Obama Tells Governors Not to Vilify State Employees — But Froze Federal Worker Salaries
(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s criticism of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) makes little sense in light of a freeze in federal employee pay, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said. “The president told us today that he, unilaterally, froze federal pay for federal employees for two years,” Barbour, a Republican, told CNSNews.com. “So the idea that there is some constitutional right to collective bargaining is simply not accurate. Federal employees don’t have a right to collective bargaining. They don’t have collective bargaining for pay, for health care or for pensions.”
In speaking to a bipartisan group of governors at the White House, Obama called on the states’ chief executives not to denigrate public employees. “I recently froze the salaries of federal employees for two years,” Obama told the governors. “It wasn’t something that I wanted to do, but I did it because of the very tough fiscal situation that we’re in. So, I believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something in order to solve our budget challenges, and I think most public servants agree with that.”
“I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon,” Obama said. “We need to attract the best and the brightest to public service. These times demand it. We’re not going to attract the best teachers for our kids, for example, if they only make a fraction of what other professionals make.” Yes, the best and brightest public service teachers in Wisconsin have worked hard to make sure that 1/3 of their 8th graders can’t read proficiently.
In response to the President’s comments, Gov. Walker’s press secretary Cullen Werwie released a statement saying President Obama must “misunderstand” the conflict in Wisconsin. “I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay,” he said. “And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts… I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.”
Please follow and like us: