February 16th, 2011
07:48 PM ET
11 years ago

Thousands march in Wisconsin over proposed budget cuts

(CNN) - Furor over a bill that would strip Wisconsin public employees of most of their collective bargaining rights and have them pay dramatically more for benefits drew at least 10,000 protesters to the state Capitol Wednesday and forced the cancellation of classes in one large school district because of a teacher sick-out.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he is dealing with a budget crisis. Employees and unions contend his bill is an assault on worker rights.


Filed under: Wisconsin
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. duckbutter

    wow... wish i had a job where i only had to work 9 months a year... monday thru friday from 8 to 3.. get off for thanksgiving for 3 days... two wks for christmas... a wk for spring break... and make 50, 60, 70 or more....give me a break teachers ...stop the shake down of the tax payers....

    February 16, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. ehwilson429

    walker is correct.
    you can either pay NOW or pay LATER.

    But later may be too late.

    February 16, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. walter

    If the union employees don't like it, they can follow their modus operandi and strike. There are no doubt thousands of unemployed people in Wisconsin who would be more than happy to take the positions with whatever pay and benefits they are offering.

    February 16, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    "dramatically more" You have got to be kidding. Your failure to show the complete picture as to what is going on at this "rally" is disingenious at best. The "civility" from the left is on full display. But I get it from the unions, we must sacrifice for the good of our country, our state as long as that sacrifice doesn't include us.

    February 16, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. Moderate Sean

    This is what you get Wisconsin voters when you put non-thinking neanderthal types into office. They go after Middle America and the working poor first, all the while the top 2% or 3% of wage earners sit high and mighty! Are you regretting it yet WI? Hey, Ohio, you are next!

    February 16, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. Lisa Zukowski

    I think it is about time state employees pay for their retirement just like all the rest of us do in the private sector. People just keep insisting they deserve to get everything for free- got a news flash...Nothing is Free! Someone is paying and everyone inclduing teachers, who get the additional benefit of over 3MONTHS off every year need to pay. There are plenty of good teachers out there, who would never call in sick to work, only to show up at the capital in Madison in school buses. Wisconsin currently has more state employee than there are private workers, so how can anyone think that the public can afford this?

    February 16, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  7. vic nashville tn

    Republican president and his government causes this now they are talking about cut and balancing budget give me break

    I support the protesters

    February 16, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. B

    This is only the beginning,stay tuned!

    February 16, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. Right Leaning Independent

    I wonder how much extra credit all of those students got for going out and protesting for their teachers.. Maybe they just wanted a day out of class.. I love to see these unions squirming.. They believe they are above the private sector and should not have to take cuts in their pensions that are bankrupting so many states... Only in America...

    February 16, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Marcus

    So because he's short on money he thinks that he can use it as an excuse to strip out some union rights?
    Hello? Make them pay for it? Fine, buckle the belt a little tighter please 'cause its needed for the time being.
    But what about their rights? R–I-G-H-T-S, not -M-O-N-E-Y?

    February 16, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    once again your loving Republicans at work all you "angry" voters. So far their plans for job creation are going like they really want it to...NONE!! The GOP knows full well that lower unemployment means Obama looks better. If you fell for the GOP fear smoke and mirrors last November this is what you voted for.

    February 16, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. Half Term Quitter Hides Behind Facebook

    Buyers remorse anyone? More to follow (looking at you NJ, FL)

    February 16, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. Jill

    I bet these are the same ones who voted the Republicans back in the House in November.

    February 16, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  14. Name

    He"s gonna do do the state what he did milwaukee county.

    February 16, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. CNN The Masters of Spin

    Gov employees & yes.....teachers who are controlled by greedy unions, MUST realize that we as a nation are BROKE!
    I have worked now for 45 years & have paid SS (often the max, because am self-employed) yet I have NEVER collected one dime of unemployment, SS, welfare, or other gov give-aways. If I have retirement, I will furnish it! Tell me WHY one thinks that just because they are employed by our Government, that gives one LIFE TIME retirement, & often as much as 80% of their salaried years!?!?!? Nor did my Father nor my Grandfather ever take one dime Gov assistance! People today have NO Self-Pride nor Honor! All of you who sit @ home & wait for a check.....GET A JOB! We need & will take care of the Elderly & those who HONESTLY cannot work......otherwise you should have to 1. Pass a weekly drug test 2. Show proof from certified Doctor that you are indeed disabled or otherwise....cut them off!
    WE ARE BROKE , regardless of who is to blame.....get up & DO SOMETHING!
    Ask people who blog on here constantly, like T'sah from Virginia, what they do for a living ....& make sure they tell the truth.

    February 16, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. duckbutter

    if these teacher were not sick....dock em.....

    February 16, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. Squigman

    Can't blame the people for showing their feelings. How many cuts have been inflicted on the executives, and the boot lickers of the executives? By the way, the boot lickers of the executives have been sent to Washington, with the charge of representing all of us, but the executives seem to get all the breaks. Go figure..

    February 16, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  18. JHA in Texas

    Is this the same governor who said no to high rail Federal monies that would create thousands of jobs. Is this John Beohner philosophy of "SO BE IT" to loss of future jobs. Can he really put politicis ahead of paychecks!!! Paychecks that would pay monthly bills, feed families, American families that are now forced on to food stamps ( Out of every five American families need food stamps or food banks). What kind of politics is worth this widespread suffering?? Why does the governor offer corporate tax breaks, while trying to break the unions? Worse governor ever? Is the crisis as bad as they say, how about independent audit of your books.??

    February 16, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. JS

    The teachers, parents and even children of education. All citizens of Wisconsin should stand up and defeat this attack on education. You need education = jobs!!!

    February 16, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  20. Elizabeth Disch Hamilton

    Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin- Madison prides itself on being the state equivalent to Harvard, Duke, and Princeton. We have an amazing think tank of individuals here. Diversity is valued. Hard work is common place. Wisconsin was formed by early immigrants from all regions of the world . We are about principals of character: honesty, fairness. respect, responsibilty, and citizenship.
    Please unite with us to kill the bill to take away unions... Most of us are resolved to have salary reduction even when that leaves the majority with great debt and near poverty. We pay taxes,...we take incredible care of Wisconsin's children.
    We will not and cannot let Governor Walker take away civil rights especiallly for children. Do your homework.. Help Wisconsin..We are ground Zero of the the rest of the Nation. We live in an alleged progressive state....Blessings to all.

    February 16, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Al

    Walker will be a one term Governor.

    February 16, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. freedom4all

    This anti-union stunt has nothing to do with the budget. It's just Gov. Scott Walker's way of retaliating against those he thinks voted against him.

    February 17, 2011 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  23. Marie MD

    Go Wisconsin!!! Your rethug governor is showing what the pasty of NO is all about . . . . . . the rich! I was glad to see young people protesting right along with teachers and others.

    February 17, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |