Wisconsin seeks elimination of bargaining rights for state employees

Marketplace Staff Feb 16, 2011
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Wisconsin seeks elimination of bargaining rights for state employees

Marketplace Staff Feb 16, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: With a budget crunch in his state, the new governor of Wisconsin has stirred up a hornets nest. There’s a push there to take away the bargaining rights of public sector union members.

From WUWM in Milwaukee, LaToya Dennis has more.


LATOYA DENNIS: Wisconsin faces a budget shortfall of around $130 million for the current fiscal year, and the outlook is even bleaker for the state over the next two years. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says for the state to be in a position to tackle the deficit, collective bargaining rights for unionized state employees need to be eliminated.

Cheryl Maranto teaches management at Marquette University. She says what happens here will impact state workers across the country.

CHERYL MARANTO: If it works here, I think it will become a trend.

Maranto says public employees are usually thought to have generous benefits.

Jim Bolstad works for the city of Milwaukee. He attended a rally yesterday in protest of the change. He says public employees have good benefits for a reason.

JIM BOLSTAD: Their salaries aren’t what private employees are, and that was part of the negotiation process under which they accepted their jobs.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin could vote on the legislation as early as this week.

In Milwaukee, I’m LaToya Dennis for Marketplace.

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