Gov. Rick Scott clarified on March 2 that he thinks “we ought to get rid of” collective bargaining, but said that’s unlikely because it’s in the state constitution.
“We have collective bargaining in our constitution …. so we’re going to have collective bargaining,” Scott said in an interview on the CNBC TV network from the floor of the New York stock exchange. “If we’re going to change collective bargaining we’ve got to do that through an amendment to our constitution.” Scott said earlier this year that he was “fine with collective bargaining” at the height of the protests in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is trying to end public employees’ rights to bargain through a union. It was one of the first indications that Scott might not be in lockstep with other new Republican governors who have moved to take on unions, which typically support Democrats. But Scott said Wednesday that he generally agrees with the move to reduce the power of unions – and added cryptically that he was focused on it, though he wasn’t asked to follow up on what that meant. “I believe that collective bargaining hurts the most effective, the hardest working employees,” Scott said on CNBC. “That’s the problem with collective bargaining. What you have to do is pay somebody who doesn’t work as hard, or is not as effective, the same amount. That’s why I’m focused on collective bargaining. That’s why I think we ought to get rid of it.” Scott hasn’t publicly proposed a change in the constitutional guarantee of the right to collectively bargain, but unions don’t like several policies he’s put forward, particularly a proposal that public employees contribute 5 percent to their pension plans. Currently state workers don’t contribute to their retirement accounts.”