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so it begins? the battle of wisconsin


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#301 PeaceFrog

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:35 PM

I can understand paying police minimum wage.

#302 Joker

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:21 PM

Unions takes legal action after Pa. mayor slashes city workers’ pay to minimum wage


A fiscal and political crisis in the nearly-broke northeastern Pennsylvania city of Scranton deepened Tuesday as public employee unions sought to have the mayor held in contempt of court after he defied a judge and slashed workers’ pay to minimum wage.

Unions representing firefighters, police and public-works employees also filed a pair of federal lawsuits against Mayor Chris Doherty and the city that alleged violations of labor law and due-process rights.

Doherty last week ignored a court order and cut the pay of about 400 city workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The Democratic mayor said it was all the cash-strapped city of more than 76,000 could afford, promising to restore full pay once finances are stabilized.


“It’s incredible,” the unions’ attorney, Thomas Jennings, said Tuesday. “I’ve never had a public official just say, ‘I’m not going to obey a court order. I’m not even going to try. He can’t tell me what to do.’”
Doherty is locked in a dispute with Scranton’s city council over a financial recovery plan as it faces a $16.8 million budget deficit. The mayor didn’t return a phone message from The Associated Press on Tuesday, but he told the Times-Tribune of Scranton on Monday that his administration and the council remained at stalemate over the $85 million budget.


“If I had the money, I’d pay them,” Doherty said of city workers.

One of the federal lawsuits — filed Tuesday by 10 injured police officers and firefighters — alleges Doherty and the city violated their due-process rights when he cut their disability pay. The second lawsuit, also filed Tuesday in federal court, alleges that Doherty and the city violated labor law by failing to pay overtime to police officers, firefighters and public-works employees.

The unions separately asked a Lackawanna County judge to hold Doherty in contempt of his order that the city pay full wages to its work force.

John Judge, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 60, said the average firefighter earns about $56,000 a year, and their paychecks are now “poverty-level.”

“I have guys who qualify for food stamps now,” he said. “I have guys who don’t know how they are going to pay their mortgage. There are kids working at ice cream stands earning more than their fathers, which is ridiculous.”

Judge said, however, that members’ morale hadn’t been too adversely affected, especially given earlier conflicts with the mayor over the previous decade.

“The guys are still out there, they’re hanging in there,” he said. “It’s frustrating for them and scary. They have a lot of questions and we aren’t getting many answers.”

Sam Vitris, president of the public-works union, said the steep wage cut has come as a blow to employees struggling to pay mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other bills. He said some of his members have canceled their vacations.

“It’s a solvable if the two branches of government just sit down and compromise. So far, that hasn’t happened, and the employees are caught in the middle right now of a political squabble,” he told the AP. “What we’re hoping for is they come to their senses and realize they are not only hurting the employees, they are also hurting the image of this city.”

Vitris said streets, sanitation and other public-works employees — who make around $20 an hour — remain on the job.

“Morale is low. There are a lot of questions. But the guys are showing up for work and they are doing their thing and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” he said.

http://www.washingto...7KaW_story.html

#303 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:30 PM

Get a second job. If the public can't pay you, they cant pay you. I dont understand how these unions think money just grows on trees.... why not raise the taxes on the city substantially to cover the wages? Would that make more sense?

#304 Joker

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

I think this type of thing is only going to increase around the country. Union pensions and other perks, not to mention their regular wages, still have to be paid for and to do that they'll have to keep raising taxes on everyone. It's going to get real ugly when union workers stop performing their duties because of the lack of pay and neighbors start turning on each other.

#305 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:23 PM

Good point, Jack.

Things are certainly going to get ugly as the realization that this entire nation is bankrupt beyond repair sets in. Not just in public sector employment either.

#306 Joker

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:52 PM

Sooner rather than later


San Bernardino bankruptcy: Only $150,000 left in bank accounts



The San Bernardino City Council's decision to file for municipal bankruptcy came days after the city learned it had just $150,000 in its bank accounts, barely enough to make payroll June 15, city officials said.


Shortly before the council's vote Tuesday night, City Atty. James Penman warned the city would "shut down," including public safety agencies, if it didn't have enough money to pay its employees.


"People are not going to work if they do not get paid,'' Penman said.


PHOTOS: California cities in bankruptcy


By filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, a section of federal law for municipalities facing insolvency, the city will be able to renegotiate labor contracts, stall payments to creditors and insulate the city from large lawsuit judgments, Penman said. Those protections will allow San Bernardino to retool its budget process and departments and wean itself back to financial health, he said.


The city faces a $46-million deficit, even after the city negotiated $10 million in concessions from employees and slashed the workforce 20% over the last four years.


The city's fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation's crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento's raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.


The expected bankruptcy for the city of 209,000 residents is certain to heighten concerns about the fiscal forecast for other struggling California cities, which have been slashing jobs and services as tax revenues have declined during the prolonged economic slump.


The city joins two others in California — Stockton and Mammoth Lakes — that have turned to bankruptcy in recent weeks to cope with their financial problems, albeit for different reasons.


More

http://latimesblogs....k-accounts.html



#307 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:57 PM

Yep. Ive been saying for a while this is what is coming. This nation is broke. What's worse? This is the beginning.... :shocked:

#308 Joker

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:58 PM

Posted Image

;)

#309 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:12 PM

wow... the entire nation is bankrupt and it's the fault of the union workers.

classic.

Only, the entire nation isn't bankrupt... just the treasury because the ones with money are too selfish to pay a fair share of the tax burden.

Most of the debt is owed to Social Security because Ronald Reagan raided it in the 80s without a plan on how to pay it back.

#310 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:33 PM

I think you need to get your fact check on.

First, unions aren't bankrupting the nations, they are helping bankrupt local municipal funding with lavish pensions and salaries on taxpayer dollar.

Second, the entire nation is bankrupt.
http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Most of the debt is not owed to SS. That money was spent as it was incurred. It was never an item off the general budget adn in it's own program. the only way SS passed through legislation is based on the fact it is a taxt that goes intot he general fund. It is also not the biggest debt owed. Both prescription drugs and medicare beat it in unfunded liabilities. Reagan stole from the fund, Carter, Nixon and so forth....because it is/was a general budget item on the sheet.

We're broke. Period.

#311 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:40 PM

really? Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are broke?

Donald Trump is broke? Paris Hilton is broke?

The nation isn't broke, only the working class and poor.

#312 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:43 PM

when you look out your window, do you see CEOs of publicly held companies eating out of garbage cans?

me neither.

#313 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:37 PM

Dude, there is a difference between the nation being broke and all individuals within the nation being broke. The govt. is insolvent and only maintains funding its obligation through the monetization of debt and borrowing. Even if you stole away every millionaires or more money at 100%, which can only be done once, it covers roughly 600 billion in revenue. That covers about 1/3 of a year in deficit spending.

Most of the extremely wealthy hold assets, not dollars. Those assets, if confiscated could only be sold to international purchasers to attain funds to pay off debt/unfunded liabilities. Sell the nation off? Is that the answer?

Well, it might be inevitable.

#314 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:11 PM

Dude, there is a difference between the nation being broke and all individuals within the nation being broke. The govt. is insolvent and only maintains funding its obligation through the monetization of debt and borrowing. Even if you stole away every millionaires or more money at 100%, which can only be done once, it covers roughly 600 billion in revenue. That covers about 1/3 of a year in deficit spending.

Most of the extremely wealthy hold assets, not dollars. Those assets, if confiscated could only be sold to international purchasers to attain funds to pay off debt/unfunded liabilities. Sell the nation off? Is that the answer?

Well, it might be inevitable.


do you have a link for these facts and figures?

even if you do, I doubt anyone in their right mind would suggest to pay it off in one shot... a rational plan would be one in which it is paid off over a period of at least a few to several decades.

the bottom line is that Republicans do not want to pay off their debt to Social Security. If they can convince people to "opt out" they will have pulled off one of the biggest scams on working people in American history.

#315 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

It's funny, though, how you will argue that raising taxes on the wealthy isn't the answer.

On the other hand, you think that cutting off social programs and lowering the wages of teachers and firefighters is a wonderful answer to the problem.

You think it's "stealing" from the rich to raise their taxes.

What do you think about Ronald Reagan spending our hard earned social security money on Star Wars and giving it to Osama Bin Laden?

why is it not considered stealing when they take our money and spend it in foreign countries and on the military?

the bill has to get paid off, over time.

And the money to pay the bill isn't coming from the bottom 99% who own only10% of everything. We're already squeezed dry. That's just math, too. You can't get blood out of a stone.

oh and don't even mention putting people back to work repairing the nation's crumbling infrastructure... that's just silly talk, right?

did you forget that it was the infrastructure which made it possible to get this far in the first place? Now, we're 50 years behind every other country.

#316 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:47 PM

Posted Image

#317 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:06 PM

sorry that not everything fits into your simple-minded view that all things are either black or white.

#318 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:09 PM

Such a sweet talker, peacefrog. :bigsmile:

#319 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

and not all logic is pretzel logic :lol:

some logic is just plain logic... it doesn't appear to me that you get the difference

#320 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:11 PM

yeah, you post a picture of pretzels and I'm supposed to act like I don't understand what you mean, why? so you can post more stupid pictures?

you want to say that my logic is pretzel, then I will unabashedly tell you that yours is simple-minded.

#321 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:15 PM

pretty much any logic that isn't yours is pretzel logic, and circular thinking.

Then you accuse everyone else of walking in lock-step...

you have to check in with the Daily Paul every day to find out what you're supposed to think.

#322 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:17 PM

I have a fair challenge for you - one question:

Can you tell me one issue that you disagree with Ron Paul on?

#323 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:20 PM



#324 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:27 PM

See?

Such a really good debater, that PF is.

#325 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:40 PM

you ended the debate when you posted a picture of a pretzel... see how you are? wow...

wake up and smell the coffee dude.

#326 PeaceFrog

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:47 PM

OK, ok, let's try this again and I'll be more civil. I'll pick up right where we left off before I said you were simple minded and reply to your picture with a cartoon

Posted Image


Posted Image

#327 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:48 PM

No, I ended the debate when you changed the goals of the debate. You want a fluid "run with me on this" type thing and I prefer structure to chaos in hashing out info.

It's fine. I ain't hatin' but you make crazy claims and then ruin with it. Gets hard to participate in.

#328 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:45 AM

nobody is forcing you to participate

#329 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:47 AM

No shit. Thanks for the reminder....

#330 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:51 AM

can you just tell me one thing you disagree with about Ron Paul... where do you personally stand on a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy? I'm guessing that may be one issue.

Don't tell me you think it's up to the States to take away that right... either you agree with the right to choose or you don't. Even that isn't cut and dry, though.... there are cases of rape and incest.

#331 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:05 AM

If you were paying attention, you would know already.

#332 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:07 AM

Paying attention. It is a payment in social interaction. You'e free to not do so.

#333 Spidergawd

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:57 PM

I'd be interested to know if the mayor of Scranton cut his own salary to minimum wage, along with the city council, administration, etc.

#334 Joker

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:01 PM

He damn well better or he'll have a target on his back.

#335 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:03 PM

I'd be interested to know if the mayor of Scranton cut his own salary to minimum wage, along with the city council, administration, etc.


Right?

Chain the city hall doors and send everyone home. we're broke.....

#336 Joker

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:07 PM

Looks like he needs to dig up another 5.4mil and he's already called for a 78% tax increase


With the city already struggling to bridge an estimated $16.8 million budget gap for 2012, it's not clear from where an additional $5.4 million could be raised. And with a council adamantly opposed to the mayor's recovery proposal calling for 78 percent tax increases over three years - and the mayor saying council ideas for alternative revenues won't produce enough money or quickly enough - where might the money come from to fill this new hole?

More
http://thetimes-trib...-plan-1.1341937

#337 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:15 PM

If you were paying attention, you would know already.


whatever. You seem to have a habit of evading my questions and playing the victim.

#338 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:41 PM

Whatever. You seem to have a habit of obfuscating, changing the subject and generally being combative in discussion.


Such a 2 old year, mentally. I know you are but what am I?

#339 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:52 PM

ok. you're right. I give up.

#340 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:53 PM

I know you are but what am I?

#341 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:56 PM

go tell your Ron Paul bust

#342 Joker

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:13 PM

Unions protest Democrats at Illinois State Fair


SPRINGFIELD — Unity proved to be an elusive commodity for Democrats at their day at the Illinois State Fair today as the party’s key organized labor support bashed Gov. Pat Quinn for his efforts to reform public employee pensions, forego pay raises and close state facilities.

The complaints from the state AFL-CIOand top public employees unions — including a rolling billboard that greeted Democrats outside their traditional county chairmen’s breakfast — symbolized the political forces surrounding a special legislative session set for Friday on pension reform.
Posted Image
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“We are united in calling on the governor to treat employees fairly and to recognize the importance of the vital services they provide,” said Michael Carrigan, president of the stateAFL-CIO.

“We are extremely disturbed that at a time when collective bargaining rights for public employees are under attack by a number of Republican governors, here in Illinois we have a Democratic governor who is undermining fundamental collective bargaining rights for public employees,” Carrigan said.

Other union leaders simply said their members had no faith in Quinn.

Union protesters gathered around Quinn at the Pork Pavilion and hundreds marched behind him to the site of the afternoon's speeches, shouting, "Gov. Quinn, keep your word."

Quinn's arrival was greeted with loud boos and movement from protesters wearing green AFSCME shirts that read, "Pensions are a promise" and "Governor Quinn's Illinois, the new Wisconsin." They also waved signs saying, "Respect Illinois Workers" and shouted "Honor union contracts," drowning out a country singer on stage.

With the Nov. 6 election only weeks away and all 177 seats in the General Assembly up for election after the once-every-decade redrawing of political boundaries, Democrats are looking to extend their majorities in the House and Senate. But many lawmakers are fearful that a massive overhaul of the state’s pension systems — the most underfunded in the nation — would spark a union backlash.

“People from organized labor are representing their people and they ought to do that and we ought to be busy about improving the fiscal condition of the state of Illinois,” said House Speaker Michael Madigan, the powerful Southwest Side lawmaker who also chairs the state Democratic Party. “It’s just a natural conflict. It’s going to be there. I don’t think there’s any long-term adverse implications to come out of it.”

Yet Madigan also contended that any progress in the legislature on approving a comprehensive pension reform proposal depended upon Quinn and the governor’s talks with House GOP leader Tom Cross of Oswego. Cross already has rejected a limited Senate-passed plan that would alter pension funding for state workers and lawmakers and prefers a more expansive plan that includes teachers and higher education workers.

But Quinn seemed unaware that Madigan had placed the onus on the governor to try to deliver votes from Cross and minority Republicans in speaking with reporters. Expected to meet with Cross on Friday before lawmakers convene, Quinn said he was hopeful Madigan and Cross would each provide 30 votes — creating the combined 60 needed to pass legislation — on a comprehensive reform proposal.

“I think each of the leaders is waiting for the other to move forward and I hope we can, in the next couple of days, get everybody to jump in the water at the same time, hold hands and let’s go together,” Quinn said. “We cannot be running in place, playing politics before the election. We’ve got to do what’s right on policy.”

http://articles.chic...eform-pat-quinn

#343 PeaceFrog

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:54 PM

http://www.addicting...anti-union-law/

Judge Colas Shows Cojones, Cans Gov. Walker’s Anti-Union Law


September 14, 2012By Liberal Lamp Post



Posted Image

In a victory that is drawing cheers and tears from Wisconsin teachers and city workers right now, today Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas condemned embattled Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union law,saying it violates both the state and U.S. constitutions, and is null and void.
The judge said sections of Walker’s law “single(s) out and encumber(s) the rights of those employees who choose union membership … and therefore infringe(s) upon the rights of free speech and association.” Teachers, fire fighters, and the other municipal employees who challenged the law undoubtedly feel vindicated as they prevailed against Walker in court today. Early last year, Walker stripped public workers of collective bargaining rights – in effect, reducing their salary and benefits – in order to fund tax breaks and other giveaways for corporations.

A spokesman for Gov. Walker countered the ruling by saying the administration was confident Colas’ ruling will be overturned on appeal. It is unclear at this point if the ruling will take effect immediately. If the ruling stands, municipal employees in Wisconsin may be able to renegotiate their current contracts.
Enjoy tonight, as the public savors the sweet taste of victory in Wisconsin … a reward for sustaining their 19-month fight against the far-right Gov. Scott Walker. Power to the People!