With thousands protesting over the proposed legislation that would eliminate benefits from collective bargaining from public employee unions, Waukesha School Board President Dan Warren said it is too soon to tell what affects the budget repair bill would have on the school district.
“We really need to reserve any comment until we see what the Legislature does with the governor’s proposed legislation,” Warren said. “I think in fairness to everyone we need to see what actually becomes law.”
After the Legislature passes the law, Warren said, then the school district would be able to measure how the law affects the school district.
The school district currently is heading to arbitration with its union members over a contract dispute.
Some will be taking part in the regional demonstrations against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. If you or someone you know is taking part in the protest, please let Waukesha Patch know by e-mailing Sarah.Millard@patch.com.
Under the proposed state legislation, collective bargaining would be limited to wages, which can’t increase consumer price index-based cap, according to a news release from Walker. The cap could be exceeded by referendum.
The union contracts would be limited to a year, the news release states, and wages frozen until new contract is settled.
Law enforcement, fire department personnel and state troopers and inspectors are not affected by the proposed legislation, according to the news release.
Other issues that are in the bill include requiring state employees to contribute 5.8 percent toward their pension and 12 percent toward their health care benefits, according to Walker’s release. That move would save the state $30 million as it looks to plug a $137 million budget deficit by the end of June, according to the news release.
“We must take immediate action to ensure fiscal stability in our state,” Walker said in the release. “This budget repair bill will meet the immediate needs of our state and give government the tools to deal with this and future budget crises.”
Locally, State Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, applauded Walker’s proposed budget repair bill. It is the fifth time since 2000 that the “budget had to be repaired because of overspending,” a news release states.
“So it is, that once again, we must address budget shortfalls and reorganize the state budget because of a failure to maturely prioritize our state’s spending commitments,” Kramer said in the release.
Kramer said in the release that he looks forward to working with Walker on the budget and government reform.
“For the first time in my tenure, I am optimistic that we can finally restore fiscal sustainability and certitude and move Wisconsin forward,” Kramer said in the release.