Legislative Bulletin, Dec. 1, 2010
WSEU members have until December 10th to return their ballots on approval of the contracts. Assuming the members of all five units support the contracts, the contracts will then go before the legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations and then the full legislature for approval. We anticipate those votes being the week of December 13th, although they have not yet been officially scheduled.
Key Points of the Contracts
• These contracts contain zero pay increases and no market adjustments.
• The contracts have a 5.3% employee share health care premium increase and an increase in the employee pension contribution (between .2% - .8%).
• State employees had 16 furlough days in 2009-2011 biennium, which was a 3.25% pay reduction. This contract underscores the furlough arrangement.
• These contracts cover the period of the last budget (July 2009 - June 2011) and not the budget to be created by Governor-elect Walker and the next legislature. The incoming governor will have the opportunity to negotiate contracts for the period coinciding with the budget he will propose.
• The funding for these contracts is accounted for in the current budget passed by this legislature and governor.
Governor-Elect Walker Mounting Opposition to Contracts
Governor-Elect Walker has publicly stated his opposition to these contracts, and asked legislators to vote against them. He is seeking to have the authority to renegotiate these contracts himself upon being sworn in as Governor in January. Given the time frame these contracts cover it can be assumed that Governor-Elect Walker is seeking to obtain retroactive concessions from state employees for work they have already performed.
Take Action and Support State Employee Contracts
Given Governor-Elect Walker’s public position, AFSCME encourages all members to contact their legislators and ask them to support the negotiated state employee contracts. Tell them:
AFSCME State Employees have been working hard since June of 2009 without a contract. They have done so through furlough days, layoffs and hiring freezes that prevent replacing retiring workers. They are doing more with less every day. They've done their work, now it's time for this legislature to do its work and pass the state employee contracts.
These contracts were bargained in good faith. State employees have endured many concessions during the recent hard economic times to work as a partner with the state to balance the books. The bargaining process should be honored, and the legislature should do its part to finish the contract ratification process. Please contact your legislators and urge them to do so today.