Legislative Bulletin, January 6, 2010
Protective Status Bill Moving Forward
The Assembly Committee on Courts and Corrections is holding a public hearing on Thursday, January 7, on Assembly Bill 634. AB 634 changes state law to make protective service status a mandatory subject of bargaining under both the State Labor and Municipal Employee Relations Acts for all persons working in a secure institution. Protective service status means that due to the physical requirements of their work, and its relationship to the safety of themselves and their co-workers, some public employees are eligible to retire at an earlier age and a shorter career than they would be without this status. Various public employees are afforded this status, most commonly police officers and firefighters.
However, this status is not afforded to all persons working in secure state institutions, nor to most county correctional officers in Wisconsin. Under current law the ability to bargain for protective service status is prohibited for county and municipal employees, essentially denying access to protective status for many county correctional officers.
AB 634 would put this issue back on the bargaining table, where it belongs. It would also create an opportunity for other public servants, who also work in dangerous and physically demanding settings in our state and county institutions, to attain protective service status. AFSCME Council 11 Lobbyists and AFSCME members from both state and county facilities across the state, will be testifying in favor of this legislation on Thursday.
Gearing Up for Lobby Day
AFSCME Lobby Day 2010 will be held in Madison on Wednesday, March 3. Lobby Day has become one of the key components of AFSCME Wisconsin’s legislative program, putting nearly 500 AFSCME members from around the state in front on Wisconsin Legislators on one day, speaking with one voice about the importance of public services.
The timing of lobby day this year will allow the event to focus on issues at a key time in the legislative process. AFSCME is working on several bills in the legislature at this time, such as the Protective Status bill mentioned above, and this coming lobby day will be crucial to exert the final push on many of those issues for this session.
To sign up for Lobby Day please contact either your Council, the Council 11 office at the number listed below, or your Take Back America staff. We hope you will join us as AFSCME Green Power descends on the Capitol.
For more information, contact the AFSCME lobbyists at 608-836-6666.