February 17, 2011

FIRST BREAK THE UNIONS:

Why the Wisconsin labor bill is a big dealZachary Roth, 2/17/11, Yahoo)

Here's a closer look at the what's going on in the Badger state--and what it might mean for the rest of the country:

What exactly would the bill do?

Walker's legislation would end collective bargaining rights--the process by which employees band together to negotiate with employers--for almost all of Wisconsin's state, county and local workers (police, firefighters and the state patrol would be excepted). This would mean, among other things, that unions wouldn't be able to seek pay increases above inflation, unless voters approve those hikes in a special referendum. Unions also would not be able to require members to pay dues, and would have to hold yearly votes to stay organized.

The bill also would make public workers pay half the cost of their pensions, and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage. On average, state employees' share of their pension and health care costs would go up by 8 percent.

In exchange for all this, Walker has promised not to lay off or furlough public employees. But he has said that if the bill doesn't pass, he'll order layoffs of up to 6,000 state workers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 17, 2011 9:17 PM
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