Politifact examined Gov. Walker's claim that collective bargaining is fully intact. For those not familiar with the issue that brought the protesters to Madison, this explains it all:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his budget-repair bill would leave collective bargaining “fully intact” ... The Republican governor told conservative talk show host Charles Sykes, Wisconsin adopted the "strongest civil service protections" in the world.
"Those fully remain intact. Civil service does not get altered by the modest changes we’re talking about here. Collective bargaining is fully intact.” … the eyebrow-raising remark … Collective bargaining would remain "fully intact"?
Currently, state employees are covered by civil service, but most local government employees don’t have it and no public school employees do ... Two sections of state law -- one for state workers and one for local government and public school employees -- give public employees the right in Wisconsin to collectively bargain … The two sides must "meet and confer at reasonable times, in good faith, with the intention of reaching an agreement" on wages, hours, fringe benefits and conditions of employment. In other words, the workers -- through their union -- have a say in those areas. They do not have such a say under civil service rules. To now say collective bargaining would remain "fully intact" is not just false, it’s ridiculously false. And that means it is Pants on Fire
Jonathan Turley wrote on his blog:
I can understand why Governor Walker is asking public employees to have more deductions taken from their paychecks … What I question is his budget-repair bill that would strip public employees of their right to collective bargaining. If the governor believes that taking away that right will help with the state budget shortfall, why isn’t he demanding that police, firefighters, and state troopers give up their right to collective bargaining too? Could it be political payback? Does that sound like a possibility to you?
Here is an excerpt from an article that Todd Richmond wrote for Bloomberg: Walker has introduced a bill that would strip public employees across the board … But absolutely nothing would change for local police, fire departments and the State Patrol. The bill smacks of political favoritism for public safety unions that supported Walker’s election bid last year and sets up new haves and have-nots in Wisconsin government, said Paul Secunda, a Marquette University professor who specializes in labor law. “That’s called ‘thank you, I got your back,’” Secunda said. “There’s no surprise there. This is the worst type of favoritism there could be.”
There’s a post at Mother Jones about an interview that Uptake’s Oliver Dykstra had with Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin. (Mother Jones also posted a video of the interview.)
“The reason that we are here is because it’s important that labor sticks together. There was a message from the governor’s office to conquer and divide…collective bargaining is not just for us, police and fire, it’s good for all involved. It’s a middle-class upbringing.”