Walker is using the unprecedented, government-wide rule-making power handed to him by a compliant GOP-led Legislature early last year to re-define how wages might yet be bargaining for by Wisconsin's already-punished teachers, thus limiting and effectively lowering their pay, and diminishing their careers by eliminating incentive pay for getting advanced degrees.
It's another jaw-dropping new low in Scott Walker and the Right's harsh and exhausting campaign against public employees.
Let's discourage teachers from getting more training. That'll help prepare your kids for the world after graduation.
How'd you like that mindset applied to the doctor about to do your brain surgery, or the lawyer writing your estate plan? Advanced training: who needs it? Just pass around that Reader's Digest reprint.
The pound of flesh for being in a union profession already extracted when the infamous bomb was dropped is not sufficient for Walker and the teacher-haters who make up the conservative organizations subsidizing his recall campaign, and for his staffers and advisers who comb the statute book looking for any crack or wordsmithing that might be used to carry out their ideological attack on unionized public workers.
This time his actions comes with an extra BS factor - - the claim that there is an "emergency" that the rule needs to address. There is no limit or end to the lying.
The Journal Sentinel explains:
For workers in public schools and technical colleges, the revised emergency rule put in place Thursday could reduce the upper limit of their allowed salary increases by an estimated 30% or more...
Early last year, Walker changed state law to give him more control over administrative rules. State agencies - including those not controlled by the governor - must get his approval before writing and implementing administrative rules, which have the force of state law.
Democrats called that change a power grab.And I last year here and even earlier here the dangers of the Legislature's role in enabling the Governor to have near-dictatorial power over state agency rules and operations.
Walker's legislation limited any union-negotiated salary increases to the rate of inflation as applied to the employees' base salaries unless voters approved a higher increase in a referendum...
But Walker's administration ordered changes to the rules that would limit base wages to exclude pay given to workers such as teachers to reflect factors such as having a graduate degree...
For instance, a teacher with a master's degree making $45,000 a year might only make $35,000 a year in a given school district without the extra pay for her graduate degree. That would yield an allowable 3.2% increase of $1,050 a year rather than $1,350.
Under the rule, only the $35,000 a year would be counted as part of the total amount that would be subject to the cost-of-living increase when the teacher's union sought to bargain for one with the district.
Walker wants to remove state rule-making powers - - a very important state function because Wisconsin rules have the power of law - - from the legislature to his office.A Wisconsin rid of Walker's damage definitely needs that grant of power eliminated. No Governor should have that authority, regardless of party.
That's a power grab that upsets the checks-and-balances among the branches of government, blocks transparency and opens the door even more widely to special-interest influence.
And special interest already have more than a foot inside that door. - -