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February 18th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

Wisconsin Teacher Fight

After seeing everything on the Wisconsin Teacher Fight this week, who do you support? The teachers or the state government?

Click here to read the latest reporting from CNN.   Leave your comments below.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors • Chalk Talk • Don Lemon
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Reggie Kania

    I understand that not only Wisconsin, but our entire country is in a financial crisis right now. Cuts and reductions need to be made to help balance ourselves out, but using that as an excuse to take away the rights of public workers, especially teachers, is not how it should be done. There is nobody in this world I respect more than teachers. They devote their lives to help educate and inspire the future generation to lead our country to a successful future. Yes, I understand that there are lazy teachers who make classes harder and you can tell don't try their hardest, but for every one of those there is an amazing teacher who understands their role in shaping our children and inspiring them to accomplish everything that they were meant to do. To strip them of their collective bargaining rights is a crime. Teachers have fought for years and years to make sure they are treated fairly by the state and whenever our government overspends (Republicans and Democrats, there is not just one party to blame) education is targeted almost immediately, because YES it does consume a lot of our states money and it's easy to cop out and blame the school systems because they will never be perfect. It's required for our children to attend school and by doing this you are going to have great kids who use it to their full advantage and you are going to have the scum of the earth there as well who bring our public schooling system down and give it the bad image that we all know. Teachers are not the ones to blame and stripping them of their rights to be equally represented when the public schooling system is targeted for massive cuts is not right. I am not against making them pay more for pensions or for healthcare, that is understandable, but not allowing their voices to be heard is not right.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Jim Rousch

    The conservative establishment is unrealistic and unreasonable-as always.

    You are not going to create another generation of engineers by cutting education programs.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  3. Fhlsz

    Compromise is essential – that's what collective bargaining is for. The Governor is not interested in compromise.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  4. Robert J Marshall

    Students in Catholic, Christian, charter, and all other private schools in Wisconsin are in school today. I guess the teachers in these schools don't have any problems. They pay for their medical benefits; have 401K retirement plans, and dedicate their lives to the profession of teaching, as opposed to politics.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Nita

    Teachers have one of the most thankless jobs in America (they are almost as unappreciated as those of us who are federal employees). It is insane to cut the numbers, salaries and benefits of teachers (or police or firefighters) while we continue to GIVE billions of dollars to foreign countries, who in most cases have absolutely no regard for us. Exactly when will congress (who has failed to do their job for many years – with no decrease in pay) stop the madness and have a true adult conversation about taking care of home first...

    February 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  6. Chas Dodge

    I want to say that I do not agree with speed in which the bill here as come about. I do agree that we are going to need to make cuts, but to what cost.

    I am ashamed of our state government officials for going AWOL. Just because you don't agree with a bill does not mean you can abandon your duties as a state official and leave the state.

    Although lastly the bill really needs to be re-evaluated to not eliminate collective bargaining rights. I am ashamed to live in this state right now.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Donna DeMartine

    I think they should both compromise. Teachers should pay something into their pensions and towards medical. Other State Iworkers in New Jersey and I am sure other states do. I believe that money that is being sent to foreign countries (which the US cannot afford to do) should be used in our States and for our people. Maybe we can cut the deficit and pay back China (who owns the US), if we stop paying other countries to play nice. Why isnt this ever brought up when the news talks about the deficit. THIS is taxpayer money and I say stop sending foreign aide.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

    It seems hypocritical that the Republicans are grand standing in Congress to reduce nation dept to save our children’s future – yet are cutting and slashing education that gives them a future.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  9. wayne w. beaubien

    It isn't a question about supporting the teachers in Wisconsin, which I do. This is about supporting the working women and men in this country. If unions are destroyed we will take another step towards a society not unlike feudal system that exsisted hundreds of years ago. The wealth in this country is held by 1% and that is ripe for a REAL revolution. Why should greed destroy middle America? We all need to consider going to the streets to demonstrate in support of those brave teachers and tell our politicans, especially those in support of big business their time has come to an end!!

    February 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Dave Wellman

    RE; Wisconsin
    Republicans only opposition to their unlimited corporate funding has been "community-organizers", and Unions. Since they successfully destroyed ACORN, they are now "going-after" unions. This is part of a corporate-funded take-over of our government. They might well be reminded of what happened to Marie Antoinette.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  11. richard hale

    msnbc has been reporting on the wisconsin protest since monday. i can tell that cnn is not up to date on major facts. 1) wisconsin had a surplus in it's budget of over 100 million dollars as of 1/1/11 2) why are the state troopers and fire mens pay not in question (they supported the governor on his election). 3) why not do what minn. did to fix there budget ( have the wealthy pay a 3% increse in tax's. you have not asked why the wealthy in wisconsin got all these new tax breaks and not asked to give like the unions. you really are 3 days behind on your news. try watching msnbc and you can keep up with the facts.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  12. Mary

    FIRE THEM ALL!!! If they can't appreciate the job they have then they need to either be fired or quit. After a year of unemployment I'd like to see how they feel about their job. Many times you take for granted what you have until it's gone. We are all making sacrifices and that includes union folks. Unions should be outlawed in this nation. They expect everyone else to make concessions except them. Look at any state with strong union ties-they are drowning in debt...Illinois, California. If I have to pay more for my pension, retirement, healthcare they need to as well. Stop whining and get back to work!

    February 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  13. celest

    I support the teacher's when do we stop going after the people that that's support our youth of the world.
    what are we teaching our children to turn there back on the one that help's them through life .
    what's next our kids are to trust no one ?
    if they can't trust a teacher were will there faith go?

    February 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Nan Hirst

    Language matters.
    "Everything is on the table" EQUALS "Everyone is on the table"
    Budget cuts are never about things, they are about people;and this year (once again) they are about the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  15. tony mckinnis

    everything that is going on now is the product of communism democracised with capitalism. the new dictators are in america and making their point as per se conservative republican and conservative democrats, that has derailed america except a certain few. mfg industry was being destroyed in the 80 s when companys voted out unions and there was no voice and pay scales started declining and profits was increasin. when we allowed temp services be apart of industry that is when capital greed came the norm. what happen when just a job is all you need. women into employment brought on the decline in america.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  16. Gerald

    The issue in WI is not about the budget, its about breaking the unions.
    The Governor (i.e. DICTATOR) and his business backed Republicans
    voted a 142 million tax cut for businesses. Businesses don't create jobs, consumers do. Walker's plan will devastate our economy. Unions would't exist if employer's didn't treat workers like slaves. WI has the lowest tax rate on beer and alcohol but the highest rate on traffic deaths related to beer and alcohol. Walker is destroying WI and is doing irreparable damage to the state and its public servants.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  17. sandy meyr

    I do not support the teachers. In 2010 WI was given extra education money from the feds, but there was a string. Performance standards would be required. The state teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association, refused to set performance standards, thereby losing the money.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  18. Gary S

    This is not only about wages or benefits, this is about being against organized labor. The govenor is trying to break the union by taking away their collective bargaining. I am sure with some negotiating, the wage and benefit issue could be resolved with the union. Same old thing, cut wages to middle class wage earners that pay most of the taxes.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  19. John Soule

    State and Federal employees should not have the legal right to hold the government and the American nation hostage by their union demands. These workers volunteered to become public servants. They have no ethical, moral or legal right to bankrupt the States and nation for their personal benefit. Union laws need to hold public employees to a very different standard than private employees, or let our military unionize and let them decide when and if they will fight and die, or take 'sick outs' and strikes.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  20. Mickey

    From listening to more detail on the Wisconsin issue it seems this new governor, Walker, just passed tax cuts for upper income people and then does this to the working class. It's a classic example of how the Republicans work. They want the rich richer and the middle class to pay for the fat cats. Not only that, it's been said the state did not have an excessive shortfall until the tax cuts were passed for the corporations in which he wants the little guy to suffer and pay for. The Republican's are all hypocrites and liers.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  21. E. Allen

    If our children's education is a national and state priority, and paying and keeping our teachers is part of that, can we save our national and state's budgets on Education (including the Arts) by cutting.......SPORTS?

    February 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  22. Kirsten

    The problem Wisconsin is facing is what every state is or will be facing. The country is broke and our states are broke. Why aren't states thinking of moving to a flat consumer tax where everyone is part of the solution? Why isn't Washington taking a serious look at our 50 year old stance of funding needless military bases and programs and Foreign aid and start reorganzing where the money should go- i.e. Current domestic needs in education and relevant targeted military support where our troops actually need it? Clearly our politicians haven't gotten a good education in math...

    February 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  23. DavidPun

    I have no desire to see the teachers being singled out, but the education system is fat and bloated and needs serious scaling back. To give you a baseline for comparison, the Catholic School system which is the next biggest school system in the US after public education and generally provides a higher quality education, claims that it costs ~ $5000 per year per student ( on average )for educating K-9 students. The public system costs approximately $15000 per student per annum for the same group. I can understand that the public system has more administrative costs but 300% higher costs is absolutely outrageous.
    We need people in the country who are willing and capable of examining these issues and identifiying what the real problems are and taking appropriate action.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  24. David Smith

    I am baffled that there are no grownups in the discussion. Revenue is a word that the extreme right has managed to take out of the dictionary. Taxes are at the lowest level since the 1950's and no one is willing to discuss raising revenues in dealing with the crisis. Instead the battle is over killing unions. The Billionaires that have benefitted from the republican policies are paying for busses of Tea Baggers to come to Wisconsin to help break the unions. I doubt that you rich guys a CNN would even say the "T" word but our financial problems could easily be settled by nationalizing the oil and insurance companies that have proven their disloyalty to America.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  25. Kirsten

    Well Robert, I was lucky to go to a private catholic school, because my parents could afford it. Not all cities have charter schools nor capacity to take all students. I'm not a union supporter, but when my mom was a teacher, now retired, she wasn't allowed outside the union and not given a lot of choices how she got her benefits. So these teachers are told they have to be in a union then the gov't wants to take away the union benefits so you have no choice but to try to fight for your life after you've been made to be in the system over 10 years ! Trust me, most teachers I know feel trapped and in the middle of this ridicuous system! Most would rather be paid a decent wage, be respected for what they do! and the ones who ARE IN IT FOR THE SAKE OF TEACHING KIDS are happy to go onto a merit system based on classroom success! The Teachers are being crushed as usual between unions and government! So get off your high horse!

    February 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  26. ajs

    I am from Wisconsin and some of the reporting that CNN has made in regards to what is happening in the Madison protest are not 100% accurate. For example this 'AWOL" screamer better check out the facts as to whether all the teachers are AWOL. FACT: Our school district had a "NO SCHOOL" day on their calendar which was scheduled at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Not having to report to the classroom today allows the teachers to be present at the protest in Madison if they so choose...they are not AWOL from the classroom. I feel this whole every level of becoming one political party against another. When this happens I feel the "political stupidity" replaces "common sense" in making decision and the losers are the American people. We, the people, voted the people into the offices they hold and our hopes and prayers are that those elected will govern with an attitude that "this is for the good of the people (not the political party).

    February 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  27. richard hale

    1= wisconsin had a surplus of over 130 million dollars as of 1/1/11 2= the governor did not go after the state troopers/fire mens union pay. was that because they supported him during his campaign? 3= why aren't the wealthy asked to pay the same % as the unions to balance the budget 4= look at how minnesota is balancing their budget. 5= are there any states that are democratic governed looking only at the unions for their salvation on their budget woes ? i feel that these are important points on seeing what is going on.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  28. Mary Novak

    The billionaires that have benefitted from the Republican policies need to pay more taxes. They are the ones reaping all the profits in this economy on the backs of low paid workers with little or no benefits. The financial institutions that are paying their people million dollar bonuses need to start being a bit patriotic and support workers that are the backbone of this country.
    What is wrong with those Tea Party folks ... are they all rich???
    Is the new Governor of Wisconsin willing to forfeit some of his own salary and medical benefits?? Are members of Congress willing to give up their benefits??

    February 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  29. Dottie Derhake

    Why can't everyone on the State's payroll of these troubled States, fromthe Governor to the school secretary, take a 1% pay cut. This way no group is singled out. Everyone shares the pain. Problem fixed

    Those guys in Washington could learn by this also.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  30. Patti

    I think the government should set an example for the states in crisis to follow. Tthe congress should start by cutting their own pay checks, cut the pensions they get, when they retire, in half and have a mandatory limit on how long they can serve as does the President. I am so tired of all those that have been in office for years and years and care only about what they can get for their own states so they can be reelected. All this has to stop if the budget is ever going to get cut.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  31. Barbara Johnson

    (Chas)...Being ashamed of your State Government is called" 'I am a coward'.' I don't know what to do...I'm afraid', I wish this would all stop and someone would take care of me"!(Robert)...The Public School System is our Nation's school system. It provides education for EVERY child, whether they are Catholic, Christian, and 'all other private' schools...are those which the 'have's' inhabit and those who don't have...go to public school, either by direct choice (to preserve education for all...or because they believe in the system which provides ALL children the right to an education. (Mary)...It would be so much easier to fire impeach the 6 week old Governor for giving the money to the Corporations in one week...that he claims to be without!
    Poor you. Do you think there aren't unemployed people in Wisconsin?
    They are out there with those of us who will not allow 'Union Busting', in the United States of America...which (particularly in your part of the Country)...probably gave your state everything it has. We, Union supporters, don't want you and Sarah Palin telling us how to live our lives. We believe in fairness, negotionations, mediation and integrity...All of which is missing from the actions of Scott Walker's behavior. I wonder if you don't have a job (at this point) because your attitude!

    February 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  32. tod

    This is not just about teachers. This is about people in power trying to control the destiny of others while enriching themselves and their friends. Money is fluid. Do not value the dollar more than the value of people. This is a very big mistake to all those who wish to take away from those that work hard to educate others, put out fires, enforce just laws and in general keep things going in our government. We can survive without a leader, but can the leader survive without the people? I think not. Let's stop rushing to make changes and look into efficiency in government. It is quite clear that government wastes a lot of money on projects that enrich only a few. Kickbacks and double dealing behind the scenes HAS TO STOP!! There is enough out there for everyone to be comfortable, the problem is, there are those that think they should be rich and in control of others and do not care if they take away from others. Let's put an end to greed, there is no more room for that in this world. In fact, greed is no different than dealing illegal drugs in the harm it causes others.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  33. B. Noah

    The teachers must focus their attention on the legislators. The legislators enact laws, the governor does not.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  34. Mary

    I have been following the Wisconsin Teacher fight and remember about 30 years back tuition and enrollment in the UW-SYSTEM was very low. Government kept at it until we got to the most recent years and Wisconsin has people being paid unemployment to go to school , (which has been very very recent), along with many many grants, etc. handed out. Teachers did NOT make this defecit, why should they be the only ones targeted in this. It just seems like everything my ancestors fought for is either gone or will be. I am very sadden; we "teach" history, but don't practice it, so to speak.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  35. CBM

    All of these States are wanting to cut things ...

    I think the Citizens should be researching how the State got into trouble and get those things fixed before they allow the State to temporarly change things to Services or Taxing ...

    February 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  36. CBM

    Citizens do not mind helping when they know how the States got into trouble and after the States correct or create Regulations to fix these Budget issues prior to cutting Services or increasing taxes to the Citizens ...

    February 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  37. Marcellus

    This is not a labor issue. The Democrats themselves have trashed labor and the real unions already by accepting free trade and destroying the private unions. Not a peep out of the teachers and other liberals when 5 million manufacturing jobs were sent to China and when American workers forced into Darwinian competition with near slave labor workers.

    The private unions, destroyed by not just GOP but also Dems, seek to get a slice of profits that they create. Public unions tax the populace and seek to have benefits that the private sector middle class does not have- pensions, annual increases, tenure, paid health care, etc. While labor has had to compete with Chinese peasant labor, the teachers have no competition at all. They are not really a union, but a monopoly, and need to be busted, like any monopoly.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  38. Liz in Texas

    I support workers of Wisconsin and the United States of America. I hope this spreads all across this country. That is why the corporate politicians are working tirelessly to keep us divided and to rid us of our last defense, unions. Once the unions are gone then the wealth of corporations will have inimpeded control over who wins and who loses elections. These corporate owned politicians need to learn that no amount of money is more powerful than the will of the American people when we stick together.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  39. Larry Botkin

    Have you noticed how "redneck" Don has become. He seems to have gone down the road to "Uncle Tom" status. He doesn't like working people at all. His comments, at times, leaves me to wonder if he would have joined the Confederate Army.

    Don, you're not one of the "old boys" andyou never will be. Wrong color you half-wit.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  40. Jane

    Can you imagine the uproar by the media had George Bush been behind organizing these civil unrest protests in Wisconsin while he was sitting in the White HOuse? that is what Obama is doing right now through the DNC and the Obama campaign arm, Organizing for America. Pretty disgraceful. Mr Obama needs to tend to his own budget and keep his nose out of Wisconsin

    February 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  41. Ivan

    It seems like CNN is very one sided on the Wisconsin situation. We keep hearing it's about the kids, that's right. What kind of workplace these children will be going out into with the rights of workers crushed, and taken back 100 years. This country is moving backwards at an alarming pace.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  42. Sue

    First – Let us recognize that to secure votes, politicians have been fiscally irresponsible for years by giving concessions that taxpayers could ill-afford when factoring their full payout. Why – to secure votes!

    Second – Government and union workers are just now feeling what non-gov't/-non-union workers have been experiencing for more than 15 years. The shock is great because, unlike workers in the commercial world, to date, the public sector / union workers (with the politicians) have been able to force taxpayers to pick up the tab, even in down periods – for raises and benefits that most taxpayers don't get themselves.... How was this possible? Political giveaways to get votes!

    Can we take a dose of reality ? We are all broke – the nation, the states, the municipalities, a lot of the previous middle class.

    There is new normal ....

    February 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  43. Julia

    All people who sell their labor should be able to have a union.

    Unions are what brought about the happy middle class times of the 1950s, 60s, 70s.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm |

    Are these the same teachers that push for these MULTI-MILLION dollar school buildings with their fancy teachers eating and meeting rooms, and different colored bricks every layer on the building, or swimming pools, climbing walls, 20" high ceilings, huge sports fields, and all the rest??

    Maybe if they started running these school systems with frugality like private industry has to do, we could afford to pay them.

    Doesn't anybody see the initial problem which is all the waste?

    Do we need lights in the buildings and on the parking lots, burning up electricity (MONEY) all night long when nobody is there?

    Do we need complete glass staircases and chandeliers in the halls.

    Most of the people that made America the GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH and kept us free, and went on to be some of the best leaders and scientists etc. etc. in the world, were taught in a one or two room with an outdoor wooden shed for their personal needs..

    I think we better get our priorities in order, forget the fancy buildings and go back to teaching and getting paid accordingly for it!!!


    February 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  45. rumplestiltskin


    Uncle Tom, redneck and Confederate references all in one paragraph. Then a mention of color. Classy.

    Apparently, hate speech is long as you hate the right person.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  46. CheeseSteak

    As Rachel Maddow explained, it's really about destroying the PACs that support the Democratic agenda. In 2008, AFSCE was something like the 2nd largest contributor to the party, now they're closer to 8. If the Republicans can destroy the unions, they will have removed the sources of funding from their chief rival. The Dems will cease to exist as a threat and the Republicans will dominate American Politics from this point on.

    Is this what you really want people? A conservative agenda funded by corporate profiteers who would as soon destroy our land, health, economy and us? No EPA, no FDA, no Dept. of Education, no trains, nothing but roads, cars, fast food and junk. Is that the America we want?

    This is nut! We are being turned into poor, junk-consuming pawns to the Walkers, Roves, Rand Pauls and Wall Street Billionaires and we just don't seem to get it.

    Teamsters. Where are you????

    February 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  47. rsm64

    Don Lemon needs to do some research on what money is and how it's created. When he says "You can only spend what you earn" he is ignoring the entire process by which banks create money and charge you interest for the privilege of borrowing that created money. Why can't the ppl's elected reps create money too? In fact the Constitution gives us that right in Article I Section 8. Lincoln, the first Republican president, printed over $400 million greenbacks to raise money without increasing taxes or borrowing it. We need to do that again. What matters is innovation, that's what increases standard of living. Debt is a giant distraction.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  48. W. Martin

    I'm glad the teachers are getting cut. It makes me feel a little better about all the money I poured into my grandson's education to HOMESCHOOL him. I don't think teachers really care about kids, they have certain agendas they want to push (contrary to parents values) and they are just in lockstep with their union bosses.

    I've read a few teacher comments (on other issues) that say they aren't allowed to vote against things their union supports.

    Meanwhile, I am not given money to pay for books and supplies but I still pay taxes that support the schools.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  49. Chuck

    Sure the public employees need to make some sacrifices. But so should also the millionaires and billionaires. But they are *not* being asked to make any sacrifices. In fact, they are the direct cause of the shortfall.

    FACT: Wisconsin was on track for a $121.4 million SURPLUS by the State's own accounting! But this was offset by the big tax givaways to the millionaires and billionaires of Wisconsin. This is a giveaway from the Governor himself in addition to what are already the lowest tax rates for the rich in 60 years. And of course the good Governor has to pay for the $140 million giveaway somehow. So who else better to foot the bill than the Middle Class?

    I am surprised and shocked that CNN is not addressing this issue of the $121.4 million offset by the giveaway to big business. $140 Million! Is CNN having a "duh" moment here? Where is your sense of journalistic integrity?

    With Citizens United, the GOP will now control the elections. And by dismantling the Unions they will prevent any chance of a fair and honest opposition. This is the real story here. This is all about greed. This is a government of, by, and for the Corporatocracy!

    The top 2% or 3% of Americans are gobbling up a larger and larger portion of the fruits of everyone else's labor. This has been a growing trend for a long time now and it is getting worse and worse. If we do not put a stop to this madness we will end up looking just like Mexico. Thst is exactly where we are headed.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  50. Richard Johnson

    Where is the shared sacrifice?

    If it is a financial emergency why is the Governor giving tax breaks to corporations?

    If his proposal is fair was doesn't he apply it equally to all including police and fire fighters? (He is right not to apply it to them because it is a bad proposal.)

    Many of the same people that are now trying to tell us why $25K and $50K folks need to take a 13% pay cut are the same folks that told us 2 months ago that $250K and above guys could not possibly contribute a few marginal percent in taxes to reduce the deficit.

    The wealthy are not sacrificing the ability of their children to go to college, but Walker's 10% tuition hikes at the University of Wisconsin will put college out of reach for many middle class families.

    The people are on to the unfairness of what is being proposed. The proposal lacks true shared sacrifice!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  51. jane mccreadie

    Don – get your facts straight. The only reason there is a budget shortfall in Wisconsin is because the Gov. gave millions in tax breaks to new business people coming in to Wisconsin. Everyone has to sacrifice, Don? Please tell me how the rich are sacrificing. You need to have some guests from the other side. This Walker is a shady guy who is blatantly trying to bust the unions. And it is only the beginning. It is a Republican agenda to bust the unions all over the country and it is criminal that the lamestream media is choosing not to cover it fairly.
    Sara Palin's phrase fits the other side too. The bulk of the media in this country is corporate and not "fair and balanced. If the unions are broken then the wages of every non union person will fall as well. Shame on you.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  52. HortonHearsAWho

    There should be NO UNIONS. If you can't cut it in the workforce, step aside and let someone else take the job. You should be GRATEFUL that a business hires you AT ALL, you lazy no good slakers! Abolish the Government NOW! Our great American country is about GOD and CAPITALISM. All services should be provided by business. If the market for your skills lets them pay you minimum wage, SO BE IT !!!! The rich are that way because JESUS LOVES THEM and NOT YOU. Accept the fact that you are and will always be a poor crumb on the shoes of the GREAT business leaders of America. WAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Isn't that really what the Republicans and the dopes that love them are thinking? You know it is.

    Fights these creeps !!!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  53. Larry Smith

    Don says "We all have to make sacrifices"...well what sacrifice is he making?...or the wealthy in general?

    February 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  54. donald jaster

    hang on Gov > Unions are only about 13% of the work force, The other 77% taxpayers support you and the republicans on the union issue.
    Unions are a minority. as small minority. they should learn to act like it.
    The U.S. is based on 'whats best for the most'

    February 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  55. Deb Miller

    Scott Walker should be ashamed of himself. It is naive to think that public employees are responsible for the budget problems in the State. We hear the same arguments over and over again about the bad teachers that remain teaching, the 182 days of work, their pensions & salaries. What we don't hear is the truth. Teachers don't receive a safeguarded Social Security when they retire like everyone else. They don't get bonuses. They don't get matched on a 401K like many employees in the Private Sector. That 182 days they work does not include countless hours spent grading papers, tutoring kids before & after school, attending school functions/fundraisers to support the schools, attending kids extra curricular activities to show support for the children & I could go on... No one knows unless they teach what hours & dedication is given freely. The "few" bad teachers over shadow the many great ones. Maybe we should be compensating our good teachers with huge bonuses like the private sector does with their CEO's no one complains about that! Teachers are at a horrible disadvantage to fight public perception. How many jobs in this great country of ours are details of wages earned, bonuses, 401k perks, vacation time earned, healthcare & other benefits disclosed to all of us to judge? NONE is the answer! We don't know what others earn or how many days they work per year or what their benefit packages look like but I think people should consider that lack of knowledge before they cast stones. Bottom line...teachers are now and have always been underpaid. they don't go 4 years to college and graduate with the notion that they will earn very much. MOST teachers graduate with the knowledge that they can make a difference in a child's life and for that their can be no fair $ compensation. Scott Walker...SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  56. Ron

    The only hope for the US is to break the laughably inappropriate "public service" unions. Grind em into dust. Vastly over paid, under worked bums who have no idea what it takes to run a business that makes money and competes against global competition. They think "working"8' 2 hours a day and getting paid 8 is a hard days work. But that's not the worst part – the worst is the simply mind boggling pension plans these lazy incompetents get – retire at full pay after 20 years? Are you kidding me? Some are able to roll in sick pay and holidays to get retirement that's higher than their working salaries (and anyone who believes anyone pays any attention to these bums properly recording their sick days and holidays must also believe in the Tooth Fairy and the check is in the mail...

    These bums should be fired ASAP – then let em bid to come back to work – with the first getting the best deals with a minimum 25% cut – and everyone else lower...

    February 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  57. Mordecai

    State workers should try to get jobs in the private sector....their cushy pensions and benefitsbare unheard of in the real world and cannot be sustained. The democrats should show up and act like grown ups. This is not an assault on unions.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  58. pliant

    This will finally focus the true nature of what is going on in our country. The end of goverment eliteism. Being faced with the true harsh reality's of nation wide health care is being placed squarely in govt workers and unions laps.

    Now for those who voted for this president and his eccentric idealogy do not cry when your not being sparred. Take a good close look at what you believed to be the way...Time for the ostrich to pull his head out of the sand

    February 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  59. Renata

    I support the teachers! I do not support the Trolls. Down with the Trolls!

    February 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  60. Chris

    The state is 4 Billion in debt and the teachers are striking because they arent getting FREE health care and FREE pensions anymore. welcome to the real world retards. In the private sector you have to pay for your healthcare (and are lucky if your employer covers a %) and put money into your own retirement.

    The ride was nice while it lasted, but the fact that they are surprised they can no longer retire on taxpayer money is hilarious.

    The solution to all of this is privatizing all education. Let the market dictate teacher salaries and benefits and also *GASP* they might be held accountable for performance as well.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  61. rick1975

    This fight is ALL about politics thanks to the Republican party in Wisconsin, The bill excuses the state trooper and firefighters unions from the no-strike, no-wage negotiation clauses. Of course, these unions supported the Republicans and the teacher's union did not. This is political payback. Further, according to the state treasurer's office, there is no deficit currently, but an unexpected $130 million surplus. The ANTICIPATED shortfall mirrors the amount this big-business loving governor gave his friends in tax breaks. Wake up. This is only the beginning ... we need an Egyptian style protest in this country so maybe we can have a democratic form of government too, instead of one propagandized and created by the multi-billion dollar PACs run by Karl Rove and his self-aggrandizing ilk, who care nothing of America as long and they can power trip and line their own pockets.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  62. Johnny Appleseed

    Just a thought....

    The real problem here is not the present, working public employees. They will have to live with a much more realistic and fair compensation, benefit, and retirement arrangement that will be acceptable to the majority of taxpayers. There is no choice. The change must be made.

    The true problem is...ahem...the ranks of present public retirees who have managed to grab extraordinarily lavish retirement packages at a very early age. That is where the money is going...and where we must have the moral and political courage to cut. They will complain and protest of course, but they've left us with no choice. Healthcare costs must shift over to them significantly, the ludicrous "supplemental" perk they get at age 65 must simply go away, and in many cases, even their pension payouts should be reduced in a fair way. The retirees are where the system is crashing...not the present public workforce.

    Active public workers will come to understand this, and if they have any common sense will support the cuts to the lavish packages granted to their retired colleagues, because it is fair and rooted in enlightened self-interest. Yes, this does require some fortitude and changes to the law. But its what must and should be done.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  63. Larry Lightspeed

    There is an enormous amount of resentment fueling the anti-public employee/retiree movement. I must agree with the above comment: the place to seek change and cuts right now is where the biggest abuses have occurred: the present retirees. Not saying that we should just take everything away from them, only that they should definitely be required to give up some of their more ridiculous perks and pension boosts gained by gaming the system. Everyone knows this, including the retirees if they are honest about it.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  64. Cardinal

    Wisconsin public sector union members are to be asked to contribute 5.8% of their salaries to pensions, and 12% to their healthcare premiums. They furthermore will retain collective bargaining rights only on matters of salary, but lose them for benefits and perks. These would be regarded as fairly ordinary terms of employment engagement for most Americans in the public sector. It is time for public union reforms accross all states!

    February 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  65. Lynn Garcia

    I support the teachers. I am a proud union member and a teacher from New York State. I know that as union members and public sector employees we make an easy target for everyone, but unions are not the source of all evil that we are made out to be. We are hard working people. I did not go into teaching to get rich. I went into it for the hope that I would be able to make a small difference in then lives that I touch. I know when I went on strike ten years ago it was to protect art , music and physical education in our elementary schools. I also lost four days pay for being on the picket line for 2 days. It was worth the sacrifice to insure that our students would have these programs.

    Instead of thanking your public sector employees for all that they do to make lives better, you have made them the scapegoat for the failed policies of our politicians. These are the same people that have taken the easy way out for so many years by not making the cuts when they should have, because it would have negatively impacted their reelection bids. I don't see our politician being force to make concession with their wages, health care or their staff. If things are that bad, why don't they take the first cuts and set the example for the rest of us?

    February 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  66. cheetoes

    As a teacher in Georgia, it is unlawful to unionize. We teachers do very well and never discuss doing a sick-out etc. We also pay for our own health care and retirement accounts. When I began teaching nearly ten yrs ago, we were ranked 4th in pay.... last time I checked we had fallen to 18th. Yes, we are not happy about increasing health care cost or budget cuts...but , in Georgia, IT IS ABOUT THE KIDS!!

    February 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  67. maria

    I was at the capitol yesterday and came home to see CNN skewing a lot of the information. It saddened me. To rumplestiltskin and Mary (Fire them all). Please understand that teachers myself included, became teachers to share a passion with children. I was NEVER asked or taught about unions when I got my degree in teaching. I was not given the option to be in one or not. I do pay into my pension and insurance (contrary to what people think). Many of my co workers don't have an issue with doing so either. The issue is that we were not brought to the table on this. Monday it was told to us and by Wednesday the hammer was coming down. Walker didn't bring us to the table for us to even have a voice on the subject. I went to Madison to fight for the issue of workplace environment (in the collective bargaining issues). Our workplace is a direct impact on our children. Try having 50 students in a class, no aides, budget for supplies CUT. That is the issue here – the children plain and simple. SOmetimes what is best for us IS what's best for them. It's not about the money for some people. Look at it this way... If I were on the playground with a red ball and you didn't have one, should you be able to take mine away because you don't have one too? That's really what you are saying about yourselves.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  68. kenneth ludviksen

    i am with the goverment on teachers,and unions.

    1,to many people entering the the teaching profession.
    2,unions need dues money for $1000,000 salery and up for union boss`es.
    3,any job including,teachers that get paid from neighborhood taxes from property,must be the lowest paid jobs than any private do not punish the property owner for pay increase year in and year out.
    4,pay increas for all union and non union that work for towns and cities.
    should be no more than 1.1/4% increase every year.and set a 20 or 25 year career mark.then move on with a wealth of experience for the highly paid private sector.this will also creat a better turnover and prevent let them create thier own pension.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  69. Randy T.

    The lack of real information and lack of grasp of the situation by commenters on this site are making my brain spin in my skull.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  70. Michael Butkowski

    I would like to see all public school teachers keep their pay, keep their benefits, their early retirement pensions, and keep their jobs. The only concession I ask they support is to work at their primary job of teaching in a public school 225 days a year. This commitment to 225 days will be broken up by their vacation time to be used when the kids are out on brief one week vacations. One week at Christmas (I'm sorry "winter break"), one week that includes Memorial Day (you will be paid for Monday as a holiday), one week that includes the Fourth of July holiday, and one week during the Labor day week (again, you will be paid one holiday day for Monday). I even propose we provide one week of discretionary vacation for each teacher. Additionally, each teacher will be provided 10 additional days off for holidays including two as floating to be used at their discretion.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  71. glenn allan

    I feel for the teachers, work for a company that was going unnder ,I worked for the company for 22 years and lost my entire pension at 50 years old. My insurance trippled and no pension except my 401,But we saved the company , I am union but seems like the only people that they serve is the union bosses, unions are not required anymore. And government unions should be outlawed . When the only way to get a pay raise is to bankrupt the government . . Jobs are a matter of choices ,no one makes them become a teacher, quit if they want lets go private schooling. It appears any good teacher does not need protection or tenure ,it protects the lousy ,slack teachers. This is not only teachers it goes for all government employess. When I stop working in this job I plan to go back to teaching ,no one is making me do this , I doit because I enjoy it and I like getting summers OFF with pay.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  72. Therese A.Wood

    This fight is NOT ABOUT TEACHERS! It is about hitting the easiest target! A quick fix that will affect the future of Unions. In our local collective barginning we have made many concessions already including pay freezes!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  73. Linda

    I feel the governor is making too many changes too fast. On the other hand, I feel, the teachers should return to work. The dem congress members are performing the ultimate protest. My concerns are the school closings are going to take a life of their own. I'm afraid it will backfire. Everyone has a right to protest, and I think teachers should, but can't they stay in their own towns and protest after work etc.?

    February 18, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  74. B SMITH

    Both of my parents are retired Wisconsin school teachers. They made a comfortable living and now a comfortable retirement. They had the summer off. I am a cellular technician. I have no pension only a 401k that I have contributed to heavily,I work 12 months a year,my paycheck comes from our customers who have a choice. If we don't do it better than our competition our paycheck goes away. I have no union to protect my30 years of service to the same company. I am all for a person making more money but a guaranteed pension I don't agree with. Your retirement should be based on how well you have managed your assets.

    February 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  75. Tim

    cuts are always painful. They are even ore painful when only a few feeel the pain. The private sector started feeling their pain over 5 years ago. Now it's only fair that government employees give a little. I wish when faced with the cuts I have had to face they were as meager as the WI Government employees have been proposed.
    Buck up we are all in this together.

    February 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  76. Anne

    Ignorance is rampant here. I am not sure where you have seen schools like those that you have mentioned Btoken Citiizen. Maybe where you live schools llook like that but not where I am from. We have cement block and old tile. Not to mention our heat is NEVER above 65 in the brutal winters and in the summer we have no air conditioning. And yes we work in the summer. There's 25 kids in a 20 by 20 room for 7 hours. I don't really call that extravagant...Especially considering that teachers where I am from are required to have a masters degree and post masters degree courses. I wonder what a post masters degree with experience would bring salary wise in a business profession?...Many witha lot less education and no student loans make a lot more than your average teacher. So I question the statement "paid accordingly.".I guess teachers are owed a lot more money then.
    Furthermore, you really are ignorant if you think teachers have anything to do with the facilities. Teachers have NO say in my state regarding the facilities. That is at the total discretion of the administration and school board. Not the teacher.s. Teachers have repeatedly asked for money for the childrens programs, not the facilities. Those that are ignorant of the facts should keep their mouths shut and ears may just learn something.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  77. W. Martin

    How sad it is that you deleted my comment. Oh well, now I know how you operate at CNN. If it doesn't support CNN position your comment probably won't be posted.

    And here I was thinking CNN had really started being less liberal.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  78. AkbarJonnie Shaheed

    About time someone had the camel jewels to stand-up for the tax-payers. There is no room for unions in a none capital generating monopoly supported by tax-payers. When Obama sends the goons into Madison, he can expect an Egypt in Washington. If you think it is better working in the 7/11 in the daytime and Walmart at night, give it a try.

    February 18, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  79. kiki

    so much for teachers loving to teach to for the students. these kids have been out of school for how many days now? wisconsin already ranks low on education. having these kids out for more days isn't going to help that.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  80. lisa

    unions have too much power. they started off with the best intentions, but not anymore. many states are losing money because of them. rework the unions, or the problem will never get fixed.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  81. edensvision

    –It's proven no amount of $ has improved education, but further empowers a union. Fire the 95 % of teachers breaking thier contracts & lying about being sick. Holding schools,parent's,children & a debt ridden state hostage, proves their intent isn't about "bargaining" in anyway. Regan didn't let the air traffic controllers union hold us hostage, teachers shouldn't be able to either..Period!

    February 19, 2011 at 4:49 am |
  82. Letscheck

    Fire the teachers who called out sick, went to the rally, took students, then did not return to the schools this Monday.

    That is being nice.

    Fire the teachers who called out sick and took students to the State House. That just makes sense.

    If they want their jobs, let them earn them.

    See how many people apply to fill in those positions who are willing to pay into their health care and pension. 100%

    February 19, 2011 at 5:37 am |
  83. Jim Powell

    Last night, in commenting on the Wisconsin protests while interviewing someone, Ali Velshi said something to the effect that the public workers were protesting for "less essential" rights than were Egyptians, etc.

    WRONG! Labor rights in this country took a fifty-year battle that cost the lives of hundreds and the suffering of millions to win frm forces that would like to return us to the dark ages of labor indenture and wage slavery. Labor rights are ESSENTIAL rights and we have the guts to prove it!

    The Reagan Era has had its thirty years of trying to destroy unionism. It is time that that era ends with an act of labor solidarity!

    Mr. Velshi needs to take off his businessman's attitude and study history more closely before he so dismissively speaks.

    February 19, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  84. Jason

    Parents need to take responcibility for the way they raise there kids today. They want to blame everyone but them self for the lazy, disrespectful and unmotivated youth we have today. I for one support the Teacher. She needs an outlet to let out her fustrations with the most LAZY generation to date.

    February 19, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  85. Math guy

    So teachers have a job that is probaly above and beyond the normal job, right?

    O.K., going on that premise;

    the average American employee makes between $30,000 and $32,000 and works 12 months a year while the average teacher makes roughly $40,000(that's with these cuts!) and works 9 months a year!

    What's the problem? I'm borderline offended that teachers think they are THAT much more important than me. Teachers are important but I just don't think they should be held so high on a pedestal that we've lost all sense of reason. I matter too.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  86. get real

    All the anti-union comments are from people who are ignorant to the fact that we, as middle class workers need protection on the job now more than ever! If it were up to corporate america we would all be working for minimum wage and sub-standard benifits. The majority of companies used to offer retirement packages to their workers, that were worthy of spending your working career with one company to reap the benifit of a good retirement in the end, now all they offer is a lousy 401k plan that most people can't afford to contribute to because the high cost of living, and lousy pay and benifits offered by most corporations to working class america! Wake up people! we need strong unions to protect our workers, and put and end to corporate greed!!!!! On the municipal side of unions, most have taken cuts in pay and increased co-pays and reductions in benifits!!!

    February 19, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  87. Scott

    First the govenor gives corporations a tax cut, then to pay for the tax cut
    the govenor wants to cut benefits for state benefits. A pattern begins to show itself. The real pattern is confirmed when he wants to make it illegal to negotiate on the terms. State employees generally have lower salaries than non public employees. States generally negotiate with their employees by saying "In exchange for the lower pay we give you, we will compensate you with better benefits." The my way or no way is repulsive. We all understand that states are under fiscal disstress, but to treat its employees in such a cavalier manner is replusive.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  88. Richard

    How come the media does not communicate exactly what the cuts are so we can make a judgement as to whether they are reasonable or not. Most of us in the corporate world have experienced benefit cuts. I worked for a fortune 25 company and the reduced our pension twice simply because they can, so I feel for the teachers, but would like to know how much sacrifice they are being forced to share.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  89. Mary Hinkley

    I am disappointed with CNN coverage of this issue. Along with cataloguing public employees standing up for their right to collectively bargain, the coverage should make clear that budget deficits are made worse by the Republican administrations proposed tax cuts. Asking modestly paid teachers and pubic employees to bear the whole burden is not in our collective best interests. The teachers and other employees have not said they were not willing to participate, but have not even been invited to the table. This is one of the most frustrating part of the current crisis here and nationally. When we have to trim the budget it seems like politicians think that the best way to do that is to slander the employees affected. That is just not right. Many of these people believe in what they do and work hard to achieve the objectives set for them. If you think that employees in the private sector never dog it on company time then you should think again. There is no moral high ground here. We have problems to solve and treating the people affected with the respect they are due would make a big difference.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  90. Kristin Knupfer

    I support the protesters in Wisconsin. I am not in a union, but I am smart enough to realize the big picture the governor is trying to do. Also, unions help non-union workers by driving up the costs for employment. Please, please, protesters do not give up. I live in NY and cannot afford to come there to help you with your fight. Anything I can do to help the protesters I will, except I have no job or money to help with. Please stay strong for our whole country. We all know this fight is just big business trying to stop unions. There are so many people who are behind you. STAY STRONG and thank you for fighting for everyones rights.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  91. dom youngross

    I side with how the people of WI voted last November.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  92. F. Iggler

    I'm a Wisconsin resident and pay Wisconsin's very high taxes, Income, real estate, fees, etc. Tax payers are fed up with their tax bills. Some are being taxed out of their homes. Bad teachers are protected by their Union. Good teachers are not rewarded enough. In the private sector productivity equals more compensation. Your salary is based on that and what the market will bear. The market is telling us that we can not afford to pay what public workers want. Tax payers (their boss) are mostly unwilling to pay anymore taxes. Compensation must, therefore, decrease. The other solution is lay off public workers to balance the budget. What is it then? Lay off teachers or reduce compensation? That's the choice.

    February 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  93. Georgene Qureshi

    Ali: MSNBC has already pointed out the there was going to be a SURPLUS NOT A DEFICIT due to the previous Governors tax increases. Please focus on this SURPLUS so that the public understands that A DFEICIT IS NOT THE ISSUE. It is to eliminate bargaining by public workers. THIS IS A KEY ISSUE!!!!!!

    February 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  94. Melody Parish

    Why aren't these protests being shown like the Egyptian uprising was. These protests are not going to stop. And just like the middle east, they are going to keep popping up just like whack-a-mole, so you should be reporting and not just for a sound bite. By the way Richard, the private school and charter school teachers are not the ones in danger of having their jobs cut. Anyone who does not stand up for others is a louse, through and through. You are fine until its your job on the line, or your kids whose education is being downgraded. These Teabaggers who talked their way into office aren't cutting their health benefits or their salaries or their pensions. Anyone who supports cutting social programs deserves the future they are setting up for their children. But the rest of us don't. Get off your asses and doing something about this. Go Wisconsin protesters. Go Democrats who walked out. You are standing up for your constituents. Good job.

    February 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  95. Robin

    I am a teacher. I am not a second class citizen. I have the same rights to organize as everyone else. If you want to attract all the great young teachers who are dedicated, innovative and smart. to fix our public schools then maybe treating them this way isn't the best way to go about it. We become teachers because we love kids, but I have watched good teachers who love their student's leave the profession to go to the private sector for better pay, better benefits and not being disrespected by students, parents, and now a Governor.

    February 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  96. SR

    To the math guy:
    Comparing the average employee earning $30,000 – $32,000 to the verage teacher earnign $40,000 is not an appropriate comparision. The average employee earning $32,000 does not have a college education. Teachers are required to have a college education. Many have masters. The average employee works 40 hours a week. Teachers may only work 40 hours a week inside the classroom, but this does not count the hours they work preparing lesson plans, the papers they take home to grade, or the after class hours they put in for meeting with students, parents and other teachers.

    Comparing the average American wage earner to the average teacher is like comparing oranges to apples.

    You need to go back to school and review your math.

    February 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  97. L Hamm

    I am appalled at what I'm hearing from several of those who have posted vitriolic rants against teachers. I'm not sure how teacher-bashing became such a popular sport, but it's clear that is what they enjoy doing. I suspect that if the unions were busted and these "lazy bums" (teachers) were tossed out, the haters wouldn't have much of an answer regarding what to do. Would the critics and know-it-alls be willing to fill the void by volunteering to fill in for teachers? Would they be willing to go back to school to get their undergrad / graduate degrees, take on $50,000-$100,000 in students loans, jump through countless hoops to become certified, jump through several more hoops to maintain certification via workshops, seminars, and professional development credits? And that's just to get started in the profession.
    The truth of the matter is that teachers do a job that many of the naysayers will not, and can not do. Anyone who would argue that these dedicated professionals should be "gotten rid of" is a person who is dangerously delusional and / or irresponsible. Odd that the critics should be so spiteful regarding teachers– a group of people who are among the same hard-working middle class that is just trying to get by. Why don't you save your rantings for the people who are truly responsible for fleecing the American public?

    February 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  98. Jennie

    I am a teacher. I am willing to pay more in retirement and health care. I think that is fair, but not to have my voice and those that represent my voice taken away. If unions are busted all public workers will be at the mercy of a few individuals in power. As we have seen with presidents and govenors, it only takes one to destroy economies and lives.

    February 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  99. Dee Wallace

    The Governor is doing what he was paid to do by the billionaires who funded is candidacy and helped him and all the republicans to win the election. All of this has been planned to bring down the unions and most of all to see that President Obama is not elected in 2012.

    If they are not careul this uprise will backfire on the GOP and all the Young hot-headed Tea Party Members. If you will read your Bible this stuff that is happening has been forseen in the Bible; uprisings, wars and rumors of wars, brimstone and fire. I have always said President Obama was put here for a purpose it seems he came up from no-where and the Lord sent him here for a purpose.

    He is trying to lead this Country forward to surpass China and Japan and brings us into the 21st Century with Technology, Education and High paying jobs for our Young people who are the future of this Country. The old Representative, Bachman, Palin etc. never talk about this and these type of job because they are not Tech-smart . He did the right thing to meet with the top execs etc. in Silicon valley what a smart move, College students and the younger professionals understand what he is trying to do.

    Republicans said they were coming in and find jobs and what are they doing trying to repeal Health care, hurt the Middle Class and enrich the rich.

    Mr. President we support you and Investments are needed to move this Country forward and create good jobs.

    February 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  100. dmcs

    We're sorry, Gov. Walker, but we can no longer afford yours or your fellow Republicans salaries and benefits. We ask that you do your patriotic duty and return all salary you've received from tax monies and forfeit all your benefits. We know you love your job, so you may continue to volunteer if you wish. Good luck. Just one more thing, since Republicans are the majority and refuse to compromise, Democrats will be relieved of taxation since they have no representation.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  101. Philip Wander

    Does the Governor of Wisconsin and the Republican legislators have medical and pension benefits that come with their office???

    It would be interesting to know what they have and how much they pay for them.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  102. L. Ritchie

    February 18th, 2011 1:21 pm ET

    "FIRE THEM ALL!!! If they can't appreciate the job they have then they need to either be fired or quit. After a year of unemployment I'd like to see how they feel about their job. Many times you take for granted what you have until it's gone. We are all making sacrifices and that includes union folks. Unions should be outlawed in this nation. They expect everyone else to make concessions except them. Look at any state with strong union ties-they are drowning in debt...Illinois, California. If I have to pay more for my pension, retirement, healthcare they need to as well. Stop whining and get back to work!"

    Who ever said this had it right! My kids were in a public school where teachers were generally lazy, made kids do work way below grade level, and who wanted more more more from us taxpayers. Bigger school, poor education. This isn't about the kids, this is about their darned greed! If you don't like your pay, get a different job. The whole public school system needs to be redone anyway. My kids are for the moment, homeschooled! And that's a good thing! I am a teacher who doesn't get paid anything and I don't want a dime..I truly love my kids and want them to learn. They truly love the paycheck, handing out random worksheets and doling out the same "cookie cutter education" to all their students. How sad for those kids that have to be taught by lazy teachers like that-what a poor example for the kids. I was considering public school next year for my two kids- it is a very small school in a rural area- BUT in lieu of this- maybe I just won't if that is what they are all about!

    February 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  103. RightTurnClude

    Crazy Liberals (Wisconsin is crawling with them). .. the Republican is trying to help them and they don't want the help. That's how they went BROKE. I hope they are taxed so bad that all they have left is movie money. I hope they haven't got a dime (then they can eat their union news). You don't want help? Then starve. California, New York, Illinois, Ohio - they are all broke - no cash, no credit .. and yet the crazy liberals want more. Let them bleed the golden goose dry and then let them starve. They can collective bargain in their tents and RVs (mean while their schools are failing .. and the teachers union wants MORE) Let the self destruct (they deserve it)

    February 20, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  104. yourloanguy

    Who in this country believes that they're entitled to a job just because they're a teacher. Grow up. The NEA is the biggest union anywhere and could give a flying crap about the childen or who they teach. It's about sucking the cities and states dry with no cost health care and limited contributions to their own retirements. No teacher gets paid unless the money is first taken from someone else. Remember, they get paid from tax money... and the Unions and Democrats want to make sure this pipeline of cash never stops. You've run the well dry people... WHAT PART OF 'WE'RE BROKE" do you not understand?

    February 20, 2011 at 2:31 am |
  105. Kermet Key

    Pass legislature in the guise of fiscal responsibility to break the unions so that lower class labor loses all bargaining, while continuing to reduce taxes on the 1-10% that own the majority of assets, who refuse to pay living wages that would allow these laborers to pay for their own basice needs (like healthcare), and who are DIRECTLY responsible for the financial crisis the nation is in (if you think that poor people not paying their mortgages REALLY caused a national economic crisis then you don't know anything about national finance)? If that makes sense to anyone please explain it to me in the context of your delusion regarding the American Dream.


    February 20, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  106. Bill Rowe

    If you go to college, major in education, get a degree in education and apply for a job as a teacher, well my adult friend somewhere along that path you should have become aware of the low salaries and limited career advancement within the teaching profession. One might conclude that you had ample opportunity to either change your major or accept the reality of the limited rewards available. That said, please quit your whining, shut up or go get a job doing something else.

    February 20, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  107. Marie

    My husband just started teaching this fal after years of education/training. He works over 12 hours a day – wake at 3am goes to bed at 9pm – at times no time for lunch break. He is paid less than someone without a degree but has $50K in federal loans and spends over $100 monthly in supplies private employors would pay -like books for his students or a stapler. Why? MPS's budget has already been cut. I am surprised to see the whole truth not being said in the media. Why has it not been mentioned that Walker has refused Title 1 – federal aid to school in impoverised areas? Ask yourself what will happen when the majority people, becoming impoverished will be denied an education? Also the rumors of the dissolving of the democratic party. One must wonder if it is Walker's main aim is to keep the majority in the dark.

    Some say the average wage is $56,000 before benefits. That is news to me since my husband is only making $35K and pays for his own work supplies. In addition, teachers are responsible for ongoing education and licensing costs.

    If Mr. Walker is so concerned about the budget, why hasn't he cut his benefits wage & captiol spending? Has he made any sacrifices? Wisconsin will cut $300 million from Milwaukee Public Schools alone when the school budget is too low to meet the needs. There were major layoffs last year already? Why is this not being made known to the public?

    If they want to get a sizable amount off the budget, why not cut the budget to Blackwater and other rich corporations that overcharge the government and pay little taxes? Calling on them for tax money and freezing wages would solve the budget issue.

    February 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  108. Jon

    The RIGHT WING has not a leg to stand on for wanting any concessions from workers until they give back the $150 billion over 10 years tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans who don't need them.

    February 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  109. Paul Podhdorn, Jr.

    This is a civil war. Plutocracy/autocracy trying to destroy 1776 and democracy. This is a coordinated civil war involving conspiracies financed by the Koch Brothers, Citizens United, Tim Phillips (Americans For Plutocracy), Tea Party and the Republican Party officeholders and Newt Gingrich. Kochs, Wall Street and other super-rich want total control, total tyranny so they can make more money, but Americans will be impoverished, starved to death by the coming inflation and shortages, and murdered by collapse of medical care. If you want to die a slave, march to Kochs' money jangles, or remember our Founders: Give me liberty or give me death war against King George III tyranny and fiscal military state corruption that impoverished his own people and would have impoverished the colonists had they not thrown the Loyalists, like Kochs and Wall Street, out of America.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:39 am |
  110. Liam

    Fire every single one of them. We in the private sector are sick of paying for public waste. Not only are these teachers ignorant at being asked for a simple contribution it exposes liberalism at its finest. They have become RELIANT on our money (YES this is our money) and how dare they walk out of work when the tax payers are currently paying 24k per family for insurance I just did my taxes last year and had to pay 29k for people like this. Thank for exposing yourselves. THANK YOU and KEEP IT UP. GET RID OF THEM ALL. And your administration will be next AND for all of you protecting unions the only reason they are upset is because they can't automatically take money out of peoples paychecks any longer. AND yes that is what they are upset about.

    February 21, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  111. Wendy K.

    I stand in support of the teachers. Instead of getting rid of teachers, who educate the future of our country, get rid of some of the administrators. The school system is top heavy.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  112. GIL MASON

    Let's see if I have this straight. Wisconsin teachers, paid by the state or paid by those who live in Wisconsin. In corporations they GIVE benefits and can take them away, why are state employees any different?
    Benefits are not entitlements, benefits are priveleges.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  113. Dodge

    On August 3, 1981 the union declared a strike, seeking better working conditions, better pay and a 32-hour workweek. In doing so, the union violated a law {5 U.S.C. (Supp. III 1956) 118p.} that banned strikes by government unions. Ronald Reagan declared the PATCO strike a "peril to national safety" and ordered them back to work under the terms of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Only 1,300 of the nearly 13,000 controllers returned to work.[4] Subsequently, Reagan demanded those remaining on strike return to work within 48 hours, otherwise their jobs would be forfeited. At the same time Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis organized for replacements and started contingency plans. By prioritizing and cutting flights severely, and even adopting methods of air traffic management PATCO had previously lobbied for, the government was initially able to have 50% of flights available.[4]

    On August 5, following the PATCO workers' refusal to return to work, Reagan fired the 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored the order,[6][7] and banned them from federal service for life.


    February 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  114. Words of Art

    FIRE every last teacher who does not show up for work Tuesday PERIOD! Stop using the children who have no clue as to what is REALLY going on. You are adults, YOU can negotiate YOUR OWN Salary and Benefits package. No more giving union people what they DEMAND. Walk off the job, you have quit and are FIRED. Just like any other job.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  115. Lillian Graves

    Please tell me what cuts the governors of Wisconsin and Ohio have taken in their wages, health care and pension plans? How much do they pay towards their health and pension plans? How long do they have to work to obtain their pensions? Monkey see, monkey do!

    February 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  116. Morley Burke

    This is a joke. As a teacher, I paid 10% of my biweekly paycheck toward my family's healthcare and 5% of my retirement.
    After I retired, I am now paying about 15% of my monthly gross toward my family's healthcare premium.
    You bunch of lousy losers. Flush your stupid union down a crusty toilet.
    Quit being greedy. Pay your fair share of your healthcare AND your retirement. Your union is sucking your dues out of your pay and sending the money to corrupted crappers.

    February 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  117. Jon

    There is an inverse relationship between the number of unions and the widening of the wealth gap between the rich and the rest of us. And this is a blatant case of attempted union breaking. Plain and simple. Greed.

    February 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  118. Definitely on the teacher side.

    Definitely on the teacher side. The State is trying to bust the union. No question. Working conditions matter. (If they control working conditions, they would control the wages anyway.)

    February 22, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  119. Harry Crawford

    Back in 1942 I was started working at a highly skilled trade. The pay rate for journeymen was $1.25 per hour. That was even while gearing up for a war.If you were living at that time you would remember what little the average family had as compared to what is available now. A two bedroom home on a plot of land,was only a distant dream for the average family.

    You better believe that your current living status is directly connected to unions fighting for better living conditions. Your current wages and conditions( union or not) is the direct responsibility of the pressure unions put on industry. Industry moguls offerings had to increase as labor unions demands increased, so as to not lose their talents to organized competition.

    If your governor gets his way and succeeds in making state employees vote each year for the union,his only goal is to bust unions. (who would vote to pay dues and other requirements if they had no bargaining rights).

    This will eventually drift to the private sector, and lo and behold, average family economic conditions will deteriorate,and your current lucrative position just may be downgraded, because there is no longer the competition requiring high salaries,since there is less pressure to offer top wages,and conditions,and more and more people seeking your job.

    What would that do to your mortgages and credit card debt?

    Something has to be done but busting the unions is not it

    February 22, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  120. Frank

    They say they FEEL our pain. NOW let them SHOW IT!!!

    Above any other ideas on the agenda,
    There is one that would be as much symbolic as it would be budget cutting.

    I think we need to see ALL Governors, Senators and Representatives whether state or federal,
    Give back any and all salary increases or bonus's they have received over the last 10 years.

    After all IT IS their fault that we are in this current mess. It is their total mismanagement of our
    government over the last 50 or so years that have put us in this chaos.

    It is no wonder there is such corruption in corporate America. Yes, "Golden Parachutes", outrageous Salaries
    Ridiculous bonus's. They Took their lead from the best, "Our Politicians"

    It's easy to not properly plan for the INFRASTRUCTURE you built and now neglect.
    How many Bridges will collapse with people on them?
    It's easy to cut Social Security when you make sure you had your own private sheltered Fund.
    No the people that put you there have to suffer not you.
    It's easy to cut education when you have the ability to put your own children in good educational facilities.
    It doesn't matter that the US is not in the top 10 in education, it's cheaper to hire the foreigner than educate your own.

    Oh and let’s not forget your biggest blunder:
    It was all too easy to go to war!!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  121. Keith

    If they want to be fair, this is a state problem, not a union problem. EVERY resident should share the burden equally.(and they are trying to say this isn't a union busting tactic). RIGHT!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  122. Jack Richmond

    The states' budgets are a disaster and the conservatives want to cause even more harm to the middle-class by killing unions – and financially stripping our relatively ineffective schools to the bone. Where to get the money to solve these problems? The answer is so obvious: Increase tax rates for the rich – let's see a little patriotism out of them for a change. If they don't like it, they can leave the country.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  123. mike hunt

    Instead of cutting wages of hard working Americans why don't we cut off services and aid to illegal aliens. Might want to cut of ALL legal immigration as well until we are able to employ all Americans first. Wake up America!!! You were warned years ago this was going to happen!!! Immigrants both legal and illegal are costing the states a fortune and stretching health, education, and welfare costs to the point of bursting!! Stop the madness before it's too late. They corporations profit while the middle class pays for it all. The powers that be don't want you to think about this, so let's see how long this post lasts before someone removes it.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  124. CD Hackbarth

    I'm sick of all the whining being done by State employees. They all talk about the rights of the working man, well, the rest of us out here are the workingman too! We are sick of paying higher taxes so that State employees get generous benefits. It's time for them to pay up like the rest of us have been doing for years! Shame on the teachers for calling in sick and closing schools and the the Democrats disappearing from their duty. The next group that should be taken to task are the Federal employees!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  125. sharon wheeler

    i support the unions and the right to bargin for wages and benefits! if the thug tea party and their govenors win, america looses!!! no company is going to offer competitive wages without unions, nor will they offer health care or match a 401k.... why would they? you attack the union you attack the middle class worker... this is a fat cat scheme!!!
    this is crazy attacking only union workers, be sure to add a fat tax to tea party members,,, they should have to pay the price too!
    you think education is bad,,, wait till they scrap teachers wages,,, teachers will go from 10-12 hour days to out the door after 8.... parents will have to plan their days helping to educate,,, and if you think it is easy, you are wrong! i know to educate your children you will have to give up your jobs and benefits, to be home....

    February 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  126. Jeff Hughes

    I do support the teachers but I also understand we are in economic situation that requirs drastic measure. I blame the issues on big buisness and greedy politician but my solution to the situation would be to make many of the courses or grades be taken on line and then tests be administered at a facility. this would eliminate the high cost of keeping the buildings up and the grounds being taken care of and the bussing the many students. You may ask how are you going to make a kid do their work or not cheat well that is where the testing at a facility comes in .. if you don't do the work you wont be able to pass your tests and if students have low grades then they would lose the right to do education at home..we could not do small children this way because there are many social skills that are learned at a young age.As for school sports I think our already over exagerated sports associations should be chipping into the local areas to organize the young sports after all many of these organizations benefit vastly from highschool sports while not giving back...

    February 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  127. Ted Lawler,LMSW

    Wake up, You can't cut enough to overcome the massive tax givaways started by George W. As long as the welthy can pay 15% tax on Capital Gains they are not going to invest in the economy. They only build factories and produce jobs when it gives them a tax break. Ask why the number of billionairs has tripled while the country has tanked.
    This country can't survive while so many elected officials are willing to sell their vote and the Tea Party accepts the checks.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  128. Union Proud

    What's next...
    SLAVE LABOR!!!!!
    I believe THAT is the republican agenda!!!
    Think about it.

    I just heard on CNN that the OHIO proposal doesn't even allow teachers to choose WHERE they work.

    Also the obvious problem is that corporate america was given free will to engage in unbridled greed and sent american jobs overseas.
    When governments start to protect the PEOPLE (I have yet to find business in the U.S. constitution) then and only then will we recover from the mess that "Reaganomics" put us in.
    Tax breaks to corporations haven't created any jobs in this country.
    PROOF: Bush tax cut to companies (according to the republicans) create jobs, yet unemployment is at an all time high.
    Duh! You'd have to be a total idiot not to see THAT writing on the wall!!!
    Force the companies to bring back jobs from overseas and mostly everything will fix itself.

    The reason republicans are against unions is that they are opposed to the prosperity of america and they must be cowards not to want to even attempt to be fair.

    Get rid of the republican party and things will get better.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  129. sharon wheeler

    how safe will you feel if you cut unions from police officers, firefighters??? do you think your roads are going to be cleared for people to work when a snow storm occurs?
    tea party is striking out at democrats and cutting the throats of every american worker in their path!!!! all workers are going to loose big time if they take down the unions!!! i am conservative,,, but now i thank god for those democrats that are in hiding to prevent this vote... by god, we, america, had better save the unions or the companies will cut wages and benefits too, why would they offer them if they don't have to?

    February 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  130. sharon wheeler

    government wastes more tax money than we can fathom! remember the show,"fleecing of america", the ridiculas 6,000 dollar toilet seat that was bought for the whitehouse... the riduculas amount they spent on outhouses in the parks??? wake up america,,, they want to strip all of you from fair wages and benefits!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  131. Carl Davis

    People, collective bargaining has absolutely NOTHING associated with doing a good job at work. Performance at work is an individual decision. Face it, unions have destroyed every industry they have infested.
    What happened to the textile industry?
    What happened to the automotive industry?
    What happened to the federal employees? (have you ever tried to get anything accomplished via a federal office)
    And for schools, if the teachers are so great, why are public schools the worst? US kids today have been dumbed down so they can pass a grade.
    Unions need to be outlawed. We might have needed unions 100 years ago, but they are out dated, as corrupt as the sky is blue, and continue to use money to buy politicians like obama. Besides, there are laws today that state ages for workers, minimum pay, etc.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  132. Ted Lawler,LMSW

    Your comment is awaiting moderation What does this say, that I can't voice my opinion?

    February 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  133. sharon wheeler

    next they will be cutting benefits from our military...they do not know where to draw the line! anyone know if walker, kaisch has cut their fat salaries or benefits????? how about smaller government???/ you know we pay for bogus offices that are empty buildings.... fleecing of america exposed alot of this... of course that show was closed down!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  134. Phyllis Lublin

    Hasn't anyone in Wisconsin heard of "compromising"? The teachers and others won the right to collective bargaining years ago when it was necessary. Today, the pendulum has swung the other way. The simple solution is to suspend collective bargaining for a period of time, say 2-3 years, and allow the economy to rebuild, and then put it back into place. That, my friends, would be a win-win situation for all!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  135. Harry

    Carl davis You ask what happened to the textile industry. It moved from the North eastern states to the South eastern states and that was not good enough for the moguls that ran it ,so they shipped every bit of it out of the country. Now you cannot buy an American made piece of clothing.Have you found them cheaper?, Mostly a lot of it is junk.,made by people working for a dollar a day, at most.

    Meanwhile your parents were living a life style that was unprecedented anywhere else in the world,and you probably are still taking advantage of it while you complain about Unions.

    As for the automotive industry, sure the foreign companies moved in ,but have you been able to pay less for a foreign car. The profits go to the big wheels that run the companies,and the distributors.Cars made by people making a dollar a day also. Even the foreign brands made in the US are hammered by ridiculous work ethics that forbid negotiations that amount to anything.

    Now we have 9+%unemployment and you blame the unions,not the wheels running our Government.

    We have been completely spoiled by an exuberant undeserved lifestyle presented to us by the union workers that you NOW want to crucify.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  136. MattF

    Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~Author Unknown

    Teaching is to our society what a mother or father is to a child. What happened to honour thy father and mother? Cutting off the source of the nations education is like cutting off the head of the beast it will surely die and quickly. Thus, cutting funding in education is like reducing the blood supply to the brain of our nation. I am baffled as to how anyone could think that is a good idea... unless that is exactly what they want to do. Republicans and dictators in the middle east (same difference) want to keep people stupid because that keeps them rich and in power! Democrats want to educate people so that we can have a thriving middle class, advance as a society, and find the answers together so that we can out educate, out inovate, and out build!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  137. Danny Martin

    I don't understand how sheeplike people can be. The American worker (public or private, democrate or republican) that believes the republican leadership actually cares about thier ability to have liberty and freedoms, are in for a rude awakening. Look what is going on around the nation in the name of balancing the budget. If those who believe this attack on the union (that is what it is) is justified to "balance the budget". I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell. It isn't just an attack on the union, it is an attack on the peoples ability to come together as one against government or business who would otherwise run over the people as they want. Remember what lead to the popularity of unionizing. The republican's cry is "limited government over the people", is it really??? Or is it the republican (backed by business) using thier control over the ability to make laws will strip the American worker of the ability to bargin as a group where thier voice can be heard. You don't see the republicans outlawing the businesses right to gather as one to pressure the government to support thier point of view. The US Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most powerful "union" we have in the world. Do you think they are supportive of workers rights? Not a chance. If the republicans disband the Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations that promote business importance over that of the people, I'll believe they are actually for limited government. We are a democratic nation aren't we? One person, one vote. That is what our constitution guarentees. One would say the Chamber of Commerce doesn't have a draining effect on the governments money. Think about who benifits more from government money. Military contractors, road contractors, building contractors, oil companies, and automotive companies. I could go on and on. Take my state of Forida. It is a right to work state. That means basically the people who have a "beef" with the company they work for about thier wages and working conditions can be replaced w/o the company giving them ANY reason for thier termination. Bottom line, quit being a sheep.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  138. Carl Davis

    Mr Union,
    Unions have sent jobs overseas by forcing industries to pay union members unfair prices, heath care, and pensions that are not sustainable. Check our current economic state. Federal union members get automatic annual pay raises (even if their performance lacks) while the private jobs have not seen a decent pay raise in years. So who pays for the federal union pay raises? Tax payers!
    As far as my boss? I am my own boss. I own my company, small be it, but I own it. And I can bet you don't pay 50% income tax! I don't make that much, but my taxes eat away anything I make. Want me to vote for a politician who will raise taxes and do more spending? Not here!
    I would venture to say you do not know my parents, nor do you know me. My father owned a car dealership for over 20 years and kept a dozen families employed. He knew the auto industry and he disliked the unions. When unions force extravagant pay raises and pension plans that are unsustainable, they ruin the industry.
    It is completely unfair for obama to make back-door deals with union leaders on health care while the rest of us pay through the nose for socialized medicine.
    Sorry, but we will probably never come to an agreement. Union members have had such a gravy train for so long they are unwilling to give it up. While private sector people have jobs with no pensions and very few options for retirement they are unwilling to pay higher taxes to support unions and their politicians.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  139. Union Proud

    Phyllis Lublin almost got it right but on the wrong side.
    The workers ARE willing to compromise, it's the rebuplican government that is not willing.
    The teachers union said they would give the consessions the governor is asking, they only ask to keep the collective barganing in place. Once that's gone it will never come back.
    The unions are willing to help with the budget but apparently the governor doesn't WANT to help the people.
    It's the governor that wants it all and is UNWILLING to compromise.

    Again, people not checking the facts.

    February 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  140. hoping to get the pension I worked for

    I have worked for the local county government for 21 years and am fearing that I will not be able to receive my pension that was agreed to by BOTH the union and the local officials. We are not allowed to strike or have a work slow down. The employees work hard each and every day. There have been massive layoffs, position eliminations and retirements and a new collective bargaining agreement is being reached that includes "furlough" days, wage freezes, higher employee contributions for health care, retiree health care and giving up paid holidays. Yet the employees still work harder with less and a threat of more of the same. The problem is not with the unions and being able to bargain for their benefits, I see the problem is thinking we don't need unions and collective bargaining. I have always said that if the employers treated their employees as they want to be treated, we would not need unions. Not all bargaining is about wages and insurance. There is always the issue of fairness. There are still those supervisors/depatment heads or business owners that do not care how their employees are treated. I also have witnessed the way the big wigs have mismanaged the public coffers. As a union representative and an employee who pays attention to the "budget" the workers have made numerous suggestions as to cost savings that have been ignored by the "officials". It is the "good ole boy" system and how dare the working folk make any suggestions as to cutting out their perks. Don't blame the unions for all the budget shortfalls. Remember, once a benefit is given up, you never get it back. make sure it is something you can live without forever. once collective bargaing is gone, you will never get it back and by the way, who are you to tell me that I am not allowed to bargain for my conditions of employment? (hours of work, wages, insurances, vacations) REMEMBER – ORGANIZED LABOR, THE FOLKS WHO BROUGHT YOU THE WEEKEND

    February 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  141. Union Proud

    Well if the government succeeds and busts the teacher's union then the teachers should get together and incorporate. Form Teachers Inc., collect all the tax breaks AND charge WHATEVER THEY WANT!!!!!
    Then if they don't want to pay, the people of Wisconsin can home school ALL their children.

    February 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  142. Chris

    I thought the Indiana Governor, today, dropped his proposals that were similar to the Gov. of Wisconsin's. Your news story says the Democratic reps left the state. Whose reporting is correct. Can you research this and report. Thanks.

    February 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  143. Chris

    I believe the Governor of Wisconsin did not even hint at this measure when he was running for the job. The people were also bought off by the Koch groups who misinform, confuse, and pump millions to elect the choice of Koch himself. Koch is running for King and he is winning. He wants anarchy and could care about the middleclass.

    February 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  144. Ray

    Power play going on in 12 states by Rep's. Taking away workers rights. Unions and most union workers back Dems with money and man power. These 12 states are battle ground states. By cutting into union and union workers in these states. The Dems running in these state will be easier to beat. A one party system is a dictatorship.

    February 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  145. Mike

    This country is going to fail if the people don’t get behind the unions. Without unions, wages for all American workers will decline, because greedy corporate America will want more for themselves. I hear all the news about Wisconsin & Ohio wanting to do away with collative bargaining agreement it needs to stop now. Someone is not looking at the big picture. If you remove these peoples right to barging for their health care and pension who will pick up the slack, the government? If the workers have to pay more out of their own pocket that will remove more of their expendable income, which won’t help the economy at all! If you want to balance the budget go after greedy corporate America. These company’s take our jobs overseas to exploit cheep slave labor ( I say slave labor, they pay them just enough to keep them out of trouble but not enough to live to a standard that we would consider a living) how can we let this go on. Get after the greedy insurance companies to lower our health insurance costs. Use your political power there, rather than beating up on the hardworking people that just want to make a living & be able to retire (which will open up jobs for our children). The best economy we have had, was in the 60’s unions were strong & the gap between the rich & the middle class was much much smaller. One person could work and provide for his (or her) whole family. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve heard 1% of Americans control ½ the wealth, they make 250 times what the middle class makes. Let’s get them to pay their share!

    February 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  146. Words of Art

    I have NEVER worked for a union and NEVER will. I have earned my OWN way. I'm a grown man and don't need someone ELSE negotiating MY salary, pension or benefits, or a union telling me that I MUST pay a privilege to work fee called union due just to work. I didn't promise unions anything. I pay $1000 per month for my families medical, yet union cowards want it FREE as as all good socialists do, and most do get it FREE. I have worked 70-80 and sometimes 90 hours or more per week to get what I have, and OWN. I don't need to be a whining cry baby every 2 or 4 years standing out in the rain, cold, or heat getting paid unemployment for walking off the job. Private sector workers are the ones that pay all exuburent union salaries, medical bennys and OVERINFLATED PENSIONS that some Democratic senator promised just to get elected. EARN YOUR OWN WAY! Walk off the job YOU applied for(no one forced you to work a union shop) and you are FIRED! The Democreeps rammed their socialist healthcare down Americas throat, and now they have abandoned the jobs they campaigned for. THE DEMOCRATS QUIT and should be FIRED WITHOUT PAY PERIOD NO EXCEPTIONS! Unions want MORE and MORE and MORE for THEMSELVES. They want everything FREE. The only "Union Proud" morons are the ones who want everything FREE for THEMSELVES. After all THEY dont have to pay for it, they expect everyone else to pay their way. UNIONS SUCK! EARN YOUR OWN WAY! Walk off the job and YOU ARE FIRED PERIOD NO EXCEPTIONS just because you think you are special because you are union!

    February 24, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  147. Union Proud

    Just in case anyone is wondering, the top 20 richest people's NET worth could pay a $70,000 a year salary to 232,619 people for 30 YEARS!!!! Yet some people seem to think it's the worker taking all the money out of the economy. SHEESH!!!!
    I believe it's obvious the OBSENELY, FILTHY, RIDICULOUSLY RICH are ruining this country not those who just want to go to work everyday and make a DECENT wage.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  148. Union Proud

    You know what I don't understand.

    When someone like Words of Art says the unions want everything for themselves. I thought unions fought for the rights and a better life for EVERYONE.

    Nobody is trying to force him to join a union yet people like him feel they can tell people like us (union members) that we CAN'T join.

    So who is trying to control whom?
    Seems to me the people that don't want to bargain and say others don't have a right to bargain are the real cowards.

    Tell me why are people like you so scared of unions.
    If really had the power all you republican types think we have, we would be the millionaires not all the NON-UNION people listed in FORBES top 400 richest people in america.

    Simply put, this is America, it's suppose to stand for freedom yet it's alway the republicans that are trying to CONTROL the people.

    Tell ya what Governor of Wisconsin, you don't force the unions out and we won't force you to join.

    That said, I'm done,

    February 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  149. Rich

    In Montana teachers negotiate for salaries and benefits with their local school boards. In Wisconsin do they negotiate with the State Legislature or Governor or a state official? If not, what is all this crap about teachers electing state officials who are on their side and sit on the same side of the negotiating table?

    March 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  150. Doug Cameron

    two issues come to mind, first, why don't the teachers quit that state run union they belong to and join the Teamsters or some other union that would gladly represent them in arbitration and not be under the thumb of a dictator like Walker. I know for a fact the I.B.E.W. electrical Workers Union in New York has organized the policeman, nurses and taxi drivers in their union. Why fight those idiots in the state government?. Secondly, If I had lost my job, home, car, etc. I would leave the U.S. and take up residence in a foreign country such as Germany or one of the Scandanavian countries that love english speaking, educated or highly trained people such as teachers or licensed electricians, and other skilled craftsman. They provide steady employment, free medical benefits and an oppourtunity for educating your kids for free! Contact any of their embassy's for further details. Many have already left in what is becoming a reverse immigration. If you prefer, you don't have to give up your citizenship but some countries do have you sign a contract in exchange for all the benefits you receive..

    March 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  151. elliot baker

    Teachers dirty little secret?
    Much of the current controversy in Wisconsin involves the impending loss of most collective bargaining privileges for state employees, including public school teachers.

    The fact is that the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the largest teachers union in the state, has grossly abused that privilege for decades, resulting in the unnecessary siphoning of millions of dollars from Wisconsin public schools. Under current Wisconsin law, the identity of the insurance company that provides health coverage to school employees is a matter of collective bargaining in each school district.

    August 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
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