Connecticut Teachers Union Doesn’t Want What Wisconsin Has – Big Savings for Taxpayers


The American Federation of Teachers’ Connecticut chapter recently announced that its endorsing mostly Democrats in November, for governor, the U.S. House and other seats up for grabs this year (like that’s a surprise), because they don’t want a “Wisconsin moment” to happen in their state.

That, of course, is a reference to Act 10, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s landmark legislation that has greatly reduced the collective bargaining power of public sector unions, and saved schools, local governments and taxpayers a lot of money.


We have chosen to support candidates who will act to prevent a ‘Wisconsin moment’ here in Connecticut,” said Stephen McKeever, who was a Middletown High School science teacher for 17 years and now serves as AFT Connecticut’s first vice president. “We need leaders committed to preserving the rights of all workers to collectively bargain and not gutting union members’ benefits to score political points.

We wonder if a majority of Connecticut voters agree that the “rights of all workers” are more important than the huge savings – not to mention educational improvements – that can be accomplished by limiting public sector union power.

Maybe, before they vote, they should check out the following statistics from Wisconsin, as of last October, which were published by the McIver Institute:

School district savings – $1.8 billion. Municipal savings – $242 million. County government savings – $106 million. Total savings to taxpayers – $2.7 billion.

We have no doubt that AFT Connecticut is endorsing candidates based on its own self-interests. But as we can see, union interests are rarely in line with the public interest.


Roth Report: Scott Walker Succeeds Where Chris Christie Falters


Wisconsin and New Jersey Head in Opposite Directions

The political fortunes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are uniquely similar. Both elected to traditionally blue states in 2009 and 2010, Christie and Walker rose to national stardom by passing landmark reforms in 2011 that required public sector employees to contribute to their pension and healthcare.

Gov. Christie’s pension reforms passed a Democratic controlled legislature and were hailed as a model for other states. Christie’s star was born as the brash former prosecutor took on the public sector unions, grabbed hold of the third rail in American politics, and won.

Gov. Scott Walker of course passed collective bargaining reforms in early 2011 amidst massive labor protests and recall threats. What became known as Act 10 passed after a month long standoff with Democratic state senators in Illinois. The recall threats turned into a reality – but the reforms worked to help solve a $3.6 billion budget hole and voters rewarded Walker with a 7 point win in the 2012 recall election.

Despite different styles, the two reform-minded governors were jettisoned on to the national stage and the fires of presidential speculation were sparked.

But nearly three years after the landmark reforms were put in place, Wisconsin and New Jersey appear headed in opposite directions.
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