However, this was when unions were still at full strength and workers still had rights. AFSCME filed for arbitration and won it, mostly because Walker had overstepped his authority and because there really wasn't a financial crisis:
The arbitrator also found other flaws with Walker's actions. These include the fact that Walker had failed to show that the County's projected deficit was severe enough to warrant such drastic actions. In fact, it was in the testimony that Walker's chief number cruncher, Steve Kreklow, admitted that the deficit was only one third the number of what Walker has been reporting. And even the new lower number of $4.5 million is almost seven times the number that the award-winning County Auditor found it to be.In 2010, Walker went after the workers again. This time, he created a deficit in his budget by factoring in concessions from the unions, even though he refused to come to the bargaining table to even ask for them. When the unions didn't make those concessions - again because Walker refused to negotiate - he imposed up to 26 furlough days on AFSCME workers.
Another error that Walker made was that he left the furlough open-ended which was contradictory to a previous arbitration hearing.
As with his first attack on his own employees, this one eventually was found to be illegal and the workers received their back pay a few years later.
Unfortunately, these stunts were only precursors for things to come.
After becoming governor, Walker immediately set about creating yet another "financial crisis" by giving away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to his cronies and campaign donors. Before Walker was done handing over the last fistful of cash, he declared the state to be in a financial crisis and introduced the misnamed "budget repair bill" which became Act 10.
As the gentle reader is all too aware, Act 10 was a failure of epic proportion. It took $3 billion out of the state economy, making it go stagnant. It cost tens of thousands of people their jobs and caused even more people to take big cuts in their take home pay, worsening the economy even further.
With the economic devastation of Act 10, Walker also gave massive tax breaks and giveaways to the rich. This led up to the predictable deficit of $1.8 billion - you read that right, billions with a "b" - that the state is currently facing.
Even before that deficit was announced, when we learned that the state was facing a revenue shortfall of $115 million, there were already calls for another budget repair bill.
Now that the deficit is so large, it gives Walker and his Teapublican allies in the legislature more than enough excuse to arm another bomb for Walker to drop on the state. Because of the size of the deficit, Walker doesn't even have to settle for just rolling public safety personnel - cops and firefighters - into Act 10. He can go for the whole thing and push for the Right to Work legislation, which has already been written and is just waiting to be introduced.
It's no longer a question of whether Walker will drop another bomb on the state but a matter of when.