The Wisconsin Fleebaggers keep saying that all they want is for Governor Scott Walker to come to the table and negotiate on his budget-repair bill, and they’ll end their hostaging of Wisconsin government. However, new e-mails released by Walker’s office show that the governor has negotiated on key aspects of his union reforms, perhaps to an extent that might make his supporter nervous:
Gov. Scott Walker’s office released documents Tuesday showing he’s willing to give on some points of his union bargaining bill to break the Capitol standoff and bring Senate Democrats back from Illinois…
This directly refutes the notion pushed by the state Senators who fled the state that Walker has unilaterally refused to bargain with them. In fact, here are the specific proposals offered by Walker as a compromise:
• Public employee union bargaining over wages would no longer be limited to the rate of inflation.
• Unions would be allowed to bargain over certain economic issues, including mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay and classroom size. On this set of issues, both labor and management would have to agree to discuss them for bargaining to happen.
• Unions could bargain over workplace safety, but that would be limited to workers’ physical health and safety. It would not allow bargaining over hours, overtime, sick leave or family leave, work schedules or vacation.
• Unions would have to vote every three years to remain active, with the first of those votes coming within one year of the bill becoming law. The current version of the bill would require unions to vote to recertify every year – starting this April – and require them to get at least 51% of workers’ votes.
• Employees of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority would not lose all union bargaining rights.
• The Legislature’s budget committee would have to approve changes to state health programs for the poor sought by the Walker administration. The budget-repair bill gives Walker broad powers to reshape those Medicaid health programs, which cover more than 1 million state residents.
whereas Mr. Jackson Jr admits there’s no Constitutional right to medical care…
…we need to add to the Constitution the right to medicalcare...
Huffington Post contributor Visual Arts Source has announced that it will cease to provide the site with content until HuffPost agrees to pay its writers – and it wants other HuffPost writers and contributors to join in.
In a post on the company’s website, Visual Arts Source publisher and co-editor Bill Lasarow writes that he was well aware of the Huffington Post’s payment policy when his company agreed to provide the site with content. However, in light of Aol’s decision to buy the Huffington Post for $315 million, the company has done some reassessing, coming up with two specific demands:
And just like the corporate titans of the American Right, it would come as no surprise if Ms Huffington, whom I am certain has a good heart and only the best intentions, were to assume the obvious position: Who needs these people anyway? They are not even employees.
Nonetheless, we shall remain on strike until these two demands are met. First, a pay schedule must be proposed and steps initiated to implement it for all contributing writers and bloggers. Second, paid promotional material must no longer be posted alongside editorial content; a press release or exhibition catalogue essay is fundamentally different from editorial content and must be either segregated and indicated as such, or not published at all.
One of the goals in organizing this strike, Lasarow explains, is to “professionalize” the relationship among the HuffPost and its contributors. Additionally, he writes, it is “unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing.”…
As the Capitol building reopened following two judges’ orders to stop prohibiting public access to the building, another huge, sign- carrying crowd massed in downtown Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 5.
Once again, there was a festive, playful mood. Protesters carried inflatable palm trees in the frigid weather and signs that read: “Fox News Will Lie About This” (a reference to video of union members screaming and shoving at a rally on Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor,” which O’Reilly claimed was from Wisconsin [ no, he did not ], but which clearly showed palm trees and sunshine in the background.)
Capitalism: a love story…….
Capitol Kids, a high-end toy store on the capitol square, was selling bright red t-shirts for kids, with the legend “Teach Me How to Protest,” and the Wisconsin Solidarity sign: a blue fist in the shape of the state of Wisconsin and a white star in the middle.
In addition, the store advertised “a new shipment of noise-makers” “mini-tambourines, train whistles, kazoos and bells which join our very popular vuvuzelas and drums….
Michael Moore took the stage to tell the crowd “I am so proud of you.”
“For three weeks you’ve stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois. Whatever it took, you did it. And one thing is certain, Madison is only the beginning,” Moore said.
He connected the protests in Wisconsin to the struggle against economic and political inequality nationally and around the world. The movement is “a little bit of Egypt and a little bit of Madison,” he said.
Revving up the crowd, he talked about how a tiny minority of billionaires bought our political process, and torpedoed public spending on things that benefit most people like education, suppressed wages and benefits, and concentrated wealth in a few hands. “But that wasn’t enough for them,” he said. “Now they want your soul. . . . They want your dignity.” Now they are arguing that working people can’t even have a place at the table, Moore said. He described a pilot making $19,000 a year who can’t even negotiate for a few more hours of sleep in his car at the O’Hare parking lot.
He begged reporters to write down a statistic: that 400 people in the United States now have more wealth than half of all Americans combined–155 million people.
“The few who have the most money don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes,” Moore said. Furthermore, “They are the very people who don’t pay their taxes crashed our economic system.”
“The nation is not broke, my friends,” Moore said. “Wisconsin is not broke.There is plenty of money to go around.”
The volatility surrounding the collective-bargaining debate spilled into the night Wednesday when police were called to a German Village restaurant after a group verbally accosted a gathering of Senate Republicans.
After the vote on Senate Bill 5, seven Republican senators, including President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, grabbed dinner at the Easy Street Cafe. As the lawmakers neared the end of their meal, a group of five to 10 union supporters angry about the passage of the bill hours before burst into the restaurant and began shouting.
The commotion eventually led to pushing and shoving with the restaurant staff and owner, before police arrived to calm the situation as a police helicopter hovered overhead. No senators were involved in the physical altercations, and no charges have been filed…
…When the group burst into the restaurant, the woman, Monica Moran, deputy director of public affairs for SEIU District 1199, raised her hands in the air, yelled “Can I have your attention?” and then shouted “something nasty,” LaRose said. Soon after, the rest of the group of men and women joined in with a chant.
“They stormed through my dining room,” said George Stefanidis, owner of the Easy Street Cafe. “I told them they had to leave, and they wouldn’t.“
Stefanidis said he called 911 when the protesters refused to leave. LaRose said there was pushing and shoving with the restaurant staff….
“It is unfortunate that rather than focus on the adverse impact that this legislation will have on hard-working, middle-class Ohioans, there are those who would choose to focus on a conversation I had with Senate Republicans,” she said in a written statement to The Dispatch.
“The moment of discomfort Senate Republicans may have felt as a result of my expressing my opinion pales in comparison to the extreme discomfort and financial hardships that public employees will endure as a result of SB5.”