Alberta Darling: teachers should be thanking Republicans for weakening public employee unions!

During an appearance on Vicki “wolf on back, snake on chest” McKenna’s radio show on June 6, 2011, Republican State Senator Alberta Darling explained why Wisconsin’s teachers should be supporting Republicans for all Republicans have done to weaken public employee unions. Sen. Darling explained that teachers should be more accepting of the provisions of the so-called “budget repair” bill which would end most collective bargaining rights for public employees, as well as steep increases in health insurance and pension payments by public employees, because those same provisions will save teachers $800-$1,000 per year.

Conveniently, Darling neglected to mention that the very same provisions that will “save” teachers $800-$1,000 per year will actually cost teachers (and other public employees) several thousand dollars per year more than any savings they’d realize from not paying union dues, if they chose not to remain a member of their union.

Here’s the audio of Sen. Darling explaining why teachers should be supporting Republicans:

Alberta Darling talks teachers (Click to listen in a new tab)

And here’s a transcript of Sen. Darling’s comments:

“And the teachers, y’know, why are the teachers accepting this? Why are the teachers so anti-the Republican majorities when WE are the ones who are trying to do the education reforms, give them the right to join a union which would actually — that money, which is 800 to 1000 dollars, y’know, roughly — that money would compensate for the compensations that they’re gonna have to contribute in terms of health care and pensions. I mean, that money would go back in their pocket, plus we could save the jobs, plus we could save the money for the classroom. Why don’t the teachers wake up and understand this? This is in their best interest.”

So let’s just recap Sen. Darling’s really fuzzy math:

$800 to $1,000 in yearly savings for public employees as a result of the anti-public employee “budget repair” bill
$3,000 to $5,000 in yearly costs for public employees due to increased pension and health care payments
= Teachers should be appreciative of everything Republicans like Sen. Alberta Darling have done to “put money back in their pocket”

I’m not sure how Sen. Darling can keep a straight face as she outright lies about how Republicans are actually putting money into the pockets of teachers in Wisconsin, given the irrefutable fact that the Republican-led push to take away collective bargaining rights and force public employees to pay more for their health insurance coverage and pensions will actually cost public employees between $3,000 and $5,000 per year more than what they’re already paying.

Now I admit math wasn’t my best subject when I was in school, but the last time I checked, $800 to $1,000 in savings was not more than $3,000 to $5,000 in extra costs, so it should be pretty clear to most people – but obviously not to Sen. Alberta Darling – that teachers have every right to be angry at what Republicans like Sen. Darling are doing to weaken their unions and hurt their pocketbooks.


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13 thoughts on “Alberta Darling: teachers should be thanking Republicans for weakening public employee unions!

  1. My school district (about as deep red as they get), actually believes that the loss of collective bargaining will cost THEM a lot more money. Their thinking is that many of the employee issues that they have had to deal with they’ve been able to work with the union to resolve them, at no cost to the district. Since that is now gone, many of those issues will now be dealt with in court. Read, gotta pay the lawyers now.

  2. Funny. Because when Kucinich questioned Walker in D.C., Walker admitted that eliminating collective bargaining would NOT save any money.

    1. False. Kucinich asked Walker about requiring unions to recertify every year, to that Walker replied it wouldn’t affect the budget.

  3. “$3,000 to $5,000 in yearly costs for public employees due to increased pension and health care payments”

    Every time I see this it just reinforces that this budget needs to get done. Do you think taxpayers are going to shed a tear for you? Right now both my wife and myself have to have separate health insurance which means we are paying two premiums. That is how the real world works and it is time state union workers join the real world and pay their share instead of expecting those of us who are responsible to pay for our healthcare to also be forced to pay for yours.

    1. No one’s asking for you to shed a tear; I’m simply pointing out the flaws in Sen. Darling’s math. Considering she’s co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, I’d expect her math skills to be a little better, but I guess it’s too much to ask that she have some basic math skills.

  4. Notalib…I don’t have a problem with public employees pay whatever is deemed their fair share…but that deeming should be done at the negotiation table not unilaterally by career politicians who bluster and jive but are too afraid of their shadows to actually come to the table.

  5. Did you hear that the Supreme Court tossed out the decision by the union activist judge? Looks like Wisconsin will continue to move forward.

  6. notalib: Why would you have to have two insurance programs IF you ARE married?

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