I confess, I have been paying only moderate attention to the Scott Walker/public union/budget deficit/runaway Democrat/no-school-today “matter” that has been so in the news lately, as well as occupying space on this blog, and this one, and this one too. So I may be light on the fact-ology of the matter, or at least behind on the commenting. Still…
To listen to (what I’ve heard from) the union protestors, the main issue seems to be collective bargaining. Walker’s proposal would eliminate CB for some public unions except for negotiations over actual wages. People on the scene seem to be claiming that they are willing to contribute to their pensions and health care, but the elimination of CB is a deal breaker.
Assorted online sources (links later maybe, I haven’t been paying close enough attention to be collecting them) point out that the proposal also eliminates automatic deductions of union dues from members’ paychecks. That is, the government would no longer be collecting dues on the union’s behalf, the union would have to count on members sending in their payments on their own. Further, the Gov wants to make the union face recertification annually, by requiring a majority vote of members (not a majority of votes cast, mind you, a majority of members) to maintain the union’s existence.
I do not expect the governor and Republican-dominated legislature to back down. However, maybe they’re playing a longer game. If it becomes necessary to walk it back a bit, go ahead and give up the collective bargaining thing. It seems like that’s really important to the union demonstrators, so be ready to give it back. They say the extra pay for benefits is all right. Insist on that, and let them have the CB.
But here’s where you test the union. Back off on the CB, but tell them that under no circumstances will the state continue to collect dues for the union. And that the union will have to prove it has the support of its workers by holding an annual vote. If there’s still resistance, drop the latter. Workers will be able to show their support by paying their dues in full, on time, right?
I bet the stuff those demonstrators are talking about aren’t the same things the union leaders are most worried about, is what I’m saying. Let them put up or shut up.