March 9, 2011

Scuttle state contracts, Zarelli/Tom legislation says

This isn’t Wisconsin, but it’s starting to look like it.

Thwarted in their attempt to wipe out your collective bargaining, union and contracting out rights, Senate Republicans have now targeted the just-ratified Federation’s General Government contract and the eight higher education contracts that are still in negotiations.

This time, Sen. Joe Zarelli of the 18th District has attracted a Democratic co-sponsor, Sen. Rodney Tom, the former Republican from the 48th District.

They and seven other Republican senators today introduced Senate Bill 5870  - titled "Rejecting the request for funds necessary to implement state collective bargaining agreements for the 2011-2013 fiscal biennium" - basically says the 3 percent pay cut and 25 percent increases for health costs aren’t a big enough sacrifice. 

The bill says the General Government agreement and, prospectively, the eight higher ed agreements are not financially feasible. The bill would order the union back to the table to negotiate: higher health costs, doing away with step increases, reductions in health coverage, permanent pay cuts and an end to sick leave cashout.

The other seven Republican co-sponsors of SB 5870 are: Sen. Michael Baumgartner of the 6th District; Sen. Dan Swecker of the 20th District; Sen. Val Stevens of the 39th District; Sen. Doug Ericksen of the 42nd District; Sen. Bob Morton of the 7th District; Sen. Jim Honeyford of the 15th District; and Sen. Linda Evans Parlette of the 12th District.

SB 5870 has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

We can’t let our guard down. Call your senator at 1-800-562-6000 to oppose SB 5870. We’ve sacrificed and done our part – senators need now to find real solutions instead of blaming public servants.

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