount of money Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, spends to ‘advertise’ on television; and we recognize that the union is not so much advertising its value and effectiveness as it is reminding Democrats of the union’s power. Education Minnesota uses our children to enrich themselves. I’d love to see a voucher system established in Minnesota. Let parents determine which schools best meet the needs of their children.

  165. Jerry Jacobs says:

    In the private sector, there are no guarnatees, none! Every day we go to work not knowing if it is our last….every day! Raises are not know in advance, you are lucky to get one every year and its usually less than inflation. Businesses must work to make a great product in order to survive competition. They also have to pay taxes on their profits and obey countless government regulations. The public sector has none of this burden and it does not produce even a single kleenex, post it note or pencil. Union power and greed was strong enough to destroy America’s largest corporation, GM. Union greed is pale in comparison to the hatred the liberals pore onto the corporations for making a profit. Profits are not evil they are good. Without them, no one would have a job including no one in the public sector. So, give all those facts, why do public sector unions have greater benefits than most workers in the private sector. One last point, it is totally immoral to force a worker to join a union and have mandatory union dues paid where those dues are used to elect politicians the work does not agree with. If you are not intellectually honest enough to recognize that, then lets have corporations take dues from all wage earners and have them elect Republicans…..there, see how repulsive you are?!!!

  166. Jerry Jacobs says:

    In the private sector, there are no guarantees, none! Every day we go to work not knowing if it is our last….every day! Raises are not known in advance, you are lucky to get one every year and it’s usually less than inflation. Businesses must work to make a great product in order to survive their competition. They also have to pay taxes on their profits and obey countless government regulations. The public sector has none of this burden and it does not produce even a single kleenex, post it note or pencil. Union power and greed was strong enough to destroy America’s largest corporation, GM. Union greed is pale in comparison to the hatred the liberals pour onto the corporations for making a profit. Profits are not evil they are good. Without them, no one would have a job including the public sector. So, given all those facts, why do public sector unions have greater benefits than most workers in the private sector? The answer is that collective bargaining is coersion. One last point, it is TOTALLY IMMORAL to force a worker to join a union and have mandatory union dues paid where those dues are used to elect politicians the worker does not agree with. If you are not intellectually honest enough to recognize that, then let’s have corporations take dues from all wage earners and have them elect Republicans with those funds…..there, see how repulsive you are?!!!

  167. j says:

    Driving down wages, drives down price, have you ever taken an economics class?

  168. Jerry Jacobs says:

    It is TOTALLY IMMORAL to force a worker to join a union AS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT and have mandatory union dues paid where those dues are used to elect politicians the work does not agree with. If you are not intellectually honest enough to recognize that, then let’s have corporations take dues from all wage earners and have them elect Republicans…..there, see how repulsive you are?!!!

    The unions spent over $400 million to elect Obama. We need a class action suit to have 48% of this money returned to the workers whose dues were confiscated and used to elect someone they did not vote for. AND YOU PEOPLE BELIVE IN SOCIAL JUSTICE!!! Get an education, please!

  169. BostonBill says:

    First: I;m a Registered Nurse. I’ve been in union and non-union positions. Unions have made nursing a much more viable profession. That means you and your family get better health care.
    Second:. I’ve seen comments about state workers getting better pay and benefits. It’s the right of all working people to organize in a union. Unions get organized in the private sector also. so why haven’t you.?
    Third: One of the problems is the cost of providing health insurance . I agree It’s getting prohibitively expensive to insure workers. States and unions don’t control the what insurance provider’s charge. I’m pretty sure the insurance companies are showing very substantial profits. There trying to raise premiums before the Health Care Bill kicks in. At what point do we hold them accountable for price gouging?
    I agree that the unions need to make some very serious concessions to make the country work, but not having unions would be a huge step backwards.
    One more thing. From a historical perspective, Silencing artist and intellectuals as well as disbanding unions is usually the first thing a fascist regime does. Lets be careful.

    1. Congress Works For Us says:

      Second:. I’ve seen comments about state workers getting better pay and benefits. It’s the right of all working people to organize in a union. Unions get organized in the private sector also. so why haven’t you.?

      You don’t get it do you. It’s not about your right to unionize; it’s about my right to get a job and not be FORCED into your union.

  170. LJ says:

    You misspelled “hypocrites”

  171. davealbq says:

    Thats what our men and women work for, a majority of them qualify for food stamps and other welfare programs,

  172. bob says:

    This is why I am a former Minnesotan. People in Texas wouldn’t put up with this union nonsense for a minute.

  173. BostonBill says:

    State and Federal workers also pay there taxes. And by the way I’m a Liberal, I work and pay my taxes. I don’t sit around all day devising ways to get paid for nothing. All of my liberal friends do the same thing I do,they work and pay their fair share of taxes. I work in the private sector and currently in a management position so I can’t be a union member. Yes I agree that unions have to be reigned in but that does not mean they shouldn’t exist. I’ve worked since I was 14y.o. I know from experience that unions have a place in our country.

  174. Iska Waran says:

    There’s no reasoning with most of the lefties here, so let me just predict that if the public employees in MN (incl teachers) go out on strike (or call in “sick”) that they will feel the wrath of the voters in a way that will make their heads spin. Most people don’t have any “pension” at all. In this economy, if you make $50k for working 190 days a year – get a pension on top of it – you should be thankful you have a job at all. If they walk off the job to go march in the streets, they’ll be earning the hatred of private sector employee who have to stay on the job or get fired.

  175. Azazael says:

    the blind leading the blind and the flock is ever confused… and broke.

  176. Jim says:

    I work in a govt union shop. There is so much underemployment in this sector. Also, there is no consequence when someone decides to not do their job. It is sad to say and it is never be corrected due to the fact that everything is so incestually interwoven to protect everyone in the system.

  177. djh says:

    Other than the fact that you can’t spell hypocrite, it should come as no surprise that you yourself are a hypocrite, and a complete liar! If you truly believe everything you just posted then you need to educate yourself.
    Either A) you’re lettting the union do your thinking and are therefore spouting the ignorance and lies they’re feeding you or
    B) you know you’re lying through your teeth and everything you just described is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS.

    Funny – 93% of working Americans don’t work for a union, most of us don’t experience anything even remotely close to what you described, weird – its almost as if the unions really aren’t neccesary at all, isn’t it?
    They had their time and place – they DID great things, but that was a long time ago and now they only cause problems and suck up huge sums of money while demanding unsustainable benefits!
    if unions are so good, if unions are so neccesary then why have 10’s of millions of Americans moved out of union jobs and into non-union jobs?

  178. Andy McDonald says:

    It’s not a fight against “working people”. “Working people” don’t generally end up in the public employee unions. Only those not really wanting to work, but get paid anyway, find their way there.

  179. LJB says:

    Public employees are part of the most inefficient organizations on the planet. All of them. They can fend for themselves just like everydoby else and guess what, maybe even have to contend with the H!B’s coming into this country taking jobs as well. I can see a flood of H1B’s from India doing court clerical work, or anything for that matter. Why not? I face it every day. Look at Wells Fargo right down town, they got hundreds of them.

  180. Uomo Del Ghiaccio says:

    The cuts proposed seem reasonable, however the public unions appear to be very unreasonable. We need to face the real fact that we are broke and the pensions and benefits are going the straw that breaks the camels back. The public sector with benefits are way out of line with the private sector. This needs to be rectified.

    Personally I believe that there is an inherent conflict of interest when government employees are members of unions. When our government representatives are in negotiations with public sector unions, they should be fighting for us and not the unions. This however is not the case with the majority of our government representatives. Instead they support the unions and the unions are supporting themselves and we are let with the bill.

    Shame on the Democrat Senators who are AOL and shirking their duties and responsibilities. Win or lose they were elected to be present and to vote. It’s time for them to grow up and get back to work.

  181. Dave says:

    Hey Mr. “Tired of Hypocrites”
    The Minnesota State Government is broke and you know it. Try to imagine if it were a regular business, wouldn’t they have to lay off bunch of people and perhaps cut benefits to stay afloat?

  182. Mike says:

    I would like to see both the pro-union and the anti-union sit down and discuss this face-to-face. No union bosses, no lawyers for either side, no management, no politicians. Just everyday people with their data to back up their positions. Maybe both groups can come to an agreement.

  183. Timbo says:

    This should be a “Right to Work” country. Unions have become cash cows for the democrat party, taking dues from hard working people and laundering it to left wing politicians and activist groups. Every American should have the right to work without being forced to fund these criminal enterprises.

  184. Fed up in St Paul says:

    I’m an administrative assistant with many years of experience. I have a couple of friends who are administrative assistants who work for the state – less experience than me and they make $3 and $3.75 per hour more than me respectively. They don’t have more education than me. THEY JUST WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT. One of them has a daddy that works for the government. The other one is Latina. Why should a government worker make so much more than a private sector worker? The dems are all about “spreading the wealth” until it comes to sacrificing some of their bennies, and then all hell breaks loose. What a joke.

  185. Chris says:

    Starve the Beast! If said gov’t worker is a woman, starve the b!tch!

  186. evinsteven says:

    My wife and entered the teaching profession the same year (1990). I got out in 1995 because I thought I could do better in the priivate sector. She is still a teacher, and I am still in the private sector. I made more money than she did in 2006. Otherwise, she has carried the load. The company i work for is 1/2 the size (employees) than it was in 2006. I am pretty sure my wife has voted liberal in all elections. I have been vascillating between the two. However, in 2010, I am sure we both voted conservative. She is a union member, but is utterly embarrassed by the shennanigans that are going on on in Madison on the liberal side. “Protesting” the democratic process by choosing to abandon their jobs is very annoying. Shutting down schools for political reasons (I believe) is going to bring public sentiment on the side of Governer Walker. The private sector employees that had to burn a vacation day due to the public school shut down are not happy. And, I don’t think it is because they are hoping the public unions are not being treated fairly.

  187. AmberJohnson says:

    The same Snowplow driver who piles the giant, impassable mountain of ice at the end of my driveway?? You, Sir, ARE a beast!!

  188. JanieW says:

    It is difficult for me to believe that so many people who have posted here do not understand that the unions set the stage for the rest of us who are non-union workers- as they go,so shall we. This means if the unions lose this battle, we’ll all be paying 100% of our ever-uncontrolled health insurance costs, our pay will be frozen or cut til were all beggars, and meanwhile the fat cats at the top are licking the milk and honey off their whiskers with pleasure. Stop blaming one another and start blaming the fat cats and their bought and paid for politicians who are the real culprits.

    1. Congress Works For Us says:

      Are you THAT clueless?

      Take a look at your state budget. See all the red ink?

      Now, shut the hell up!

  189. Wesley mouch says:

    save your sob stories. Bus driver in madison makes $159000 per year. Outrageous. bye bye Unions

    1. Ben says:

      Wow! Why don’t you apply for that job if it pays that much?
      … or you just made that up?

  190. Empty Pockets says:

    With 20 percent underemployment and 10% actual unemployment, plenty of people would line up for the jobs and be thrilled. Times have changed and your union has outlived its usefulness. Look your kids or any worker who is 25 and tell them with a straight face that you’re okay with them paying 70% taxes the rest of their lives to pay our national and State’s debt – as you get your check.

  191. rl says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, have any of you heard how poorly paid Wisconsin (or Minnesota) teachers are? Why haven’t we heard that? That’s right: Because they’re not poorly paid.

  192. George says:

    suck suck suck the government tit. Most government workers don’t do anything. I asked one, a teacher, the other day what she did and the reply was go to lunch. I asked what grade she taught and replied only time I was in a class room was during my last year of college. I just wander around and go to lunch. Extream example but ever try to get someone at state level on a Friday afternoon.

  193. Dew says:

    I like your idea’s. It’s about time you get some conservative leadership in that intitlement state! The place hasn’t been the same since Hubert Humphrey.

  194. David O says:

    Without question, public employees are being paid far more in both salary and benefits than their private sector counterparts. In Minnesota, almost half of the state budget goes to education. Republican or Democrat, doesn’t matter. Taxpayers simply don’t have the ability to carry the burden. The two biggest employers in Minnesota are the Federal and State. Everyone has to share the burden.

    1. Mike says:

      Go ask what an engineer makes at a private company and compare with one at the state doing exactly the same job. Add all the wages, benefits, pensions, bonuses, profit sharing.

  195. econamike says:

    Isn’t it ironic that…

    In the Middle East the PEOPLE are protesting
    against the overly oppressive GOVERNMENT

    While here in the US…
    the GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES are protesting
    against the overly generous PEOPLE.

  196. Exchitownguy says:

    The difference is IT’S MY MONEY! Unions were created to keep childrens hands out of machines, wake up union members your hands are caught up in the democratic machine! Parents, be radyfor to take action against any teacher that lies to attend a political rally at your Childs expens! Enough is enough.

  197. Voucher says:

    Shut em down. Unions never did a thing for me except not get me a job. Just a bunch of money grabbers who do nothing.Good riddence.

  198. Bill says:

    Workers of Unions on average pay 1 dollar for every 56 dollars from the state, I dont feel like this is right at all. Plus, government workers are paid no matter what their performance level is, whereas in the private sector you need to perform in order to move up in rank and make more money. What happened to people working hard and trying to better themselves instead of falling back on unions. That is the wonder of capitalism those who succeed are the ones who are dedicated, hardworking, and bring a unique skill set to the table. In my opinion there should not be unions, they bred laziness and nanny state type antics. Have you ever wondered why government is the lest proficient business entity? Could it maybe have something to do with Unions?? Also, everyone makes a big deal about our students falling behind other nations, a simple fix to this would be to abolish the teacher union and have competition in the teaching field. It is impossible to fire teachers, or other government employees no matter how awful their performance is, a simple fix end unions bring competition and the ability to fire and hire if performance is not up to par.

  199. Congress Works For Us says:

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

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

    Yes, you are.

    But I am yours as well, and you’re raping my wallet to pay your salary and benefits.

    Why is it with this hypocrites that it’s all about them?

  200. Alex says:

    True. They can squeeze you like a lemon, and then they can fire you for no reason on the spot. Besides, Florida wages are about $12,000/year less than in the North.

    1. Hal McCombs says:

      Yeah. Those Floridians all have to go to their (still-existing) jobs EVERY DAY. Then they have to go shopping for food at half the price of Minnesota food, and to top it all off, they don’t tax food (money which could be given to some deserving public union guy).

      Sure, who wants to live in that Florida hell-hole?

    2. Carolyn says:

      Florida does not have a State Income tax as well and looking at your states income tax calculator I can see that the wages paid are about the same as Florida if you dont include the taxation taken from the public sectors pay. Why should anyone doing a poor job be able to keep it.

    3. SirGareth says:

      Yes, and you can quit for any reason you want to too, what a concept: “human freedom”

      Now in good ol’ leftist Utopia, Fidel’s Cuba you have a “right” to your job; O% unemployment.

      Oh, and you can quit it too, only one simple procedure is required. They you to to a post and shoot you.

      God I hate leftist morons

    4. Irene Local Pres AFSCME Former says:

      Listen up heres the TRUTH. here in NM we have Collective bargainning and State employees have Cheap ass Afscme and SEIU and as a state employee we ahve a years probation and also in our state either private or pubic a employer can fire you just because they dont like what you wear or your hair or how you sound , you got it? So that is how it goes in most states it has nothing to do if you have a union or not it has to do with State laws and the personnel rules and what kind of employemt state it is. So many people are so uneducated when it comes to Unions and employment rules and laws. I saw it all and if I could do it all over again I woulf burn every single card that got signed and run off those damn Union liers and thiefs.

  201. Mike Reese says:

    You can do something about it. If you don’t like your job, you can quit.

  202. Philip McDaniel says:

    As a Floridian all I can say is if you don’t like it here go back to where you came from. We have no state tax, reasonable property taxes…at least in most parts of the state, low food costs, efficient workers, good government…for the most part. We work together not against each other.

    1. oro says:

      I’m sorry, I love your state but have to disagree with some things. I like some of the state leadership you’ve had in Tallahassee and sent to D.C. but the local governments I’ve been aware of are some of the nuttiest and inefficient around. My parents lived in Ft. Meyers/Cape Coral for thirty years and I still have brothers on both coasts. Stories stick in my mind over the years like the new fire station that was built for the new trucks they were getting only to find the doors weren’t built tall enough. They new multifloor municipaloffice building they couldn’t occupy because they didn’t know the code required a sprinkler system. Stories like these were in the news repeatedly. Your food prices are also more expensive than here in Indiana. I’m not saying FL is any worse than elsewhere but it’s certainly no utopia

    2. jc says:

      I love FL. Have lived here 11 + years. The utilities (at least electric and water) are twice as high as in Richfield. The property taxes, while 1400/year in MN are 2400/year in FL. I have no income tax in FL, but sales tax is higher in FL than in MN and on more products. Cars are cheaper, but taxes and fees are higher. In FL,Fruits and vegetables are cheaper but meat is higher and not as good. There is more sunshine and less gloom. Less snow, but harder rain.

      It’s a trade off, plusses and minuses.

    3. JB says:


      Those things have nothing to do with Politicians… it has everything to do with architects. They need to know the codes and heights of equipment. Don’t kid yourself… I have seen plenty of morons architects here in Minnesota. As a matter of fact, the building I’m in has a roof drain right over our back stairs. It’s really nice in the Winter when the ice builds up and makes it very dangerous to walk down, not to mention the UNION guy who put the drain there when I told him it would be better to have it drain behind the stairs he told me “This is how it is on the drawing”. Whatever!!

  203. Paige says:

    Yes of course lets cut public funding some more so our childrens education can suffer. At least the teachers, firefighters, cops, plow truck drivers etc. DO their job to the best of their ablities (with the pathetic resources provided) Why dont the politicians take a pay cut? They do nothing and accomplish nothing except angering the everyday American….the government wonders why people are revolting…

    1. SirGareth says:

      The USA spends more on education than any county but Luxemberg to produce the least educated, least capable students of any industrialized country on the planet. If we wanted truly educated students, the very best thing we could do for them is to close ALL government union run schools.

      Cops, fire’fighteres’ etc. Dangerous – let them police Afghanistan. what are the pay an benefits for someone who gets shot at daily. Grow up get a real job at wages set by free markets instead of by government union THUGS

    2. Fed up in St Paul says:

      We need teachers. We need cops. We need plow drivers. What we don’t need are Sensitivity Trainers. What we don’t need are overpaid bureaucrats. Let’s keep the essentials and surgically remove a lot of the fluff.

  204. Frank says:

    Before you call some one an idiot,check your spelling.MORON!!!!!!!

  205. SirGareth says:

    RESOLVED: All government unions are a perversion of economic justice and antithetical to the principles of freedom upon which the nation was founded.

    They need to be annihilated immediately and ANY contract they held against an unwilling participant (the taxpayers) is NULL and VOID.

    Bring it on you FANTASY LAND government leeches

  206. Kenny says:

    Unions have proven that their useful time has come and gone 70 years ago. Now they are just a money maker for a few union bosses who meet in Vegas a few times a year to decide how to devide up the union dues everyone else has to pay each check. All you Dems still pro-union? I say Throw the bums out.

  207. Detter says:

    Meanwhile Obama grows the federal government will hiring out charter buses for the remainder of the year. You see one of those DNC charter, hired protesters, egg em for me. Out of state protesters. LOL

  208. Holycow says:

    If your makin 20 plus dollars an hour plus bennies and complaining about the cost of living, you just might be a union member.

  209. SirGareth says:

    Where does the taxpayer go to “collective bargain” with those who demand tax payment at while being held at gunpoint?

    Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

  210. mike says:

    I Thank the GODS im a democrat. You guys want to cut your own throat, fine. DONT CUT MINE

  211. SirGareth says:

    RE:” This is the argument I can’t stand! One of the benefits of working for ‘the state’ is the job security, pay, and benefits”

    Yes and there is an added benefit in that you actually do not need to be useful in any way to anyone. The most important feature is job security for worthless employees doing nothing . The state has well paid guns to make sure the citizens “buy” your worthless services.

    RE: “You chose to go the route you did 28 years ago. Unions were around 28 years ago. You had to have known all along that your job was vulnerable. ”

    I think Marie Antoinette made precisely the same argument, neglecting that the ultimate end to this argument had more to do with “head vulnerability”

    RE: “I’m not saying your situation isn’t horrible. What I am saying is that all jobs are not created equal!!!!”

    Exactly, some jobs require that people actually EARN their incomes, John Dillinger’s company and government union jobs don’t fall into this category.

    RE: “That’s why jobs require different qualifications! To say, “if I can lose my job…why can’t you”…well, that ‘you’ you are referring to chose to educate themselves or prepare themselves for a government job,”

    You have a point, less educated people have never gone to government union schools to learn nothing of use to anyone – this is a primary requirement of all government employment.

    RE: ” just as you chose a private sector, non-union position. I don’t work for the state, but I do work for a union. I like the job security of working in a union position.”

    Another good point, but still we lament the cost of remaining in the honest sector.

    RE: “There are lots of things about my contract that sucks, but I choose to do what I do, just like you chose to do what you did.”

    I have no problem with a union contract that is not underwritten by taxpayer expense or underwritten by “prevailing wage acts” or non-union lockouts.

  212. Polo says:

    We’d love to have a Gov. Walker here in good ole California….. Instead the voter idiots of this state voted in the union puppet Brown… This state is doomed to continue to be totally dominated by Marxist anti business freedom hating scum.

  213. manicdrummer says:

    Republicans complain that public workers get better pay and benefits than private sector? Republicans are the ones who run the private sector! They are the ones cutting everyone’s pay! Do they really think they can lie to us like this forever?!

  214. Doug W. says:

    I grew up in Minnesota and moved to California 30 years ago. It was great until the goverment and unions decided that the taxpayers were nothing more than an ATM. Now California is about to go bankrupt and everyone will get HAMMERED, except the businesses and people like me who are fleeing the state. Your problem won’t go away unless you deal with it. There is no pleasant way out.

  215. SharpShtik says:

    Fire all taxpayer-dependent Democrat teachers & the corrupt Democrat judge that unlawfully denied the injunction against the illegal strike denying children & parents the education they already paid for. Democrats are America’s #1 enemy. Democrat supporters vote for Democrat politicians to be their proxy armed robbers of taxpayers via national socialist programs such as disastrous affirmative action lending, Obamacare, anti-competitive monopoly union collective bargaining. It’s all about forced wealth redistribution to Democrats – Americans & foreign invaders. Unions/collective bargaining must be abolished because they permit uncompetitive monopolies with 100% market to extract bankrupting terms from car companies/private entities, governments & taxpayers. Democrats can’t stand competition. Groups who collectively deliver services must be limited to standard business entities such as corporations/partnerships while businesses/government must diversify vendors to maintain competition.

  216. farfel Narf says:

    When I was young, both private and public workers had pensions—-and good ones before the fat cats started exporting all of our jobs and not protected what these companies then imported from their slave labor camps south of the border and oversees! Now that they have broken the private unions, they want to break the government unions. And that’s absurd especially from people who have already fulfilled their portion of the contract and rely upon what was promised them by the state, county or city. Just because they looted the funds, doesn’t mean they can now deflect their culpability upon those who actually have pensions, be they public or private. If the state cannot be counted on to keep its word, you should start cashing in your municipal and sovereign state bonds—–! Can you stop paying your mortgage because your home cost too much—-and not lose your home? No way—when did our contracts become meaningless. And all this is from someone who hasn’t voted for a Democrat in Twenty years !!!

  217. Rob says:

    Really – billions giving to the democrats by unions – take care of your people end of problem.

    My first thought on this is welcome to the real world.

  218. Jack Kinch(1uncle) says:

    Demo, the party of leeches. It is a party of paid for voters, of demo ‘special interest groups seeking favors for votes.

  219. libs are dangerous says:

    lets unionize everything so no one can be fired, health care is free and we can live like communists.

    Unions have destroyed EVERY industry they have ever touched

  220. j gordon says:

    Why don’t you people just get used to this . The way i see it is Bankers got BONUSES you get AUSTERITY , WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM ?

  221. itsripley says:

    Seems like the union dems. and the teachers of Wisconsin are providuing a very disruptive example for their students, by looking petty and are obiviously failing to teach basci values. I would want instilled into my progeny more by the Law approach ! And the hiding legislatures must have grown up in this same lack of value system. “Happy Chenise New year “( The Year of the Rabbit ). There are obviuosly many that are Rabbits in the Wisconsin Assembly!!

  222. Patrick Lilja says:

    The teachers and unions are willing to take cuts, but they want to be involved in the discussions and they want to keep their bargaining rights. Walker wants to do neither of these things. One of the Democratic senators offered Walker a deal where Walker’s suggested cuts are enacted (public employees pay more into their pensions, etc.) but the unions keep their bargaining rights. Walker refused this deal.

  223. Ray says:

    If your income is derived from the taxpayers you have absolutely no right to collective bargaining. Public sector employees have a monopoly and hold the employer (taxpayers) hostage. We either meet their demands or they put us in danger. Public sector unions should be outlawed and any employee who doesn’t like it should be fired. Enough is enough.

  224. OpenYrEyes says:

    Ignorant fool. When you have lost all your benefits and your right to seek redress for economic and social injustice and you have the same standard of living as a Chinese peasant you can look back on this and realize that you are responsible for enslaving yourself. Unions are not your enemy, corporate greed and your own ignorance of economics, economic and political history and the history of the labor relations movement are what is destroying the American standard of living.

  225. Jeff says:

    For every public employee who quits his/her job because of being “overworked and underpaid” there are 100 applicants for that job.

    Does that tell you anything?

    1. chuck in st paul says:

      That’s the Hidden Truth. Even if you took away public employee unions there would still be a waiting list of applicants for jobs. IMAO the protection of sub standard public employees, over inflated benefits, and protection of public department managers is a serious drag on the tax dollars we do send in.

      I’ve proposed for years that any level of government have a board of directors from the business community with hire and fire authority and a law making them legally liable for their decisions. Their concern would be validating performance of duties as determined by laws from the legislative branch. Like any board, they would measure up the performance and hire or fire as they liked to get it done. The managers would then have the hire/fire authority on their subordinates. Gee…. just like out here in the real world. What a thought.

    2. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

      “Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.” ~ H. L. Mencken

    3. katie farber says:

      The truth is, that while there are lots of applicants for our jobs, turnover is still extremely high, especially with new employees. I have worked for the County for 34 years, in 7 different departments and it is not unusual for new employees to quit before they finish their 5 month probationary period–for example, the last six people hired todo my job, 3 of them quit before 5 months. The jobs are difficult, in many cases extremely complicated and very detail oriented–the volume of work is also tremendous. Throughout my life, I have worked additional jobs in various private businesses, and I can tell you–Govt jobs ARE NOT easier. If Jeff or anybody else wants what we have they can 1)come down and apply–we are an equal opportunity employer; or 2) Organize a union in YOUR workplace, work collectively with YOUR co-workers to negotiate the terms of your employment–of course, this requies standing up to your boss IN PERSON, and being able to work with people to take a stand…

    4. mel says:

      yes there are so few jobs, people are now desperate,.

  226. dave says:

    Let hard work, sweat, determination and productivity rule in a free market and most of the public union employees would be homeless. Then I would not have to give up half my income to over taxation and I would be rich. Whoever works a 40 hour week and expects to get ahead? ludicrous. Lazy butts what do you do with the rest of your day? Why should you get a bonus for working over 40 hours? If you were productive in the first 40 you could have gotten it done most likely. Why wouldn’t you pay for your retirement and your health insurance? I pay for mine. No union getting me something for nothing. Welcome to the real world.

  227. chuck in st paul says:

    openyreyes conflates changes to public employee hiring and employment rules with the general public. How silly. In the first place union participation across the board is only about 15% of total work force. In science and engineering and IT there are practically NO unions and yet we earn top bucks and benefits. Of course if you can’t haul the freight you’re out on your duff. duh.

    Speaking of economic ignorance… where ever unions hold sway the industry is reactionary and behind the power curve in the international market place. Unions have killed off more jobs in America than any other cause except progress replacement effect.

    Apparently your job skills are somewhat less than ‘in demand’. If you spent more time upgrading with self study and/or tech school you wouldn’t need a union.

  228. hank smith says:

    reason820 is exactly the type of mindset the elitist in the counrty what us to what.

    “dont like what we’re paying. fine go get a job elsewhere”…………except we are going to be competing with Chinese workers making slave wages meaning people are going to have to take those shitty jobs.

    Its as if republicans what us to be happy working that shitty job just because we have a job instead of asking how things got the way they are. American corporations building factories and shipoing jobs to China didnt happen overnight. Both parties let it happen. Thats all lead to the financial shitter we’re in.

    and the end result is people wanting to attack unions. Nice.

    Its funny that Republicans try to pass this crap on the talking points that unions are bad when they are one the last guards people have against corporations.

    Meanwhile theres been 0 arrests on wall street over their falsifying of mortgages that lead to the mess that we are in.

  229. Timothy says:

    I spent 5 years in a GCIU (Graphic Communication International Union) printing shop where the “accepted” work rate, 1/3 of capacity, was strictly enforced by my union brothers. Put out more than rate and you could expect to find a slashed tire on your vehicle. This is why so much of our manufacturing has moved outside the country, not pay and benefits but the ratio of pay and benefits to productivity.

  230. NDSue says:

    The teachers and their union have done themselves no favors. The nation is watching – and becoming more and more disgusted.

    Since ND is a right to work state, we won’t have a problem with this, but if any teachers protest near the border where I live, I will be there protesting THEM. And I am a retired teacher. This dishonest, myopic, self-righteous behavior is shameful.

  231. Irene local Pres former says:

    Here is a list of some union thieves’ grossly bloated salaries.

    •The Plumbers paid former General President Martin Maddaloni $1.3 million in total compensation, and Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Patchell almost $900,000 – after they were ousted for disastrous pension investments in a Florida hotel. According to the Association for Union Democracy, the buyout agreement included “salaries and benefits plus free use of cars and other perks through the end of 2006.”
    •AFSCME President Gerald McEntee recorded total compensation just shy of $585,000.
    •General President of the Laborers Terence O’Sullivan made more than $528,000.
    •National Education Association President Reg Weaver made almost $439,000.

    This doesn’t count the Vice president and all the other in between and oh yeah your Council Representatives who earn between 75 to 100 thousanf a year doing well you fill in the blank. I can tell you what they do not do for the members here in NM. Zip, Nada nothing or almost close to nothing. and all you hard earned money is going down a rat hole and these so called leaders have got all you hard working people fooled into thinking you are owed something or or someone is stealing something from you. Well the only thing that is happening is the UNION is stealing your dues and handing over to the International so they can live in the laps of luxury and you dummys are to stupid to just stop yelling to think this through. Just take you hard earned dues put them in an interest bearing account and when you do retire you will have quite a nest egg and not nothing to show for it. Get smart .

    1. Michael says:

      I take it you haven’t looked at anyone other than union leaders. Or the wages and benefits of your elected leaders. There is always a few that make outrageous saleries and we would all like to be so lucky but that is not the problem the state government is claiming. Stay on point. The real problem is that the governments have spent well beyond their means and now want you, the public, to pay for it while blaming popular targets. Its called projection. That’s how they keep you from looking at the real problem.

  232. hoping it comes to Minnesota says:

    When did the government become big business…like maybe when the unions got involved and the Democrats bought their votes. Time to treat them like all other business, and then see if the survive or not.

  233. Greg Malo says:

    Where in the constitution is collective bargining mentioned? I can’t find that article or amendment.

  234. Greg Malo says:

    Where in the constitution is collecive bargining mentioned? I can’t find the article or amendment.

  235. Greg Malo says:

    As a truck driver over the road I work 70 hours a week and am away from my fami;y 4 to 6 weeks at a time, spending 34 hours at home when I get there, just to make ends meet. Don’t increase my taxes just so you don’t have to contribute to your benifits. Some of us can not afford benifit packages.

  236. Mr JP says:

    Government education of our children is terrible, and these teachers and their public sector unions prove it. This union thugocracy is destroying our democracy. The Wisconsin Democrat legislature hiding to prevent a quorum just shows you the total contempt the Democrats and the public sector employee unions have for the legislative process and the rule of law in this country. Let me tell you something you Democrats and sham teachers and public employee unions. We are tired of you and change is a’coming. We are tired of you bilking the taxpayers of our country and breaking the bank of our states. You think the election of 2010 was a democrat blow-out? You just wait and see what happens in 2012. Keep up the great work, Governor Scott Walker. The Tea Party is behind you 100% – along with the majority of Wisconsinites. Oh, and one final thing, you teachers and public sector unions. You work for the state. The state doesn’t work for you. Got it? Get back to your classrooms and do your job.

    1. Nina says:

      I am teacher and a union member. I work 60-70 hours a week, 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week at a salary far below what I used to make in the private sector. I chose this work because I wanted to do something more meaningful and important. The union is our only assurance to be treated in our jobs fairly and with some level of diginity. We have given up higher pay in exchange for some better benefits. Now you are trying to get rid of those as well. Our pay has been frozen for the last 2 years and probably will be for the next two while our work loads increase 10-15% each year. I can’t waste my time on you any more because I have to go back to work.

    2. Michael says:

      Yea you’re right. We ought to fire them all. All of the teachers, union reps, lazy public employees government officials, our bosses, the salesmen the legislators. Fire the all, that’ll teach ’em. Then we can all go back to our caves and watch football , drink beer and scratch our nuts. The conservative right is right because they have the money and the rest of us don’t matter anyway. Do you people listen to yourselves at all?

  237. Older New Yorker says:

    I was a public employee for 27 years. So let me clue the taxpayers in on something. 10% of public employee give maximum effort to their job. 60% do only what they have to do and need to be supervised to get them to that. The remaining 50% do as little as possible, are generally discipline problems, have alcohol/drug abuse or gambling problems.
    Public employees are the biggest whiners, gossips and rumor mongerers you would ever want to work with.

  238. Charles54 says:

    There is an old adage: Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. As an ex-educator, I resented that adage until I tired of the incompetence and lack of desire to improve by many of my colleagues. I left the job I loved to get into the Oil Business and have been very lucky. What haunts me is that in the past 26 yrs since I left education, much remains unchanged due in large part to Unions and the inclusion of one word in the English language: TENURE. If both were stricken from existance, our children would be the winners.

  239. Freedom says:

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

    I thought Republicans were against Socialism?
    Didn’t Lincoln free the slaves?

  240. Dwight Lenhart says:

    “Right to work” and “Employment at will” are separate items. Right to work means that you cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. Employment at will means that an employer can fire you for any reason under the sun (except OFFICIALLY for Federal/State discrimination prohibitions) even if it is because your boss didn’t like the color of your shoelaces.
    I have no problem with Right to work. I find Employment at will a little scary, as should anyone who does not have a year’s worth of salary saved up “just in case”.
    Belonging to a union does not mean better pay or better benefits. I’m non-union, my wife is union. I’m private sector, my wife is a teacher. I have no college degree (just some certifications) and my wife has a four year degree. However, I make significantly more than her, and my benefits are much better than hers. We have both been in our fields and at our current employers for exact same amount of time.
    So, what good is belonging to the union for her? 1. Worker protection. If she ever loses her job the union will provide free counsel to look into the matter and they will make sure that all applicable laws were followed. If she was treated fairly then that’s that, however if her employer did something illegal, then that’s a whole different matter. 2. Better information. Her union provides more current and in-depth information regarding all areas in her field. This includes current events, changes in the laws, policies, new technology..etc… 3. Peace of mind. She doesn’t have to worry about nuisance issues and can concentrate on her job.
    By the way, in ND teachers do not have the right to strike. They do have collective bargaining for benefits but it’s not that much. Most of any gains she makes through collective bargaining is offset by union dues.
    I believe we need a balance of union and non-union workers. I’m bitterly opposed to what these state legislatures are trying to do. Read the fine print, it’s not about collective bargaining. It is all about breaking unions so that companies can make more money. These people who make deragatory comments regarding public employees will be cr

  241. moosedog says:

    It amazes me that the politicians say that government union workers have too many privileges and yet THEY are the ones making ridiculous amounts of money and getting FREE healthcare ~ why doesn’t Congree

  242. moosedog says:

    It amazes me that the politicians say that government union workers have too many privileges and yet THEY are the ones making ridiculous amounts of money and getting FREE healthcare ~ why doesn’t Congress take paycuts and pay for their health insurance and not get so many vacation days FIRST before pulling the rug out from under those actually making government run on a day to day basis. HYPOCRITES!

  243. swizzle says:

    Republicans, doing everything they can to destroy the middle class in America

  244. Jonathan Kopack says:

    I love all you people bashing the unions. People complain about jobs, well that’s because a certain amount of time ago corporations crushed unions, laid off their workers and sent the jobs over-seas. This was all so the CEO’s of those corporations and their investors could make a few extra million a year. I’m sure you’ve all felt that sting, but now you’re going nuts for a politician breaking the backs of the public employee unions why? You’re super-excited the governor, rather than cutting his own expenses and pay is taking away the government employees rights? This is wrong and you know it’s wrong. For every 25,000 dollar toilet seat in the governors mansion there’s going to be 10 teachers without health care.

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