Earlier Friday, Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, said his members would agree to pay more of their pension contributions and health insurance benefits as Walker is demanding. But Beil said his union would never agree to give up decades-old bargaining rights.Everything is clear. The only thing the Republicans want is to destroy the unions. Don't expect any compromise that works in the public interest. This battle is not about the public interest. It is about Republicans destroying the unions.
Beil's union is part of AFSCME, the largest state and local employee union in Wisconsin, which represents 68,000 workers for the state, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and other municipalities. An AFSCME spokesman said Beil was speaking for all the group's union locals in the state.
"We are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help bring our state's budget into balance, but we will not be denied our God-given right to join a real union . . . we will not - I repeat we will not - be denied our rights to collectively bargain," Beil said in a statement.
Mary Bell, the president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union, said her group also would make the financial concessions to keep its bargaining rights.
"This is not about money," Bell said in a phone conference. "We understand the need to sacrifice."
No compromise seen
Walker flatly rejected the offer.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
How many people have been fooled into believing that the battle in Wisconsin is either necessary or about preventing a budget deficit? This piece of news should make things clear:
Posted by Richard at 1:38 PM