Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) knows that if there’s one topic that brings the citizens of Wisconsin together, it’s the Green Bay Packers. Gov. Walker attempted to use this to his political advantage when talking to reporters after a closed-door listening session with invite-only constituents.
In his statement, Gov. Walker tried to point out how pro football players are paid based on merit, and used this to suggest that schoolteachers should be paid the same way. Somewhere in the narrow depths of his line of thinking, he managed to miss the many, many fallacies within his statement.
When asked if he thought incentive-driven programs would make it more difficult to retain teachers, Gov. Walker decided it was a good time to awkwardly name-drop the green & gold:
“If the Green Bay Packers pay people to perform and if they perform well on their team, (the Packers) pay them to do that. They don’t pay them for how many years they’ve been on the football team. They pay them whether or not they help (the Packers) win football games.”
For those of you unfamiliar with Gov.Walker-isms, I should point out that last year, while gearing up for his failed presidential campaign, Wisconsin teachers were like ISIS.
Now they’re like pro football players.
It doesn’t take much to see that Gov.Walker’s knowledge of the NFL is about as extensive as his knowledge of public education, so let’s start with the obvious ones.
“Walker doesn’t understand that NFL players have comprehensive representation from union officials to protect and bargain for their wages and benefits, said Democratic Rep. Katrina Shankland, of Stevens Point, a dig at Walker’s signature legislative initiative that disallowed collective bargaining for teachers and other public workers.”
Arguably the most anti-union governor in the nation is suggesting our public employees act more like union employees.
Shankland didn’t stop there, also pointing out that most NFL players get more money every year, regardless of their performance or whether they win or lose.
What Shankland is likely referring to is the annual increase in the NFL minimum salary, as well as the increase each player gets based on service. In a way, you could say the minimum wage goes up every year in the NFL; in 2016, NFL rookies will get a minimum of $450,000.
That number goes up $15,000 each year, so in 2017, rookies will get a minimum of $450,000.
At the same time, those 2016 rookies that make it through season one and get signed on for another get an automatic raise to $525,000, plus the annual raise for second-year salaries of $15,000, meaning they will then make $540,000. Automatically.
In other words, while public teachers are not pro football players, all the things they do have in common are things Gov. Walker has fought against over and over.
Collective bargaining, minimum wage, automatic annual salary increases, player/teacher safety, etc.
In fact, NFL players have some rules that would make the Wisconsin governor cringe if he ever bothered to read the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. How about this one:
“Discipline may be imposed in any of the following circumstances:
Possession of a gun or other weapon in any workplace setting, including but not limited to stadiums, team facilities, training camp, locker rooms, team planes, buses, parking lots, etc., or unlawful possession of a weapon outside of the workplace.”
No guns in training camp? But how will the undrafted rookie ever get his chance without taking out a few guys in front of him?
At the very least, Gov. Walker should know better than to discuss teacher compensation and invoke the Packers. The last time the Packers joined the fray over Gov. Walker’s never-ending battle with teachers, it was before Gov. Walker’s recall election, and it did not go well for him.
Watch The Young Turks break it down: