Sunday, February 13, 2011

Walker's walking all over us! The sky is darkening. (a letter)

This is a letter from Bryan Kennedy on Gov. Walker's recent proposal on the state budget.............

Dear AFT-Wisconsin member,

It is a dark day for our state.

In a move that unravels over 50 years of labor peace in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker announced to legislators today that he intends to end collective bargaining in Wisconsin. Under his proposal:

  • Public employee unions would be allowed to negotiate only on wages.
  • Increases in wages for public employees would be capped at the consumer price index, and locals would have to go to referendum to exceed those limits.
  • Public employee unions could no longer require dues, and employers could not collect them.
  • State employees would be required to contribute 5 percent of their pay to their pension
  • State employees would be required to pay 12 percent of their health care costs
  • Faculty and academic staff in the UW System would lose their right to collectively bargain
This proposal is as shocking as it is outrageous. Although Scott Walker has been in office for only six weeks and has never engaged state workers or our unions in a conversation about concessions, he has determined that, as a system, collective bargaining in Wisconsin is broken.

In the collective bargaining agreements that Walker lobbied against in December, state employees agreed to over $100 million in concessions. Public employees have sent the message that we are reasonable and open to discussing shared sacrifice and improving our state’s economy; the response from this administration has been to eviscerate our most basic right as workers: our right to collectively bargain.

The challenges we face are grim, but now is not the time to panic: it is time to stand together as Wisconsin public employees and taxpayers, and fight back! That’s how the labor movement was built in this country, and it is the only way we can persevere.

Yours in the union,

Bryan Kennedy


  1. The big squeeze is on now!

    Scotty is not playing games. He is kicking asses with steel toe construction boots. Job growth my ass, that was nothing but a cover. His agenda is now quite clear. Make up the budget short fall by kicking the living shit out of state workers and destroying their unions. The shit is on now.

    The GOP controls both branches of state government, so he is confident his plan will be successful, but this is what the people of Wisconsin wanted. They voted for him and now he is going to wear their asses out bigtime, and this is just round one. The second ass whipping is coming soon.

    My source tells me that round two will include an across the board cut of 10 percent to all state agencies, including UW Wisconsin campuses. For Whitewater this may mean a 10 million dollar cut, and given that about 65 percent of the expenditures are personnel related, there may be program reductions, or a hiring freeze. Kiss any future salary raises bye bye unless you are a coach.

    Dark days are here! We are fucked. Only Jack Bauer and Mrs O'Brien from CTU can save our asses now.

  2. Remember how Poland fought for these rights in the 1980s? And China battling for union rights today? This whole issue seems so retrograde and slightly barbaric, especially with Walker threatening to call out the National Guard.

  3. Does not matter if he calls out the gestapo, the people can win this if they turn out in massive numbers. Whitewater students and faculty should be out in the streets instead of sitting back. Now is the time, strike a blow for freedom. Lets get 500,000 in the streets. The goal of the GOP is to gut public unions state by state, then Federal Unions are next. If we go down lets go down fighting. Get ready because more struggles are right around the corner as the empire enters its terminal stage.