Today I would like to compare/contrast two different letters sent by the two democratic frontrunners to be the next Governor of our great state.
The first letter was written by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and sent to Alberta Darling and Robin Vos: In this letter, Mayor Barrett brought up three points.
The first, he asked to also screw over the Milwaukee police and fire union members:
You should not give the Milwaukee police and fire unions a special exception to the changes in the bill, forcing all other employees to bear the burden of the cuts……
This year, the employee contribution for police and fire is $14.4 million, whereas the contribution for general city employees is only $8.3 million. Excluding police and fire would cause the City to miss out on the majority of the proposed savings.
Some people call it “savings” some people call it a forced pay cut, which side are you on?
Secondly, require ALL employees to contribute 12% to their healthcare:
For Milwaukee to fully benefit from the health insurance savings proposed in SS SB 11, the City of Milwaukee should be permitted to enroll its employees in the Wisconsin Public Employers’ Group Health Insurance Program. This bill prohibits employers participating in that program from paying more than 88% of the employee premium. Currently, Milwaukee is barred from participating in the program because we do not participate in WRS, and hence excluded from these savings.
Our healthcare costs are $128 million this year, up 121% from 2000. A savings of 12% from increased general city employee contributions would be $6 million. The savings for police and fire would be another $4.7 million. We need to be able to capture the full savings of $10.7 million, including police and fire.
Again, he is advocating taking $10.7 million from the police and firefighters of Milwaukee as a savings to the city of Milwaukee and as a benefit to the city of Milwaukee. Which side are you on?
Third, take collective bargaining benefits away from the Milwaukee police department.
That Milwaukee’s police union is specially entitled to unique binding arbitration provisions, unavailable even to other police or fire bargaining units in the state, is unfair to Milwaukee taxpayers. To avoid any favoritism among law enforcement personnel, the Milwaukee Police Association must be treated in a manner that is consistent with its peers, as outlined in Wis. Stat. 111.77. In order to accomplish this change, you will need to strike Wis. Stat. §111.70(4)(jm).
He wants to bring the Milwaukee police department down in terms of their abilities to collectively bargain, instead of advocating for all to receive theirs back. Which side are you on?
Now it comes time for the contrast version of this post.
We are writing today to request a written answer to a simple question on the minds of women and men
across Wisconsin: Why did you sign Senate Bill 202 to repeal the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act, and in
doing so remove state legal recourse for women who are victims of pay discrimination?
Our request is necessary because the answer you have provided to the people of Wisconsin does not
appear to be honest when compared to the facts.
Now I am not Pollyannaish enough to think that Scott Walker will respond(heck no one is even sure if he can write) or that he will change his mind(David Koch’s big contribution was sent to keep him from changing his mind. The difference though, in my mind is the words used, while Mayor Barrett played in to the republican meme that these are savings and benefits, Kathleen Falk let him know in flat out terms that this is unacceptable and based on something that we all know is not true.
Which side are you on? I stand with Kathleen Falk!