Bill Bumpas – OneNewsNow – 3/15/2011
While protests continue in Wisconsin over new collective bargaining restrictions that were signed into law last week by Governor Scott Walker, there’s a critical aspect of the debate that has seemingly gone unnoticed — forced unionism.
Gary Beckner (exec. dir. of AAE)Collective bargaining is not a right but a service, says Gary Beckner, executive director of the Association of American Educators, the largest national non-union professional teachers association. He tells OneNewsNow the unions are fighting so hard to preserve forced unions because they want to “keep their cash cow alive.”
“I mean the point is now if teachers realize that they don’t have to pay dues to the union, they might start to look for professional alternatives to provide the kinds of benefits and services that they felt like they had to pay the union for in the first place,” he shares. “And that’s what really scares the union — that’s what’s causing this battle.”
And this battle, Beckner argues, is not a grass-roots effort. Instead, he says, it is “a very orchestrated demonstration” taken right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals handbook.
“Saul, by the way, actually trained the old guard union leadership at the [National Education Association],” he explains. “And his idea is always to demonize your perceived enemy — in this case it’s Governor Walker — and to convince your members — in this case union members — that you are the only organization that really cares about them. It’s a classic ‘you and me against the world’ tactic.”
Beckner says the battle is not over, suspecting that there could be some lawsuits filed by the unions.
The unions in Wisconsin, in fact, are getting some help from their secretary of state. Doug La Follette said yesterday he has decided to delay publication of the new law signed by Governor Walker in order to give local governments the maximum amount of time possible to reach agreements with teachers unions. The law allows him up to ten days after a bill is signed into law. That would be March 25.