Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) is using the federal government’s pay and benefits system to explain the controversial budget reform plan passed by Wisconsin lawmakers last week.
“Imagine the outrage if government workers did not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits,” Walker wrote Thursday in The Washington Post’s op-ed section. “Consider the massive protests that would be staged by labor leaders all across the country. Think I’m talking about Wisconsin? No, I’m talking about the federal government.
“Contrary to what the Obama administration would lead you to believe, most employees of the federal government do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits. That means the budget reform plan we signed into law in Wisconsin on Friday is more generous than what President Obama offers federal employees,” Walker wrote.
Walker’s plann requires state workers to make a 5.8 percent pension contribution and a 12.6 percent health insurance premium.
“Federal workers, however, pay an average of 28 percent of health insurance costs,” the governor said. “It’s enough to make you wonder why there are no protesters circling the White House.”
A fair point, but remember that people were drawn to the streets in opposition to Walker’s plan to curtail the collective bargaining rights of state workers.
The governor is correct however when it comes to feds. Just air traffic controllers, some postal employees and few others have collective bargaining rights for both wages and benefits. Transportation Security Administration screeners — who now have limited collective bargaining rights — are voting this month on whether to allow a union to represent them in negotiations with agency leadership.
Walker initially used the federal-state comparisons last month after Obama made reference in a speech to public employees being “denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon.”
Agree or disagree with Walker’s comparisons? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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