Governor Scott Walker is indicating there’s no room for compromise on his budget repair bill, especially on provisions that remove the collective bargaining rights of most state workers.
Several union members have said they would be willing to go along with a proposal to increase their pension and health care contributions, as long as bargaining rights are left alone. Governor Scott Walker says that’s not an option because the state has no time to negotiate.
Walker says state contracts typically take up to 15 months to complete, and the budget cannot be balanced while waiting for that to happen.
Meeting with reporters on Monday, the Governor tried to refute claims that bill will put an end to employment protections for many workers. While state labor contracts often include those provisions, Walker says they are also written into state law and the bill will not remove them. He says workers will still have civil service protections in place.
Walker also defended a provision that allows workers to choose whether they want to join a union. Labor leaders claim the measure is about trying to break up the unions and to silence groups that typically support Democratic candidates. The Governor says the bill just gives those workers the right to choose if they want to join a union, which he says is “true Democracy.”