The head of a union representing local government workers decries a ‘radical plan’ from the governor. Rick Badger is executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40, which represents about 33,000 local workers. He reacted to provisions in Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill which would strip many of his members of their collective bargaining rights. “This is not a modest proposal, this is a radical proposal,” Badger said Friday. “What’s really sad about this is, the governor never chose to speak to the affected parties.”
Badger questioned how stripping his members of their bargaining rights will help improve the state’s economy. “Does this really make the state of Wisconsin better, if we basically gut benefits and make it impossible for people to bargain fairly for wages? How does this help the 250,000 jobs that the governor hopes to create, by making the jobs that already exist, worse?” Walker wants to eliminate collective bargaining for state and local employees’ benefits, although they would still be able to bargain on wages. The proposal exempts police officers and fire fighters, many of whom are represented by Badger’s union.