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.