Walker & Collective Bargaining
Wisconsin, like many states, is facing budgetary problems. Governor Walker pledged that he would address these problems and did so by getting state employees to agree to various cost saving measures. However, he wants to go beyond this by eliminating collective bargaining.
Obviously enough, eliminating collective bargaining does not itself directly save money for the state. There is, after all, no collective bargaining expenditure that the state has to make.
It could, of course, be argued that collective bargaining can lead to situations in which the state has to pay out more money. For example, employees might push for cost of living increases and get them.
It could also be argued that an end to collective bargaining would weaken the position of state employees and thus make it far easier to put cost cutting measures in place. To use an analogy, this would be on par with breaking up an army (or a corporation) and forcing every former soldier (or corporate executive) to fight on his/her own against an organized opponent. This could also create savings by encouraging state employees who can find jobs elsewhere to leave their state jobs (or even the state). Naturally, people who favor collective bargaining consider this a key reason as to why it is important. After all, it provides state employees with a collective voice and makes it harder for them to be pushed around or treated unfairly.
Naturally, there are legitimate concerns about the misuse of collective bargaining. After all, just as corporations sometimes misuse their influence to gain at the expense of others, unions sometimes also use their power to acquire gains at the expense of others. However, this is not an inherent flaw in organizations-they need not behave in ways that are detrimental to the public good.
As such, collective bargaining should no more be eliminated than corporations or other organizations should be eliminated. Rather, the content of what is being bargained for is what should be assessed.