In short, public employees are asked to contribute 50 percent of their pension contribution (about 5.8% of pay) and pay 12.6% of the cost of their health insurance premiums. Perhaps more importantly, however, the governor's proposal would limited collective bargaining for most public employees to wages, and total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on CPI unless approved by referendum.
In addition, employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues, and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues. This part of the proposal does nothing to address the state's budget deficit. Unions operate on the premise that because the union's work benefits all workers, all workers should contribute dues. Without this requirement, it is difficult to see how public employee unions will have the voice they've had in the past.
The governor's proposal would exempt only law enforcement, fire employees and state troopers and inspectors.
The legislature's Joint Finance Committee is expected to act tomorrow, Tuesday, February 15 at 10:00 a.m. The Joint Retirement Systems Committee is expected to meet at 2:00 p.m. News reports indicate that there will be a public hearing in Joint Finance.
Please contact your state legislators today to urge them to vote no. If you are not sure who represents you, go to the Wisconsin State Legislature's website to use their "Who Represents Me" form.