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The Betrayal of Public Workers

Please join Eau Claire officials in protecting local control over collective bargaining

The City of Eau Claire was the first local government in Wisconsin to adopt a resolution supporting public employees and public unions and asking Governor Walker to drop his plans to end collective bargaining. Help us get the word out to the rest of the country.

The Eau Claire City Manager is moderating a press conference in Madison supporting public unions at 10am Feb 22 in the Capitol Building.

See City Manager's Blog http://cityofeauclairemanager.blogspot.com/ for information about the City Council Feb 15 resolution supporting public employees and public unions.

Link to City manager interview on Wisconsin Public Radio in support of public unions http://www.wpr.org/wcast/download-mp3-request.cfm?mp3file=jca110222a.mp3...

City Manager Mike Huggins and City Council President invite local officials in Wisconsin to sign an open letter to Gov Walker calling for him to drop his proposal to kill public unions.

Please Join Eau Claire Officials in Protecting Local Control over Collective Bargaining

The Eau Claire City Council and County Board have passed resolutions opposing the proposal to curtail collective bargaining between local governments and their employees. The plan is seen as both unwarranted and unhelpful in maintaining stable and effective community services. In addition, this plan obstructs local control, which is a historic priority in Wisconsin decision-making.

Eau Claire City Council President Kerry Kincaid and City Manager Mike Huggins invite you, as an elected or appointed official, to join us in signing the following open letter to Governor Walker and members of the Wisconsin State Legislature. This letter urges state leaders to delete provisions related to collective bargaining from the Budget Repair Bill under consideration at this time.

An open letter from local government leaders to
Governor Walker and Wisconsin Senate and Assembly Members

Dear Governor Walker, Senators and Representatives:

We respectfully urge you to reconsider and delete the proposal in the Budget Repair Bill to severely restrict the collective bargaining process between local governmental bodies and their employees. This provision of your recommended bill is inconsistent with the Wisconsin tradition of local control over local community issues. In addition, it does not help achieve the prime goal we all share of providing cost-effective, quality public services for Wisconsin’s people.

Public employees have offered to accept your proposed health care and pension concessions to balance the budget if you will respect and preserve the collective bargaining process so basic to maintaining a strong middle class. We encourage you to accept the compromise offered by labor leaders. By doing so, all of the state and local budget savings in your proposed budget adjustment bill will be realized and Wisconsin’s historic commitment to the right of working people to organize and negotiate for fair wages and decent working conditions will be honored.

Skilled public employees and proactive public sector unions are vital for stable, cost-effective operations in municipalities, counties, school districts and state programs. Effectively doing away with local collective bargaining is not something we have asked for nor support as a “tool” to solve our budget challenges. It is not in the best interests of Wisconsin communities.

We recognize the significant fiscal challenges facing state and local governments in the coming budget biennium. The leadership challenge we share as state and local leaders is how to work together to protect the public structures that are the foundation for strong local communities and fundamental to the continued prosperity, stability, and economic strength of our state. We ask the governor, as the state’s chief executive, to work within the existing collective bargaining framework and to convene a collaborative partnership of state leaders, local officials and public sector workers to move forward and work together in the best interest of our state’s future.

If you wish to sign onto this letter, please follow this link: www.savelocalcontrol.org.

For information, contact Mike Huggins, City Manager of Eau Claire at mike.huggins@eauclairewi.gov.



Mike Huggins

Eau Claire, WI

Feb 22 2011 - 11:53pm

The Betrayal of Public Workers

Framing the debate

Attacking the wages and benefits of public workers is an attempt to separate them from the rest of the middle class, who are becoming the working poor. Indeed, it is attempt to separate the American people from the protection of a just government. As the Declaration of Independence say,…”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, .”

In order to further degrade the economic and political rights of the people, you must attack the institutions that are designed to support and protect them. Are you are going to replace the police with vigilante groups of homeowners or business people standing on the corners with shot guns? Are the same home and business people going to replace firemen, who who not only deal with the fires but hazardous materials going up in smoke? Are you going to run into a burning high rise to rescue people? Remember the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and the “public workers” who gave their lives trying to rescue people!

Most public workers do less dramatic work. They used to regulate the stock market with laws that would have prevented the economic meltdown. They educate your children, repair your streets and remove snow during the winter. Are you going to home-school your children and join your neighbors with a shovel when it snows?

Be they public or private, it was not ordinary workers, who, by the way support 70 percent of the American economy, who trashed the economy. It was the economic elites, using the money markets, who trashed the economies around the world. They are the ones responsible for under-employment, unemployment and poverty. They are also very stupid—clever, but stupid. They think one percent of the wealthy, can replace 70 percent of wage earners as consumers. How many houses, cars or other durable goods can they buy? This is faith-based economics, which does not reflect the real world,

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Feb 22 2011 - 3:44pm

The Betrayal of Public Workers

Big freeze

I will never forget when the conservative government of this province cut public sector workers' wages by 5 percent and then froze them for several years, much to the delight of the private sector. Until Christmas, when stores started complaining that sales had dropped by more than 5 percent. I guess they couldn't see that coming.

Joe Foley

Calgary, CANADA

Feb 18 2011 - 7:51pm

The Betrayal of Public Workers

“Retail sales increased less than expected”!

"Retail sales increase less than expected" was the headline in an article in Bloomberg News by Shobhana Chandra. "ECONOMY: Data suggest the need for HIGHER WAGES to lift spending. Weather is seen as a factor in January figures" was the subtitle.

Seventy percent of the American market is supported by the wages of ordinary people. No jobs, no higher wages, and no American market.

Looking under Consumerism in Wikipedia, we can see the plan is to shift the consumer base from the wages of ordinary people to the wealthy. "In the 21st Century... Businesses have realized that wealthy consumers are the most attractive targets of marketing. Upper class's taste, lifestyle, and preferences trickle down to become the standard for all consumers. The not-so-wealthy consumers can "purchase something new that will speak of their place in the tradition of affluence." A consumer can have instant gratification of purchasing an expensive item to improve social status." One wonders how many houses, cars, and durable goods they will purchase to support those markets.

What we are looking at is an attempt to create a two-class system of the very wealthy and the working poor. They seek to eliminate government programs that protect ordinary people and drive down their standard of living, so the rich can get richer.

What they are going to get is a collapsed economy, and their investments will be flushed down the toilet with their brains. Austerity budgets are designed to cripple government so that it cannot protect the interests of ordinary people. Two thousand eleven will see a depression that will make the 1929 crash look like an improvement. We can look forward to seeing the idiots jumping out of some very tall buildings!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Feb 17 2011 - 5:20pm