"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," — Franklin Roosevelt, in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees.
What I feared is beginning to happen. The police in Madison are beginning to side with the demonstrators. Last Saturday there were images that were odd, and to some shocking. In the halls of the Wisconsin Capitol young people banged drums, danced around, and blew horns as socialists and Marxist signs looked on. It was a scene described to by a disgusted observer as a drug and alcohol-infested rave that Capitol police ignored. And while the Capitol Police deny those charges, it seems one prominent protester noticed something interesting, too.
There is another video suggesting Capitol police are supporting the protesters. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who joined the protesters over the weekend, noticed the “hippie drum circles” in the Capitol, too. But he also noticed something else: the cops were very buddy-buddy with the protesters.
In an interview with GritTV, Morello admitted he was “broing down with the cops,“ meaning that instead of having to ”sneak” around the police, he said, some of them were openly expressing support for the unions and stopping to take pictures with Morello
Capitol Police spokeswoman Carla Vigue said no arrests had been made from Saturday on, and no one has reported any drug or alcohol use within the Capitol or on Capitol grounds. “The protesters have been very peaceful and very cooperative,” she said. Regarding the possibility of people using substances, with specific reference to the video of them looking on, she added, “That would never be able to happen.” She cited the “couple hundred” police patrolling the Capitol each day in making her statement. Because of security protocol, she said she could not detail exactly where police were stationed but said generally police were roaming “all over.”
So what does this mean? In the end it’s a he-said-she-said. Vigue denied police were joining in with protesters and, according to her, drug and alcohol use inside the Capitol could “never happen.” The disgusted observer suggested otherwise, and Morello claims police were “down” with protesters and expressing their union support.
According to the Green Bay Pressgazette; “Hundreds of off-duty police officers and deputies joined protests today against Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill that would strip most collective bargaining powers from about 170,000 public employees.”
“Police, state troopers and firefighters are exempt from Walker's proposal, but even as some marched on the downtown Capitol Square, hundreds of other officers from around the state provided security.”
“Sheboygan County Sheriff's Cpl. Matt Spence and Deputy Todd Traas stood guard on the Capitol's northwest side directing pedestrians toward entrances to the building. ”We left at 3 a.m. on Thursday and have been (in Madison) ever since," Traas said. Five Sheboygan County deputies were on duty Saturday. ‘They came equipped with riot gear, including helmets and batons’, they said, but didn't expect trouble.”
From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol Ryan Harvey reported: “Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”
“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact; we will be sleeping here with you!’
If the police will not do their job we are headed for anarchy. If you call 911 will the dispatcher ask you if you support the union before sending help? Will firefighters only respond to emergencies for union members or supporters? These people took an oath and now they are spitting on that oath and their own integrity. Roosevelt was correct when he warned of the dangers of public sector unions. This is Boston of 1919 all over again.
Meanwhile in New York City Mayor Bloomberg is getting furious over the abuses by the teachers unions. The New York Post reports: “In the city's funny math, you get only one teacher for the price of two.”
“The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities — and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom. It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung — at full pay -- to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.”
“With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it's time to halt the extravagant benefit. In these tight fiscal times, it defies common sense to pay two different people to do one job," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog. "It's a waste of money."
That $9 million would cover the salaries of 198 new teachers at the current annual $45,530 starting pay The DOE lets 40 experienced teachers collect top pay and fringe benefits, but work just one class period a day.” The DOE lets 40 experienced teachers collect top pay and fringe benefits, but work just one class period a day.
“Under a contract agreement since 2003, the DOE excuses these veterans to work for the UFT -- currently 38 as district representatives and two as union vice presidents. The UFT pays them another salary, plus expenses.
English teacher Tom Dromgoole, for instance, collects top teacher pay, $100,049 a year, from the DOE for his slot at Leadership and Public Service HS in downtown Manhattan. But he is relieved for most of the day to serve as a UFT high school rep. The UFT supplements his salary by $50,461, records show. Dromgoole is outspoken on state budget cuts, which he blasted at a boisterous protest last March with UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Reached Friday outside his Brooklyn townhouse, Dromgoole brushed past a reporter who asked about his UFT work, saying, "No comment." (Photo at left)
“Another veteran teacher said of the lucrative gigs, "It's a plum because you're not teaching. Some principals give them little or nothing to do" because the UFT reps are powerful.”
“The rest of the 1,500 teachers paid for time away from students are UFT "chapter leaders," who represent faculty at each school. They get at least one class period a day "for investigation of grievances" and other union-related duties, the contract says.”
“The UFT reimburses the DOE only about $900,000 of nearly $10 million it spends to replace the teachers, officials said. One principal said his school's chapter leader is helpful as a staff liaison, but he questioned why the UFT — which collects $126 million in member dues — doesn't cover the cost: "They have a lot of money to run TV ads. Should DOE be paying for this?"
This is another case of featherbedding by the unions with the taxpayers getting hosed. Perhaps you will be getting the idea why the teachers unions are constantly crying for more and more money “for the children.” For the children my eye! These greedy, selfish union teachers don’t give a hoot about the children. All they care about is how to line their pockets with more taxpayer money — our money.
In a recent national poll 61% of the respondents supported the union in Wisconsin yet 75% said taxes were too high and we were spending too much money. How can such a dichotomy exist in the minds of the American people? I’ll tell you how. The media is covering this issue from the side of the union. They are not telling the truth and the American taxpayer is getting bamboozled by the left wing press.
I realize that there are a few media outlets that are trying to tell the public the truth about the public sector unions, but they just are not reaching enough people. As long as the Democratic Party is controlled by unions we will never get out of this mess. It appears that the rational, conservative side of this issue — the Roosevelt side — is just not controlling the dialog.
In Wisconsin, and other states, the unions are busing in thousands of demonstrators. How many Tea Party members are traveling to Wisconsin ti support Gov. Walker? Not enough. And even if they did they would be excoriated by the left wing press as they were in the 2010 elections.
All we can do is make our arguments, with facts, to everyone we know — even our teacher and union friends. This is not about steel workers or teamsters, it’s about public sector workers feeding at the public trough.