Right up front - I fully support the unions. I come from a strong union family, and I have many
friends and family who work for both public and private unions. I've also been spending the last week educating myself about both sides of the issue, looking into how we can be fiscally responsible without trampling on worker's rights.
What has been the most troubling to me through all of this has been the outright attacks on working people, especially teachers. These are people who put themselves through graduate school, and are working for a substantially lower salary in order to use their education and talents for the public, instead of just for themselves. Same for the the corrections officers, mental health care professionals, county workers, and nurses also included in the removeal of collective bargaining rights in this proposed Budget Repair Bill. Most of them are highly educated, dedicated employees, and they are being called thugs, leeches, freeloaders, bums, and many, many other derogetory terms that I find inappropriate to post here.
The teachers, nurses, social workers and public servants I know personally are none of those things. They don't have any agenda beyond retaining their rights to negotiate with their employers. They have agreed to take cuts in pay and benefits in the coming fiscal years to help us all, and still, they are under threat.
But then there is this :
This is what's really going on in Madison. Things that come to mind as I watch this, and Ben's footage of the demonstrations last weekend-
Peace, Civility, Respect, Encouragement, Rationality, Inspiration. Kind people asking for kindness. Power without greed or selfishness. Dedication to the common good. True solidarity for your fellow man.