VIDEO: A public servant shares her story of Act 10’s impact on her family

This is a powerful video.

My own thoughts on the impact of Act 10 on public employees are well-documented, but Monologues of Dissent summed up my thoughts perfectly.

This is my boat, and the boat of so many other state workers who were barely getting by prior to the “modest concessions” and cuts imposed by Act 10. Do not forget on Nov. 4 that Act 10 was NEVER about the budget: it was always about taking away our right to negotiate with our employers for a fair and living wage and benefits. Walker has revealed in the last week that he thinks the very idea of a minimum wage is a sinister government entitlement, and he’s revealed in his anti-taxpayer actions over the last 4 years that he will stop at nothing to deny healthcare to struggling families and line the pockets of his insurance-industry donors.

It’s disgraceful that Scott Walker’s virulent anti-union loathing has overridden any of the compassion, empathy, and concern for his fellow citizens that he may have learned as the son of a minister.


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33 thoughts on “VIDEO: A public servant shares her story of Act 10’s impact on her family

  1. ” it was always about taking away our right to negotiate with our employers.”

    Well now you can negotiate with your employer (the government) in the same manner that is available to every other individual or group. You lobby them, go to meetings, call your representatives etc…

    Not sure why the 1%ers (ie. government employees) should have rights denied the 99%.

    1. Denis, I’d love to hear your explanation for how public employees are one percenters, especially in the case of Leah Lipska. After all, the last time I checked, folks in the 1% didn’t receive food stamps, WIC, and energy assistance.

      Further, as a public employee, my income puts me nowhere near the top 1% of incomes in Wisconsin.

      While I get that you want to spew the rhetoric Scott Walker and Republicans have been feeding you all these years, the rhetoric simply doesn’t match reality.

    2. And I think it’s a real shame that you seem to be happy to see your fellow citizens struggle like Leah Lipska is simply because they happen to work in public service.

      It’s unfortunate that you want to denigrate public employees, especially considering I’m betting you probably couldn’t be paid enough to do some of the jobs we do.

      1. I don’t know what I wrote – perhaps you could point out the offending material – that suggested I am happy to see “fellow citizens struggle” nor did I denigrate anyone. I simply think that all citizens should share the same political rights and that nobody should have an advantage (collective bargaining etc…) when petitioning their government.

        1. Then you would support the immediate firing of all of Scott Walker’s crony state agency and department appointment selections, and turning those positions over to non-partisan professionals, selected by their respective agency staff and employees, so that ordinary citizens might not be stone-walled or obstructed in FOIA or other requests of state agencies, so an actual citizen ability to petition their government really existed.

          Current state employees cowering at the partisan dictates of the Republican regime and without the protection of employment rights formerly safe-guarded within union membership, now fearing instant termination for any invented infraction if not engaged in boot-licking subjugation, is not what I call democratic government. Glad you agree.

    3. I know, Dennis, I’m just wondering when those 1%er police and fire union members will start negotiating with their employers in the same manner that is available to every other individual or group. They’d better hurry and re-up their Walker endorsements if they know what’s good for them.

      1. Congrats Sue for at least understanding my argument, which is more than I can say for Zach and Dean. That said, I agree with you on the police and fire. Walker gets a bit of a downgrade for that.

        1. Yeah, Denis doesn’t think firefighters and police officers should have the ability to collectively bargain for things like workplace safety, because they should just rely on their management to do the right thing.


          1. Denis and Zach, I stand corrected. Milwaukee Police and Firefighters unions did endorse Walker, and so did the WI Troopers union. For some reason that info didn’t show up in an internet search last night but I found it this morning. The statewide police union endorsed Burke.

    4. Dennis, you may not realize this, but public-sector employees are just like private-sector employees in one regard: they’re both consumers. When anyone who earns money at a job, whether it be a public-sector job or a private-sector job, spends money at any business on goods and services, they’re stimulating the economy in the local area where they’re spending the money. When you strip a sizable portion of pay from a group of employees (like what 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 did to most public employees in Wisconsin), you take a ton of money out of the economy, causing the economy to suffer.

      1. “When you strip a sizable portion of pay from a group of employees (like what 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 did to most public employees in Wisconsin), you take a ton of money out of the economy, causing the economy to suffer.”

        Aaron, you say that money is stripped from employees and taken out of the economy. Tell me more about that if you would. When it is stripped from employees, where does it go? Does someone destroy it and if so how? Or does it merely end up elsewhere and spent elsewhere? Thanks.

        1. It went to Walker’s $2B in income tax reductions for already profitable corporate owners and investors who are still or were donors to Scott Walker’s campaign and criminal defense funds. Get with the program and quit pretending you don’t understand the situation while you try to manufacture another cheap-shot gotcha moment.

          Take money previously used to almost fairly compensate labor in the public sector, take from public education, take from SNAP programs, take from reductions to DNR regulatory action costs that are supposed to protect our physical environment and this allows you to reduce the former tax obligations of your buddies. IOW you gift your cronies with reduced tax obligations at the cost of the nearly everyone else on several levels.

          If you are unwilling to engage in strait-forward debate and unwilling to acknowledge that your arguments have been answered and/or totally debunked or that you are unwilling to challenge the answers that have been presented, then you should forfeit your right to be allowed to comment here, anymore. So far you have proven nothing other than 100% troll status.

  2. I would venture to say Denis you never learned math. Does this woman’s house or anything about her look like the 1% to you? Just how much do you think she was pulling down as a prison brochure maker? Must be hiding the two Beemers in the garage. Chucklehead, hopefully you and Scotty find an education.

  3. Zach et al, I know you are conditioned to think of 1% and 99% in terms of income. That is not how I was referring to 1% and 99%. I was using 1% and 99% in a cheeky manner. Let me explain since you all didn’t get it the first time around. I don’t think a small percentage (perhaps 1%, perhaps a bit more) of people, namely government employees, should have rights (privileges is probably the better word) that the rest of us do not have. For example, I don’t recall having the privilege of directly negotiating my income or property taxes with my representatives, and if not happy, calling in an arbitrator. So now we have what should be a happy occasion indeed. There is no 1% and 99%. We all have the same rights to petition our government and there is no special class of 1%ers (ie gov employees) with rights not shared by others. Also called equality!

    1. There’s nothing “cheeky” about a public employee being forced to rely on the social safety net just to scrape by.

      You may think it’s something to be “cheeky” about, but I don’t, because we’re talking about real people here. This isn’t rhetoric; this is reality.

      And your whining about not having the privilege of negotiating your income and property taxes is apples to oranges, and you know that. I pay income and property taxes the same as you, and I never gotten special negotiating privileges to allow me to reduce those taxes.

      But hey, don’t let reality stand in the way of your skewed worldview.

      1. Go on and argue against points I am not making Zach. It is a common technique on the left. It is called a straw man argument. You create a bogus argument (straw man) then argue against it. It might make you feel better I suppose but it is an easily recognizable rhetorical failing.

        The cheekiness I was referring to was that I co opted the language of the Occupy crowd who so disdain the wealthy 1%, excepting the wealthy lefties of course. They are bent out of shape about wealth inequality. I was bent out of shape about political power/privilege disparity. And then Scott Walker fixed the problem. Now we (excepting police and fire) all have equal rights to petition our government. There is no elite class (excepting fire and police unfortunately) with more political rights than the rest of us. This is called equality and I find it hilarious that it so upsets progressives, shining a bright spotlight on their hypocrisy.

        1. The only thing you are shining a light is your ignorance of the topic, as glaringly misinformed as the reflection off Walkers bald spot after the debate last night when he kept is backside in the camera after for the closing credits instead of letting the panelists go home. Your arrogant, unnecessary and insufferable pettiness and spineless condescension toward one person falling for your deliberate misuse of common terms, is neither clever, nor useful at all in defending your position against workers’ rights, which you still have not done.

          Really glad you looked up the definition of a straw argument, you’ve been a genius at producing them in nearly every comment you make here. Perhaps we will be subjected to fewer of them. I already mentioned the elite class of workers @ 6:51pm yesterday and not a word from you in response to that.

          Dig out your dictionary and look up sweeping generalizations as long as you seem to feel you understand some of the terms I’ve recently used to describe your methods of serious discussion or debate. Your last two sentences fit remarkably well into that category.

    2. Which public employees negotiate their income or property taxes directly with their representatives? Last I heard public employees pay the same taxes as everyone else, and those that don’t pay into Social Security also don’t see any Social Security benefits.

      At the same time, everyone else (at least in principle) can negotiate their wages, benefits and working conditions either individually or collectively with their employer without a bunch of politicians stepping in to grandstand on one issue or another and score points by impoverishing people who just want to do their jobs, serving the public in obvious and not so obvious ways. First the Legislature says it wants something done, then it says it’s going to cut the take home pay of the people who are doing it. The taxpayers are are more than happy to have and use the service, but when it comes time to pay for it, wah, wah, wah. If public sector employees want to form a union and hire negotiators to deal with this kind of nonsense, why shouldn’t they be able to do that, just like every other worker in America and many around the world? Do you complain when corporate executives hire personal lawyers to negotiate stratospheric compensation packages? Why shouldn’t every worker have someone to make the case for just how valuable their contribution to the private or public good really is? As a system it sure beats politicians voting their own raises, or CEOs pretending that they are personally responsible for all the value produced by a company.

      1. Wait, public employees get to negotiate their own property and income taxes? Where have I been all these years?! I’ve been paying my taxes like everyone else all these years, which I suppose makes me quite the sucker.

        Keep talking , Dicky. You and your fellow big-mouthed Baggers sound dumber by the post

        1. MCV’s comment was a little hard to follow but I’m NOT seeing him speaking against the rights of civil servants to bargain for rights. Of course I’m only on my first cuppa coffee.

    3. State approved private sector corporations bidding to provide services to the public, for example, an engineering firm designing a sewer and water system for a municipal project, get an automatic 3% jump in allowable charges and operational costs each year. Written into state law, no bargaining necessary.

      In this example, this is work that used to be professionally performed by state agency employees at a much lower cost. This is what occurs with privatization of public services. Education, food services, maintenance, security, prisons, name any division of state provided services. Built in private sector pay raises, along with more difficult public access and less accountability to address public complaints about performance is the “bonus,” John and Jane Q Public get to suffer along with higher public costs.

      Perhaps mr cheeky will pull up his pants and quit deliberately trying to stink up the place. If he had a lick of fact behind his mealy pronouncements he would know that public sector employees with a college degree, make about 20% more in median wage, salary and benefits, than public sector workers with equivalent educational status do. If you take the profession of public school teaching, with their stringent educational requirements, they were already significantly farther behind the pay packages of private sector workers needing those same educational requirements.

      1. My mistake, sorry, should read “…private sector workers make about 20% more in median…”

  4. Nonquxote, that has not been my experience with private contractors taking over previous work done by public employees. Granted, most my hands on have been in the, let’s call it laymen, blue collar segment of replacing former government employees. I’ve found that productivity has gone up by 20%, this I have documented. Our company has to provide this info to the department heads every year, also I’ve never been involved where we have received an automatic escalator clause.

  5. Thanks for your take, my experience is as a statuatory Town Commission non-salaried volunteer for 20 yrs handling federal and state grant money, private contractors picked by the state, late delivery of specifications, total misses of scope of project that have involved serious costs then again to state for work failed to be listed in contracts.

    I don’t doubt your comment but we’ve needed plans completely re-engineered over three to five year periods as private contractors were NOT using work performed by previous other private contractors, $80K and higher “jobs,” completely re-done repeatedly every time a new private contractor was assigned by the state.

    Obviously exchanging complete descriptions is not possible here. My personal business productivity jumped quite a bit when I got my first computer, or when I upgraded other “tools,” for example. So a lot to be discussed to reach a better understanding of labor costs, wages, and comparisons of higher productivity over former state public employees. Are private laborers any better off in overall personal financial fitness compared to those whom they replaced? Thanks again.

  6. Look, ultimately my thoughts on this entire issue are summed up with two questions:

    1. What does it say about our state that its public servants are forced to rely on the social safety net?
    2. What does it say about conservatives that they seem to be okay with our public servants being forced to rely on the social safety net?

  7. Re #1. They aren’t. All you have offered is one anecdote, a lady with three children and seemingly no husband, none was in the video anyway. It is tough to raise three kids these days unless you are damn near wealthy or you don’t mind sacrificing them to the altar of public education. I am not sure why Leah Lipska is a single parent but I am pretty sure it is not Scott Walkers fault.

    Re #2. Anecdotal information about one public sector employee on public assistance says nothing about conservatives.

    1. 1. All you’ve offered is nothing but more ludicrous and asinine insinuations in the form of two more straw arguments and it appears that you didn’t even watch the video. I’ll guess you cannot figure out why I know that is most likely the case you didn’t watch the video.

      2. The point of the video was one person’s and if you believe her, her children’s view of the bully Scott Walker, which taken to the logical (not your magical) conclusion would include his closest lieutenants and ass-kissing legislators, carrying out his dictates. The video says everything about the subject is was focused on and if this is the first time you have heard of $5K reductions of annual income in families of other civil servants, get your head out of your ass and look around.

  8. My thoughts on this matter can be summarized with two questions as well.

    1. Why do liberals, who claim to support equality, insist that a small segment of the population should have political privileges not available to everyone?

    2. What does it say about the intellect and honesty of liberals that, despite 20 or so responses, none has even attempted to answer question #1?

  9. 1. Who’d have guessed, yet another sweeping generalization of a subset of the population that you have not ever bothered defining, but have labeled and keep referring to anyway, as the bogey-man you must oppose.

    Many people who claim to support equality are doing just that, wanting a more equal distribution of the profits and benefits they deserve, which are generated by work they perform. They also even agree with you that the political privileges purchased by the one-percent wealth holders should not be allowed to be granted only to that small percent of persons with sufficient cash. No intellectual dishonesty what-so-ever and a theme amongst this subset of people that has been unwaveringly constant throughout labor rights activism history.

    2. Anyone who was not trying to be deliberately obtuse and obstructively contrary, or who was not purposely spewing bigoted hatred toward the working class, or who is unfortunately just plain ignorant about labor issues, would have easily understood that the answer is inherent in the entire discussion in this thread except for in any of your comments. Guess you must fit one of these categories because you are the only one commenting here that fails to “get it.” That sounds like a serious personal problem, you should seek help, elsewhere.

  10. I wrote to Scott Walker re:my concerns about 2 weeks ago and asked him why he thinks I and ither people age 50 and over should vote for him…I never got a reply I guess he’s telling me and others that we shouldn’t and I WONT!

  11. I am a state employee for 24 years now and since walker was elected I am loosing 500.00 a month of money that was in my budget. Now I live from pay check to pay check. Can’t get a head and @ 60 yes old can’t retire

  12. Between Michele and mary rushing, we have the two most poignant and important comments of the last few weeks if not longer.

    Scott Walker, his campaign patrons and his paid off cronies are in government for themselves and care not a wit for anyone else, period. Power and control, exhibited as the two key traits that define abusers, from school-yard bullies to Wall street hedge fund manipulators. They are never satisfied and they never ever have an ounce of sympathy or empathy for the plight of the people whom they use and abuse to get what they want, as they tell themselves they are deserving of the spoils of their terrorist behavior.

    The inexcusable smallness of any redeeming personal character, inherently demonstrated by two or three regular commentators here, one above, denigrating a mother and wife (wedding ring at 00:27-30 in the video) fixing a meal for and then reading to her children. Reading, the key activity that is most important to establishing healthy physical, emotional and intellectual growth for her charges is dismissed with tacit blame and accusatory belittling in insinuations about where is the husband, suggestions that this woman is of low moral standards and her family is sub-par, not proper, and judged with no evidence or reason what-so-ever other than obviously learned and practiced, individual bigotry and hate.

    What is likely in the video is that the father is at his job and their incomes combined cannot purchase childcare that might enable the whole family to spend a few precious minutes together each week. Been there, done that. Unfortunately, more than a few shameless individuals will never learn, never be happy, never understand the chains they bind others with.

    A late friend, the anniversary of his passing is next week and who died of complications from Agent Orange, 45 years after his time in Vietnam, steadfastly reminded many of us who knew him, Never.Give.Up. So hear mary and hear Michele and listen well, they know what reality is and they understand the cause and the reason and the way to move on.

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