Saturday, June 16, 2012

Americans Support Comprehensive Government Union Reform

After Wisconsin, now what?

Actually, Americans Do Support Government Union Reform - "a comprehensive analysis of public opinion data collected since 2011 reveals the American public actually favors public sector union reform, even perhaps curbing public unions’ collective bargaining power. This openness is likely driven by declining union membership and favorability toward unions, perception of unions’ negative economic impact, and compensation inequality between public and private sector workers. . . . Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly support reforms that require public employees to contribute more toward their own retirement benefits and pensions. A February 2011 Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll found 81 percent favor “requiring public employees to contribute to their own pensions.” Similarly a January 2012 Marquette Law School poll and a Reason-Rupe poll found upwards of 70 percent favor increasing public employees’ required contributions to their own pensions and health benefits. According to Rasmussen, 57 percent of Wisconsin voters oppose requiring school districts to buy health insurance from a union-created insurance company. This suggests voters would favor allowing states and municipalities greater flexibility to re-negotiate union contracts. According to the same poll, upwards of 60 percent of Wisconsin voters oppose initiating disbursement of lifetime retirement benefits before early-retired government workers are about 65 years old. This also suggests these voters would oppose “double-dipping,” in which retired government workers collecting lifetime retirement benefits in their 40s and 50s go back to work and receive a paycheck in addition to the retirement benefits. Wisconsin voters are also open to voter referenda before implementing enhancements to public union benefits. . . . .don’t think workers should be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Essentially, these results suggest openness to right-to-work laws. . . .

One could call all of the above "comprehensive government union reform" but isn't it really part of the "comprehensive entitlement reforms" everyone in Washington talks about? Is there anyone in America who actually is more "entitled" than a government worker? They draw salaries, health care,  pensions, and other benefits paid almost entirely by someone else--the taxpayer (and most of those taxpayers have nothing coming close to the same lavish benefits!)


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