By Ken Karwowski, 1973 UW–Stout graduate from Kansasville, Wis. —

Attention all college students: the time is here. Your opportunity to help set your future in employment and life is NOW.

A little historical fact is that the lifestyle most of you students share is the result of many years of unions that were determined to increase the wages, health, safety and pensions of all workers. The end result is a large middle class in America, which drastically differs from most third world countries which have only poor and rich social classes. A sad side-note was that many union strikers were actually killed during their efforts such as the Milwaukee Bay View Massacre and the Chicago Haymarket Square union actions.

To move onto now, the present governor’s Act 10 took away union rights of the public workers, decimating all of those past efforts. Consequently teachers and other public workers are now getting less wages, lower pensions, less coverage in health insurance and have lost any maintenance of unionization.

What does that mean to you? When you graduate your employment might end up in one of those public employments such as a nurse, physical therapist, psychologist or others at a public institution at much lower wages and benefits than what had been in place for many years before Act 10.

Do you know where that money had been previously spent? Yes, it was put into our local economy but obviously not anymore.

It is known that many of you students that are females will be paid less than your male counterparts on the same job because you are women. Your present governor supports that concept of less female pay and, as for guys—do you support your women? Truth is the running female governor supports equal pay.

After college, graduates who do not get a job within their field will most likely settle for a minimum wage job. If the current governor were to be re-elected, these graduates would be receiving (and are currently receiving) minimum “living wage” of $7.25/ hour. An increase is not on the horizon either for the current governor’s objectives. However, Mary Burke supports a $10.10/ hour minimum wage!

(Hopefully, you grads will be in your major employment areas and get paid more.)

Then there are jobs: look at what the potential future governor has done with her business experience. Keeping over 1,000 jobs in her family company in Wisconsin contributed over $100 million to our Wisconsin economy when all of these jobs could have easily been shipped overseas. Yes, they do have jobs over there for products sold there, but do you guys know Harley Davidson does that and they also have kept jobs here? The present governor claims he has created thousands of jobs but doesn’t explain the pay ranges of them, especially when the $7.25/ hour wage is in existence.

So lastly you must ask yourself: do you want to stand with a governor who wants to “divide and conquer,” stand to reduce wages, stand to reduce health and stand to reduce pensions? Is this what you stand for?

Both your opportunity and responsibility is now. Democrats and Republicans, vote Nov. 4 for the person you think will lead Wisconsin into the future and really move us forward.

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