Skip to comments.Barrett, Falk split on union issues
Posted on 04/16/2012 10:21:10 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Madison - How much public workers should pay for benefits is emerging as a new flash point in the Democratic race to see who will take on Scott Walker in the recall election for governor.
The two leading contenders part ways significantly, with Kathleen Falk wanting to open the issue back up in union negotiations and Tom Barrett wanting to keep employee contributions at current levels.
And although both say they would attempt to re-establish the ability of public-sector unions to engage in negotiations - which was lost under Walker - they differ in how they would go about trying to do it.
In the short term, those differences are a factor in employee unions throwing their endorsements - and their money for advertising - behind the former Dane County executive.
But on a larger scale, the differences reinforce how critical collective bargaining has become on the Wisconsin political landscape, and how much of a role it will play in determining who will take on the governor - and then who will emerge victorious when voters go to the polls June 5.
Falk says that as governor, she would go back and negotiate with employees over their health and pension benefits.
"I'm not saying any particular level," Falk said of the contributions from public employees. "That is what you bargain, and that is what I did for 14 years. I did shared sacrifices."
Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor, said he would keep employees' benefit contributions at the levels set in Gov. Scott Walker's budget to maintain the saving they created, with workers paying 12.6% of health insurance premiums and 5.8% of their salary toward their pension. The mayor said union leaders have said publicly they can accept those contributions, but not the loss of their collective bargaining.
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Wisconsin FAlk & Barrett differences ping
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Ah, then why is Tom Barrett running? You see, Walker's plan is working; Barrett's entry into the race lays bare the fact that this is really just a naked partisan power grab.
I think Barrett’s plan is to beat Falk who smart Democrats know is too far left to be assured of winning against Walker. Barrett can appeal to “moderates”, and if elected, throw a few bones to the unions while leaving Act 10 intact and reaping the benefits that are already starting to come from it. Instead of running on “repeal” he’ll try to find a way to take credit for it, meanwhile scapegoating Walker as the evil conservative.
Completely agree. And if Barrett does win the Primary Walker should POUND him on the fact that Barrett benefitted from Act 10. He should then get Barrett on record stating whether he would repeal Act 10 or not, and if he unequivically won’t repeal it then there is no reason to vote for Barrett.