In my first post on the Wisconsin budget/union battle 2 days ago, I alluded to a point that federal employees like myself enjoy good benefits which are non-negotiable, benefits which include a contribution by the employee in addition to a matching contribution by the government up to a certain level.
Non-negotiable. In other words, federal unions don’t have the right to collectively bargain on benefits or wages. Sound familiar? Well, as the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel points out, this fact isn’t lost on President Obama (emphasis mine):
The union horde is spreading, from Madison to Indianapolis to a state capital near you. And yet the Democratic and union bigwigs engineering the outrage haven’t directed their angry multitudes at what is arguably the most “hostile workplace” in the nation: Washington, D.C.
This is, after all, the president who has berated Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees, calling the very idea an “assault on unions.” This is also the president who has sicced his political arm, Organizing for America, on Madison, allowing the group to fill buses and plan rallies. Ah, but it’s easy to throw rocks when you live in a stone (White) house.
Fact: President Obama is the boss of a civil work force that numbers up to two million (excluding postal workers and uniformed military). Fact: Those federal workers cannot bargain for wages or benefits. Fact: Washington, D.C. is, in the purest sense, a “right to work zone.” Federal employees are not compelled to join a union, nor to pay union dues. Fact: Neither Mr. Obama, nor the prior Democratic majority, ever acted to give their union chums a better federal deal.
Scott Walker, eat your heart out.
As Strassel goes on to write, it was the Carter Administration, in a miraculous stroke of genius, that implemented the Civil Service Reform Act in 1978 which stripped federal unions of bargaining rights for benefits and wages. Just as it should be for a public union for all the clear and obvious reasons Strassel mentions, illustrated by the taxpayer fleecing on behalf of the Wisconsin teacher’s union.
Something else to consider in this bitter debate.