Sunday, April 20, 2014

Initial Reaction to Scott Walker's Public Sector Union Reform Proposals #1: Two Days In

Written on February 16th, 2011
Edited in April 2014

- Public employee unions could negotiate on wages: YES
- Public employee unions could not negotiate on health benefits or vacations: NO
- Public employee unions would have to negotiate every year, and wages would be frozen until a new contract is made: NO (I am open to the idea of making negotiations take place more often, but going from once every four years to annually seems drastic)
- Annual secret ballot on whether public employees want to stay unionized: YES
- Public employee unions could not get salary increases above the consumer price index except if approved by public referendum: NO
- Public employees would pay 5.8% more for their pensions and 12.6% for their health coverage: YES
- The State of Wisconsin would stop collecting dues for the public employee unions: NO
- Home health care and family child care workers would no longer have the authority to collectively bargain: NO
- UW Hospitals and Clinics employees and UW faculty and academic staff would no longer have the authority to collectively bargain: NO
- Public employees could opt out of union dues-paying if they wish: YES
- Wisconsin would not become a right-to-work state for all areas of employment: NO
- State and local employees would have the right to refuse to join unions: YES
- Use the National Guard to suppress strikes which disrupt state services such as prisons: YES
- Fire 6,000 state employees if the measure does not pass: NO
- Fire the striking teachers and the missing Democratic legislators: No Opinion

If I were running Wisconsin:

- All union collective bargaining would be free, open-ended, and frequent

- All types of employees would retain the authority to collectively bargain

- Public employee unions would have the responsibility to collect their own dues without help from the state government

- Individual employees would be free to choose whether to join unions and pay dues to them, joining a union would never be a precondition for employment, and refusal to join a union would never be a legitimate reason to fire an employee; arguments about free-rider problems are invalid because the notion that increased benefits are inherently good can be questioned - increased benefits can impede incentive to hire

- Prison employee strikes and strikes in situations in which strikes could undermine public safety would be suppressed by the National Guard if necessary

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