NEA Members Anchor Massive Pro-Worker Rally in Wisconsin
Capitol Protests in Madison, WI March 12, 2011
Protesters Removed From Wis. Capitol Before Vote
Protest at Madison, Wisconsin, capitol, Feb 18, 2011
Sights and Sounds, State Capitol Rally, February 15, 2011
In February 2011, a series of public employee protests began in the United States against proposed legislation which would weaken the power of labor unions. By March, eighteen states had proposed legislation which would remove some collective bargaining powers from unions, along with another five states which proposed legislation which would negatively affect unions. The protests occurred when public employee unions mounted protests against legislation proposed by Republican governors such as Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Scott (Florida), Mitch Daniels (Indiana), Sean Parnell (Alaska), Rick Snyder (Michigan), John Kasich (Ohio), Paul LePage (Maine) and Jan Brewer (Arizona) which, among other things, would strip public employees of some collective bargaining rights as well as require higher employee contributions to pension and health care plans. The governors stated they needed these changes in order to cut state spending and balance the states' budgets. The protests began in Wisconsin, then spread to Indiana and Ohio, with unions around the country rallying to show their opposition to the proposed legislation. Several other states considered similar legislation. Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas prohibit formal
collective bargaining with public employees.