Sky: not falling

January 24th, 2012

Our way works, and their way doesn’t. Period.

The unions’ battle against Walker’s reforms has rested on the argument that the changes would damage public services beyond repair. The truth, however, is that the reforms not only are saving money already; they’re doing so with little disruption to services. In early August, noticing the trend, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Milwaukee would save more in health-care and pension costs than it would lose in state aid, leaving the city $11 million ahead in 2012—despite Mayor Tom Barrett’s prediction in March that Walker’s budget “makes our structural deficit explode.”

The collective-bargaining component of Walker’s plan has yielded especially large financial dividends for school districts. Before the reform, many districts’ annual union contracts required them to buy health insurance from WEA Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the state’s largest teachers’ union. Once the reform limited collective bargaining to wage negotiations, districts could eliminate that requirement from their contracts and start bidding for health care on the open market. When the Appleton School District put its health-insurance contract up for bid, for instance, WEA Trust suddenly lowered its rates and promised to match any competitor’s price. Appleton will save $3 million during the current school year.

Appleton isn’t alone. According to a report by the MacIver Institute, as of September 1, “at least 25 school districts in the Badger State had reported switching health care providers/plans or opening insurance bidding to outside companies.” The institute calculates that these steps will save the districts $211.45 per student. If the state’s other 250 districts currently served by WEA Trust follow suit, the savings statewide could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Remember, folks, this sort of success is precisely what the union goon squads are unalterably against. But the thing they really don’t like is this:

The manner in which the public unions ran the campaigns was telling. Because they realized that public-sector collective bargaining wasn’t the wedge issue that they’d expected, not a single union-backed ad mentioned it— even though it was the reason that the unions had mobilized for the recall elections in the first place. Instead, the union ads cried that Scott Walker had “cut $800 million from the state’s schools.” This was true, but the ads neglected to mention that the governor’s increased health-care and pension-contribution requirements made up for those funds, just as Walker had planned. That the unions poured nearly $20 million into the races, by the way, validated another argument of Walker’s: that mandatory dues are a conduit through which taxpayer money gets transferred to public-sector unions, which use it to elect Democrats, who then negotiate favorable contracts with the unions. In this case, the newly strapped Wisconsin unions had to rely heavily on contributions from unions in other states.

And that right there is the long and the short of it. Unions aren’t organizations established to defend workers’ rights or advance their interests. If they ever were in the first place, they sure aren’t now. They’re merely a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Socialist criminal conspiracy, a branch which exists only to fleece their membership and give the proceeds to The Party–after skimming plenty off the top for their own corrupt leadership, of course. Any good they might do for workers along the way is purely incidental to their primary function: electing more Democrat Socialists.

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