Public Sector Workers

CAP TIMES: WMC's economic plan would hurt Wisconsin to help wealthiest

January 6, 2015
Dave Schwab

Kurt Bauer, CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, recently outlined WMC’s priorities for 2015-16, including tax cuts and “right-to-work.” WMC has spent millions to elect Gov. Scott Walker and allied politicians in the state Legislature and Supreme Court, and the business group has gotten one item after another on its wish list since 2011.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

ISTHMUS: Schools expert warns Wisconsin off privatization, high-stakes testing

November 7, 2013
Catherine Capellaro
news photo

Don't expect Diane Ravitch to pull any punches when she takes the podium Nov. 14 at the Orpheum Theater. The former assistant secretary of education is on a mission to expose the threat she says privatization poses to our nation's public schools.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

APPLETON POST-CRESCENT: WMC supports corporate welfare

October 21, 2013
Michael Muoio

Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council, who wrote a recent guest column, should share why he’s endlessly apologizing for Gov. Scott Walker’s underperformance in creating the 250,000 jobs he campaigned on.

The recent admonishment of Walker and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce by the Federal Reserve on misrepresentation of Federal Reserve statistics is telling.

Walker had been using the Federal Reserve statistics to claim Wisconsin’s economic growth as No. 2 in the nation. His cronies at WMC produced a TV commercial, “thanking” Walker for putting the state on a “path to prosperity.” All lies according to the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States and senior economic analyst Paul Flora. The ad continues to run.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

BELOIT DAILY NEWS: WMC spends $800,000 to sell Walker to public

October 14, 2013
Daniel Holzman

Why is Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) spending more than $800,000 to sell Wisconsinites that Scott Walker is a good Governor?

Scott Walker has greatly impacted Wisconsin’s human and natural resources. His attacks on women, working families, and public education are unparalleled in the history of Wisconsin. He has funded private education at the expense of public education.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

ISTHMUS: Wisconsin's rich getting richer in "new Gilded Age"

October 7, 2013
Bruce Murphy
news photo

Once known as a progressive state, Wisconsin is now deep into what might be called the post-progressive era. The poster boy for the new Gilded Age is home-improvement retailer John Menard, the 57th wealthiest American, according to the most recent Forbes 400 list.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STATE JOURNAL: State survey shows one third of teachers would change their profession

September 19, 2013
Andrea Anderson

A new survey of thousands of Wisconsin teachers found that nearly a third would “probably not” or “definitely not” choose the profession again, and 63 percent said they did not think the public appreciated the role teachers play in their children’s education.

Of the nearly 2,000 pre-K through 12th-grade teachers who took the Voices from the Classroom survey, 85 percent said they would like to see more interaction between the schools and the business community.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

APPLETON POST-CRESCENT: Walker making excuses for slow WI job growth

September 12, 2013
Appleton Post-Crescent

When we last checked in with Gov. Scott Walker on his campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs in the state in his first term, he was telling Rhinelander TV station WJFW that it wasn’t so much a promise as a goal.

“My goal wasn’t so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, ‘It’s really not about jobs, it’s about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,’” Walker told WJFW.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STATE JOURNAL: Walker creates stir with talk of stripping police, firefighter union rights

July 31, 2013
Steven Verburg
news photo

 

Gov. Scott Walker stirred things up Monday with talk about extending the state ban on public sector union rights to police and firefighters, before downplaying the idea Tuesday.

Walker and Republican lawmakers exempted police and firefighters from Act 10 of 2011, saying that they couldn’t risk strikes by public safety personnel.

At a public event in Milwaukee on Monday, Walker said he would consider expanding the law, and that police and fire workers may now be willing to forgo union rights taken from other government workers — collective bargaining, paycheck dues withdrawals and arbitration to settle disputes with management.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: Walker worst governor in America

July 30, 2013
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
news photo

 

In the past he’s employed illegal tactics and abused his power to round up votes, but Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) didn’t have to break a sweat to win this contest. 

For racking up a record that has veered from unethical conduct to staggering incompetence, CREW’s voters awarded Gov. Walker the title of Worst Governor in America.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Researcher: Walker 'fed us a sedative' when stimulus was needed

July 3, 2013
Mike Ivey
news photo

The latest job numbers are out and while Wisconsin has showed some slight improvement, the state still trails most of its neighbors and the nation as a whole coming out of the Great Recession.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

MIKE KONOPACKI: Scott Walker’s jobs fraud

June 17, 2013
Mike Konopacki

(Originally published April 19th, 2013)

Actually, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda is an unqualified success. Everything Walker has done over the last two years was designed to keep wages low and ensure employers a weak and desperate labor force. It’s simple supply and demand — high unemployment ensures low wages.

The March 2013 BLS statistics rate Wisconsin 44th in the nation in job creation. Wages fell by 4.1 percent and unemployment rose to 8.4 percent. Critics blame Walker’s austerity policies. Walker blames the “uncertainty” of peaceful protests and recall elections.

CAP TIMES: Law enforcement union sues Wisconsin over collective bargaining law that creates 2 classes of workers

November 14, 2012
Ed Treleven
news photo

A Wisconsin law enforcement union sued the state Tuesday over the state's collective bargaining law, alleging that the portions of the law pertaining to teachers and municipal workers that were found unconstitutional by a Dane County judge are also unconstitutional for state workers.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA), two police officers and a field agent for the state Division of Motor Vehicles, alleges that portions of Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law violates state workers' rights to speech, association, petition and advocacy under the state constitution.

GOP: arrest Federal officials who try to implement new healthcare law in WI

November 13, 2012
Patrick Marley

 

Madison - As Gov. Scott Walker contemplates whether to create a state health care exchange under Obamacare, he must contend with nine members of his own party who will serve in the Legislature for the next two years who say they back a bill to arrest any federal officials who try to implement the health care law.

Overpass Light Brigade groups challenge free speech restrictions around the country

November 13, 2012
Kit OConnell
news photo

One Victory, More Conflicts to Come?

Though the Austin Overpass Light Brigade won the right to hold lighted signs over a highway once, it can expect further encounters with police.

GOP's 2013 agenda for WI: mining, school voucher, tax cuts, sandhill crane hunt

November 8, 2012
Todd Richmond

 

Meet the new Legislature, same as the old Legislature.

Republicans rolled back into control of the state Capitol in Tuesday's elections, reclaiming the majority in the Senate and defending their advantage in the Assembly. With Republican Scott Walker in the governor's office, the GOP can push through just about any proposal it chooses when the next legislative session begins in January.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Teachers are winning concessions at the bargaining table

September 13, 2012
Ellen Jean Hirst, Jennifer Delgado, Bridget Doyle, Hal Dardick and Kristen Mack

The two sides in the Chicago teachers strike remained optimistic about a deal as they resumed contract talks today, but it appeared the earliest classes could resume would be Monday.

CPS alum release song in support of striking teachers

September 13, 2012
Rebel Diaz

CTU: Poll demonstrates strong public support for teacher's strike

September 13, 2012
CTU
news photo

CHICAGO –As contract talks continue to two steps forward and one step backward, the city’s 29,000 public school educators enter their fourth day of a labor protest that has shut down schools across the city. An independent new poll indicates the majority of the public and parents support the teachers strike and blame Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked school board for the District’s education woes.

Chicago Teachers Strike for Better Schools

September 10, 2012
David Moberg

Early this morning, Chicago teachers organized picket lines at all entrances to William H. Ray Elementary School in Hyde Park on the city's South Side. They were joined by dozens of students, parents and local community residents. It was the first day in 25 years that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)--the first teachers union in the country--had gone out on strike, and picketers banged drums, gobbled doughnuts, waved at passing motorists (and the driver of a passing waste truck), and chanted with militant cheeriness: "Lies and tricks will not divide/parents and teachers side by side."

Democracy Now explores what's at stake locally and nationally in the Chicago teacher's strike

September 10, 2012

Democracy Now spends most of the broadcast exploring the regional and national implications of the Chicago teacher's strike (skip past headlines to view the interviews):

THE ISTHMUS: Wisconsin Wave leads "Wisconsin Day!" protest to kick-off anniversary week of action

February 11, 2012
Nayantara Mukherji

One year to the day after announcing a bill to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker continues to draw vociferous opposition. Hundreds of protesters returned to the Capitol Square on Saturday afternoon to kick off a week commemorating the anniversary of the announcement and weeks of demonstrations that followed.

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View complete footage of the event from SSWIDTMS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m_iXucBn0_Y#!

Walker Heads to Florida Fundraiser, Finds More Protesters Than Supporters

February 8, 2012
Kristine Gill

 

NAPLES — Although he was more than 1,500 miles from home, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker encountered a familiar sight upon arriving in Naples - protestors.

"I'm used to protestors coming from other states to protest me," Walker told 150 attendees during a speech at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Wednesday afternoon. At least that many people gathered outside to demonstrate against one of the country's most polemical political figures.

Indiana's New 'Right to Work' Law: More Jobs or Lower Wages For All Workers?

February 7, 2012
Mark Guarino

 

After a protracted battle, Indiana in early February elected to make union dues optional for workers in union jobs. It's the first state in more than 10 years to adopt a so-called right-to-work law and the first state ever in the industrial Midwest to go that route.

JOHN NICHOLS: Chrysler Super Bowl ad features Wisconsin union rally, but edits out union signs

February 6, 2012
John Nichols

The one truly stunning ad on Super Bowl night was a moving two-minute Chrysler commercial featuring actor Clint Eastwood. Aired at halftime, the ad hailed the renewal of the American automobile industry and featured images of union firefighters and factory workers.

At the 50-second point in the ad, images from last year's mass pro-union protests in Madison were featured.

But something was missing: union signs.

The images from Madison were taken from a historic video by Matt Wisniewski, a Madison photographer whose chronicling of the protests drew international attention and praise. Wisniewski's work went viral, and was even featured in a video by rocker Tom Morello.

JOHN NICHOLS: How Scott Walker and ALEC plotted the attack on Arizona's Unions

February 3, 2012
John Nichols

Two days after Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected Governor John Kasich’s anti-labor agenda by a sixty-one to thirty-nine margin in a statewide referendum, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker jetted to Arizona to launch the next front in the national campaign to attack union rights.

After meeting with former Vice President Dan Quayle, Walker was whisked over to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, where he briefed a thousand Arizona conservatives on how they could attack “the big-government union bosses.”

JOHN NICHOLS: Former state legislator Frank Nikolay embodied the best of Wisconsin's progressive tradition

December 21, 2011
John Nichols

Frank Nikolay learned his New Deal Democratic politics the hard way, as a poor kid in the Great Depression. He knew what it meant when a family fell on hard times and he knew what the government — yes, the government — could do to help them get back on their feet and on the road to prosperity.

Nikolay, who would become one of Wisconsin’s most respected lawyers, a leader in the state Legislature and a contender for statewide office, had no taste for those who suggested that government was the problem. He said they were either lying to themselves or lying to the people.

And Frank Nikolay was no liar.

He spoke the plain truth, even when doing so entailed political risks.

NYT: From Finland, an intriguing school-reform model

December 12, 2011
Jenny Anderson

Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and author, had a simple question for the high school seniors he was speaking to one morning last week in Manhattan: “Who here wants to be a teacher?”

Out of a class of 15, two hands went up — one a little reluctantly.

“In my country, that would be 25 percent of people,” Dr. Sahlberg said. “And,” he added, thrusting his hand in the air with enthusiasm, “it would be more like this.”

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Gov. Scott Walker continues to deceive while advancing his extremist agenda

December 5, 2011
Paul Fanlund

This year, Scott Walker spun a master narrative that most Wisconsin problems -- from too few jobs to too many taxes -- could somehow be linked to coddled public employees.

Now, faced with a likely recall election next year, our Republican governor, his corporate masters and tea party followers pretend all he did was confront state problems using GOP principles, just politics as usual.

The second narrative is just as untrue as the first.

The recall is not about public employees nor is it about politics as usual. It is about Walker's toxic brand of political fundamentalism -- heartless and historically unprecedented -- that should repel fair-minded, mainstream voters everywhere.

NYT: Experienced government workers flee public sector after year of attacks

December 5, 2011
Monica Davey

MADISON, Wis. — As states and cities struggle to resolve paralyzing budget shortfalls by sending workers on unpaid furloughs, freezing salaries and extracting larger contributions for health benefits and pensions, a growing number of public-sector workers are finding fewer reasons to stay.

AP: Public employees hold general strike in Britain

November 30, 2011
David Stringer

ONDON (AP) — Paramedics, emergency crews, teachers and even some employees from the prime minister's office took to the streets of Britain for the country's largest strike in decades — drawing attention to government cuts but failing to bring the nation to a standstill.

Public sector employees staged the one-day walkout Wednesday over government demands that they work longer before receiving a pension and pay more in monthly contributions, part of austerity measures to tackle Britain's 967 billion-pound ($1.5 trillion) debt.

The strike came a day after the government announced that public sector pay raises will be limited to 1 percent through 2014 — even as inflation now runs about 5 percent.

JOURNAL SENTINEL: Union role strong in Finland education

November 26, 2011
Erin Richards

More than 95% of teachers in Finland are unionized, paying 1.2% of their gross salary to support the Trade Union of Education in Finland, OAJ.

The organization aims to influence policies that benefit educators, much as the state's largest teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, does in Wisconsin.

But in Finland, the OAJ negotiates on the national level with employer groups to create 14 universally binding agreements that spell out everything from minimum salaries to working hours for teachers and the length of the school year (currently 190 days).

"We have a philosophy: happy pupil, happy parent, happy teacher," said Nina Lahtinen, development manager for OAJ.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

JOHN NICHOLS: Wisconsinites of every political stripe overwhelmingly support recall effort

November 20, 2011
John Nichols

In the first 48 hours of the movement to recall Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch, more than 50,000 Wisconsinites signed petitions to force the governor and lieutenant governor to face a new election and the prospect of removal from office.

And that number will multiply. More than 20,000 people have downloaded petitions from United Wisconsin as the group works to gather the required 540,000 signatures, and tens of thousands more signatures have been collected from the more than 30 United Wisconsin offices across the state.

The recall movement is real, and remarkable in its strength and reach.

Walker knows he is in trouble.

WSJ: Workers held occupation in state capitol in 1936

November 9, 2011
Wisconsin Historical Society

When protesters occupied the Capitol last spring, they followed in the footsteps of demonstrators who seized the building in 1936.

In March of that year, new employees of the federal Works Progress Administration found they could not make a living wage. WPA jobs paid only a fraction of what private businesses paid for the same work, and administrators could not always guarantee a full week's labor. Workers found they simply could not keep body and soul together.

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