Sunday, October 31, 2010

Walker Ain't Waiting To Screw Over State Tax Payers

As I have been telling the faithful reader for a long time, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has been screwing over the tax payers of his county for a long time.

One of the main ways that he does this is by grandstanding for the tough guy sound bite, instead of actually negotiating concessions from the unions. Instead of showing leadership, he would rather show the pretense of leadership, and thus gaining some free air time and free press time. However, because contract negotiations are often a long and tedious process, news services don't cover it in detail, but only go with the occasional soundbite, which Walker excels at giving.

But even has Walker is hamming it up for the cameras and the reporters, the reality is he is costing tax payers millions of dollars in lost savings and in weakening the County's bargaining position.

In his last failed attempt of a gubernatorial campaign, he did the same thing with the grandstanding, negotiating through the media, and bad faith bargaining. After he was forced to drop out by the party bosses, all of a sudden he was ready to sign a contract. Of course, by then, he had wasted millions of dollars in savings on health care costs alone. Then when a contract was finally worked out, it included almost everything the union wanted, plus a signing bonus to sweeten the deal.

This go around is no different. He does his tough talk, but has already squandered more than ten million dollars in lost savings. And he has also greatly weakened the county's bargaining position with his bad faith bargaining and illegal budgeting (emphasis mine):

Richard Abelson, head of the county's largest union, said he considered both versions of the 2011 budget to be illegal.

"The premise is still that they want to bypass collective bargaining and adopt wages and working conditions through the budget process," said Abelson, executive director of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Abelson's union announced Thursday it had won a decision by a state administrative judge saying the county had bargained in bad faith when it approved a 2010 budget with concessions it hadn't negotiated. That ruling should help bolster the union's position in arbitration over union contracts, Abelson said.

But even that is not enough for Walker. Now he has started to illegally interfere with negotiations between the state and its unions:
This report from Steve Kuehn is completely accurate. A representative of Scott Walker contacted me personally and conveyed the message that we should stop bargaining if we anticipated a working relationship with him as Governor. I advised him in the most unequivocal response that we would do what’s best for our members and would pursue bargaining.


On another note. The Scott Walker campaign contacted C24 last Friday and stated that if we want a working relationship with the next Governor we should immediately walk away from the current bargaining table and wait until after Mr. Walker is elected to negotiate the current contract. They were told no deal. If this isn't proof to all state employees that Mr. Walker is already attempting to cut into our current wages and benefits package nothing else will change your mind. The campaign has inferred that he has already won the Governors seat.
Thanks to Walker's hubris and lack of understanding of how things happen in the real world, one of two things will likely occur if Walker would happen to win on Tuesday.

Odds are that the unions and the state will bargain in earnest and reach an agreement before Walker takes office. If they reach an agreement before then, Walker will either have to live with it or pull the same tax payer money wasting stunts he is doing now.

If they don't reach a contract, the state's union is big enough and strong enough to hunker down and wait him out. That would mean years of unseen savings because the old contract would still hold sway until a new one is agreed upon.

Either way, I don't think Walker will get the state media will give him the same pass as the local paper has done for the past eight years. In fact, the Appleton Post-Crescent has already caught on to his weaselly ways.

We have already seen how Walker's "money saving" measures are anything but. He has squandered money in lost savings and weakened bargaining positions. He has set the county up for numerous lawsuits, including the ones coming regarding O'Donnell Park and the mental health complex. He has failed to run his own programs, forcing the state to take over said programs at a much higher cost.

Meanwhile, he has tanked our local economy by driving out companies and separating workers from jobs and customers from businesses with his slashing transit services alone, by continuously raising our taxes, and generally lowering our quality of life in innumerable ways.

If you think the state's economy is in the tank now, wait until a Governor Walker gets his paws on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment