Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) has made the claim that dismantling collective bargaining rights for most state workers is necessary to balance the budget:
“The bottom line is we are trying to balance our budget and there really is no room to negotiate on that because we’re broke,” the Republican governor said.
This is a lie. In fact, the public employee unions have offered fiscal concessions close to those imposed by the controversial legislation:
Top leaders of two of Wisconsin’s largest public employee unions announced they are willing to accept the financial concessions called for in Walker’s plan, but will not accept the loss of collective bargaining rights.
This isn’t enough for Walker, whose real motive is to destroy most public employee unions. (The exceptions found in his legislation are the unions that supported his election campaign.)
Even today Walker continues his lie on the Sunday morning talk show circuit:
“If we do not get these changes, and the (state) Senate Democrats don’t come back, we’re going to be forced to make up the savings in layoffs, and that to me is just unacceptable.”
In fact, Walker could have had all the budget savings necessary simply by negotiating compensation adjustments with the unions.
You know…like Gov. Christine Gregoire (D-WA) did!
This morning on NPR’s Weekend Edition, host Liane Hansen spoke with Gregoire (who is suffering laryngitis) about public employee unions and the Washington state solution:
Last fall, Gregoire was elected Chair of the National Governors Association, establishing that she has the trust and respect of her peers.
So in this forth year of the Bush Recession, when almost every state is struggling with budget issues, maybe newly elected gubernatorial nut cases like Scott Walker should study and emulate the successes of the more experienced and respected Governors in the nation.