No Surprise: Unions in Wisc. Won't Contribute More to Pensions, Ask for Raises

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Feb 24, 2011 11:51 AM
Over the past week, union protesters and union bosses have been screaming that the problem they have with Wisc. Governor Scott Walker's new budget is not the requirement that they pay more for their pensions and health care, but come with Walker's plan to strip them of their "right" to collectively bargain.

Governor Scott Walker is calling out union lies:
For several days, government union bosses have said that government workers would be willing to contribute to their pensions and pay a slightly larger portion of their healthcare premiums.  At the same time, local bargaining units have been negotiating for and signing contracts that do not accept the modest contributions proposed by Governor Walker.

In Janesville, government workers are proposing a contract that includes 2 percent pay increases this year and for the next two years.  The government would pay all of the workers’ pension contributions and workers would only pay 8 percent toward their health insurance premiums.

In La Crosse County, government workers have agreed to a one-year contract with health and dental premiums at the same level as 2010.  The agreement has the county covering the full pension payment of most government workers.

Government workers with the Milwaukee Area Technical College agreed to a new contract where the workers contribute nothing toward their pension.  The College’s attorney said the agreement means MATC would leave $7.1 million on the table.

In Madison, government workers have proposed a contract that would allow them to continue to receive their current pension and health benefits for the next two years.  Many government workers would receive a 3-percent pay raise.

In Racine, government workers have agreed to a contract that includes pay raises.

In Sheboygan, government workers agreed to a contract where nurses pay nothing toward their pensions.

These moves by the unions prove Walker's argument correct when he says the budget gap cannot be closed if unions continue to hold power over contract negotiations through collective bargaining.