Trouble in Wisconsin…how do you weigh in?

I don’t want to get all “political” on anyone or start a big war. Let’s even leave politics out of it. How do you feel about what’s going on in Wisconsin with the rioting and the senators all leaving the state to avoid voting on something they didn’t want to vote on?

I’ll be honest and tell you I have a huge problem with teachers calling in sick so there wasn’t any school and the senators running away to avoid a vote. I don’t feel personally that anyone that we vote in like this should be able to high tail it out of town if they don’t like the way things are going. I don’t really care what it’s about.

In my opinion, we’ve all been hit hard by the economy. What gives anyone the right to demand such things and then run away if people don’t agree? We’ve all taken pay cuts and many of us have lost jobs. What makes all these people think they have the right to do this? If you want my opinion, I think they should all be fired.

I felt 50-50 in the beginning. I felt bad for the teachers. They have our kids more during the day than we do. They have a lot of responsibility and really, I don’t think they make enough money anyway but I think the message all the kids of the teachers who decided to call in sick to “prove a point,” are learning the wrong thing. If you don’t like something, you run from it. I believe you should stay and fight.

I’ve also known many people who’ve needed a union and back in the day when gangsters were running amok, they were needed but for the most part, and the better, times have changed and laws have changes. I don’t feel we need unions like we used to. There is job security to a really certain degree.

I also know there’s a lot of waste going on. Just for example, when I left my job from the Minnetonka Schools, I had 6 years of sick time coming to me that I lost because really, who needs 2 sick days month? That’s how it added up. It added up like a bank account but who’d call in sick for 6 years in order to get that money?

I know there’s waste. I also know that there are MANY of us who can’t live on social security alone. Most of us need something more to live on than just that so why should these people be any different than the rest of us? We all have to save and invest and have some kind of “back up” retirement. I would really think right now, in these times, when fat needs to be cut, why would anyone be so unreasonable?

I think the bottom line for me is the way all these people act so shocked with the fact that somehow they got the vote to pass. NOW they want to sit and negotiate. Where were they a week ago? Or two weeks ago? Hiding out in Illinois? Isn’t it a little late for that now?

How many of “us” could run off, mad at our boss, refuse to do our jobs and then still have a job?

How do you weigh in on this?

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9 Responses to Trouble in Wisconsin…how do you weigh in?

  1. Laura says:

    Oh, this whole thing just made me so mad!

    First and foremost, there needs to be a line in every state’s constitution that says “if an elected official leaves the state to avoid doing his or her job, that person forfeits the job the minute his or her foot crosses the state line.” What those people did was absolutely shameful, and every single one of them needs to be voted out in the next election. You know they won’t, but they should be. They shouldn’t even be allowed to run. Further, considering that they still hold those jobs, their pay should be docked for the three weeks of vacation that they took in Illinois. I don’t care if they were checking in on their phones, e-mail, whatever. They left the state. They RAN AWAY from their responsibilities and they should lose every cent they took during that time.

    Second, the teachers. I love teachers, I really do. But I grow weary of their whining. I know that teaching is a difficult job. But so is being an accountant during tax time. So is being a coal miner. So is being a soldier. Come to it, so is being a mother – and I don’t get paid a cent. I don’t get three months off in the summer. I don’t get sick days, and I don’t have any health insurance at all. So when they drop their jobs – just like those “legislators” did – to go damage property at the state capitol to get MORE vacation time, when they refuse to pay for a PART of their health insurance, I have no sympathy. Perhaps if we were in a booming economy, and their state wasn’t teetering on bankruptcy, I’d feel for them. But right now, when I – and plenty of others – have been looking for jobs for YEARS, I have no sympathy at all.

    And I’m sure this isn’t going to be a popular opinion with some folks, but it’s the way I feel. Don’t tell me you can’t do your job for the pay and benefits that you have, when I know a lot of teachers, who don’t belong to a union, and who don’t work for the state, and put in plenty of overtime, and can manage on the same pay, and often less.

  2. mssc54 says:

    Here is just one of the problems I have with public service unions.

    They negotiate with individuals who stand to gain employment…. politicians.

    They work for me (the citizens). Problem is that I (the citizen) don’t get a seat at the bargaining table!! How is that negotiating?

  3. SKL says:

    Well first of all, I’m not at all convinced that there is much difference between unions and gangs. Not sure which came first – the union or the gang. Through much of history, they got their way via terrorism. Now they still use some terrorism, and in addition collect forced union dues from people who don’t even want to join, and use the money for political grease. And far from making individual teachers stronger, they have taken away individuals’ ability to negotiate for what they REALLY want.

    How many of us get to decide our benefits via “collective bargaining”? I have held many jobs, and never has the benefits package been “negotiated.” The bosses would decide what would provide the best balance between attracting good employees and being fiscally responsible. And they’d tell us what they decided. Even when I was in fairly high management I did not vote on the benefits package. So why is that such a “fundamental” right for union members?

    I agree with you on the “sick days.” That should be cause for disciplinary action. However, the union contract probably doesn’t allow disciplinary action on that basis.

    I also heard that the teachers have a pretty good salary in that state, and also, that their benefits were something like 80% over and above their cash compensation. Who has those kinds of benefits? I don’t!! I never have in any job. And I’m not exactly uneducated.

    As for the politicians – do you remember what they said about Sarah Palin quitting her job as governor? Yet I haven’t heard one negative word about these guys disappearing from the scene when the going got rough – and then expecting their jobs to be there when they got back! Wow.

    I know you wanted to leave politics out of this, but I can’t help saying this. I have read that the organized demonstrators in WI are being backed / funded by Obama’s political activism group, whatever it’s called. Awesome.
    If you ask me, that should be the most illegal act of this whole business.

    I sure hope the voters there send a very clear message in the next election.

  4. Phyllis says:

    Those senators were absolutely in the wrong! A person doesn’t get up and leave their job because they don’t like the way things are going. If they do, in the real world, that’s called quitting your job! This means there isn’t a job to go back to, they don’t get any pay for the time lost (no matter how they may try to paint it, ie. vacation days, sick days, whatever). Just my opinion here, but I feel there should be immediate action to remove those “senators” from their positions! IMMEDIATE ACTION! And….they should be banned from running for any public office in the future! EVER! This is “negligence of duty” and a gross disservice to the people they were elected to represent!

    As for the question of unions, I have been a member of the URW for 44 yrs. I pay my dues, I get guaranteed weeks of vacation based on the number of years worked, and the hours I work weekly. I also get 1 personal @ quarter and Christmas Day off. Yes, I have benefits such as medical, dental, vision and disability. However, I PAY for these benefits,
    weekly, and while the cost of co-pays, deductibles, etc add up to a sizable (for me anyway) amount it’s still the best plan for me. The union also guarantees that the company can’t decide to fire me on a whim. Instead there is a definite course of action, within a definite time frame, that must be followed before I can be terminated for any reason. For myself, I’ve only required union help with 1 issue in 44 yrs. That being when my company seemed to forget the ADA required them to make “reasonable concessions” for my returning to work. If I had handled this differently, I would’ve been one of roughly 200 employees who were terminated while the company stalled them about returning to work. I say all this to help you understand that sometimes unions are a good thing for the employees. I must also point out that althogh the cost of living has gone up drastically, my pay hasn’t increased in many years. It’s simply the way it is.

    So, in these difficult financial times should people be pushing for pay increases? I seriously don’t think so. I think the unions sometimes use raises (or lack thereof) as a bargaining tool. I know there are many of us that would willingly forego an pay raise rather than have our benefits (medical, etc) cut or have our out-of-pocket expenses raised.

    For those people who don’t belong to a union, Illinois is an “at will” state. That means that an employer can at any time, with or without just cause, terminate whomever they desire whenever they desire.

    In the past, many unions were run by thugs. Maybe some of them still are, I don’t know. But I don’t think it’s in the collective workers best interest to “break” the unions and that seems to be where the politicians are headed at this point.

  5. Ellen says:

    I am sorry, but I knew it was going this way…. Blame it on Obama! SKL “I have read that the organized demonstrators in WI are being backed / funded by Obama’s political activism group, whatever it’s called. Awesome.” If, I am correct, you told me once, you can believe everything you read…

    • Ellen says:

      I of course meant to write: “You cannot believe everything you read……..

    • SKL says:

      You are right, I did not say I absolutely believed it, only that I have read it. However, the source where I read it tends to be a reliable source.

      I have said unions create problems since long before Obama graduated from school. However, there is no denying that Obama has an agenda to strengthen unions. It is part of his overt platform. He has never attempted to deny it. You may recall that this was a big campaign issue in 2008.

    • SKL says:

      I also think it’s fair to say that the overall discussion here (and even in my comment above) is not about trashing or blaming Obama.

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