Just so you’ll think twice before calling me a right wing Republican extremist, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
First, yes, I am a registered Republican, but other than Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, my votes have gone independent, one year for example, I cast my ballot for Ralph Nader, another year for the Libertarian Candidate, still others Democrat. I was once a registered Democrat, many years ago, until that party, like the AARP, lost sight of what it stood for, in favor of a “me, me, me” party line.
I was strongly pro-union for years. I was a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) from 1964 to 1987 (when I left broadcasting), President of the Washington DC Local three times, a Member of the AFTRA National Board, a member of the Network Contract Negotiating Team, and a member of the Greater Washington Central Labor Council, and personal friends of some of the AFL-CIO top executives.
I tell you this because many Democratic leftists who read this blog are bound to use all sort of adjectives to condemn what I say.
The battle between the Wisconsin Governor and the Teachers Union. Never have I been so ashamed to be associated with organized labor as I am the Wisconsin Teachers Union.
As you probably know the state, like a number of others, is broke, billions of dollars in the hole. And like all other bankrupt states, except maybe California, efforts are being made to try and deal with Wisconsin’s shortfall.
In Wisconsin the Governor is proposing that the Teachers Union members take some cuts in their salaries and benefits, small cuts as they are. The rest is history, Teachers by the numbers, in Madison especially, began calling in sick, to go to the State Capitol and in as shrill a tone as possible, denounce the proposal. Schools were closed.
The Democratic National Committee, and we are told, even the White House has gotten into the act, supporting the teachers and condemning the Governor as wanting to “bust the union”. That’s simply not true with respect to the pay and benefit cut proposal. Some democrats in Congress joined the parade. And Democrats In the State Legislature fled to Illinois so the issue would be blocked.
I for one am a proponent of peaceful demonstrations to voice one grievances. But there are a couple of things very wrong with this case.
One, the teachers, by calling In sick so they can protest, are telling their students if you don’t like something, and you don’t have a legitimate excuse to protest, lie about it. They’re taking the position that it is alright to lie to get what you want. The proposed reductions are small compared to top salaries of $89,000.00 for teachers there. I won’t even get into the tenure issue, which by my thinking, is one of the worst provisions ever in a contract.
Two, peaceful protest means just that, it doesn’t mean pushing and shoving, as happened early on in Wisconsin, and it doesn’t mean writing graffiti on the walls of a hallowed building like the State Capitol.
Three, The Democratic National Committee and the members of Congress who have sent their goons to join the protest, saying to the world, “we don’t give a damn about our children’s education in values and academics, and we could care less how much private citizens pay in taxes to support our bloated appetites. They and the White House should keep their mouths shut about this issue, let the State and the Union work it out
I was a Washington Correspondent when the Air Traffic Controllers when on strike. Ronald Reagan gave them an ultimatum, go back to work or be fired.
Perhaps that may be the resolution of this case. Let the Teachers join the millions who don’t have jobs.
Then they will see what constitutes a REAL pay and benefit reduction.