Latest state to curtail PEU bargaining rights is … Massachusetts?

posted at 8:48 am on April 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When Governor Scott Walker took steps to limit the power of public-employee unions and return the power over policy to the voters of Wisconsin, many of us knew that the newly-elected Republican would start a wave of similar efforts in other states.  However, it’s safe to say that one place we didn’t expect to see that wave break early on Plymouth Rock.  Not only has the Massachusetts state House passed a new law barring all PEUs from collective bargaining on health care, it passed by a veto-proof majority — because Democrats pushed the bill:

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights. …

Under the legislation, mayors and other local officials would be given unfettered authority to set copayments and deductibles for their employees, after the 30-day discussion period with unions. Only the share of premiums paid by employees would remain on the health care bargaining table.

Yes, you read that right.  Democrats in Massachusetts admitted that Scott Walker had the right idea all along.  In fact, the Commonwealth believes that the ability to manage health care coverage will save taxpayers $100 million in the next budget year.

And in another nod to Wisconsin, the House held their vote at 11:30 last night, hoping to avoid the kind of demonstrations that Wisconsin Democrats encouraged in Madison.

AFL-CIO president Robert J. Haynes is furious that the politicians he bought turned out to be rented instead:

“These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected. The same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns. The same Democrats who tell us over and over again that they’re with us, that they believe in collective bargaining, that they believe in unions. . . . It’s a done deal for our relationship with the people inside that chamber.’’

The Senate takes up the bill next, and Deval Patrick has to decide whether he’ll sign it.  Even if this law doesn’t pass, it still vindicates everything Scott Walker did in Wisconsin, and it paints the fleebaggers as even more craven than ever.


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Nuclear strike against the left…from their own generals.

Bishop on April 27, 2011 at 8:51 AM

WTF

txag92 on April 27, 2011 at 8:51 AM

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

Even Walker and the Wisconsin GOP didn’t include police officers in their bills. So MassachusettEs is actually going a step further.

Doughboy on April 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Impressive.

myrenovations on April 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM

I wonder if they look at it more as a firewall against calls to make it a right-to-work state.

Count to 10 on April 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM

That quote from Haynes is making my day.

forest on April 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Even Walker and the Wisconsin GOP didn’t include police officers in their bills. So MassachusettEs is actually going a step further.

Doughboy on April 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM

However, I don’t see anything here about making dues voluntary.

Count to 10 on April 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Encouraging!..:)

Dire Straits on April 27, 2011 at 8:55 AM

AFL-CIO president Robert J. Haynes is furious that the politicians he bought turned out to be rented instead

Hahaha. Nice.

petefrt on April 27, 2011 at 8:55 AM

(IBD)Drowning In Debt

Liabilities: The latest finding that states have underfunded their pension and retiree health plans to the tune of $1.26 trillion is just the leading edge of an overwhelming wave of unfunded government promises.

According to the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner, we’ve promised future retirees far more than we can pay at current tax rates. How much more? If these unfunded liabilities were included in our debt figures, it would reach $127 trillion — or more than 730% of gross domestic product

Galt2009 on April 27, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Hey, why do unions need collusion privileges for healthcare negotiations in MA. They have Romneycare. Did the unions support that? What’s the matter, is it good enough for the plebes but not the PEU members?

forest on April 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Now, if we can get some Democrats to start acknowledging the need to consider fixes such as Ryan’s Medicare fix, there are almost no issues left for the Democrats.

Well, of course the whole Obamacare thing.

Headline: Republicans proven right on everything, everywhere.

petunia on April 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Cats are sleeping with dogs?

Even some Dem politicians can no longer deny that the math doesn’t work.

BuckeyeSam on April 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Winning the Future! Sometimes it seems we’re in Bizarro land…but am not complaining.

search4truth on April 27, 2011 at 8:59 AM

AFL-CIO president Robert J. Haynes is furious that the politicians he bought turned out to be rented instead

Priceless!hahahahaaaa

No refunds!

tinkerthinker on April 27, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Headline: Republicans proven right on everything, everywhere.

petunia on April 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM

The day I see that headline in print….I may just fall outta my chair! ;)

search4truth on April 27, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Check the temperature in Hell. I believe it’s getting close to freezing. Even a snowball might stand a chance there now!

DuctTapeMyBrain on April 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

UNLEASH THE TRUMKA!

pilamaye on April 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

OT:DRUDGE REPORT..BREAKING NEWS!!!..:)

Dire Straits on April 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM

They were right to include police officers. Now, if Wisconsin will go back and include police and firefighters to their bill, they’ll stop intimidating businesses.

parteagirl on April 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM

If these unfunded liabilities were included in our debt figures, it would reach $127 trillion — or more than 730% of gross domestic product

Galt2009 on April 27, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Oh my. That is a new high, yikes! That must spread over years right? And this is a total of state’s commitments, not federal?

Where did the idea for retirement benefits like these come from? If a business makes commitments like this they must need to have an investment underlying it. But for government to do it, they simply pull the number out of the air.

Governments state or federal should not be allowed to make commitments that far into the future without an dedicated fund to pay for it. It is simply immoral to pledge other people’s money in such a way! This kind of commitment is a lie!!! How do we get this stopped?

petunia on April 27, 2011 at 9:05 AM

AFL-CIO president Robert J. Haynes is furious that the politicians he bought turned out to be rented instead:

Welcome to the party, Pal!!

lololol

ladyingray on April 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM

That quote from Haynes is making my day.

forest on April 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM

I found this quote in the Boston Herald more entertaining:

“You don’t take collective bargaining away from unions here in Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes. “We’re going to fight this to the bitter end.”

Bring it, punk.

RedMindBlueState on April 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM

*needs to remember how to use the quote function*

RedMindBlueState on April 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM

When the most liberal incestual blueblood cesspool in the country restricts the public rape of the taxpayers, the end is near.

volsense on April 27, 2011 at 9:10 AM

They were right to include police officers. Now, if Wisconsin will go back and include police and firefighters to their bill, they’ll stop intimidating businesses.

parteagirl on April 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM

I am horrified by the implications of police and fire departments involved in pay to play schemes like these. Where is the concept of public service and public good? Or simple equality of citizenship regardless of political party, for that matter.

In Democrat states Republicans are second class citzens as far as police and fire are concerned. Thanks unions.

petunia on April 27, 2011 at 9:10 AM

A direct hit on the ideological foundation of union thuggery. All the Left’s Wisconsin rhetoric has been effectively canceled. Terror – and likely, anger – has been struck into their malignant hearts.

paul1149 on April 27, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Hey, why do unions need collusion privileges for healthcare negotiations in MA. They have Romneycare. Did the unions support that? What’s the matter, is it good enough for the plebes but not the PEU members?
forest on April 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I imagine it has to do with their contributions to their healthcare – don’t know what percentage they now pay, if anything. But if ObamaCare replaces RomneyCare wouldn’t collective bargaining “rights” over healthcare soon be moot anyway? I think I’d be more impressed if they were dealing with pension benefits and dues.

Buy Danish on April 27, 2011 at 9:27 AM

What does this do to the Obamao campaign? He has built it on the Democrats being the savior of the working man. Instead they are Judas! Well, it does fit Obama when you think about what he’s doing to the country.

Herb on April 27, 2011 at 9:28 AM

For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud to be from Massachusetts!!! Well, maybe the second…we did elect Scott Brown (hey, he’s the best we can do).

4Freedom on April 27, 2011 at 9:49 AM

I’m looking forward to Sheppard Smith’s attack on the evil Democrats for their willingness to strip collective bargaining.

Amadeus on April 27, 2011 at 9:50 AM

The Democratic Party has been a circular firing squad for years, now maybe they will simply stop missing their shots.

PJ Emeritus on April 27, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Apparently there are some Dems that still have their reason and accountability intact.

John Deaux on April 27, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Apparently there are some Dems that still have their reason and accountability intact.

John Deaux on April 27, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Oh, c’mon, now – let’s not get carried away… :)

Dopenstrange on April 27, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Next will be the great Democrat State of New York.

SC.Charlie on April 27, 2011 at 10:18 AM

UNLEASH THE TRUMKA!

pilamaye on April 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

+1

Khun Joe on April 27, 2011 at 10:22 AM

So Massachusetts is that broke? Because that would be the only reason the pols would roll over on their money source.

GarandFan on April 27, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Just as Massachusetts Republicans have to be liberal to get elected, Massachusetts Democrats sometimes have to make sense, otherwise that state would never function at all.

pedestrian on April 27, 2011 at 10:32 AM

So Massachusetts is that broke? Because that would be the only reason the pols would roll over on their money source.

GarandFan on April 27, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Mass. has a lot of little townships that have their own police and fire departments. They were all douing great while the housing boom was on and property tax revenues came rolling in. Now prices have flattened while health care costs are rising fast, and all these little towns are finding out it’s really expensive to pay for health coverage for all these extra police and firefighters. Property taxes increases are limited there thanks to Prop 2 1/2 that passed several years ago.

My BIL is finance chairman for the school district in one of these towns. He told me recently that their little town of 20,000 has 28 firefighters and 15 policemen, in addition to chiefs and deputy chiefs in both departments. It’s costing them a fortune. If they can’t cut benefit costs significantly they are going to start laying off firefighters.

rockmom on April 27, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I’m looking forward to Sheppard Smith’s attack on the evil Democrats for their willingness to strip collective bargaining.

Amadeus on April 27, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Forget it, he’s in the UK today dreaming of what it would be like to be a Princess….

slickwillie2001 on April 27, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Poor MASS leftists…..

First, they elect a Republican senator. Now this.

The whole place went to sh!t after Teddy went to take his dirt nap.

UltimateBob on April 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM

“These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected. The same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns.

The thug comes right out and admits that he’s buying politicians.

Vince on April 27, 2011 at 10:52 AM

One of my students and I were talking after a flight last week. A National Guard Warrant, he also has a small contracting business that repairs chimneys. He specializes in older homes and claims to be very good at matching bricks and mortar to hide repairs and maintain a weathered look. He said at one time he employed a dozen workers and he paid bonuses when he could and thought that he took very good care of the folks that worked for him. When the economy turned, he said that it was harder to give as large bonuses and that it had to be included in their actual paycheck. He said his employees collectively lost their minds and threatened to quit, seek union help and generally made his business a miserable place. He said he just let the contracts he had wind down and let the folks go. He got full time NG status and concentrates on that now.

He just asked them to be patient for better times. Americans do not know loyality anymore and they do not know how to tighten their belt in bad times.

hawkdriver on April 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I think I’d be more impressed if they were dealing with pension benefits and dues.

Buy Danish on April 27, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Yep! Baby steps.

Vince on April 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Now if only California…one can only dream.

Alibali on April 27, 2011 at 10:56 AM

My wife is a teacher in metro Boston district. She usually forwards any political emails from her union or the state teachers assoc. I’ve heard nothing from her on this. Perhaps that its a Dem controlled state doing this that its so quiet.
_____________________________________________

The MA town I live in is fairly large. The public services we get is great but years ago the town accepted a state provision that allowed them to consolidate the many unions in town for Healthcare. that means each union (and there must be 10-20 of them) gets the same town coverage healthcare. Last time I checked the town covered 90% of the cost. If the town wated to change it or the deductions, it needed permission from all the bargaining units. The budget buster the past 10-15 years is the cost of healthcare. this will do wonders to solve the crisis.
_____________________________________________

BTW- My wife has now worked in three school systems over the past three years
system one (three years ago) paid 50,% BCBS HMO
system two (last year) paid 87%, Harvard Comm HMO
sytem three (this year and hopefully forever after) pays 80% but we have lower copays and perscription costs, Harvard Comm HMO

Rich on April 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I had heard the Dem who was pushing this a week ago on the radio and he was claiming that it would pass, but as a life-long MA resident (who lives about a 1/4 mile from the wave that broke on Plymouth Rock)I simply didn’t believe it. I am stunned that the MA Statehouse appears to have done the right thing.

No wonder the unions were screaming about over their dead bodies a few weeks ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL-OL-ff74U

I’ll let you know if any purple-clad bodies start washing ashore.

SittingDeadRed on April 27, 2011 at 11:25 AM

The Gods of the Copybook Headings need only whisper to bring the most powerful to their knees. That is where the PEUs are, and instead of getting serviced they are being given the business, just as the Gods dictate.

ajacksonian on April 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I’m feeling warm and fuzzy all over.

MJZZZ on April 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Combine believing Romneycare is capable of working, and the object terror that having Scott Brown fill the seat so long polluted by the “Killer at Chappaquiddick” and you get a piece of sensible legislation.

Some day I am going to find the guy putting LSD in my OJ.

Slowburn on April 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Does this mean things are going to “get a little bloody” in Mass now?

CJ on April 27, 2011 at 12:56 PM

The Senate takes up the bill next, and Deval Patrick has to decide whether he’ll sign it. Even if this law doesn’t pass, it still vindicates everything Scott Walker did in Wisconsin, and it paints the fleebaggers as even more craven than ever.

The debate is over…the GOP has won it, 10-0. The only thing left to determine is whether the Demonrats will abide by the Debate Rules, or go on another rampage. For this, we need to arm ourselves.

Jaibones on April 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM

The fight’s not over yet. The NLRB announced the other day that it is going after AZ and another right-to-work state (I forget which) to try and invalidate the parts of our state constitutions that require secret ballots for employees voting on unions. The NLRB claims that the state laws conflict with federal law.

These union thugs (including the ones Obama recess-appointed to the NLRB) aren’t going away without a long, drawn-out, and expensive (to taxpayers) fight.

AZCoyote on April 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM

The same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns.

“whom”, Mr. Haynes. “whom”.

unclesmrgol on April 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Now we have to start intimidating union leadership & their families just like they intimidate us – just like they promoted in the videos Breitbart posted 2 days ago…

Danny on April 27, 2011 at 1:36 PM

The second concession gives union members 20 percent of the savings from any health care changes for one year, if the unions object to changes imposed by local officials. The original bill gave the unions 10 percent of the savings for one year.

Hopefully, they don’t mean the union itself.

unclesmrgol on April 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM

This was just days ago

DETROIT—A new state law has emboldened the Detroit mayor and schools chief to take a more aggressive stance toward public unions as the city leaders try to mop up hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, right, presented his budget to City Council last week.
.Robert Bobb, the head of the Detroit Public Schools, late last week sent layoff notices to the district’s 5,466 salaried employees, including all of its teachers, a preliminary step in seeking broad work-force cuts to deal with lower enrollment.

Schadenfreude on April 27, 2011 at 1:46 PM

It is amazing what a budget crunch will accomplish at the state level. At the federal level we still have a major problem with no solution in sight.

duff65 on April 27, 2011 at 2:41 PM

AFL-CIO president Robert J. Haynes is furious that the politicians he bought turned out to be rented instead

Yes! Yesss! Oh, let me taste your tears, Robert!
Mmm, your tears are so yummy and sweet!

[credit to Eric Cartman]

disa on April 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Now if only California…one can only dream.

Alibali on April 27, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Every week that another state takes care of their government union problem in a rational and equitable manner puts California deeper in the box. They can do it now or follow later when the pain will be much greater. I suppose being California it will be later.

slickwillie2001 on April 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Yes, everyone should be equally unemployed, underpaid, on the dole, have no say in how they’re treated nor compensated, and be generally miserable.

Funny how these Marxist values of economic equality permeate both sides of the political spectrum.

And of course the good taxpayers of Massachusetts will receive their portion of that $100 million in reimbursement checks or at least their taxes will be lowered accordingly.

Right?

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 27, 2011 at 7:46 PM