Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Madison situation is not an either/or

I'd like to thank Ron Jetty for his facebook post on the Madison controversy.

In his article, Reinvent unions: don't gut them, Sam Chaltain suggests that we in Wisconsin have a giant opportunity sitting in our laps.

It is not productive to frame the issue as one of maintaining the status quo, or eliminating the unions.  The issue is more complex than that.  We can see that unions don't work in our current context.  AND, workers still need to have their rights protected.  Looking at the issue as a both/and rather than an either/or can set us up for more productive conversation.  There is the possibility of creating something new.

The playwright and former Czeh president, Vaclav Havel, in a speech he gave in Philadelphia in 1994 said, "I think there are good reasons for suggesting that the modern age has ended.  Today, many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born.  It is as if something were crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself--while something else, still indistinct, were rising from the rubble."

It is time for Wisconsin's leaders to come together, identify common ground, and create a union system that works for the 21st century.

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