UW Chancellor Biddy Martin, in support of many UW workers who will lose collective bargaining rights if Walker's budget repair bill passes, asked legislators to delay action on the bill and allow for more discussion. Her statement:
"Given the impact of the budget repair bill on state and university employees, I urge members of the Joint Committee on Finance, in the strongest possible terms, to delay executive action on the bill until there has been an opportunity for negotiations.
"Before curtailing collective bargaining rights that have been in place for years, I am asking legislators to step back and make a sincere effort to develop more creative solutions.
"In his inaugural address in 1861, Abraham Lincoln said 'Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.' For the benefit of state employees at all levels, I'm asking for lawmakers to take that time."
The Lincoln quote is interesting, considering that it coincides with a campaign effort by Americans United for Change, which began running radio ads quoting famous Americans, including Lincoln and President Eisenhower, supporting the rights of workers to organize.
Although I have speculated in the past that GOP efforts to cut public spending or reduce public worker benefits might help make the case for Biddy Martin's proposed New Badger Partnership, which seeks to allow the UW more independence from the state, some supporters of the NBP feel differently, as I documented on video last night. Here is the former head of UW student government, Tyler Junger, discussing what he thinks about the future of UW under Walker's plans: