The City of Waukesha is asking some workers to take a pay freeze in 2013 as the city moves forward with negotiations with its public employee unions.
The initial wage proposal, which calls for no raises next year, was delivered to the office and professional union Thursday afternoon. The union has not yet submitted its proposal to the city.
That union is the first one representing city workers to receive a wage proposal. Typically, all city workers receive the same offer, so it's likely that city officials will ask the same of other unions.
Under the provisions of the state's new collective bargaining law, public employees – with the exception of police and fire personnel – can only negotiate wages and not other working conditions. Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial law, known as Act 10, sparked outrage among union workers and led to weeks of protests in Madison.
With the law changes, government bodies and public employee unions have been exchanging their wage proposals in open session. Human Resources Director Donna Whalen and City Administrator Ed Henschel will meet with the city’s police and fire union representatives at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and with representatives of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The city employees had a wage freeze in 2010, followed by a 1.5 percent wage increase in 2011 and 2012.
The School District of Waukesha also has started its negotiations with its teachers union. The teachers are asking for a 1.6 percent salary increase while the district is offering a 0.5 percent base wage increase.
The wage increases – if an agreement is reached – would be paid to the teachers retroactively. After the 2011-12 contract is settled, the two sides can begin work on the 2012-13 contract.
The settling of the past school year’s contracts were delayed because of Act 10, which applies to school districts as well as municipalities. The last contract expired in June 2011. Teachers had wages frozen for the 2009-10 school year and received a 1 percent raise in 2010-11.