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Nov 24, 201401:02 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

No union contracts, no problems in Dane County

(page 1 of 2)

Blaska’s Bring It! blogge — fracking for truth, justice, and the American way!

Collective bargaining died in Dane County and the world didn’t end. Which is not to say that the usual gang of Cassandras aren’t forecasting falling skies. “Joe Parisi has got to go,” Madame Brenda wails. A comment posted at threatens a labor strike. Really want to test Act 10 and Scott Walker?

No, the sky has not fallen on Dane County’s taxpayer-supported workers. No floggings, beatings, or families ripped asunder. Parisi told employees he would seek board approval of the wage increase and health care concession previously negotiated for 2016.

In fact, employees will be money ahead. No longer will they have their union dues deducted from their paychecks. Of course, they remain free to mail their dues to headquarters, should they so decide.

The end of payroll dues deduction will cause pain, but that pain will be felt by the politicians who set the union members’ compensation. In the last campaign cycle, Joe Parisi, for instance, made a significant haul from the public sector unions and from the building trades unions, which also have representation among county employees. Those totaled $1,000 from AFSCME Council 40, $3,000 from International Operating Engineers, $1,500 from the IBEW, $500 from North Central Carpenters, $1,000 from Wisconsin Laborers District Council, $500 from the iron workers, $2,500 from Plumbers Local #75, $1,000 from the painters union, $500 from the bricklayers union, and $250 from the sheet metal workers. Plus $500 from MTI, which has its fingers in every liberal pie.

How likely are County Executive Joe Parisi and the County Board to screw its employees? Not just because this is liberal Dane County (roll that around the back of your tongue for a moment) but because it makes no sense to do so. Conservatives congenitally believe in fair compensation — but that does mean not being completely out of whack with the private sector.

Parisi promised employees Thursday, “Despite the changes brought about by the passage of Act 10, in Dane County your voices will continue to be heard and continue to matter.”

The end of union contracts will result in more transparency. In the 12 years I served on the Board of Supervisors, not once did that legislative body set compensation. Instead, the County Board was asked to vote a settled contract up or down. It could not be amended. I am certain that the executive will continue to propose a compensation package, but those terms will be subject to prior board approval.

Final point: The liberal party likes to say how the union helps taxpayers by coming up with money-saving ideas. No, the employees produce those ideas, not union headquarters. Modern management teaches good supervisor-employee relations. No, Dane County’s seven (!) unions (sheriff’s deputies are excluded) were never as destructive as Madison Teachers Inc. But it’s a good bet that there will be no attempt to recertify any of them.

For extra credit: If a labor union is organized to fight management, what management are they fighting, if not the elected representatives of the citizenry paying the bills?

A little jurisprudence prudence please

The British Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) is regarded as the father of English and American common law. His statue, created by Paul Wayland Bartlett, stands at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

In deciding not to fight Wisconsin Act 10, Parisi relied on the legal opinion written by assistant county corporation counsel David Gault. Gault’s memorandum referenced the operative role of the “Blackstonian doctrine” in Wisconsin law.

That doctrine holds that when a decision is overruled, it never was the law and the later pronouncement is regarded as the law from the beginning.

“The effect of an unqualified reversal of a lower court is to nullify it completely, as if the lower court decision had never been rendered.”

Precisely our argument in Blaska v. Madison School District, et al.!

So much for that window of opportunity supposedly opened by Dane County Judge Juan Colas’ decision staying Act 10 — a ruling overturned 6-3 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court this past summer.


Arrogance is unbecoming of a loser

John Roach tells it at Madison magazine:

The Dems have to see outside of Madison. … But most importantly, Dems have to reexamine their attitude. Throughout the last four years there has been an unmistakable tone of condescension emanating from them. As in, “How can people vote against their own self-interests?” As if somehow they know what is best for us, the great unwashed masses, while never understanding that it is their own condescension that made for a losing strategy three times in a row.

… There was an endless stream of language on message boards that called Scott Walker a “buffoon” or an “idiot” because he didn’t graduate from college. … It’s an insult to every farmer, welder, carpenter, plumber or store clerk in the state who doesn’t have a degree. Which, by the way, makes up more than 70% of Wisconsin’s population.


Old to new | New to old
Nov 24, 2014 01:48 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Good to know that "the world isn't ending" is now our standard for evaluating public policy. By the way, I just got finished cleaning up my keyboard from this beaut: "Conservatives congenitally believe in fair compensation."

So those business owners who will pay their workers the smallest amount allowed by law with no raises or benefits are... NOT conservatives?

Nov 24, 2014 01:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I don't think you're understanding the president's position on net neutrality, which will most certainly adversely affect independent blogs and podcasts so as not to disrupt the business models of the mainstream media players.

Nov 24, 2014 02:23 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

So does this mean the leeches....err, the labor unions have through 2015 to siphon even more from the toils of the hard-working Dane County Employees? I suppose those dwindling coffers need every last dime for the next recall effort they're likely to mount, if for no other reason than to throw up a speed bump should Gov. Walker decide to mount a presidential campaign.

Nov 24, 2014 02:24 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

You're a beaut, 01:48 p.m. What business owner is "paying their workers the smallest amount allowed by law with no raises or benefits"? Passed by a fast food restaurant in Madison advertising for workers at $9.50/hour — well above minimum wage, which is $7.25/hour.) Name the local business paying its employees $7.25/hour, do it here and do it soon or quit bad-mouthing Madison businesses.

Nov 24, 2014 03:33 pm
 Posted by  patricko

The liberal meme expressed by anon at 1:48 is just laughable. Have you ever even known a business owner? The idea that business owners are greedily anguishing over whether or not they will be forced to pay more than "the smallest amount allowed,"is just ridiculous. Keeping wages down is not anywhere near the top of their list. I know a roofing contractor who won't hire anybody but Mexicans. Not because, they are cheaper, not because they can screw them over because they are illegal, but because they are the most dependable and hardest workers he can find. They don't worry about paying them a dollar an hour more, they worry about whether the guys they hire will show up on time and work hard! If they do that, they will be well paid. Otherwise they'll go to work for his competitors who are looking for the exact same kind of workers.

Nov 24, 2014 05:15 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The reason the minimum wage exists is because if there wasn't one, a lot of businesses would pay less. There's also a huge difference between the minimum wage and a "fair" wage. What the market supplies/demands is rarely fair, so that's not the best word to use. I also know a roofer (who gave me an estimate on my house) who hires undocumented workers for exactly the reasons Patricko lists. He pays them under the table, like contractors have been doing for generations. You have to be kidding me with the rest of your spiel, PO! What does your friend do when one of his undocumented workers is injured on the job? That's been known to happen in the roofing business.

Question for Blaska: You haven't mentioned Bill Cosby much on your blog lately. Why not?

Nov 24, 2014 05:20 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Hey, Dave!
How come you can't deal in honest numbers when it comes to Walker's budgeting, like your IB comrade:
Too bad this guy is usually right, unlike you and your fans. Oh well, it makes your comment section a little livelier.
Best, AnonyBob

Nov 26, 2014 11:28 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


Blaska will never use cold hard facts like those as they can't be twisted and spun into "facts" that suit his sense of reality.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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