Bill cutting collective bargaining passes in Wisconsin
Republican Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald speaks to reporters following a session of the State Senate at the Wisconsin State Capitol.
March 9th, 2011
07:47 PM ET

Bill cutting collective bargaining passes in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Republican-led state Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees Wednesday, getting around a Democratic walkout by stripping financial provisions from the "Budget Repair" bill.

"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the Budget Repair Bill that we can with the 19 members who actually do show up and do their jobs," Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the chamber's Republican majority leader, said in a statement announcing the move.

Senators were able to move ahead by voting only on the non-financial aspects of Walker's proposed bill, which requires fewer members for a quorum. But the move drew howls of outrage from outside the chamber, where pro-union demonstrators chanted "Shame, shame," as the bill passed.

Are you there? Share photos and video of the protests, or your views on the issue with the CNN iReport community.

- CNN's Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Politics • Wisconsin
soundoff (717 Responses)
  1. eob1

    We will never know if this was one of the things that would have been given back by the gov. They had the orrurtunity to comeback and debate but chose to run. Given they already conceeded to the money things seems as thought the master plan back fired. The dems have to remain true to thier word don't they. Cut the money next. the rest of the country is next.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JoeMichigan

    This is probably the worst news that that the National CORPORATE Republican(screw the middle class) Party could perpetrate. You'll see so much outrage that they just lost the next election even if Mickey Mouse ran. Shame on this hateful CORPORATE puppetry. Now we'll see so much action that this will come to haunt the PARTY OF NO. The Democrats will be more united than ever and I intend to donate all my time raising money for RECALL action against every Republican.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Non-Republican


      How does this benefit corporate America? The message here has gotten so confused. The ones benefiting here are all non public sector union members in the state of Wisconsin aka 90% of the state.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pluto_rules

    Today's vote was a win for the plutocracy and a loss for American workers. Read your history, not the GOP/Faux News/birther/Tea Party rewrite of it: without unions, we'd have no minimum wage, no 5-day workweek, no overtime, and no Labor Day holiday. Since none of these policies are in the interests of the corporate owners of the Tea Party and Geriatric Old Party, it's just a matter of time before we can kiss them goodbye, too. Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Susan

    For all you ignoramuses out there who say that that unions are bad for america, I bet you are glad that you only have to work 5 days a week.. You should check out history and see what unions have done for the working class!

    The GOP is on its way to totally eliminate the middle class. Workers should have absolutely no rights according to them. Corporations and rich guys should be able to do whatever they want.. Check out Michigan, for example. The Republican governor there is setting things up so that he can unelect any local elected official that he wants to just by claiming an economic emergency!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • LovesAmericans


      March 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Non-Republican

    This is exactly what happens when the democratic system breaks down. The democrats in Wisconsin have shamed their state and country.

    For the Unions: likely all they will receive is a dose of reality. Wisconsin isnt going to turn into a Kuala Lumpur sweatshop now that they have slightly less collective bargaining rights.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The Republicans were the ones who did this. The system broke down BECAUSE OF REPUBLICANS.

      You want a dose of reality? How 'bout this: every Republican eligible for recall will be gone next year. Suck on that, UBER-Republican.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jinco

    Where the hell do you people get off saying that public sector employees don't work for a living?! Seriously? Needed a fireman lately? Anyone you know go through public school? Good luck getting by without those of us who have TRADED an assuredly higher income in the private sector for a life of service and stability. I have three college degrees and almost $100K in school loans and I make less than $50K a year. And no, I'm not in a Union. But yes, I wish I was, less for salary issues and more because it would give me a voice in my work environment that I don't currently have. Oh, wait... it is public sector employees who are all lazy dogs, or just the ones in unions? Make up your VERY small, narrow minds.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • amazedatyourblamegame

      Firstly, why do you have "three college degrees?" Didn't you get it right the first time? And why do you have 100k in loans? Seems like you should start with those 2 questions and let the rest of us figure out how to solve the government's budget gap.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donnie H.

      You Right-wingers are so brainwashed." Someone in the public sector will step up and fill those jobs." And be paid with what tax dollars? Then they will not be part of the private sector. You say they were overpaid. $40,000 is overpaid? Well now that they have eliminated their right to bargain in the future; what great teacher is going to step forward and teach those children for minimum wage and no benefits? I know let Fox teach them like they have all of you Re-tards. The Gop gave your money middle class, in the form of tax cuts, to the wealthy, they then turn around and screw teachers, firefighters, policeman, road workers, healthcare workers in state and county medical facilities. Don't give me the wealthy create jobs. Demand for goods and services from a strong middle class is what dictates job growth and expansion. I guess Glenn Beck never taught that on his chalkboard...

      March 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ender

      They wont listen. They've been told by their leaders at Fox news that unions are all corrupt and that the educators in this once fine nation are the reason our education system is failing.

      And of course they wont make cuts across the board. And of course they wont take similar cuts in their benefits. After all "shared sacrifice" in their opinions translates into "any programs or monies we don't agree with".

      Its a sad day indeed when education funding is cut in favor of taxcuts for the mega rich.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • AG

      Amazedatyourblamegame, I think it's inappropriate to attack someone because they have an education. That should be something to be proud of. You can have an education too, it just takes effort and dedication.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abbey

      Firstly, why do you have "three college degrees?" Didn't you get it right the first time? And why do you have 100k in loans? Seems like you should start with those 2 questions and let the rest of us figure out how to solve the government's budget gap."

      Clearly you didn't go to college or you might realize that you can achieve multiple degrees, as in rank not unrelated topics. Also if you attended college you might realize that it is expensive and if your mommy and daddy can't afford to help you out, the debt piles up. I go to Ohio State and that's not even a private college yet it costs more than 9,000 a quarter (keep in mind a quarter is only 10 weeks). So maybe you should think before you speak next time. You know, to avoid looking like a complete moron...

      March 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      amazedatyourblamegame you are a typical righty. The right says it is anti-elitist, but what it really is is anti-intellectual. Education is bad. Thinking is bad. Studying is bad.

      Well – questioning someone for having three college degress is embarassing. Many people have more than one. I have a BA, and MA, and a JD. Oh, and education costs money. Lots, sadly. So, often times, people take out loans to pay. It is not uncommon for a private university to charge $30K+ a year. So, it is not surprising that someone like jinco would have lots of loans.

      I know you just have a JD, and that you live in a trailer with your sister/wife, but it really is embarassing for you to criticize someone for being educated. You should give it a try. Might cure you of your embarassing righty ways.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Millie

      Well that's great that "amazed at" clearly has very little education, means he/she will fit right in with Walker balancing the budget as he has nothing more than a high school diploma!

      March 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |

      you are in the public sector because there is no security in the private sector...fbecause all the jobs have gone overseas since overseas there are no UNIONs face it you just like the easy job and you like bossing kids around

      March 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wisconsinite

    To all of you that said ignorant things like "lazy union member" and "crooked union member" – How many union members do you know? Probably none.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • amazedatyourblamegame

      The person you mention probably works for living that's why they don't know any union members. They're not sitting around waiting for someone to "make them work."

      March 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • AG

      amazedatyourblamegame you seem to be a bitter person. If you are also a religious person, maybe you should go to church and pray for yourself.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • hardworkingamerican

      I actually know several. One of my very good friends is a teacher and I can't tell you how many times I've heard her say that she has to use her 9 sick days every year or she losees them. I had surgery a year ago and my doctor was writing a 6-week work release for me to recover. I told her it would not be necessary; not only could I not financial afford to miss 6 weeks pay, there would be no "sub" in to get my work done for me while I was gone. Hence, I missed a whopping 2 days work. My freind can retire in a few short years, I will be working at least 10 years beyond her, and even though I've been socking money in retirement since my late 20's, I will not come close to getting the kind of pension my friend has. We both have professional degrees and keep up with CPE credits; my pay is about 25% higher than hers, but I also work 35% more hours every year.

      I'm not asking for sympathy because I don't get the benefits and great work hours my friend has. I am happy for her and I love what I do. At the same time, I know we can't keep on paying the high cost of their benefits. And nobody deserves to be given "job security" as a right just because they've worked someplace for 3 years. Job security is something you earn and continue to work at by being the best in your field. I have fired many people in my profession, all because they did not meet the performance standards we had. I wished them all the best and hoped they all found jobs more suitable for them. But I am happy not to have that noose around my neck of what to do with a bad employee everyday.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @ hardworking american, How about the Koch Bros pay their fair share? Gov. Walker gave them a tax break and they are billionaires.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kah

    Walker will be serving even less of a term than Palin did

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Edward

    This will be challenged in court, which is GREAT.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Unions are the reason there is a working class in America. They are not the ones making "ridiculous" amounts of money. Look to wall Street and Koch brothers for that sort of thing. If you want to be a flunky for those rich dudes, you should at least get paid for it. Don't give it away for free. If you really want to know what it was like before the working people got rights, read "The Jungle" by Sinclair. You will never regret it.

      Don't forget that the most important part of that bill they just put through is not so much the part where they take away more of our rights and freedoms, but it also allows the Koch boys to buy Wisconsin at bargain basement prices.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • AG

      It seems like an Unfair Labor practice to me.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kdm0828

    silly union workers, pay checks are for hard working americans

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • katie moore

      Exactly what does that mean? I know dozens of 20 somethings that make 50,000 a year playing on facebook 4 out of the 5 day workweek, a workweek that unions provided for us might I add. Union members are some of the hardest workers in America.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan pollard

      You know cops and firefighters are union right? You calling your police officers and firefighters lazy? How about teachers? Think before you cram your foot in your pie hole.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AVO

    "We got blackboard, here it is, Wisconsin teachers make a salary of $51,000...Benefits $38,000 per year, that comes to a whopping 89,000 bucks, while the rest of us, all workers in the United States, union, non-union, etc., $38,000 is your average salary...there, $10,000 in benefits, a quarter of what you make, that you would make if you were a Wisconsin teacher.
    Now considering teachers get 12 weeks off in the summer, 2 weeks off for christmas break, and 1 week off for spring break, that means they work 37 weeks out of the year. Salary alone at 45 hours a week is roughly $30/hour. Salary with benefits at 45 hours a week is roughly $50/hour!! I do believe teaches should be paid well as with any job that requires a bachelors degree or higher but.......

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • jinco

      Seriously?! Do you KNOW any teachers? Do you know any teachers who aren't prepping for classes, taking (required) continuing education classes, teaching summer school, etc., on those breaks you're mentioning?! Really??? I know DOZENS of teachers personally, and while teachers might get a bit more time off than the average wage slave, those "weeks off" you listed is ridiculous. You WORK through summers, whether you get paid to or not.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Canadian

      Know what's funny about anti-union types? You seem to praise people for making lots of money, following the American Dream, etc, unless they're involved in any type of union. Then suddenly you're just livid that they're making any money at all! Suddenly making a decent salary isn't noble, suddenly it's somehow unfair.

      Oh the outrage! They're making... a paycheck! And they all got together and bargained collectively for it without being lorded over by management! How horrible. How awful that people would dare stand up for themselves.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jula

      You seem to be forgetting that teachers are also expected to be guidance counselors, psychologists, mediators, mentors, and role models. This bill, and many others like it, are going to explode classroom sizes, making one teacher responsible for as many as 60 kids per day. By your math, that equates to less than $1 per student in earnings. You wouldn't pay your babysitter less than $1 a day to watch your kids, so why is it ok to do that to teachers when they are expected to do so much with so few resources?

      March 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      How much is your child's future worth? I guess you think it's not worth that much. And lets make sure we compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. The average salary for a SKILLED and EDUCATED worker is nearly $70,000 NOT including benefits. Let's make sure not to lump the burger flippers and McJobs into an average salary.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • AG

      Good teachers are worth their weight in gold. The USA is falling behind many developed countries in the education of its children. If we don't have an educated skilled workforce, our future is in jeopardy.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny_b

      Many teachers have master's degrees. From my point of view, that doesn't put them into the unskilled labor category. In Nevada, teacher's raises cap out with bachelor's degrees. They only earn sizeable raises by continuing their education. My guess is Wisconsin is the same and you might have plucked an average salary statistic. My guess is brand new teacher's base pay is less than $51,000.

      For those of you suggesting I stay out of Wisconsin's business, I would suggest (with great understatement) that this wil be and already is much more far reaching than the state of Wisconsin.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dundevil

      People who worked in the private sector and who collect Social Security pay taxes to pay the perpetual pension and benefits of these workers. Yet, they do not pay Social Security to support the private sector people living on Social Security.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. american fan

    looking forward to seeing the outcome of all this polarization. which side can row fastest over the waterfall? in the meantime could some party please step forward and represent those of us tired of the political Bravo Sierra?

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Greater Good

    It's amazing how people can dishonor those who enter a noble profession–teaching–and rejoice at something like this. Kinda reminds me of the Wesboro Church at military funerals, come to think of it. Shouldn't all this scorn be reserved for the Wall Street crooks? Where are you on this Tea Party? Aren't you the voice of "middle America." Welll, what a grand day–Walker has shown that he'll stop at nothing to enable his corporate pals to buy third homes and ship more American jobs overseas. Guess that's the really the bottom line for the Tea Party and GOP–the bottom line.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randall

      Are you suggesting that Wisconsin teachers' jobs will be outsourced overseas? If I were one of those teachers that did not have a choice about whether or not to pay Union dues, I would be very happy today.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. norma wilkinson Long Beach Cal.


    March 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • kdm0828

      this is nothing compared to dems with the healthcare bill, suck it up you lazy union bum

      March 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @kdm0828 The only parts of the Obama healthcare that has gone into effect is the children in college can stay on your health care plan and to fill some of the donuthole Bush created can be filled by extra money going to the elderly. What part of the healthcare plan are you talking about? Republicans and Tea Partiers come on here and never explain. They hear things like the lie Palin said on death panels and think it is true. What are you talking about? either put something in text or sit and don't be informed. Put something you can research.

      March 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Truth

    All will be repealed in two years and Dems will get back in office. Walker will be removed from office and the Dems will have their president in for four more years. Consequences for stupid are far and wide. I think at least one side is learning.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
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