Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Won't Cry For Them

Using one of the oldest union-busting tricks in the book, Scott Walker is showing favoritism towards the firefighters and the police unions.  It is so blatantly unfair that even people in Chicago are pointing it out and calling it dirty:
Walker has introduced a bill that would strip public employees across the board -- from teachers to snowplow drivers -- of their right to collectively bargain for sick leave, vacation, even the hours they work. But absolutely nothing would change for local police, fire departments and the State Patrol. 
The bill smacks of political favoritism for public safety unions that supported Walker's election bid last year and sets up new haves and have-nots in Wisconsin government, said Paul Secunda, a Marquette University professor who specializes in labor law. 
"There's no surprise there. This is the worst type of favoritism there could be." 
Translation: payback, according to Joe Wineke, former chairman of the state Democratic Party who served as former Gov. Jim Doyle's chief union negotiator. 
"No question in my mind. This isn't rocket science," Wineke said. 
Walker said the state has always treated local police and firefighters differently than other public workers. He did not elaborate at his news conference, but his spokesman later pointed to sections of state law that lay out separate benefits for workers in protective occupations, including an earlier retirement age. 
The exemption could create jealousy among government workers upset they must suffer while police, firefighters and state troopers go on as if nothing has changed, Marquette's Secunda said. That might be what Walker wants, he said; private sector managers have traditionally tried to weaken unions' clout by dividing workers into camps.
"You give a special privilege to some unions and don't give it to others, it puts the privileged unions in a tough place," Secunda said.
If the police and the firefighters think that somehow they aren't going to get bit by the weasel if this Machiavellian scheme of his works, they are in for one heck of a surprise.  By the time Walker would submit his budget, they will be getting the same kind of screwing over the other unions have.  The difference is they can't complain because they could've joined the other workers and helped stop it before it became this mess that it is.

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