"Wisconsin gov. releases e-mails revealing union bill negotiations"
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has offered to keep certain collective bargaining rights in place for state workers in a proposed compromise aimed at ending a nearly three-week standoff with absent Senate Democrats, according to e-mails released Tuesday by his office.
The e-mails, some dated as recently as Sunday, show a softened stance in Walker's talks with the 14 Democrats who fled to Illinois to block a vote on his original proposal that would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights for public workers and force concessions amounting to an average 8 percent pay cut.
Under the compromise floated by Walker and detailed in the e-mails, workers would be able to continue bargaining over their salaries with no limit, a change from his original plan that banned negotiated salary increases beyond inflation. He also proposed compromises allowing collective bargaining to stay in place on mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay and classroom size for teachers. . . .
With the Democrats unwilling to accept these extensive compromises, the Republicans passed a bill this evening. Democrats, who have refused to participate and dragging out discussions over three weeks, are now claiming that Republicans tricked the Democrats into not showing up. They are claiming that after three weeks of discussion Republicans "rammed" the bill through. This statement from a Democratic state Senator is too funny: "If they wanted us back, they could have had us back."