In 2011, Wisconsin public sector employee rights were stripped away due to Act 10. This law meant that when contracts expired, members would have to re-certify annually, requiring a majority of all eligible voters, not just a majority vote if they wanted to remain represented by their union. While their public sector employer could only negotiate their annual base rate of pay, no add-ons like for holidays or undesirable shifts, they would only be able to negotiate wages up to the cost of living. Despite the attacks, Public Health workers continued to vote to re-certify annually starting in 2014. “We remain SEIU strong, voting to certify for another year,” said Mindy Shrader, SEIU member and Sauk County employee. In Sauk County, remaining union strong has allowed worksite leaders to address concerns in labor management meetings and represent employees in meetings with management.
Vote August 9! “District Attorney Ozanne has consistently proven he is willing to stand up for what is right. He has proven that he is on the side of workers and will continue to fight for us. We think District Attorney Ozanne has done an exceptional job as Dane County District Attorney and we are excited to continue to work with him in the future”, said SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin President Dian Palmer.
Privatizing the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is another possible attack by Governor Walker and his Koch Brother allies. Nothing concrete has been proposed so far, but a small section in last year’s budget bill sets up a study commission that can recommend changes in the current system.
We don’t know the details of the Walker plan. He’s keeping it secret, just like he kept his attack on public workers secret until he was ready to spring it in the legislature in 2011. But we have a pretty good idea what the Walker plan would look like, because we have seen what his political allies have done in other states. Here’s what they mean by privatization: (more…)
Two more bargaining units, City of Milwaukee Staff Nurses Council and Rock County Nurses, won their first recertification election this month. Joining the Professional Patient Care Unit (PPCU), this is the third recertification victory for SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin.
Under Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill, all public employee unions must hold annual elections and win 51% of the bargaining unit electorate, not just those who vote, to maintain their bargaining rights and status. Unions have been held to a higher standard for these elections than the Governor or the legislature in their elections. The legality of this provision, however, currently being debated in court.
Both groups voted overwhelming to remain represented by SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin. City of Milwaukee Staff Nurses voted 93% yes and Rock County Nurses voted 91% yes.