"I'd love an opportunity to share with you how we've been able to turn Arizona around with hard choices that turned out to be the right ones."
You can be the judge of whether Jan Brewer's "hard choices" have been "the right ones" so far. But the latest choice Brewer's Republican Party has made is unquestionably the wrong one for workers in her state.
The bills were introduced Monday night, and they would:
- Outlaw all collective bargaining for public employees, including police officers and firefighters (The WI law exempted public safety workers)
- Outlaw automatic payroll deductions for union dues.
- Outlaw the compensation of public employees for union work.
Arizona is ALREADY a so-called "right-to-work" state, which means unions have a severely diminished role. But they still have a seat at the bargaining table. They can still negotiate pay and benefits for members, to a certain extent. But these new Republican bills stamp out the few remaining union rights. They will completely do away with collective bargaining.
Arizona Senate Minority Leader, Democrat David Schapira, said of the legislation: "It looks like an all-out assault on the right of workers to organize."
But the radical legislation isn't enough for Governor Jan Brewer. She wants to take the destruction of state workers' rights a step further. Governor Brewer wants public employees to give up employment protections, such as the right to appeal if they are fired or demoted, in return for a 5% raise.
The union-busting bills are scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, February 1.
Tune in to "The Ed Show" on msnbc, Wednesday at 8pm ET and hear what Ed has to say about Gov. Brewer's war on unions!