On Tuesday Senator Fred Risser (D–Madison) and Assemblyman Mark Pocan (D–Madison) introduced legislation to restore collective bargaining rights to public servants across the State of Wisconsin. The bill if passed would
[include] provisions to reinstate how unions are certified, to again allow for the collection of union dues and to reinstate the ability to collectively bargain for working conditions.
Of course our Republican friends are still trying to sing the old song and dance,
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald [said] the collective bargaining reforms were a "critical part of balancing the state budget, as well as the budgets of local governments and school boards throughout Wisconsin."
"Collective bargaining will come back when the people of Wisconsin want it to come back, not because of two Madison legislators proposing a bill," added Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, in the statement. "When the Democrats were in charge, their answer was job-killing tax hikes and more government. We're not going to go back to that broken model just so Mark Pocan and Fred Risser can make a political point."
Senator Fitzgerald is obviously living in an alternate reality—the people of Wisconsin have overwhelmingly stated through recall elections and massive protests that we did not want collective bargaining rights stripped away from public employees. We are also a hell of a lot smarter than the senator is giving us credit for: We all know that stripping collective bargaining rights away from public employees was not about balancing the budget and never was. It was quite simply a naked power grab with the ultimate goal of busting unions. Senator Risser and Assemblyman Pocan are not introducing a bill to score political points; they are trying to right a wrong.
While this bill more than likely will not pass with the current Republican majority and Walker as governor it is possible that with a recall election in the January/February time frame the political landscape will change considerably. I applaud Senator Risser and Assemblyman Pocan for introducing this bill. It is the right thing to do.