Letters to the Editor

Legislation appropriate way to deal with unions

I just love reading misinformed, misleading letters from partisan writers.

The most recent example is a screed on how the current and former governors of Wisconsin have been incompetent negotiators in giving away the store to public unions.

First, the current governor of Wisconsin (a Republican, to the writer's chagrin) has been in office for less than two months, and I doubt he or his staff have sat in on any contract negotiations.

Second, governors do not usually negotiate contracts with public unions.

Third, surely the writer knows that most teacher, firefighter, police and other public union contracts are negotiated at the county or town level, and the governor has little or no control over how much of the store those negotiators give away.

The executive and legislative branches of a state are charged with providing a budget to run the state. And indeed, part of that budget includes costs to the state negotiated by various local authorities for pensions and health care. This particular governor and legislators (those who show up) are trying to rein in those costs by regulating, through legislation, the negotiation process, which is their right to do, since the right to negotiate is born of the legislative process in the first place.

David Laviolette Bluffton

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