May Day! May Day!
Another weekend, another rally. Not as many funny signs and nobody dressed head-to-toe in fuzzy animals, but we had catering and karaoke. We also had AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
Trumka accused Walker of wanting to take away the collective bargaining rights for teachers, firefighters and police officers.
“And we’re saying no to the Scott Walkers. You cannot take our basic rights and jobs away from teachers and firefighters and police officers, the people we rely on to make our community safe and worth living in. We won’t allow it,” he said.
The recent budget repair bill that was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Walker allows teachers unions to collectively bargain on wages but removes benefits from collective bargaining. The new law does not affect police officers and firefighters who were specifically excluded.
However, some Wisconsin mayors have questioned why the police and firefighter unions were excluded given the portion of city budgets that is dedicated to those employee costs. Among those is city of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett who was on the stage as Trumka spoke.
“Two-thirds of my wages and salaries are for public safety and yet, the governor does not touch that,” Barrett told WISN-TV in March.
Perhaps Barrett reminded Trumka of the exception for police and fire as they left the stage. Barrett might have even asked Trumka for a little help with those unions who have not agreed to the wage and benefit concessions Barrett has asked of them.
Of course, Trumka might ask Barrett why he wants police and firefighter union members to be captives in the city rather than being free to live where they want.
But I digress.
In addition to my weekly op-ed, the MacIver Institute also has video from Sunday’s events with narration by Bill Osmulski: