The Washignton Examiner has a superb set of articles ug, discussing how the collective bargaining limits Gov. Walker implemented over wild union objection in Wisconsin are saving local budgets already, two days after the provisions went into effect.
The first, by investigative reporter Byron York, details how these curbs allowed one school district near Appleton (somewhat near my own hometown) to turn a $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus.
In the past, Kaukauna’s agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust — a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. “It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them,” says Arnoldussen. “Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor.” This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.
Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. “With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, ‘We can match the lowest bid,’” says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes.
The second discusses how unions formerly shouldered prisoners away from work while incarcerated because they wanted union workers to do it. The collective bargaining limits now allow Racine County to put prisoners back to work, giving them something more to do than watch cable while saving the county money.
Image by WisPolitics.com.