Bonnie (5 March 2011)
"Nicole Re: Union Furloughs and Overtime"

Hi Doves, John, and Nicole,
Nichole, I believe your situation in California is not the same as Wisconsin. The primary issue is not purchasing but the large amount of money given out in entitlement programs (BadgerCare, Senior Care, Family Care and Medicaid). Although these programs are needed, there needs to be much tighter control. This control is lacking and Wisconsin can thank the previous Democrat Governor for the mess we are in. In my opinion, he played an nasty game of robbing Peter to pay Paul and now this state bears the consequences of his sin. The Repair bill is not about slashing employees pay and taking away all benefits. It is about making employees pay they're fair share and taking the burden off the rest of the taxpayers. Under the repair bill, Wisconsin state employees no longer will have furlough days or union dues which will offset some of the additional costs.  But, the union certainly doesn't want to discuss that! This also opens the door once again to merit raises, cost of living and retention awards.
I have worked off and on in state civil service since 1970. At that time employees were protected by Civil Service law only which provided merit raises, cost of living, reclassifications, promotions as the way to get higher pay. Good, hard work was appreciated and it showed in my paycheck. As soon as the union came in, the merit raises stopped. Their big complaint was that only the "Supervisor Pets" were getting merit raises. This was not true but they said it so often people started to believe it. They instituted various pay grids, etc. so everyone with the same classification and seniority received the same pay. Because I had worked very hard to receive all of the merit and promotions, I was penalized by the Union and did not receive ANYTHING for at least 6 years. All of my hard work went out the window because lazy people who did not want to work now received the same pay as me. Base on my experience, a union is completely worthless, oppresses people who want to work and is unnecessary because Civil Service law protects the worker.  I think the Union is good for two things: 1. Protect lazy people who should be fired. 2. A major fundraising arm of the Democratic National Committee. Did you know that if an employee chooses to not have union dues taken from their check but instead wants to donate the money to another political party, they can't? The money has to go to a charity only.  The teachers union (WEAC) has such a choke hold on every school board in the state that even the health insurance is purchased from the union. If this provision could be changed, school boards, counties and cities could SAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS by purchasing elsewhere. Same coverage, same benefit just cheaper. I understand why the unions fight because this law will take away those dollars from THEIR coffers. In my opinion, the unions are not about protecting workers - they are about protecting their own income.
The Wisconsin Biennium Budget Bill is about reducing state government to the point of providing the basic minimum for the next two years. The budget bill is designed to eliminate nearly 90% of the deficit. Yes, people will hurt, yes this will be hard and yes there will be extremely tough times for this state. We can either pay the bill now, or pay the bill for years and years to come.  Because the Senate Democrats have chosen to flee the state and not return (arrest warrants are out), 1500 people will receive layoff notices today. Union workers should thank the Democrat Senators for losing their jobs and remember what they've done the next time elections (or recalls) come around.
I hope this provides additional information to help others understand there is another viewpoint than what has been available in the liberal media. It's not all about Collective Bargaining. There are many, many other issues and the media has not covered them.
I also believe there are secret forces at work here and we are being used to bring in an agenda that is more comprehensive than we know.