Public Sector Unions Articles


Ohio Public Sector Union Law Defeated

10:06 PM, Nov 08, 2011

The Associated Press reports:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state's new collective bargaining law was defeated Tuesday after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the Republican establishment.

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PPP: Ohio Voters Oppose Collective Bargaining Law

9:00 AM, Nov 07, 2011

Ohio voters go to the polls tomorrow to vote on approving a recently passed public sector labor law, and a new survey from Public Policy Polling finds that 59 percent of those voters are against the law. Senate bill 5, passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by Republican governor John Kasich, requires public employees contribute to their health insurance and pension plans as well as limiting collective bargaining for those employees.

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Study Concludes Public School Teacher Salaries $120 Billion Over Market Value

10:15 AM, Nov 01, 2011

Those on the left are wont to complain that government employees are under assualt these days because GOP politicians are going after public sector unions and generous deals they've leveraged through collective bargaining. The standard defense of civil service workers is, yes, they might have good benefits and more job stability but these things are necessary because public sector workers earn significantly less than private sector counterparts.

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Firefighters' Union to Senate: Vote for Jobs Bill Provision

7:08 AM, Oct 20, 2011

The Hill reports that the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), an AFL-CIO affiliated union, is out with a new ad campaign urging Congress to pass a provision of the president's jobs bill being brought to the Senate floor this week. The provision allots $35 billion to the states to allow "400,000 teachers and first responders to keep their jobs and get their jobs back," according to Harry Reid, although the majority leader admitted yesterday some of that money wouldn't go to creating or keeping jobs.

Watch the video below, which tells viewers to urge their senators to "vote to fix public safety":

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Reid: Protecting Government Employment More Important Than Saving Private Sector Jobs

The mask slips.
2:08 PM, Oct 19, 2011

We all suspected this was the case, but you're always surprised when one of the most powerful Democrats in the country just comes out and demonstrates the extent to which his party is beholden to public sector union campaign cash:

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New Poll: Voters Prefer Cutting Public Sector Compensation, Oppose Raising Taxes

9:00 AM, Sep 20, 2011

A new survey of 1,000 registered voters has found that 60 percent of respondents say state employees should contribute more to their pension fund, and 60 percent also say they are against raising taxes to pay for state budget shortfalls. The poll was conducted by veteran Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen on behalf of the Manhattan Institute. Schoen writes more about his poll's findings in the Wall Street Journal:

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Trumka: Unions Thriving in Wisconsin!

11:51 AM, Aug 25, 2011

 

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said today that unions are not deterred at all by their failure to overturn Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's law curbing public employee unions' power through recent state supreme court and state senate elections.

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Study: To Fund Public Pensions, Taxes Must be Raised $1,400 Every Year for 30 Years

10:15 PM, Jun 22, 2011

It's really quite remarkable that the problems of public pensions were even allowed to get this bad:

U.S. state and local governments will need to raise taxes by $1,398 per household every year for the next 30 years if they are to fully fund their pension systems, a study released on Wednesday said.

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Greg Sargent's 'Entirely Bogus' Report

3:00 PM, Mar 17, 2011

In the past I've been fairly unsparing in my criticism of the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, but before I register my displeasure again, let me say I do think he works harder at reporting than most in the blogosphere. So I hope that the following is taken in constructive manner.

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Special Report Panel on Maryland

7:11 AM, Mar 16, 2011

Fred Barnes, with Juan Williams and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:

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NYT: Public Sector Unions Defending Workers Accused of Abuse and Sexual Assault

3:00 PM, Mar 14, 2011

The New York Times had an eye-opening story about abuses in state-run homes for the elderly and disabled in New York this weekend. In particular, the article highlights how unions are aggressively defending those workers accused of very serious crimes:

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Cato Institute Allied with SEIU? Not Quite

11:00 AM, Mar 12, 2011

Over at the Washington Post, Greg Sargent blogs that the Cato Institute is claiming that a new advertisement by Crossroads GPS, a conservative non-profit founded by Karl Rove, “distorts” the libertarian think tank’s data. The ad comes in response to the Wisconsin public-sector union battle and references a report authored by Cato’s Chris Edwards from March of 2010.

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Public Sector Union Battle Shaping Up to Be a Big Campaign Issue

9:39 AM, Mar 09, 2011

Crossroads GPS, the policy arm of the Karl Rove-backed  American Crossroads PAC that was instrumental in the 2010 election, has just started running a national ad attacking the link between public sector unions and Democrats. You can bet this is just an opening salvo in what will be a significant debate during next year's election:

 

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Walker’s Big Bet

Will the voters of Wisconsin stand up to the unions?
Mar 07, 2011

Madison, Wisconsin

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Why the Unions Fight

The stakes in Wisconsin are higher than they look.
Mar 07, 2011

Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s new governor, has brought on a showdown with public sector unions and their Democratic allies in his state. He seeks to get most state workers to pay for their pension and health benefits, to narrow collective bargaining to wages, to stop the state from collecting union dues, and to require annual union certification elections. In response, the unions have launched two weeks of angry protests in Madison, the state’s capital.

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On Public Sector Unions and the Recycling of Tax Dollars

5:56 PM, Mar 03, 2011

A smart friend writes: "As a federal contractor, I'm prohibited from contributing to candidates or parties in federal elections. Am I breaking the law by funding Democrats via public sector unions when I pay my taxes?"

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Rasmussen: Democratic Majority of WI Voters Support Deficit Reduction

But Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP still face an uphill battle.
12:19 PM, Mar 03, 2011

Wisconsin voters support the Democrats over Republican governor Scott Walker by eight points and the unions over Walker by 15 points, according to a new Rasmussen poll:

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Skewed Public Sector Union Poll Ignores Reality

5:00 PM, Mar 01, 2011

A New York Times/CBS News poll never lets you down.  Today’s survey features a skewed sample (36 percent Democratic, 26 percent Republican), tricky questions, and an emphasis on results likely to thrill liberals and Democrats.

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Madison's Most Powerful Lobbying Group: Wisconsin Education Association

4:06 PM, Feb 24, 2011

According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the top lobbying group in Wisconsin for the 2009-2010 session of the legislature was the Wisconsin Education Assocation, which as of August 20, 2010 had spent 10,462 hours and $2,143,588 lobbying state lawmakers.

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Just a Reminder: The Economic Policy Institute is Dominated by Labor Interests

Big Labor's favorite think tank is trying and failing to defend egregious public sector union compensation.
2:45 PM, Feb 23, 2011

Jen Rubin reports on the Center for Union Facts's analysis of the Economic Policy Institute's conclusion that Wisconsin's public workers are underpaid. Rubin writes:

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Scott Walker's Views on Collective Bargaining No Surprise

10:30 AM, Feb 23, 2011

Andrew Sullivan caught a give-and-take between me and Juan Williams on Fox News on Monday night and raises a fair objection.

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Why Public Unions are Fundamentally Different from Private Ones

8:36 AM, Feb 23, 2011

Most of the focus on public employee unions emphasizes the fact that states are going bankrupt and that states can’t continue to give these unions the almost obscene perks they have gotten in the past. But that misses the more fundamental point.

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Tom Morello Rages Against Scott Walker

...before a dwindling Madison protest crowd.
5:45 PM, Feb 21, 2011

Madison, Wisc.
"For the next minute or so, we're gonna have a good motherf---in' time!" musician Tom Morello told the crowd gathered outside the state capitol this afternoon. "I'm sorry if there are some children in the audience, but the struggle for justice is not always rated PG-13."

There were indeed dozens of schoolchildren scattered throughout the crowd. Some used protest signs as sleds to slide down the snow-covered hills outside the capitol. Others noshed on macaroni and cheese pizza, which was supplied for free by Ian's Pizza on State Street out of solidarity with those protesting pending legislation to curtail collective bargaining and require public workers to pay more for health insurance and pensions.

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How Public Unions Kill Progressive Politics

Progressives can't get elected without union support, but union payoffs are so expensive the rest of the progressive agenda is off the table.
11:40 AM, Feb 21, 2011

Over at Reason, Tim Cavanaugh has a lengthy piece in the current issue on California's struggles to rein in public unions. Even though it must have been written well in advance of the current foofaraw in Wisconsin, the timing couldn't be better. Cavanaugh makes the oft-overlooked point public employee unions are such a fiscal black hole that it's nearly impossible to spend money on any of the other ambitious and expensive programs frequently advocated by progressives:

As 72-year-old Jerry Brown enters his second governorship, he has an agenda to match that power, with visions even greater than those that haunted his two-term administration of the 1970s and ’80s: building 20,000 megawatts of renewable power, laying a new high-speed rail network that will connect the state’s major cities, forging a statewide infrastructure for alternative energy, hiring thousands of green employees. The new governor’s environmental agenda is ambitious, untenably expensive, and indelibly popular with voters and lawmakers.

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'A House of Cards' in Wisconsin

8:31 AM, Feb 21, 2011

The Heritage Foundation reports from Wisconsin and talks with union members protesting in Madison:

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Chicago Teachers Union Organizes for Wisconsin Protest

12:15 AM, Feb 21, 2011

On Sunday, Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Educational Association Council, instructed the teachers in her union to return to the classroom after many of them skipped school for three days last week. The unexpected move energized Republicans in Wisconsin, who took it as a sign that negative public reaction to the “sick-out” is making a difference.

Or perhaps they don’t need the numbers because the unions are bringing in additional reinforcements. Madison, one of the most liberal cities in the United States, is a town always in search of a cause.

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FDR Supports Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

If he were alive today, the patron saint of modern liberalism would back the GOP in the Wisconsin union fight.
11:28 AM, Feb 19, 2011

In my post yesterday on the optics of the Wisconsin union battle, I noted in passing that FDR was quite vocally opposed to the creation of public sector unions. Roosevelt was an ardent supporter of unionism generally, but even he thought the idea of using collective bargaining against taxpayers was transparently problematic.

This is a potent talking point, so I'm glad to see that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick McIlheran has a column fleshing out the history here:

Somewhere, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is grinning past his cigarette holder at Wisconsin's governor. They are on the same page regarding government unions.

Except that Scott Walker -- Republican cheapskate, his visage Hitlerized on signs waved by beet-faced union crowds besieging the Capitol -- is kind of a liberal squish compared to FDR. He's OK with some collective bargaining.

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Obama's War on the States

In the Wisconsin union battle, the Obama administration is supporting Democrats' biggest campaign cash cow over a governor that wants needed reforms.
2:42 PM, Feb 18, 2011

In evaluating the battle over public sector unions in Wisconsin, it's worth considering for a moment the state of American unionism. It's not a pretty picture, as far as unions are concerned.

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