States are moving to curb public-sector unions at a time of deepening budget deficits and rising public anger at government workers' pay and benefits, The New York Times reports
. Republicans, in particular, have stepped up efforts to curtail the ability of state-employee unions to strike, compel payment of union dues, or collectively bargain for wages.
"We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots," said Scott Walker (pictured), Wisconsin's new GOP governor.
"The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers," Walker added.
Walker has considered barring state workers from even forming unions.
Incoming Democrats also face similar crises. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a one-year salary freeze for state employees.
But GOP-run states are taking the more aggressive measures. Ohio's new Republican governor wants to bar public school teachers from going on strike.
Republican legislators in 10 states say they will introduce bills to prevent unions from charging member fees.
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