“We write to express our grave concern that MTEA has asked their legislators to introduce and work to pass legislation which would enable MTEA and the Milwaukee Public Schools to enter into an agreement in which MTEA would make economic concessions such as those enacted by Governor Walker’s WI Act 10.
‘The undersigned believe that such legislation would be detrimental to our members’ best interests: i.e. our Districts would likely push for similar legislation, given the precedent established by MTEA. Further, we believe such legislation will have an adverse impact on all Wisconsin public employees. Such legislation will enable Governor Walker to claim victory of his policy to reign [sic] in public employee wages and benefits. Because he did not adequately fund education, we are all currently suffering. Allowing Governor Walker to make such a claim just before the recall election will prove detrimental to recalling him and, therefore, will only enhance his ability to further harm all Wisconsin public employees.
“We ask that you immediately withdraw your request for this legislation.”
The letter was signed by the following union representatives from Madison, Kenosha, Green Bay and Racine:
Peggy Coyne, MTI President
John Matthews, MTI Executive Director
Mary B. Modder, KEA President
Joe Kiriski, KEA Executive Director
Toni Lardinois, GBEA President
Keith Patt, GBEA Executive Director
Pete Knotek, REA President
Jack, Bernfeld, REA Executive Director
This is a copy of the letter sent to the Milwaukee School District after they had requested that the WI State Legislature give them an open window in which to renegotiate fringe benefits without nullifying their existing contracts.
So, what are the unions really telling us? "Such legislation will enable Governor Walker to claim victory of his policy to reign [sic] in public employee wages and benefits." Asking the legislature to renegotiate the part of the contract affected by the collective bargaining clause of Act 10 will give Walker points to use against them in the recall. "Allowing Governor Walker to make such a claim just before the recall election will prove detrimental to recalling him and, therefore, will only enhance his ability to further harm all Wisconsin public employees."
So the Milwaukee School District rushed a contract through which left them with a deficit of $10 million dollars in their pension fund, and now they want to renegotiate to cover that deficit without nullifying the full contract. And the unions don't want them to be able to make up the deficit through contract concessions. BECAUSE....
Act 10 worked,
it brought about the ability of School Districts to bring their contracts into line with the actual cost of doing business without union collusion. This letter is another example of the thuggery the unions are willing to commit to keep the school districts in line. Because the union have been used to using school districts against each other in the negotiation process, they feel that they can use this same tactic against the Milwaukee School District now to smack them back down.
In their own words, Milwaukee wants to "make economic concessions such as those enacted by Governor Walker’s WI Act 10." They themselves are admitting that ACT 10 has worked, is working and will continue to work. That is why they have to redirect the argument back to the collective bargaining that they lost. If they can re-frame the argument back to collective bargaining they think they have the moral high ground.
But as long as the school districts are thriving financially, the unions will continue to lose the argument...financially. And having only 15% of the working class in the public unions, they will continue to lose the argument as long as the taxpayers see the benefits financially as well. And their antics during the protests and their death threats to opponents have also weakened their position.
The unions, by their own admission, admit that Act 10 has done what it was promised to do. Make school districts better able to control their budgets, and save money. You heard it from the Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, and Racine Teachers Unions.