In Wisconsin public sector unions have surrounded the Capitol Building in protest of the bill that will basically put an end to the teachers union. It should have come as no surprise that I am no fan of public sector unions. Unions are meant to protect workers against their employers. We shouldn't have anything to fear from working for the government. While I understand that in some ways it is easier to make salary decisions as a group than it is on an individual basis.
The problem is that these public unions have become so powerful that the rest of us are getting screwed. Many of these unions have not cared for the tax payer funded retirement funds, that we will have to pay for a second time. This is the reason that they lack all creditability. So much of the problems that the states are facing are due to the fact that they have refused to put up a fair share of the costs for the benefit packages that they receive. In New Jersey teachers generally pay into the benefit packages slightly over $100K over the period of their career and take out more than a million. How can we possibly sustain that?
In many instances the unions are asked to put in an additional percentage into their benefits or face layoffs. The UNIONS choose lay offs. They then go out to the media and make statements about how the government (usually republicans) is against education and anti teacher. The only chance these states have is to break up these unions. Otherwise they will bankrupt the states that were silly enough to sign these contracts that they couldn't afford.
All the polls show that public sector unions popularity is at an all time low. I wonder why? The rest of us are watching our taxes increase to pay for benefits that we don't get. Many of us haven't gotten a raise in years, some of us have lost our jobs and are running out unemployment benefits. We are supposed to be shedding tears because they are being asked to spend an additional 7% towards the Cadillac benefit packages that they have received?
I have no problem with them protesting against a bill they feel strongly against. But, do they really need to bring their students with them? Do the parents of these kids know that they are there? Do the kids even understand why they are there? From the videos that I have seen, they don't seem to. They are basically striking illegally and closing down school systems across the state. That is great message to teach the kids, I mean isn't that the lesson that we want the teachers to giving to our children? Don't worry about the rules, just do what you want when you want.
They, like everyone else in this country, need to realize the gravy train is over. We can no longer afford to pay these benefits. The public sector workers are going to have pay towards their benefits and retirements just like the rest of us do. Welcome to the real world.
Head on over to Althouse to see the mess that they left at the Capitol, you can also see the new civility in action.