Last night, I wrote a piece criticizing Walker's plan to try to balance a massive deficit he would create by dumping on the state workers. Including in my critique was the fact that Walker would have to actually try to negotiate these concessions:
In reality, it hasn't worked so well for him in Milwaukee County. He has often tried to beat the unions into submission and continuously demanded that they give concessions. This hasn't worked out the way he wanted it to. The unions don't take kindly to being threatened or coerced, and would be much more willing to work with Walker at the negotiating table rather than acquiesce to his demands.I went on to point out that under Walker's administrative style, he not only failed to get his demands met, but has a county falling apart on him even as he is trying to tell us nothing is wrong.
And therein lies the rub. If Walker were to sit at the table with the unions to negotiate for them to concede on paying more for their health care or pensions, the unions would want something in return, such as a pay raise or a no lay off clause, neither of which Walker would want to give them.
In his weekly column, Bruce Murphy also touches base on Walker's plan. Mr. Murphy touches on many of the same points that I did, plus many more. Here is what Mr. Murphy said about the same issue I cited above:
2. Walker can’t simply do this by fiat but must negotiate with the state employees unions, and that means giving up other things to gain the pension contribution. It’s not a given that this is the most cost-effective measure for the state to bargain for in negotiations.Mr. Murphy's point #4 is spot on as well.
(I just hope Mr. Murphy doesn't take offense at my tongue in cheek comments at the top.)