Am I ever stupid!
I saw this happening and never figured it out until now.
Okay, I guess it’s time to explain what I’m talking about.
It’s about Wisconsin’s infamous Act 10 that stripped public employee unions (except protective services) of their bargaining rights and put such stringent restrictions on them that it didn’t pay for them to “recertify” annually like the bill required. Hence, most public unions simply ceased to exist.
Like almost everybody else, I figured that the proper reaction to Act 10 was to fight the process and when that failed, to take to the courts to undo this injustice. I always believed that Act 10 was both the ways and the means for the Republican Party and Scott Walker to cut off the Democratic Party’s prime source of campaign finance and to assure the Republicans a free hand in punishing the unions (primarily the teacher’s unions: WEAC and WTA) for voting for Democrats. As an extra benefit to the Republicans, they used the “savings” to cut aid to local school boards and governments saying that they had the “tools” to make up the difference: by cutting local salaries and staff members.
But I just realized that Act 10 wasn't the end of the Republican strategy. It was just the beginning.
I mentioned a long time ago that I had read Shock Doctrine! BY Naomi Klein. I was horrified and angered by what she wrote and although, in some circles, Klein's writing have fallen into controversy, I still believe she was on to something.
...and when I stopped to think about Act 10, it dawned on me that it was part of a "shock doctrine" strategy for Wisconsin.
Filling the vacuum of the loss of Unions was a private enterprise that has done some 40+ "Empoyee Compensation Plans" ...one firm doing that many...the plans have been sold to local communities under the guise of filling the gaps created by Act 10. Indeed, local units of government have believed that they "have no pay plans" now that all the Union Contracts are null and void (by lack of re-certification of the unions).
The new compensation plans are said to be meeting the requirement that public wages be more in line with private wages. They were all “cookie cutter” in their approach in that the lower skilled positions be “weighted” to 75% private comparables and 25% public comparables because a government agency was more likely to recruit these positions from local sources and therefore from comparably paid private positions; and conversely, the upper level management positions were to be weighted exactly the opposite (25% private sector; 75% public sector) because the government agency was more likely to have to compete on a statewide level for the specialized government management positions.
Those compensation plans all share one rather startling characteristic: All the wages for the so-called lower skilled and former UNION POSITIONS are “overpaid” and the upper level Management Jobs are “underpaid”. Surprise!
Act 10 was the vehicle to enrich private consultants, freeze public employees pay, kill the unions and give the savings to "business"....
An added bonus? All the Union Salary Scales are now replaced with these new scales. If the Wisconsin Supreme Court ever overturns Act 10, those new, lower scales will be the starting point for any new negotiations.
Remember Governor Walker's proclamation?
WISCONSIN IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
...paid for by cuts to pay for union workers.