Reflections on Walker

Reflections on Walker

I am reading Scott Walker’s book and it is very well written and easy to read. But one of themes is puzzling to me. He argues that collective bargaining needed to eliminated  because of the specifics of union contracts which allow “abuses.”

On the basis of poor bargaining by the public sector he argues we needed to take any the right to bargain. If the union contract were bad it is the responsibility of the people who bargained for the public sector and the elected officials who approved the contracts. He uses the example of high overtime pay for Madison bus drivers. Who bargained the agreement–local officials. Who approved it–local elected officials.  He celebrates some saving from his changes . Ultimately his approach is an indictment of the state and local officials who didn’t bargain well with a union that did not have the right to strike.

Governor Walker cites an overtime abuse with state correction officers but fails to mention that the state, a legislative committee, and ultimately the legislature approved those contracts. He had the opportunity to bargain tougher agreement while he was county executive but apparently does think that he did  even though county workers could not strike. His ultimate argument is that the union preferred lay offs. That is a decision to be made by the unions if you believe that American citizens have the right to organize and bargain collectively. Americans have the right to organize and bargain collectively. Scott Walker obviously disagrees.

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