MADISON, WI - NAACP Units from across Wisconsin marched to the State Capitol over the weekend to participate in a rally in solidarity with Wisconsin’s public employees and support the rights of all employees to collectively bargain. Accordingly, the NAACP urged the Assembly and Senate to reject the proposed “Budget Repair Bill”.
The bill threatens to effectively extinguish the right of public employees to bargain over any term and condition of employment other than wages. Unions could still represent workers but could not seek pay increases above the Consumer Price Index, unless approved by a referendum of voters.
The NAACP is sensitive to the State of Wisconsin’s financial condition. We are also cognizant that teachers and other public employees have made financial concessions in the past, and are prepared to make concessions today. However, they are not willing to sacrifice their hard fought right to collectively bargain, and rightfully so. We stand in solidarity with them.
The non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau reports that for the remainder of 2011 and through 2013 Wisconsin’s general tax fund collections will be about $ 202.8 million lower than was previously estimated. The bureau attributed more than half of the change ($117.2 million) to recently proposed tax cuts for bug businesses and changes in the treatment of health savings accounts.
Middle class/low-income workers, whether private or public, were not responsible for the circumstances which led to the greatest economic downturn in decades. It is unfair to rest the rescue on their shoulders, particularly at a time when wealthy big businesses are being rewarded with tax cuts.
NAACP members join the March against anti-worker policies
NAACP Wisconsin State Conference President Tom White waits to address the rally
President White Addresses the crowd at the Wisconsin State Capitol
A "Save the American Dream" rally was also held at the Illinois State Capitol where NAACP President Teresa Haley served as Chair.
The Illinois NAACP stood with labor groups from across the state to protect the rights of workers to engage in the process of collective bargaining. The NAACP opposes the continued elimination of public sector jobs which only adds to our nation’s unemployment misery.
The NAACP will conduct voter registration and education of voters on key civil rights issues like collective bargaining through the general election Nov. 6, 2012. Groups that participated in the “Save the American Dream,” rally included: Moveon.org, AFSCME Council 31, Latinos for Change, Illinois Education Association , Sauganan Valley Sierra Club Chapter, Central Illinois Trades and Labor Council, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Carpenters Local 16, Illinois State Conference NAACP.