Monday, April 4, 2011

Wisconsin and Public Unions

The Wisconsin Capitol building occupied by opponents of the bill

     Hello everyone. There's a few quick things to get through before getting into the story. These are the things you should know for this story:

Governor Scott Walker: Governor of Wisconsin, Republican, strong supporter of bill, originally introduced bill

David Koch: Billionaire, Conservative, industrialist who allegedly funds the Tea Party movement and certain conservative elected officials

People affected by the Wisconsin Bill: Teachers, municipal workers, librarians, garbage collectors, university professors

People not affected: Policemen, firefighters, state troopers

Republicans in Wisconsin State legislature: 19

Democrats in Wisconsin State legislature: 14
  And now, for Wisconsin news:

Due to the deficit in Wisconsin, a budget repair bill was proposed by Gov. Scott Walker

Bill includes provision that limits collective bargaining rights for some and completely eliminates them for others.

This provision would prevent most state workers from negotiating their wages.

Bill also proposes cutting wages of public workers while having them contribute to their pensions and healthcare plans.

Public unions agree to wage cuts and contributing to benefits if they can keep collective bargaining rights.


To prevent the bill from passing, the 14 Democrats in the state legislature flee the state.

One Democrat almost caught after arranging a "conjugal visit" with his wife.

Public workers, students, and other supporters occupy capitol building in protest.

Totally sweet drum circle ensues.

Gov. Walker claims that layoffs will happen if Democrats don't return.

Editor of Buffalo Beast Ian Murphy pretends to be David Koch and calls Walker.

 I'm sorry about the title of this video.

"Koch" says after Walker "crushes the Democrat bastards" he'll fly him out to California for a good time.

"Koch" says he'll plant troublemakers into the crowds of protesters. 

Walker said he already thought of that. Great minds think alike.

Republicans in Wisconsin pass the bill without Democrats.

Open meeting laws require that laws are passed in areas open to the public and that there is public notice of the act.

Passing of the bill violates open meeting laws?

Court answers question above by preventing law from taking effect.

Other states like Ohio plan to pass the same type of law.

And there you have it. Wisconsin might stop public unions and other states are doing the same. The fate of the rights public workers is in the hands of the courts now.

The following video was produced, filmed, and edited by two college students and their type of reporting is in line with the goals of this blog! So, here is their video.

Power to limit unions

Open Meeting Laws

Collective Bargaining

General Wisconsin Timeline and news