by Angela Chagnon & Rob Roper
Activists filled the steps of the State House to protest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s legislation stripping away public sector unions’ ability to collectively bargain for benefits. One of the people on the House Steps was Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.
Addressing the crowd, Shumlin said, “Collective bargaining is s right that keeps our middle class strong.” One of those cheering shouted out, “We’ve got your back, Peter.” But, doe Shumin have the union’s back on this issue.
Shumlin has made passage of a single payer health care system the focal piece of his administration. The goals of such a system include removing health insurance from employment and reducing the total cost of health care expenditures in the state. If it passes, and every Vermonter receives the same basic health care benefits package based on citizenship, then, a) there’s no “employer” to bargain with, and b) there’s nothing to bargain over. The benefits package is what it is, determined by a panel of five individuals described as being removed from the political lobbying process.
Asked by True North Reports reporter Angela Chagnon to clarify his position on pubic sector unions’ right to collectively bargain under single payer and/or explain how such bargaining might work, Shumlin would not affirm the right.
Ironically, many of those same people venting their anger at governor Walker’s legislation are the same people cheering on Governor Shumlin’s legislation. The results, however, may be the same.
Look for more on this story in TrueNorthReports.com as it develops.