Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Attention Media: Don't Miss the Real Story!

I've read, watched and listened to many reports in the media about Scott Walker's "budget repair bill" (which is anything but) and I'm noticing an incomplete theme. Too much of the focus in the reporting is being put on the prospect of wage and benefit reductions. Don't be misled into thinking that this is the major point of the backlash against this bill. After all the public employee unions were already prepared to give $100 million in various concessions but Walker refused to negotiate at all. So the unions have made it clear that they are not adverse to carrying their fair share of the burden in terms of wage/benefit concessions.

The real outrage is Walker's unprecedented attempt to take away basically all collective bargaining rights. That wipes out basic rights that workers have had for over 50 years in Wisconsin. That includes the loss of the right to address things like workplace safety, seniority, grievance procedures and just about anything else for that matter. These drastic and unprecedented actions are bad enough but trying to do so in the space of one week is downright diabolical. This is not to even mention the fact that the bill very deliberately tries to weaken and undermine public employee unions organizationally.

It is right to highlight this bill's proposed cuts to workers pay and benefits because those things are very real and they are significant. But don't get stuck in the right wing talking points so deep that you leave the discussion only in that one rut. Continue to report the full amount of damage that this bill will do not only to workers' pay and benefits but also to their most fundamental rights. If you've missed that major detail then you have missed the real story.

1 comment:

josh said...

my husband is an elevator union man he has gone though continual schooling .{which the union has helped provide in cost}He holds a state certification to keep the public safe when they take the elevator.He recieves our health insurance through the union.NOT HIS EMPLOYER.We have been married for 18yrs.we have 7 children of our own. no, we are not on any substidised or free lunches. we have gained guardianship of a teenaged girl from an abbusive home, that we do not recieve any funding for because shes not adopted, we cannot recieve health care for her so she is on forward badger care.we can hardly keep our heads above water.due to daily expences.But we take on situations because we care and help is needed.we need to up hold each other to help lessen the burden.Actions can be louder than words.Unfortunately scott walker has told our family people like us should not exist,there for breaking us in multi directions. thank-you for your time Debbie Richards