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Waukesha Water Utility Employees Decertify AFSCME Union

Twenty-one employees affected by change that should save water utility time and money.

employee bargaining unit has disbanded as its members recently voted to decertify in light of the state’s controversial legislation that limited public unions’ collective bargaining actions to wages.

As a result, the water utility is likely to see savings in staff time and attorney fees in dealing with employee negotiations, according to Waukesha Water Utilty Manager Dan Duchniak.

“It just means that there is not a union anymore,” he said. “We are not going through the negotiation process like we did before.”

Now the Waukesha Water Commission will determine wage adjustments and employee reviews. Duchniak was notified that the 21 employees had chosen to leave the union at the end of January.

The move was “a pretty strong statement from the employees” about the water utilities management and water commission, Duchniak said. The water commission already had adopted a new employee handbook that explain work rules.

“I think our commission will be fair with the employees as we move forward,” he said.

Cynthia February 09, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Wonderful!!!! I think it's a great move...
Keith Best February 09, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Outstanding move.
Sue Apostoli Swanger February 09, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Best decision you'll ever make!
Craig February 09, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Everybody Wins!
mike szybowicz February 09, 2012 at 03:17 PM
more places need to get rid of Unions, they are worthless!!
St. Swithin February 09, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Wow. So many people brainwashed to hate unions. As you all go to your 40-hour a week jobs and reflect on the safe working conditions, employer-provided healthcare, non-discrimination policies and retirement programs at your job keep telling yourselves how worthless unions are.
Splatterhorn February 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Why didn't we hear from an employee in this article? Very one-sided reporting. I am sure not ALL 21 voted to decertify. I am part of a union to chose to certify. Yes, a thug some of you claim I am.
LivingInRacine February 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM
For the people who are Pro union, this issue being debated is not unsafe working conditions, it is about those same workers keeping thier jobs and being able to work directly with them rather than having a middle man take thier cut.
Cynthia February 09, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Why are you against workers having a choice?
Cynthia February 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM
There are other WI unions that 100% voted to de-certify just months ago.... why do you find it not possible? Why are you against their 'rights' of choice?
St. Swithin February 09, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Cynthia, Where did you read that I was against workers having a choice? Not here. I saw 5 people including yourself praise the article when it was very one-sided and did not explain why the union made the decision. Mike S. even went so far as to call unions "worthless". Now it may well be that the Water Utility is currently being managed in a responsible, fair manner and that the employees felt no need to continue having a union at this time. I say that is great for all involved. That does not mean that problems won't arise in the future. The article makes no mention of current issues or why a union was formed in the first place. Are you saying you are against a group of people banding together to increase their bargaining power?
St. Swithin February 09, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Really? How do you know what the issue is? The article didn't say. Do you have some other source of information? Were their jobs threatened? Was there a "middle man"? This looks like a very small union. I doubt they needed a full-time person to handle things. Of course, I don't know since the article was so short on details. All I ask is that people don't jump on a bandwagon before they know the facts.
Cynthia February 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Not against unions or forming of unions....... I am against 'FORCED' membership and 'FORCED' dues..... Also I am against unions telling the people who are not even in a union what to do.... union dues = job tax
St. Swithin February 09, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Well, I am not a fan of forced membership either. Unions can be a pain in the ass. I wonder how 'forced' this can be though if they just voted to dissolve the union? Alas, the article gives no clue. In any group there is a problem with 'sponges' - people that enjoy the benefits for which the group worked but don't want to contribute to the effort. That is true of small unions all the way up to major governments. How much should such people be forced to participate?
jt February 11, 2012 at 01:52 PM
now, lets see how you peple treat your workers! will they be respected and continue to make a good wage or will they become your slaves ? it's up to waukesha to show how this will work. your in the spotlight now. you can do it right, or you can be the poster city for why unions are needed.
Cynthia February 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
jt you do realize that this is not the first union to de-certify in WI since Act 10?
jt February 11, 2012 at 02:38 PM
@cynthia, yes i know, and we will see how those workers will now be treated. fact of the matter is, no one likes taxes, but public employees have been the scapegoats for way too long. and so far, there are no systems to reward public workers with performance based pay, and older workers could be wrongfully hurt by this.
Cynthia February 11, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Older employee's can be hurt in any occupation if they really don't care and get complacent... Not everyone has a work ethic... That's the problem...

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