An ‘Assault on Unions?’ It’s About Time.


Thuggish, “community organizing” politics showed up in Wisconsin after Commander-in-Chief, President Obama, deployed his Organizing for America (OFA) troops to inject protestors into the Wisconsin budget debate Obama describes as an “assault on unions.”  Obama is a smart man, so why would he choose to federalize a state issue and define Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to reduce the state’s deficit, preserve jobs and prevent dramatic pay cuts as an “assault?” 

After all, Gov. Walker simply asked union members to chip in a moderate percentage of their above average salary to contribute to their very generous and above the average pension and healthcare plans. The proposed increase could be partially recouped by another part of the proposal to make union participation and dues – optional – saving teachers upwards of $1100 annually.

Rather than intelligently considering the facts and having an intelligent debate, those charged with the honor of teaching our children responded like high school freshmen by calling in “sick” and closing down the Madison school system to join in a protest instigated by political arm of the Grande Community Organizer himself – President Obama.   In the real world, where the parents of the Wisconsin public school system children live, people who lie about missing work only to show up on their bosses doorstep to protest get a pink slip, not a pat on the back.

In the meantime, Wisconsin Democrat legislators revealed their lack of intestinal fortitude when they left the state.  They bailed to prevent the three-fifths quorum requirement necessary for continuance of Walker’s proposed legislation.

The sad part about all this is the “to hell with the children” attitude displayed by the Wisconsin educators, union members and the Obama administration.  The children are the ones who pay the price for this ridiculously mindless political power stunt.

It really boils down to money and power.  Former American Federation of Teachers president, the late Albert Shanker, said it best when he said, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

Recently, Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell reiterated the same self-serving attitude when she said, “This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits.  It is about protecting our right to collectively bargain.”

Walker’s proposal would effectively make union membership optional, and as such, would slowly act as a way to dissolve some of the power teachers unions have collected for themselves over the years. No longer would taxpayer money be funneled directly into union boss pockets – leading to less political clout and less manipulation of the American electoral process.

America needs to be about the business of creating jobs.  The traditional need for unions has long since passed and the longer they linger the more unions will be like a cancer on the workers in this country and the businesses they support.

The Bush administration understood that danger and demanded accountability by forcing unions to be more transparent by itemizing expenditures on an LM-2 report form.  This accountability led to the indictment of 1004 union officials and the conviction of a little over 900 – for crimes including fraud, embezzlement of members’ dues and $93 million in court-ordered restitutions leading to the resignation of some of Service Employees International Union top employees.

Any level of transparency the Bush administration achieved was reversed when, in 2009, the Purveyor of Transparency himself rescinded the Bush LM-2 form rules and ostensibly padded union fat cat wallets.

This move away from transparency served to peel back layers of hope and change to reveal a very union-friendly core. And federalizing the Wisconsin budget debate made Obama look like a national union boss rather than an American president.

You say Governor Walker’s proposed legislation is an “assault on unions,” Mr. President? Many Americans say, “It’s about time.”

©2011 Susan Stamper Brown.

5 Responses to An ‘Assault on Unions?’ It’s About Time.

  • Governor Walker did NOT “simply” ask for a modest chip in by the public employee unions or he would have accepted their proffer of the money and let all of the rest of his proposal go. Instead, he’s insisting on a not-so-clever-as-he-thinks sub rosa agenda of disempowering workers.

    That “money saving” opportunity you mention for employees where they can stop paying union dues, still enjoy the benefits of union membership and recoup some of their 8% would act as a financial drain on the unions. It’s not a benevolent move by Walker as you so tenderly paint it.

    The inability to retain collective bargaining rights on anything other than a capped salary sounds like an assault on workers’ rights to me. Especially when the money saving smokescreen is gone.

  • Wow another eye opener! Why doesn’t the Fed recognize the State’s sovereignty and steer clear of an issue of the State of Wisconsin? I give one reason although there are many and this is the thought many States are rejecting Obamacare(less) and the prez needs to make some one an example of his authority. I say those teachers who do not want to teach but fat cat on teachers pay should be terminated and a new contract supervised by the governor made. This is a total outrage to the Republic!

  • Heaven forbid that teachers have to perform their duties to the best of their abilities throughout their careers or lose those jobs, we have now protected the bad ones with tenior. There are many more good teachers out here than bad ones but the union forces this issue for some reason. Why should union dues be used ony to support Democratic candidates and you wnat to force all union employees to pay in their dues without any choice in the matter. Blackmail is the standard course and this is not how things should work. We now have a severe recession and teachers are demanding more in pay and benefits and the taxpayers are tapped out. Teachers fight agaist any alternatives because they want to have a monopoly over all citizens and the people are now standing up and saying NO!

    • Great input and insight. We are a family, and families learn to survive hard economic times by having an “we are all in this together” mentality.