Governor Scott Walker may not have started out with the intention of making himself a national figure in the fight for fiscal sanity, but he’s not backing away from the role thrust on him by union protests and fleebagging Democrats. In today’s Washington Post, Walker accuses the unions of selective outrage, pointing out that his reforms of collective bargaining for public-employee unions still leave Wisconsin workers with more leverage than federal workers. Why haven’t unions blanketed the White House in protest signs and dictator references?
Imagine the outrage if government workers did not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits. Consider the massive protests that would be staged by labor leaders all across the country.
Think I’m talking about Wisconsin? No, I’m talking about the federal government.
Contrary to what the Obama administration would lead you to believe, most employees of the federal government do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits. That means the budget reform plan we signed into law in Wisconsin on Friday is more generous than what President Obama offers federal employees.
This is a point that has been made repeatedly in the conservative blogosphere, and even to some extent in the media, but it’s interesting to see Walker raise the point as the lead-in to an essay in the Post, of all places. The point should go even further. Union bosses like Richard Trumka and Andy Stern had weekly — or better — access to the White House over the last two years. If collective bargaining for PEUs is what protects the middle class against Mubarak- and Hitler-like tyrants, then how is it that these labor leaders can even sit at the same table as a despot like Barack Obama?
Walker also answers the criticism that the reforms weren’t necessary because the unions had already agreed to the financial concessions. Once again, Walker points out the actual truth on the ground — and notes that Obama went farther than he did:
Some have questioned the need to reform collective bargaining. After all, they say, the union bosses in Washington said publicly that their workers were ready to pay a little bit more for their benefits. But the truth is that as the national union bosses were saying one thing, their locals were doing something entirely different. Over the past several weeks, local unions across Wisconsin have pursued contracts without new pension or health insurance contributions. Some have even pushed through pay increases.
Their actions leave one wondering how tone-deaf and out of touch union bosses are with what’s happening in the private sector. Even the president instituted a pay freeze on government workers this year, something he was able to do only because federal employees enjoy fewer collective bargaining rights than do Wisconsin workers — even with our recent reforms.
The hypocrisy is revealing, if not particularly surprising. These union leaders don’t care about the collective bargaining rights. They do care about two things: collecting dues and electing Democrats.
FreedomWorks has a new web video out this week in support of Walker and other governors trying to reverse decades of fiscal irresponsibility — and the people who have thrown everything into an attempt to stop them: