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Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Wisconsin governor signs bill slashing union rights for public workers

By Peter Whoriskey

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a highly contested bill Friday morning that takes collective bargaining rights away from most of the state's public employees. He also rescinded layoff notices for about 1,500 state workers.

The measure set off weeks of protests at the Capitol and sparked a walkout by Senate Democrats. It passed the state Assembly on Thursday, a day after the state Senate used a legislative maneuver to pass the bill without the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state in an effort to block it.

"While tough budget choices certainly still lie ahead, both state and local units of government will not have to do any mass layoffs or direct service reductions because of the reforms contained in the budget repair bill," Walker said in a statement. "The reforms contained in this legislation, which require modest health care and pension contributions from all public employees, will help put Wisconsin on a path to fiscal sustainability."

By Peter Whoriskey  | March 11, 2011; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  Budget and fiscal policy, States  
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Comments

Should have been done long ago. The state employees really never had the "right", they were cowed into it by stupid politicians of the past who had no backbone nor very many brains, and essentially sold out the people who worked for a living and payed all the taxes. Even FDR firmly believed that a government employee's "union" was sheer lunacy. Imagine if the U.S. Military had a union, the result would be sheer chaos.

Unions had a purpose when people worked 12-hours a day under hard labor for a dollar. Those days are long gone along with the pony express. It's time for the concept of government unions as a "right" to be buried along with the pony express.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 11, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is an international treaty that has been ratified by the Senate of the United States. The ICCPR guarantees inter alia, the right of persons to form trade unions. If my belief is right that Wisconsin is one of the states of the USA, then the ICCPR applies to Wisconsin as well. Here is the relevant text: Article 22:1.Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2.No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.
Hence, any law passed by the Wisconsin legislature prohibiting state employees from forming trade unions would be INVALID as it violates an international treaty entered into by the federal government.
I regret that I do not have a children's edition (with pictures) of the ICCPR, or else, I would have gladly mailed it to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 11, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Walker's bill restores rights to the school children and the middle class taxpayers that have been held hostage to union demands that we can no longer afford. We have been throwing BILLIONS at the schools for decades with no result expect fattened union paychecks. No more teachers strikes, demand bargaining reform that includes a taxpayers rep at their so-called bargaining table. Unions have brought this on themselves with brutes like that despicable Trumka and others that think you can take our rights away from the taxpayers. Pay your fair share of your benes.

Posted by: mightyheidi | March 11, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous wrote:
The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is an international treaty that has been ratified by the Senate of the United States. The ICCPR guarantees inter alia, the right of persons to form trade unions. If my belief is right that Wisconsin is one of the states of the USA, then the ICCPR applies to Wisconsin as well. Here is the relevant text: Article 22:1.Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2.No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.
Hence, any law passed by the Wisconsin legislature prohibiting state employees from forming trade unions would be INVALID as it violates an international treaty entered into by the federal government.
I regret that I do not have a children's edition (with pictures) of the ICCPR, or else, I would have gladly mailed it to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
============
If you had done your homework you would have seen that ICCPR was only conditionally ratified by this country. Some of the conditions were that the United States would not be bound by the treaty's rules that ran counter to U.S. law and that none of the treaty's rules would be valid in U.S. courts.

Posted by: gravitysucks | March 11, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Public employee unions are the gangrene which has been strangling our economy for four decades. Thank you Wisconsin union employees and Richard Trumka for reminding those of us who pull the wagon you've been riding in, who you are, and what you stand for. Get your free health-care, your zero contribution pensions, and you're sick-pay together...we're letting you out at the next stop.

Posted by: thomas777 | March 11, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Scott Walker! Let's get rid of thousands of these well paying public sector jobs! Who cares if that affects our economy! Replace them all with low wage menial labor from the new businesses that you just gave tax breaks to! They'll know to exploit our state! Nevermind these educated imbeciles and caretakers! Who cares anymore? It doesn't pay! Idiots! Good going Scott! Tell the Kock brothers I'll be voting for them if they decide to run on the Libertarian/Anarchist ticket again.

Posted by: nevets2sherwoo | March 11, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

BRAVO for the Governor for showing a spine, standing up to the union thugs, and saving 1,500 teachers from a pink slip! (actually think anyone that lied about their being sick should be fired)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 11, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

With this bill passing now children will suffer the consequences for Walkers stupidity. kindergarten classes will now increase in size and will become a detriment to their learning environment. Walker does not worry about this because he does not have to worry about the education of his children.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

youre all done scott walker...100,000 at the capitol tomorow...even the farmers and willie nelson are coming+

Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2011 1:57 AM | Report abuse

the govenor is showing some spine because david koch will snap the govenor's spine if he backs down. Classic case of overt reach...the most amazing thing is to see the protesting cops and firemen standing in a group with the new SDS....this aint 1968 and it aint your grandad's revolution.
recall recall recall

Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2011 2:01 AM | Report abuse

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