Thursday, July 08, 2010

One Wisconsin Now Statement on Walker State Jobs Cut Plan

Walker Would Need to Slash 36,000 State Workers to Finance $5 Billion Tax Cut, Loophole and Shift Scheme

Madison -- One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross issued the following statement in response to Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's plan to fill a $5 billion budget hole by cutting public sector jobs:

"Scott Walker has failed to address the real issue, which is the impossible $5 billion budget deficit he would create through his promise to cut taxes for the richest 1% and big business.

"To pay this $5 billion tab, Walker would need to cut worker benefits by at least 50 percent, or slash more than 36,000 state jobs, far from the mere 4,000 he proposed today.

"Worse, Walker's worker cuts will mean the loss of thousands of school teachers, professors and researchers from the University of Wisconsin, and health care workers who assist the elderly and people with disabilities.

"Scott Walker needs to dump his job-killing, tax cut plan for the rich and come up with a plan that will create jobs for working people."

Earlier this week, One Wisconsin Now released the following information about Walker's failure to effectively manage the county payroll throughout his tenure, costing taxpayers an estimated $100 million in overtime costs and costly deficits from privatization efforts.

The Walker record is clear: failed employee management, failed privatization schemes and failed stewardship of Milwaukee County's tax dollars:

Walker has repeatedly bragged about cutting the Milwaukee payroll, but taxpayers foot the bill for record overtime costs to make up for lost jobs. According to county records, Walker has averaged approximately $15 million in overtime each year since he has been county executive, topping $70 million at the end of 2008. This would put the total tab at nearly $100 million by the end of 2010. [Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services]

Despite Walker's claims that he has done so without compromising public safety, he has proposed cutting 10 percent of safety officers in Milwaukee County -- nearly 160 fewer positions. [Milwaukee County Executive Recommended Budgets: 2003-2010]

Walker's privatization efforts have produced costly deficits, while reduced public accountability. For instance, the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division ran a more-than half a million dollar deficit for "security fees" in 2008 alone. Worse, a private contract employee sexually assaulted a vulnerable patient, and a private security official with a history of improper sexual conduct with employees was hired to oversee security. [Milwaukee County DHHS 2008 Fiscal Report; WISN-TV, 5/18/10; WMTJ-TV, 4/15/10]

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.


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