Hey, remember all those sweetheart under-the-wire deals that Wisconsin public sector unions negotiated with Wisconsin Democrats, just after collective bargaining and public union reform got passed by Walker and the Wisconsin state legislature? Basically, they loaded up in 2011 for the foreseeable future... if you define 'foreseeable future' as 'three years;' to be fair, most Democratic politicians do.
Anyway. Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!
Mayor Paul Soglin is delivering bad news to thousands of city employees. He either wants to cut their pay or delay pay raises that were previously negotiated in union contracts.
Soglin blamed his predecessor, former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, along with members of the Common Council, for negotiating contracts during the tumult over Act 10 in 2011 that resulted in small pay increases for many city employees. Contracts the council rushed through in March of that year — while Democratic state senators were still camped out in Illinois to prevent passage of Act 10 — authorized a two percent pay raise at the end of that year, a two percent raise at the end of 2012 and a three percent pay raise at the end of 2013.
“No one asked, no one calculated what that cost would be in 2014,” said Soglin, who accused Council members of grandstanding in support of organized labor instead of assessing the numbers.
No one? Ahem. It was and is trivially easy to extrapolate what happened in Madison by simply looking at what happened in the Wisconsin school system: schools that decided to renegotiate under the new rules managed to largely avoid the layoffs and service cuts that schools that chose to not renegotiate. Teachers unions are not impossibly different from other kinds of public sector unions; I feel legitimately bad for Paul Soglin holding the bag on this one, but not too bad. After all, he's a Democrat and only as conservative as you can be in Madison and still get elected, which means that he's a hardcore liberal. Besides, presumably Soglin knew that this day would come; contra his statements, everybody else did.
Moe Lane (crosspost)