Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Blues Are Singing The Walker Blues

On Monday, Scott Walker gave a speech to the Governmental Research Association in which he said that he was open to the idea of expanding Act 10 to include the police and fire fighters in the state.

This took the police unions aback in shock.  They had supported Walker in both the 2010 election and the 2012 recall.  They supported Walker because he promised he would lift the residency requirement as well as promising to spare them from the full brunt of Act 10.

The other unions tried to warn the police union that Walker could not be trusted and that he would turn on them.  The police unions guffawed at the other unions, shrugged off the notion of solidarity and went with Walker.

They are singing a whole different tune today:
“Upon the introduction of his Act 10 legislation in 2010, Gov. Walker publicly expressed his belief that because public safety was so fundamentally important, police officers and fire fighters ought to maintain their rights to bargain over their wages, hours, and working conditions. If his comments yesterday were a trial balloon for a possible presidential run, then Gov. Walker has made a serious misstep. Law enforcement across the state supported the Governor in his last budget because he clearly had made law enforcement a top priority. Given that law enforcement officers and firefighters are almost universally paying towards their pensions and can no longer negotiate over their health insurance, there is no genuine need for a further expansion of Act 10. It is disappointing that public safety now appears to be taking a back seat to partisan presidential politics, and we hope the Governor reconsiders his unfortunate position on this issue.”
While I don't want to see anyone suffer one minute longer under the failings of Act 10, I have to admit that it is hard to feel bad for the police unions.  They should have known what they were setting themselves up for.  Their myopic urgency to get the residency laws lifted set them up for failure.

None of the police unions fought as hard for Walker as did the Milwaukee Police.  And, at least for right now, they got their residency rules struck down.  I wonder how they are feeling right now.  It's going to be awfully hard for them to pay their mortgages when their pay gets slashed like the other public sector.


  1. Don't lump all police unions together. Many other police unions saw the writing on the wall, and were active in the Wisconsin Uprising. Particularly Brian Austin in Madison and Jim Palmer of the WPPA.

    The Milwaukee cops were in it for themselves, and wanted to spite Tom Barrett with their endorsement. Wonder what they're thinking about that today?

  2. Having Act 10 apply to police and fire also means that Milwaukee can dramatically slash the pay of anyone who moves outside the city.

  3. Just my take,

    Teachers are way more important than police or fire.

    I won't feel bad at all if they get the shaft.

  4. i would like to see the operating engineers get it broken off in their arses myself.