May 16, 2011

Bill to consolidate central services a serious assault on collective bargaining rights - snubs state's competitive contracting statute

SSB 5931 to reorganize and streamline central services functions includes strong anti-union messages and cherry-picks contracting out options for state employees.

During the Senate Ways and Means hearing today, amendments were offered by Senators Pridemore and Fraser to minimize the bad provisions, but the bill heads to Rules with the anti-union provisions intact.

The bill creates a Department of Enterprise Services (DES) by consolidating GA, bulk printer operations and portions of DOP, OFM and DIS.

OFM is directed to annually examine state services and select six services that could be contracted out to the private sector. Under the competitive contracting statute our members are able to compete for the work, a process that assures taxpayers that the work is being done as cheaply as possible. But the bill effectively removes this mechanism by specifically exempting the state printer, and all services in the newly formed DES and Consolidated Technology Services (CTS) agencies, stripping state employees of their right to compete for the work.

In the new CTS agency, transferred DIS employees are welcomed with a Wisconsin-styled attack on their collective bargaining rights. New rules just for CTS employees limits their contracts to 12-month period, subjecting them to both contract bargaining and funding by legislature on an annual basis. And it strips employees of their contract protections, essentially making them at-will employees.

Finally, the new CTS agency is specifically permitted to contract out services customarily and historically provided by state employees – and prohibits state employees from even competing.

Senator Conway summed it up in a statement made explaining his intention to vote no, “the bill requirements are a serious attack on collective bargaining rights.”


Members are leafleting the capitol campus tomorrow during the lunch break. If you can assist, please meet at WFSE HQ at 11 am. 

Call the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000. Tell your Senator to OPPOSE SSB 5931.

Watch for an expanded call to action tomorrow at

No comments: