Big labor unions are doing their best to demonize Governor Scott Walker. The mantra is always the same-Mr. Walker is against the working man. Nothing is further from the truth.
School districts which have been able to use public-union reforms, initiated by Gov. Walker, have been able to reduce budget shortfalls. According to the Wall Street Journal, “In districts like Wauwatosa, Racine, LaCrosse and Eau Claire, the changes in health and pension contributions prevented layoffs that were expected to be widespread, and in some cases allowed the boards not to fire a single teacher.”
Furthermore, the article goes on to say, “There are a few unfortunate counter examples. In three of the largest school districts-Milwaukee, Kenosha and Janesville-shools had locked themselves into long-term agreements with unions that predated Mr. Walker’s reforms. Unable to take advantage of the changes, Milwaukee and Kenosha, which serve more than 100,000 students altogether, saw layoffs of more than 800 teaching positions for the 2011-12 school year.”
The article goes on to point out the success in the Madison school district due to Gov. Walker’s reforms, and how districts have saved millions in health care costs, without even changing their plans.
The biggest beneficiaries of Gov. Walker’s plans may be the Wisconsin taxpayer. The article further states, “In mid-December, Wisconsin taxpayers got evidence of the direct benefits of reform in their latest property tax bills–an average annual increase of 0.3 percent, the smallest since 1996.” The impetus of the opposition to Governor Walker’s plans should not be the working man-the working man is benefitting from his efforts. The only casualty, and this is the crux of the opposition, are the leaders of the government unions. They will have less control over state and local politics, and face the prospect of smaller paychecks, if they can’t take out Governor Walker in the next election.
Let’s do what’s best for all of Wisconsin. Let’s stand behind Governor Walker.
Tom Seehafer, Rhinelander