After Scott Walker launched an idealogical civil war and eliminated workers' rights, Tom Barrett waged a battle of principle to protect working families.
Scott Walker's budget that gave massive handouts to out-of-state corporations and the super-rich also caused Milwaukee to lose more than $15 million in state aid -- the largest cut in the state. Despite Walker's cuts, Tom was able to prevented layoffs, protected workers' rights and employee benefits:
- Milwaukee workers do not make a 5.5% pension contribution as the vast majority of public employees do.
- Milwaukee workers did not receive any pay reductions
- Essential Services were preserved
Tom also fought to ensure that public employees continued to have a voice in the workplace by implementing "meet and confer" language to require labor/management discussion and by extending civil service protections to employees who lost their rights under ACT 10. To date, Tom Barrett is only one of a handful of Mayors across Wisconsin who took these actions to protect workers.
Members of the Wisconsin 14 and Assembly Democrats agree that that Tom Barrett offers the best and most realistic way to restore collective bargaining. Tom Barrett has offered multiple strategies to get the job done, whether calling a special session of the Legislature on collective bargaining, or introducing a standalone bill. Each of these strategies offers a real opportunity to win back the rights.
With a successful gubernatorial election paired with success in the Senate recalls, only the Assembly would be left in the hands of those who ended collective bargaining. On the heels of successful recalls, these representatives would be pressured into doing the right thing with the eyes of Wisconsin upon them — or voted out of office in November.
That's why Tom Barrett's multi-pronged approach to restoring collective bargaining is the best. It maximizes flexibility, takes advantage of political momentum, and offers more opportunities for success. And it mirrors what Democratic members of both the State Senate and Assembly proposed after Scott Walker launched his attack on Wisconsin workers.