No working class heroes in this bunch

Norma Wrong!

Don’t confuse Wisconsin’s public employees unions with the average working stiff. I can be fired for incompetence, unlike public school teachers. My benefits are nowhere near as sweet. And, like many private sector workers, I’ve gone years without a raise.

Why should public employees be immune? And when will the teacher’s unions be held accountable for routinely placing self-interest over education?

Meanwhile, some Wisconsin teachers decided to make a mockery of their own profession by penalizing their students after an irresponsible call to action by Mary Bell, the chief of the state teachers union.

“On Thursday and Friday, we are asking Wisconsinites to come to Madison,” Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, said Wednesday. She then claimed disingenuously that she wasn’t telling the union’s 98,000 teachers to walk off their jobs.

Unfortunately, that’s what many of them did. There were no classes in Madison schools. Port Washington High School had to close. The same was true at other schools around the state. Do these teachers care more about their jobs than their kids? We wonder.

Joe Klein nails the self-serving, anti-democratic Wisconsin protests.

Governor Scott Walker’s basic requests are modest ones–asking public employees to contribute more to their pension and health care plans, though still far less than most private sector employees do. He is also trying to limit the unions’ abilities to negotiate work rules–and this is crucial when it comes to the more efficient operation of government in a difficult time. When I covered local government in New York 30 years ago, the school janitors (then paid a robust $60,000 plus per year) had negotiated the “right” to mop the cafeteria floors only once a week. And we all know about the near-impossibility of getting criminal and morally questionable–to say nothing of less than competent–teachers fired. The negotiation of such contracts were acts of collusion rather than of mediation. Government officials were, in effect, bribing their most activist constituents.

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4 thoughts on “No working class heroes in this bunch

  1. This is the second time in 6 years Democratic legislators have fled the state to avoid having to be on the losing end off a vote. Texas Democrats fled to Oklahoma several years back. As we were told when Obama appointed Sotomayor and Kagan, “elections have consequences”.

  2. I hope the gov wins this battle – it’s not like he is asking too much from them. However, if they don’t give up a little apparently 12,000 will get their asses fired. Good luck finding another job in the Obama economy.

    Also, I don’t think Presbo had any business sticking his neck in this when the federal govt deficit is now $14 trillion.

  3. Well, as much as I think that teachers should have a more honored role in this society and probably more money (yes, education is one of the most important things, otherwise you end up with idiots adoring Palin and Co…), I also think this must be purely based on how good the teachers are, and when you suck you should be fired. Unions are in the meantime nearly obsolete (even though they played an important role in the rise of the US economy).

    And it is not an Obama economy, the shit came down due to killing all regulations for big banks and businesses and irresponsible low amount of taxes – starting with Reagan. Obama has nothing to do with the downturn and the stimulus helped to prevent a bigger crush (at least according to most economical experts in US and Europe).

  4. So if things are good Obama gets credit and now 25 months into his presidency he has no fault to our poor economy – okay…

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