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Never prouder of my state, its workers and unions

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Lisa Wolfe
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« on: February 17, 2011, 01:27:25 pm »

Do right by Madison public employees

Do right by Madison public employees
Cap Times editorial madison.com | (9) Comments | Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 6:45 am


 
 
Opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill march around the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin Wednesday, February 16, 2011. John Hart - State Journal.
John Hart




Walker is acting not as governor, but as dictator
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The city of Madison has great public employees — great firefighters, great police officers, great streets and sanitation workers, great planners, great workers of every craft and skill.

And Madison has great public employee unions. They work with the city’s elected leaders and managers to deliver services, not grudgingly but with delight.

Madison gets its right when it comes to labor-management relations.

And we should not let Gov. Scott Walker mess with those relationships.

Walker’s radical assault on state, county and municipal unions threatens Madison public employees.

So Madison officials are doing the right thing.

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz has called an emergency meeting of the City Council for tonight. Members will be asked to approve contracts for unionized city workers through 2012 — delaying the impact of the governor’s proposed bill to strip public workers of most bargaining rights.

“It appears possible that legislation essentially eliminating collective bargaining rights for our employees could be passed and signed into law by the weekend, precluding any actions that might be taken at our next regularly scheduled meeting next Tuesday,” Cieslewicz wrote in an e-mail to council members Tuesday.

Five of Madison’s 12 unions already have a contract through 2012. Four have a contract through 2011. Three, including the police union, are still in negotiations.

The mayor says the contract approvals will ensure that each union has the same agreement through 2012 that’s been approved by the council for two of the city’s largest unions, AFSCME Local 60 and Teamsters Local 695.

In addition, the mayor proposes approval of the 3 percent pay increase in 2011 and the 2 percent increase in 2012 that non-represented employees would have received under the current system.

That’s appropriate, and if the unions are amenable, the council should not hesitate to endorse Cieslewicz’s plan to do right by its workers.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/article_26d33227-0beb-5d30-94c4-c66894bb8890.html
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