Walker Rapid Response Part 4: Working Families Compromise; Walker Refuses to Sit Down, Talk

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Walker Rhetoric: “Our measure asks for a 5.8% contribution to the pension, and a 12.6% contribution for health insurance premiums.”

Reality: “In fast-moving events Friday: Leaders of the state’s biggest public worker unions said they would give in to the governor’s demand for concessions on workers’ benefits if Walker would give up his bid to repeal nearly all public union bargaining rights; Walker rejected that offer, saying government needed more flexibility in dealing with its employees; and the governor’s address on the next two-year budget was delayed by a week.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/19/11]

Reality: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said today he won’t accept a compromise that would make the removal of collective bargaining rights for public workers temporary. Walker told MSNBC that every Republican other than Sen. Dale Schultz, who is proposing the compromise, will vote for Walker’s original plan. Walker wants to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights for everything except salary increases higher than the Consumer Price Index.” [USA Today, 2/21/11]

Reality: “Although union leaders and Wisconsin Democratic Senators are offering to accept the wage and benefit concessions Gov. Scott Walker is demanding, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said today a bill taking away collective bargaining rights from public employees is not negotiable.
Democrats and union leaders said they’re willing to agree to the parts of Walker’s budget repair bill that would double their health insurance contributions and require them to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pensions.” [Milwaukee BizTimes, 2/18/11]

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.