Wow! What a week! Not only did I get a new job but most of my co-workers and my supervisor are gone for good parts of the day. Where is everyone? Down at the Captial protesting one of the most hated governors in Wisconsin history. He's only been in office for about 45 days but has caused more protests and harm than we have seen in decades.
So why are we so mad? Well lets start with the first reason he likes to say. Money. It's NOT about the money. The state union (which I am not a part of) agreed to concessions last fall. Governor Walker asked the legislature not to accept the contract and concessions because he wanted to negotiate deeper cuts. Okay. No problem. The problem is he then never followed through and asked the unions for more. Actually, he refused to talk to them stating he wouldn't negotiate.
The biggest issue is that he is attempting to take collective bargaining away. He states he has to because unions never give up anything. Actually even without considering that the state union offered concessions last fall and has since stated they will give him what he's asked for in this bill, we can loook at other unions. Take a look at the public union I just left. They took a 5 percent pay cut two years ago. Last year they took a 3 percent pay cut. Then we can look at the public union I am in now. They also took a 5 percent pay cut two years ago and a 3 percent cut last year. This year they agreed to a contract with no pay raise and more contributions to their health care. That's what the county asked for and that's what we gave them. So between the concessions the unions have been taking and the promise that we will give more, I'm not sure why the Governor is after us so hard. We aren't the enemies. He is.
There are other troubling cuts that with only a week to look at the bill and no time for public input everyone is just suppose to accept. There are cuts to education, cuts to medical care for the state's most vulnerable children and decreases in other service areas. Now, maybe these cuts are necessary. I don't know. I would know but Gov. Walker won't tell us about them. He hasn't given anyone enough time to look at them.
So why are 40,000 people at the capital protesting and many more writing letters, signing petitions and calling the captial? Because our governor only cares about the rich and is willing to watch the poor and middle class suffer. He's says it's about helping unemployment but that's also not true. Unemployment has been going down for the past year without his help/harm and it shows signs of continuing to decline. More people are hiring and jobs are easier to find.
I am proud of my senators hanging out in Illinois. I hope they stay there until this governor realizes the people of Wisconsin aren't afraid of him and won't be bullied. We won't stop protesting until the governor is willing to not only listen but also show he cares more about us than the multimillionaires who put him in office. Right now his staff can't walk the halls of the capital. There are too many people. Schools are shut down not because teachers are worried about themselves but because they are worried about the education system's future. Social workers are spending vacation time and lunch breaks at the captial because they are worried about how this bill affects their clients. Law enforcement and fire fighters (two groups who endorsed him during the election but won't be next time and are currently exempted from this bill) have joined the fight because they are also worried about the state's future. I even watched a State Trooper handing out paper and pens asking people to continue to write.
Governor Walker, Polls show 58 percent of the people of Wisconsin do not like you after only 40 days. 66 percent do not approve of this bill. You say you want to represent the majority. Well, that's the majority. Wake up and act like a governor. Not a dictator.