As Wisconsin’s governor and public employees square off in the biggest public sector labor showdown since Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981, government employees’ unions in a range of states are weighing whether to give ground on wages, benefits and work rules to preserve basic bargaining rights.Read the rest here.
It is not yet clear whether Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin will succeed in his quest to strip public employee unions of most of their bargaining rights. But by simply pressing the issue, he has already won major concessions that would have been unthinkable just a month ago.
Some of Wisconsin’s major public sector unions, faced with what they see as a threat to their existence, have decided to accept concessions that they had been vigorously fighting: they said they would agree to have more money deducted from workers’ paychecks to go toward their pensions and health benefits, translating into a pay cut of around 7 percent.
But Mr. Walker is not settling for that. He said that those concessions were “an interesting development, because a week ago they said that’s not acceptable.”