Interesting facts from the Independent Women’s Voice website:
This is what Scott Walker is fighting to change:
WI govt. employees make an average of $50,774 in wages and benefits. Private sector workers makes about $1800 less. Nationwide, govt. employees earn 10-21% more than their private sector counterparts. This doesn’t include retirement health and pension benefits.
Private sector employers paid 5.3% of payroll toward employee retirement plans. Before Gov. Walker, taxpayer money paid between 10.55% and 13.3% into the Wisconsin Retirement System for government employees.
Before Gov. Walker, govt. employees paid less than 1% to fund their pensions. Taxpayers paid the rest ($1.4 Billion in 2010).
Nationwide, the average worker pays 30% of the costs of their health insurance. Before Gov. Walker, WI state employees paid an average of 6% of their health insurance costs. Gov. Walker’s reforms now require state and local govt. employees to pay 12.4% of health insurance costs, saving the state nearly $383 million. The increase in required state and local govt. worker pension contributions saved the state over $690 million.
By making these changes, Walker was able to avoid layoffs and reductions in services. Interesting, the school districts that were not affected by the reform and were unable to renegotiate contracts with labor unions suffered layoffs and budget challenges. The city of Milwaukee was not affected by the reform because of an agreement with the education union but instead of voluntarily renegotiating contract terms, the teachers unions opted for layoffs. In all, these unions saw a staff reduction of 42.5%. All because they didn’t want to “sacrifice” by paying their fair share into their own health care and pension costs. Is it any wonder that something had to be done? Looking at the numbers, it’s no wonder that Wisconsin could no longer afford to spend taxpayer money on lavish health and pension benefits for government workers. Walker’s reforms have worked and are a great example to other states who find themselves under the weight of burdensome union contracts. Let’s hope Wisconsin is only the beginning.