NBC/WSJ poll: 62% against stripping public employees’ bargaining rights

Not that Walker could care less, but….

Strong majorities of Americans say they are comfortable with states requiring their employees to pay more for their retirement and health care to balance state budget deficits, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But the public is adamantly against eliminating public employees’ collective-bargaining rights — as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is pursuing.

In the poll, a whopping 68 percent find it acceptable requiring public employees to contribute more of their pay for retirement benefits; 63 percent are fine with requiring these employees to pay more for their health-care benefits; and 58 percent are OK with freezing public employees’ salaries for one year.

But just 33 percent say it’s acceptable — and 62 percent say it’s unacceptable — to eliminate these employees’ collective-bargaining rights as way to deal with state budget deficits.

In addition, 77 percent believe that public employees have the same collective-bargaining rights (when it comes to health care, pensions, and other benefits) that union employees who work for private companies have.



51 thoughts on “NBC/WSJ poll: 62% against stripping public employees’ bargaining rights

  1. First? 🙂

    It’s nice to see the support for union workers’ rights! Great poll.

    The First Lady looks great.

  2. Considering only about 16% of Americans belong to a union, this is pretty strong stuff.
    And when you consider that msot people don’t really understand why the union members haven’t been paying much into their pensions or health benefits, it isn’t surprising the numbers that feel they should pay more.
    The pension issue is a particularly important one, since private companies have, to a great degree, eliminated pensions, substituting 401K’s. So many people feel that since they don’t have pensions why should the public unions? They don’t realize that the public employees don’t have 401K’s through their work.

  3. I just read this on FaceBook…..

    UW Madison Faculty Organizing for Change via Defend Wisconsin: Medics inside the Capitol Building are running short on supplies and are asking for the following donations: Chemical Cold/Ice Packs (of the one use/disposable assortment), Hand Warmers, Space Blankets, Childrens Tylenol, Contact Cases, Rubber Gloves, Ibuprofen, Clean Socks, and Toothbrushes. Bring to 110 King St Dem Party offices.6 minutes ago

  4. Interesting thought viewing the pictures of a fantastic looking FLOTUS. Everybody talks about President Obama’s unflappableness. But her energy, vivacity and emotiveness is just wonderful to see.

    I say again, how can anybody look at those pictures and consider the First Family arrogant?

  5. After reading the above, I can’t help wondering what percentage of the public believes that there should be a cap on wall street and CEO bonuses. Now were talking money!!!

  6. The thing is that these employees pay 100% of their pensions and health benefits – they take it in lieu of pay. It’s part of their contract, a contract collectively bargained to and signed by the Wisconsin state government. If you believe it’s too high, then the next time the contract is open for negotiation you address it.

    None of that matters as the public unions have agreed to open their contract to reduce the cost on the government and that isn’t enough. This is a huge point that really needs to get out – I know it is getting out now, but it needs to get out in a major way.


  8. I just got this in my email


    Excellent 1 minute video which is being shown in Wisconsin.

    If it is considered bad manners to link to a site that asks for donation, accept my apologies. Just let me know and I won’t do it again.

    As a teacher who has a Democratic governor and is grateful that unions with collective bargaining have been able to negotiate pay cuts and avoid layoffs I felt the need to share this opportunity to donate.

  9. And now Walker has added $100 fine per day for the 14, plus no paycheck. Their staff can no longer use the copy machine.
    This angers me soooo much!

  10. Awesome. This, alongside the now-consistent polling which illustrates how unpopular is this newest GOP overreach, is a huge deal. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to change the tide of public opinion.

  11. Really thuggish, strong-arm tactics. I daresay that swing voters never signed up for this…

  12. Just hope those that are doing the petitions are careful so they can’t be thrown out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reps try to put some phony names on them.

  13. I have a hunch even a lot of regular Republican voters never signed up for this.

  14. Any idea of how quick this could happen? Following your link, the recall effort has 60 days to get the signatures – what if they get the signatures sooner? How soon after the signatures are collected would the new election be called?

    If they get the signatures relatively quickly it could put a lot of pressure on these eight, given the polls supporting the workers rights to collectively bargain polls over 60%, and the union side would be highly motivated. I suspect that there will be court challenges out the wazoo by the GOP on this though. Also putting together the lists will need to be meticulous as every signature will be challenged.

  15. I think this $100 is a trap – I wonder if the ruse is to get the unions to pay for it and that would some how be a violation. Hopefully they have folks to look into this sort of thing.

  16. Here are the rules:

    1. The recall election is held on the Tuesday of the 6th week after the recall petition is certified.
    2. If a primary is required, the primary is held on Tuesday of the 6th week after the recall petition is certified, and the recall election is held on Tuesday of the 4th week after the primary election.

    So they have up to 60 days, but it the petitionsa can be handed in earlier. They must then be certified. That is where the real problem will be, as they will be challenged up the you know what. Then another 6-10 weeks, depending if there is a primary or not. Hopefully the Dems would decide on a single candidate.

    If 3 seats switch hands out of the 8, the Dems will have a majority.

  17. I can’t see this protest lasting another 10 weeks though. They really need to focus on 3-4 and get those signatures ASAP to start the ball rolling.

  18. And you hit it right with the phrase “now consistent polling”. Despite all the attempts to frame this as fiscally responsible against thuggish unions, the percent against the abolishing collective bargaining plan has maintained stability right at the 61-62% mark.

    Dare I hope that this single move by an overreaching Governor has opened America’s eyes, despite the lack of any substantive coverage?

  19. I wouldn’t be surprised if it only takes 2-3 weeks to get the signatures. They will want to get them before there can be organized opposition or shenanigans on the ground. And based upon the polls and the numbers, shouldn’t be a problem. A lot of those that sat out the last election are energized by this and will search out the petitions so they can sign them.

  20. Saint Roscoe, thank you for pointing that Wisconsin workers have paid 100% of their pensions and health care benefits, as a concession. This fact shines a whole new light on what Walker is attempting to do but few media outlets are invested in correcting the record. Here’s an interesting article that shows how far Walker will go to bolster his assertion that the public supports his actions:

    “Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s budget address was delivered beneath a dead and stuffed eagle. His address made commitments to a better educated Wisconsin, even while offering almost guaranteed decreased funding of the state’s schools. He criticized the state’s wasteful use of “our tobacco settlement,” and then minutes later praised, for his “bold new ideas and strong leadership,” former Republican Tommy Thompson—the state’s key architect of that tobacco settlement spending.”

    “He twice passed into reverence for “our state’s constitution,” even while it was being broken two floors below him: the Capitol’s doors were still locked.”

    “One possible reason for why the doors remained locked to Wisconsin citizens nearly six hours after a judge ordered them open soon became clear. The assembly gallery had been packed with ringers.”


    “Throughout the afternoon, those having an appointment with a legislator were allowed access, with each legislator only allowed a small number of badges. At about 2 p.m., I noticed an increase in the number of men in suits and long overcoats being brought into the capitol and then allowed upstairs. One sheriff’s deputy asked me, as four more came in, “Do you know who those guys are?” Later, I would find out.”


    “Walker entered to thunderous applause, though not from the Democrats, who refused to rise. At least two-thirds of the East audience galley was loudly applauding but they had nothing on the West coast. It was now clear who the men in business attire were. Nearly without exception, the west gallery was all men in black suits and, when the governor said something meaningful, they all rose and applauded, and they did it with verve and volume.”

    “I’m not saying these guys were not from Wisconsin, but if you know Wisconsin, you know for a fact that even for most businessmen, black suits are not part of the wardrobe. In general, the only time one will see a large gathering of Wisconsin men in black suits is at a funeral, or, apparently at a Governor Walker budget address.”

    “Reporter Kristin Knutsen found evidence that many of these ringers may have entered through the capitol’s access tunnels, noting the presence of the Division of Criminal Investigation—the same officers I saw upstairs outside the Assembly chambers following the address escorting unidentified men.”


  21. Important update:

    “The Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party suggests that his Party will continue to back this recall effort even if the eight targeted senators offer to withdraw their support for Gov. Walker’s anti-union bill in order to quell the recall campaign:
    Asked if Wisconsin Dems would drop their push to recall senators if they abandoned the drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights. Tate said he couldn’t guarantee that, arguing that Walker’s proposed budget cuts yesterday took this fight to a whole new level.

    “In the past 24 hours, this has gotten so much larger than the rights of our public employees,” he said. “This is much larger now than it was a week ago.” ”


  22. lol what is our beautiful flotus doing here? *teehee* I need a video of this amazingness.

  23. My state, Fl, has another brandnew teaparty Gov, there is buyers regret growing daily.Just maybe some eyes may be opening, & asking, have we been voting against our own interests? Well, duh!

    Pics,per usual, outstanding.

  24. I was speaking with a woman at a party on Saturday evening and she recounted a long tale of woe regarding the company which had just laid her and many others off because they were outsourcing the jobs to Indians, both in India and here. She said that they were all forced to stay on for 30 days to train their replacements, or else they would be stripped of any benefits they had accrued. Her interpretation of this was that businesses are heartless and don’t care about their workers, with which I concurred. Then she moved to the protests, and I was shocked to hear that she was in total support of Governor Walker. From her confused explanation, I gathered this was because she believed, as you stated, japa, that if she couldn’t get hers, no one else should get theirs. I was just on the verge of asking her, if she had cancer, would she want everyone else to have it also, but of course, I did not. I then went on to patiently explain to her that the unions had given Walker all the concessions he wanted, and that the sticking point was collective bargaining, but it was like throwing water at a steel wall. Absolutely nothing penetrated. Thoreau once wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I suppose this is why they cling to selfishness and wilful ignorance, both of which probably increase their quiet desperation. How does one pry them loose?

  25. It is very hard. What the Republicans and corporate America (most of it) want is for the rest of the country to get into a race to the bottom. Rather than the have-nots (and I am speaking in the sense of this person you are referring to) working to move upward through bargaining, etc. they want the have-nots to bring the haves down to their level. A populace living a life of quiet desparation is easily cowed and manipulated.

  26. ^Lastquarter, I agree… I BELIEVE between now and Jan 2012, there’s gonna be plenty of buyer’s remorse…constitutional recalls of GOPTeaParty-elected governors, senators, et al, anyone?!

    In your state, FL Dems are “officially” considerin’ a constitutional recall of Gov R. Scott! (There’s also a ‘bi-partisan’ lawsuit against him.)


    You should check out Joy Reid, who is a Floridian. Her blog, ‘The Reid Report, has been added to BWD’s Blogroll.

    Texas Dems, which includes me, need to consider it, too…I’m thinkin’ about a citizen’s petition…R. Perry [& Co.] needs to go to jail like DeLay!

  27. I wish I had a teacher like First Lady Michelle Obama.


  28. That woman just shines. Her grace is endless, but what I love the most is her joy. She gets so engaged in whatever she is doing.

  29. Symmetry, does that mean they have turned the heat off? To save money and punish the protesters? egad.

  30. If the Egyptian people can bring down a dictator after 30 years of police state rule, why can’t state employee unions bring down this Governor or at least start a Governor recall effort. This is the United States of America, re-learn how to do it yourself.


    Poll: Americans favor union bargaining rights, By Judy Keen and Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAYUpdated 2/23/2011 2:00:45 PM, MADISON, Wis. —
    Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

  31. Rep. George Miller’s clear explanation of what is at stake in Wisconsin and the U.S., at this moment:

    The Wisconsin governor’s assault on public employees is getting most of the media attention, but it is just one of the fronts of the extreme right-wing and anti-worker agenda trying to be carried out in this country. In fact, there is a well financed and coordinated national attack against working families in the unions they may belong to – the goal of which is to take away power from the middle class and give it to the wealthy special interests that have backed Republicans in their elections.

    Here’s how it’s playing out: The Republicans are taking a real problem, a serious problem, that of the budget deficits and long-term debt in this country, and they are assigning it to a fake cause. Under the guise of cutting deficits, they say the working people’s union rights and workplace protections must be eliminated….

    So, at the same time that the governors of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and New Jersey are demanding more and public-private union employee sacrifices, the Republicans in Washington are using the budget fight to roll back the rights and protections of American workers. Their spending priorities and so-called continuing resolution of last week showed their hand….

    They (Republicans) want their union, they want their rights in the workplace to be terminated. It’s un-American.

    There’s a reason we have collective bargaining in this country because we know that workers have a right — should have a right — to bond together to improve the workplace, to improve the working conditions, and when they do, those rights flow to the rest of middle class working families in this country and even the nonunion workplaces, those rights are there. That’s how we achieved an eight-hour day. That’s how we achieved vacation time. That’s how we achieved health care. That’s how we achieved overtime whether in the union or not. Now they want to take away the rights of unions to organize in the workplace, the rights of workers to organize.

    But, the Republicans have asked for no sacrifices in all these cuts. They have asked for no sacrifices of the well-off and the well-connected. In fact, these cuts are being made in the name of the well-off and the well-connected so that they’ll be able to push for lower wages, for lower benefits, for lower health care for our workers, for lower take-home pay. What does it do for our economy? It makes America poor.


  32. I have the same problem with many of my Art Guild members. We are about split politically. We meet once a week and I cringe when one of the Tea Baggers brings up politics. There is no arguing or factual information that can be given them as they just emotionally blow up and yell. They listen to FOX and Limbaugh and use the talking points put out by them. I hate when I hear their selfish talk and know the GOP is playing them as they are losing the most by supporting that party. I also am amazed that they are the so called religious that are being so bigoted.

  33. I had heard they were locked out today even though the judge ordered the Capitol Building to be kept open during office hours. Did they open it up again?

  34. Not forever. Look at all those fighting for change in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Iran. Unemployment is high, opportiniy limited, dissent repressed for years. As our president has stated many times, people yearn for opportunity.

  35. Huckster is a minister but did not hesitate to bear false witness (lie) about our president, saying he grew up I. Kenya and was indoctrinated in British anti colonialism. He then lied again and said he meant Indonesia. Liar pants on fire.

  36. The “me” in this country is used by the repubs and tpartiers very well.

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