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Wisconsin workers need your support

“Connecticut teachers stand together with educators and other public employees in Wisconsin,” according to CEA Executive Director John Yrchik.  He was one of a significant list of labor leaders and elected officials who spoke at a State Capitol rally today in Hartford.   Hundreds of working people turned out for the noon rally.  Yrchik told the crowd, “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is wrong.”

That sentiment was echoed by others including Governor Dannel Malloy who said, “There is no reason for a full assault in Wisconsin on the right to organize, the right to negotiate.”  Malloy added, “I am proud to stand with you at this rally and with the workers in Wisconsin.”

“We are one!  We are one!” chanted the people who came to the rally.  Other chants heard were: “Shame on Walker!  Shame on Walker!”

This is a watershed moment as working people fight back against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip educators and other public employees of their right to bargain.  You’re urged to sign the petition to support Wisconsin workers.  Your voice counts at this pivotal time in labor history.

Collective bargaining can be described many ways: a problem-solving tool,  a process that enables good working conditions for teachers so they can provide good learning conditions for students, and a framework that avoids strikes and disruption for student learning.

At its core, collective bargaining helps our democracy function.  It’s why it’s so fundamental.  It’s why everyone in America has to care how the fight in Wisconsin turns out.

If you won’t take our word for it, then listen to Paul Krugman, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics:

“You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle-and working- class Americans, and as opposed to the wealthy.”

Read the entire column. Then let us know your reaction.

5 Comments
  1. Gloria B #

    Sorry P Miner, but I have seen the polling data, and a majority- I think it stands at 61% -of the people polled don’t think collective bargaining should be taken away from public sector employees.

    February 24, 2011
  2. Linda Green #

    I am a Connecticut teacher now in Madison during my February vacation. The scene at the Capitol is incredible – people from all walks of life, union and non-union, old and young. It is civil and peaceful with few exceptions (and yes, someone has provided free brats). A pizza restaurant nearby has received donations from throughout the world to offer free pizza…This is about not vilifying one group of workers, who are not to blame for the deficit in Wisconsin, and should not lose their rights as a result. There is no doubt that without Gov. Walker’s stubborn and mean-spirited stance, the unions would still have been willing to discuss concessions (they are not naive). If you look carefully at the deficit in Wisconsin, the numbers are taken from budget requests and his proposals that are in themselves questionable.
    I spent yesterday at the Capitol with a retired nurse married to a policeman. She has driven nearly an hour daily to join the protests. They are furious about Walker’s bill. She reports that the police in Madison have never been treated as generously and appreciatively as they are during the protests here.

    February 24, 2011
  3. P. Miner #

    This is not a wise move…you are right, “It is a watershed ” moment but not as you /CEA / NEA see it. Please check the polling data and you will clearly see the majority of people in WI and around this nation are with the Gov. Walker. Best to sit this one out and take care of us at home in Ct. By the way has CEA and or NEA ever issued a clear statement and talking points regarding our Obamacare Healthcare exemption? People in the know are not happy with this. Please…spare me the P. Krugman’s far left philosophy and mis information.

    February 22, 2011
    • Robert Senk #

      Sorry P. Miner but I beg to differ.

      With union membership down to about 12 percent of workers in the United States (and 7 percent in the private sector), the Republicans and their business backers are pushing to eliminate unions from the United States entirely. Union busting activity like this has a long history going back to the beginnings of the organized labor movement (reread The Jungle by Sinclair Lewis for a refresher on all the repressive tactics still in use today).

      Corporations use their economic power to mold and shape our democracy and society to their liking. With their newly won electoral victories, they are trying to change the game forever to their advantage. The recent People’s United decision in the Supreme Court, the use of the fillibuster in the US Senate for the last two years, and now the coordinated attack in state legislatures to roll back the ability of unions to organize are all symptoms of the same disease. It is like playing Monopoly but with a few rule changes. I won last time and have changed the game so that I get 3000 dollars to start the game and you get 10 dollars and, by the way, I can put you in jail whenever I want. Remember your own CT state history where binding arbitration was the solution to ending teacher strikes and teacher jailings when they were deemed essential workers.

      As a proud resident of the state of Connecticut where we have seen fit to elect an all-Democratic slate of candidates for every major state and federal office, our governor has submitted his new budget to fill a 3.7 billion dollar deficit. It includes tax increases to the tune of 1.7 billion and concessions from state labor unions to the tune of 2.0 billion dollars. It can be done and will be done here without any need to resort to union busting. I suggest that Gov. Walker and his business backers take their ideological blinders off and take a look at how government really works.

      February 22, 2011
  4. Carrie Edwards #

    Wisconsin Teachers THANK YOU! As we enter our second week of protests many of us are being threatened with legal action and job loss. Your support is greatly appreciated.

    Carrie Edwards
    Proud Member of WEAC

    February 22, 2011

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