What Wisconsin gov’t workers do all day

It is becoming apparent they fret about their union benefits on the taxpayer’s dime.

Take a look at this open records request Orville Seymer of CRG received. The records came to me from Randy Hollenbeck who has other union-related news up today.

There are dozens of names associated with government positions who discuss the union response to Walker’s Budget Repair Bill.

My favorite passage gleaned from a quick scan of these documents comes from Layne L. Litwin of UWM on page 49.

It looks like that is all Walker will compromise on. He wants us to pay more and deny the automatic collection of dues and fees, which will essentially bankrupt unions as it would be next to impossible to get all but the most dedicated unionist to voluntarily pay their dues directly to their locals out of their own pockets….. (sic) expecially with such a huge reduction of take home pay.

Ya’ think? I do believe I’ve mentioned a couple of times how important it is for the Governor to get that one issue passed in an iron-clad vote. Even union operatives know the mandatory (coercive) payment of dues from state paychecks hold the key to public employee union survival in Wisconsin.

Do it. Soon. (Or I know! You can just start with the paycheck changes now and see if that judge is really all she pretends to be.)


  1. John Foust says:

    If you don’t know whether there’s a policy against fretting on the public dime, then where’s the problem? The open records law gives you extraordinary access into the daily minutes of public employees. You want them to be required to behave like automatons?

  2. At the least, Mr. Foust, so much union business instead of work could mean half of them are actually unnecessary. I know you want to provide their excuses, but I think they should be very embarrassed.

  3. John Foust says:

    No excuses here. I don’t know about your experience in the working world, or with employee management, but it is exceedingly difficult to police their every action. The Internet makes it so much worse. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen plenty of goldbricking in both public and private employees.

    (Historical note: I had a letter published in Forbes in the early 90s, urging employers to be extremely careful about allowing general Internet access for employees, as it was a big time-waster.)

    So again I ask… where’s the violation?

  4. Who knows. I do think it’s a hoot you’re so upset about it, though. I suppose one should look more closely given your concern.

    A taxpayer could only hope the government’s employees wouldn’t need to be “police(d)” to do their jobs respectfully. I guess your statement says more about your opinion of government workers than mine.

  5. John Foust says:

    Who knows? Then what made this worthwhile as a post?

    My opinion of public workers isn’t significantly different from my view of private workers. All are capable of slacking.

    If incidental, casual, non-interfering personal use of email and Internet isn’t against the rules, and if an OR request uncovers that… well, there’s the beef? By no means am I upset. I don’t see a story here.

    On what rational basis can you write a headline like “What government workers do all day”?

  6. It was a great post. Look at all those government employees in the loop of the union’s direction. Look at the statement I culled. Look at the number of emails and how the list grew. Great stuff that landed in my lap. And it’s not a headline, it’s a post title–that you got wrong, by the way.

    Now you are sounding a wee bit jealous.

  7. And in “Who Gives a Rat’s Ass Trivia” today:

    “Historical note: I had a letter published in Forbes in the early 90s, urging employers to be extremely careful about allowing general Internet access for employees, as it was a big time-waster.”


  8. Joanne Brown says:

    I don’t know what’s to be bothered about here. Of course the people are worried. So what if the mailing lists are long. Lots of people work for the state, lots of people are affected by the budget “repair” bill and the budget bill, and by changes to collective bargaining. Many of these messages appear to have been sent well out of work hours, in fact. And the one you note from Layne Litwin was sent at 6:59 pm. If he’s not allowed to stress out about his job at dinnertime, or after, when can he be concerned?

  9. John Foust says:

    Cindy, I’m not yet seeing the “great stuff” that you found in a quick glean. Why is the email thread relevant? It doesn’t surprise me that these employees would use email to discuss a large issue that was about to affect them. Why would it surprise you?

    If you think they shouldn’t be talking about it, then let’s examine the current policy they are under, and let’s talk about your suggested modifications to the policy. Let’s see how you’d like these public employees to be managed.

    Yes, WordPress calls it a “post title”. I’m glad you understood what I meant by “headline”, though!

    It was only back on April 6 that Ryan called it a “headline.” (“Prosser lost the election in Waukesha county / This headline might seem crazy…. after all, Prosser won it 73-27, right?”) I hope you corrected him about this.

    Seeker – feel free to join in with your on-topic opinions.

  10. I thought the bit about the union member admitting the unions would be bankrupt without mandatory dues was “great stuff.” Obviously you were unimpressed. Hmmm. Why does that not surprise me?

    I think, and mind you this is my opinion so it will surely set you off JF, that it’s remarkably disingenuous for a group of people to use the email associated with their government workplace to coordinate exactly how they will screw that employer. I know it happens all the time, but these public employees are well trained to understand their work emails are public. It shows, again in my opinion, a lack of discipline on their part.

    And dude. It’s my blog. Post title, headline, many of the words. They are all mine. If you don’t like them take a hike.

  11. John Foust says:

    If only Walker and Fitz would admit that’s their Koch-driven objective, too. How do you define “screw their employer”? Any talk about not being docked a few percent?

    You didn’t like it when I said “headline”. I point out that your fellow co-blogger used it, too. I have to “take a hike” because I said “headline” instead of “WordPress post title”? Why do I get this is a shiny-object-look-a-squirrel so we don’t have to talk about the topic of your post?

  12. You run to the Dem touch point of the Koch brothers and you accuse me of tossing out a shiny object? Thanks for the evening laugh.

    Maybe when I get home I’ll do a little database and research of the state employees who had nothing better to do than fret over their union business. It’s pretty much what you are demanding, right?

  13. my wife worked for SSI full time and she relates that the pressure was immense to produce. it all depends on your superiors. i have found no difference between public and private workers. they are all people and are as different as people can be.