Wisconsin-Like Moves in Nevada Spark Protests

Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 11:46 AM

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Conservative Nevada lawmakers’ promise to follow Wisconsin’s lead in changing public employee compensation and bargaining rights had public workers rallying in two cities Monday, the Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday. Although it’s early in the process, proposed changes to government pensions, health benefits, and contract negotiating rules are circulating in the Legislature.

Republican lawmakers are eager to take on the issue and are not worried about Wisconsin-style protests.

Greg Brower, Nevada, senator, Wisconsin
State Sen. Greg Brower
“I frankly question whether collective bargaining for any government employee makes sense,” state Sen. Greg Brower told Sun. “Some people in our state seem to think it’s a right. It’s not. It’s a privilege.”

State workers at the rallies in Carson City and Las Vegas said lawmakers are trying to balance a depleted budget in the aftermath of a recession by placing undue burden on them.

“It wasn’t state workers, teachers, or firefighters who caused this” recession, said Darlene Cobbey, a retired private sector worker. “It was the big corporations and the banks.”

The fight is only just beginning, some at the rally said.

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