Speaking at a meeting of the Governmental Research Association in Milwaukee on Monday, Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he is open to the idea of limiting the ability to collectively bargain for police officers and firefighters similar to the limits put in place for all other public sector employees as a result of Act 10 passed by Republicans and signed by Walker in 2011.
Walker and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature in 2011 all but eliminated collective bargaining for most public workers, but did not extend most of those restrictions to police and firefighters. That was because of concerns that governments around Wisconsin could not protect the public if officers or firefighters went on strike or took other job actions, Walker told a Governmental Research Association gathering in Milwaukee on Monday.
At that conference Monday he said he would be willing to put those restrictions in place for police and firefighters.
“I think now for those areas, having seen that the world didn’t come to an end for all your municipal employees and county employees, there might be a greater opening going forward because they’d say, ‘Hey things worked out,'” Walker said.
While Gov. Walker later walked back his comments about extending the provisions of Act 10 to firefighters and police officers, I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see Republicans attempt to do exactly that. After all, Scott Walker has proven that quid pro quo is an important part of how he governs, what’s more important to Walker is his own political reputation and ambitions.
After all, Scott Walker’s got 2016 to think about!