Walker looks at many different legal options to limit employee benefits cost and weaken unions in order to balance the budget. Options include decertifying unions, not allowing unions to negotiate with the state, modifying current laws, and limiting or abolishing union rights. He wants to require employees to contribute 5% to their pensions and 12% to their health costs. Currently they contribute nothing to their pensions and only 4%-6% of health costs.
The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers and the people who care about services. . . . You are not going to hear me degrade state and local employees in the public sector. But we can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and the taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots.
Union leaders say they will fight if the state tries to modify laws governing state unions. A union director:
It’s too bad Scott Walker wants to destroy a law that assures the uninterrupted delivery of high-quality public services and has kept labor peace for more than three decades. We certainly prefer negotiation to confrontation.