Governor’s budget is a ‘blatant attack’ on public employees

On Tuesday, the Common Council approved a resolution sponsored by myself and co-sponsored by Alderman Tony Zielinski that strongly opposes provisions of the state budget repair bill. The vote on file# 101328 was 10 to 3, with one abstention and one absent.

I thank my colleagues for their support of this important resolution.

Our public employees are truly valuable assets, workers who live in our community and who work hard to provide essential services and infrastructure that help the residents and businesses of Milwaukee and Wisconsin thrive. We have a proud, progressive tradition of public employee unions going back generations, and those unions have been partners in adding value and innovation to so many areas of public services, facilities and operations.

The City of Milwaukee has a long history of working with public employee unions, and we’ve negotiated compromises with these unions in recent years that have included concessions such as pay freezes and furloughs.
But the state budget repair bill singles out most of our public employee unions for assassination.

No matter that the provisions in the current budget repair bill that will eliminate or severely limit the ability of public employee unions to effectively serve their members will have NO IMPACT on helping the state or the city address current or future budget challenges, Governor Walker insists that they be included in the bill and refuses to even talk to anyone about them.

This blatant attack on workers should be very worrisome to the taxpayers of the City of Milwaukee and anyone who believes in giving workers the ability to work with management to do things better, smarter, and at lower cost.

I call on residents to contact the governor and other GOP state legislators and demand that he hold hearings on the proposed changes and that he include ALL public employee unions in whatever provisions are included in an amended bill.

Willie Wade is a Milwaukee alderman.

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