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Edward Ring

Will a Bipartisan Coalition Restrict Public Safety Unions?

During the effort to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker suggested the exemption for public safety employees was necessary to avoid the possibility of a strike by “first responders.” The real reason may have been a political calculation; restricting the bargaining rights of all public employees including public safety could have triggered a losing battle. Cynics may argue that Walker, and other Republicans – from Ohio to Orange County – have stood on principle against public employee unions in general, but exempted public safety unions in particular since they tend to be heavier contributors to Republican political campaigns.

Fortunately, public sector union reform is something even Democrats are realizing is essential if governments are going to get budgets under control, implement labor-saving new technologies, reform public education, and have funds left over to rebuild and upgrade infrastructure.

Now a Democratic Senator in Wisconsin, Tim Carpenter, has picked up where Gov. Walker left off. An article in the Wisconsin Reporter entitled “… Read More

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