Are Public Unions Demanding Unsustainable Benefits?

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While cash-strapped communities across the country are cutting services and laying off government workers, public employee unions are pushing back against efforts to cut their benefits and bargaining rights.

In states like Wisconsin and Ohio, Republicans are leading the charge against unions, arguing that union benefits are unsustainable. In several Northeast states Democratic governors are also pressing unions for contract concessions.

But union leaders argue that they've been guaranteed the benefits after negotiations, and that it's only fair for government officials to hold up their end of the deal.

Alan Greenblatt, staff reporter for Governing magazine, told Here & Now's Robin Young that "this set of circumstances represents the biggest challenge public-employee unions have ever faced."


This segment aired on July 13, 2011.


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