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Walker: "should have built public support" for union changes

by
Gov. Scott Walker
Gov. Scott Walker

UNDATED (WSAU) Governor Scott Walker has again admitted he did not build enough of a case for his plan to limit collective bargaining for most public employee unions. But he still thinks we should have seen it coming – even before he ran for governor last year.

The Republican Walker told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editors yesterday that he should have done more to prepare the public, before he submitted his plan to the Legislature in February. He made a similar admission at a recent conference in Madison, but that didn’t get a lot of statewide attention.

Still, Walker said he gave plenty of warnings during his election campaign that he would limit public union bargaining – and we should have seen it by the way he treated unions as the Milwaukee County Executive. Walker also said the furor over the issue is subsiding. And as time goes by, he says both the unions and the public will come to accept the changes, which begin to take effect tomorrow.

Walker said the changes will avoid public employee layoffs, unlike in other states with large budget deficits. And he said it would give school boards and local governments the tools they need to hold down their costs. Walker also said there’s been a lot of information about the issue – especially from teachers who asked him why he was attacking them. Walker has praised public employees throughout the debate – and he said all of the nasty talk came from opponents and protestors.

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