As protests in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget repair bill enter their third week, Education Votes has offered a national online petition to support Wisconsin teachers’ and public employees’ right to collectively bargain.
As of Wednesday, March 2, about 36,200 people from around the country have signed the petition to support those in Wisconsin.
Recognizing that what happens in Wisconsin will affect labor relations nationwide for years to come, Janet Yakopatz signed the petition.
“Any state could be next, and if we are not willing to stand up for and with others across state borders, who will stand up for ‘me’ when the time comes?,” said Yakopatz.
“I cannot speak for anyone else in my state, but as an Oregonian I am supporting these protests because I know full well that what is happening across the country could easily happen here,” Yakopatz, a six-year veteran English high school teacher from Talent, Ore., said. “I want to make a stand now before it becomes an issue, and I want to help others like me.”
Wisconsin resident and small business owner Alex Roup recently signed the petition as well. Although he is not a teacher and has traditionally considered himself a conservative who tends to lean Republican, Roup feels that Walker’s proposal is underhanded and a manipulation of Wisconsin residents for political gain.
“Public employees are being singled out financially to burden the budget shortfall that is not the fault of public workers, but the mismanagement of the state’s reserves and investments,” Roup said. “I will never trust the GOP and will take note of each and every ‘representative’ that is putting an ideology ahead of the good of the state I so dearly love.”
Make your voice heard. Sign our national petition below.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD FOR EDUCATORS AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS
~ We Pledge To Stand With America’s Educators, School Support Staff And Workers ~
We believe that educators, school support staff, nurses, firefighters and other middle class workers are essential to the well-being and safety of our families and communities.
We believe that working Americans need to use the strength of our numbers to fight for better wages and benefits, job security and safer workplaces.
We believe that the attacks happening in state after state are more of the same old partisan politics in which whatever party is in power tries to hurt the other side.
We believe that while we suffer, the same politicians support tax breaks for corporations and CEOs. Politicians know unions are a check on corporate power, so they are working to weaken or eliminate them.
To fulfill the promise of workers’ role in restoring balance to our economy, protecting and growing the middle class, and sustaining our communities, we urge governors and politicians to:
- Meet with educators and other public employees to find fair and sensible solutions that are in the best interests of the nation’s middle class, children and families.
- Stop the power struggle. We need balance that brings our leaders together to create quality jobs and solves the problems hurting middle class families across the country.
- Do their share by cutting their own high salaries, pensions and perks before asking frontline, middle class workers to sacrifice even more in wage and benefit cuts.
- Solve the problems of the middle class instead of giving even more power to the corporate CEOs who got them elected.
- Remember that public employees are our neighbors and friends. They are educators, firefighters, social workers, and police officers. They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big contribution. It’s important not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow they are the cause of state budget problems.