Monday, December 27, 2010

Recent News for ALL State Employees

Solidarity Is Essential, Now More than Ever

By Richard Trumka President, AFL-CIO

Before signing the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin immortalized one of my favorite quotes: “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

I don’t think that’s too melodramatic a statement for union members to consider today. We know we’re in a political bulls-eye and that the goal of our opponents is to tie us up with defensive battles—in Washington, D.C., and in the states—because they think that will weaken our offensive for jobs, good living standards and an economy that works for all.

Read More >>>

What Scott Walker Can, Can’t & Might Do To Unionized State Employees

By Ron Blascoe

Since the November elections, Governor-elect Scott Walker has been talking to the press about his plans to bash state employees and their unions. His threats include everything from rejecting recently negotiated contracts, cutting wages, increasing furlough days, dramatically increasing employees’ health insurance and pension contributions to “decertifying” the unions all together.

Needless to say, all this overblown talk, from a guy who isn’t even yet Governor, has a lot of
state employees and their families upset, fearful and angry. So, it may be a good time to step back and look at what Walker can, can’t and actually might try to do to state employee unions.

Read More >>>

Contrary to Gov.-Elect Walker’s View, Real Facts About State Employees

AFT Wisconsin

In the face of continuing attacks on Wisconsin public employees by Governor-elect Scott Walker, it is imperative that myths and mistruths be countered with facts. The following are research-based facts about state employees and public employees in Wisconsin.

Read More >>>

Solidarity Is Essential - Now More Than Ever

"When public employees are attacked because they have pensions and health care benefits, those pensions and benefits - which should be a basic right - are pushed further out of everyone's reach."

Richard Trumka, President

Saturday, December 25, 2010

AFSCME Council 24 & SEPAC Supports The Badgers

This is an outstanding "You Tube" video and it got us at Council 24 and SEPAC all hyped up for the January 1st, 2011 Rose Bowl game featuring our very own WISCONSIN BADGERS and TCU.


"CLICK HERE" to view the "You Tube" video.

This is a great video -- check it out!

A Shared Message for ALL Public Workers

"More than ever, public employees need to speak out to set the record straight. We need to remind our fellow citizens of the fact that we are part of the quickly-shrinking middle class, not Wall Street elite. We need to give a face to the vital services we provide - services that are especially important during difficult economic times. We need to stand up for public service.

---AFT Wisconsin

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Accountability Time!

We want good jobs now!

Scott Walker ran for Governor on a promise to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin. So far, he's chased off more than 12,000 jobs. When not sending jobs to other states, he's busy talking about making good jobs less good by cutting pay for thousands of Wisconsin workers.

The campaign is over. Now it is time to hold him accountable.

Join a silent protest outside the Capitol on Inauguration Day.

11:15am - 12:15pm -- Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Signs reading "WE WANT GOOD JOBS NOW" will be available at 10:30am in the basement of The Argus Bar and Grill, 123 East Main St.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Poem Written by a State Employee

T’was the week before Christmas and all through the State
All employees were leery - what would be our fate?

Labor contracts were hung, defeated again.
There was no more hope for a last minute bargain.

Months of negotiations have been thrown out the window.
All those promises and concessions are now just hot air flow.

Union bosses and Dems wring their hands in defeat.
as the new "conservative" group prepares to take their seat.

The State Employees Union and AFSCME and WPEC,
All hopes have been dashed by the governor-elect.

"More furloughs, no raises, higher premiums for health care,
you state employees must pay your fair share."

When will the people realize, we're not the ones to blame.
It's the folks down in Madison, regardless the letter by their name.

Republicrats and Demicans, wings of the same bird.
Neither can balance a budget no matter what you've heard.

We work for less pay in exchange for the promise
of being well cared for, that's part of the process.

Yes, our benefits are nice but our pay not so much.
We're not complaining, this isn't some crutch.

Like other employees we just make a living.
Why do the rest of you seem so unforgiving?

Sell the mansion, trim your staff,
combine with the Lieutenant - maybe each just needs half?

The budget problems are real but let’s douse this small blaze:
we've already gone two years with no raise.

The economy is down, everyone has suffered,
except elected officials who are quite buffered.

They have no idea - it's really a crime.
Let them cut their pay and give back some this time.

What will they do if we all up and quit?
No, that won't happen - are you full of spit?

But tread very careful our governor to be,
or pitch forks and torches may cause you to flee.

No threats, no coercions, no we won't be mean.
'Cause you're up for re-election in two-thousand fourteen.

Now to end this little rhyme without any fight,
Happy Festivus to all and to all a Good Night.

(All rights reserved – reprint permitted with proper credit given.)

Daniel M. Hoyt
Academic Computing
Microsoft Server Administrator
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Member of Wisconsin Professional Employees Council (WPEC)
(920) 424-3020

Sen. Fred Risser: State employees deserve respect

I am deeply disappointed that the 2009 to 2010 state employee contracts were not approved by the state Senate.

Contrary to Gov.-elect Scott Walker’s propaganda, state employees are not the cause of the state’s current fiscal crisis. They are the backbone of Wisconsin government and should be treated fairly and with respect for the valuable service that they provide the state.

Our state employees are entitled to a fair agreement with the state on wages and benefits. The negotiated contracts which had been ratified by the unions and approved by the state’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations represented a compromise by both parties in these difficult economic times.

State employees made considerable concessions, in excess of $100 million, in agreeing to no general wage increases and increased contributions for health insurance and retirement benefits. Furloughs that amount to a 3.25 percent pay cut would also continue under the agreements.

State employees should be commended for their efforts rather than be criticized.

Sen. Fred Risser, Madison

Holding the bag

I find it the height of hypocrisy that the person who was responsible for bringing truth in sentencing to Wisconsin, the biggest budget-busting initiative in state history, is railing against state spending.

Governor-elect Scott Walker, like his idol from Indiana (Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels), clearly believes in rhetorical responses and misdirection for his approach to fixing Wisconsin's budget (such as his attack on state workers) rather than longstanding approaches.

In this, he obviously will have Wisconsin's Legislature as an accomplice. Demagogues, such as the Fitzgerald brothers, will grab the headlines, and Wisconsin citizens will be left holding the bag.

John Kies


John Kies is a member of AFSCME Council 24 Local 18 and is presently serving on the State Employees Political Action Committee.

This opinion appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 12/21/2010.

Who is going to do dangerous jobs?

I would like to compare apples to apples when it comes to the debate over wages and benefits of state employees vs. private-sector employees. I have been a correctional officer at the Waupun Correctional Institution for almost 30 years, so let's use this state job as an example.

The state correctional officer classification is a public-sector job so obviously it is subject to misconduct in public office laws. No one in the private sector is governed by this standard in his or her career choices.

Correctional officers are also responsible for the security and safety of inmates, staff and the general public. This is a responsibility that entails many violent physical confrontations in all correctional institutions that include breaking up fights, serious inmate-on-inmate assaults and inmate-on-staff assaults, all regardless of their own personal safety Don't forget that these prisons are dangerously overcrowded. There are many other expectations and duties that are placed on the state correctional officers. Who in the private sector are correctional officers being compared to in relation to wages and benefits for the work they do?

Correctional officers' starting pay is $14.89 an hour. Scott Walker is demanding immediate benefit concessions of $300 to $500 a month from these correctional officers. Who is going to do this dangerous state job for the resulting povertylike take-home pay? What would it take for you to do this job?

Sgt. Daniel Meehan


Sergeant Daniel Meehan is President of AFSCME Council 24 Local 18 and an elected representative for SPS on the AFSCME Council 24 Executive Board.

This opinion appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 12/15/2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

From progressive to regressive: Wis. GOP Declares War on Workers

by Mike Konopacki and Kathy Wilkes

Wisconsin governor-elect Scott Walker and the new Republican legislature have declared war on working people. They want to abolish public employee unions and turn Wisconsin into a so-called “right-to-work” state, meaning no more “union shops” and no more dues from anyone who objects. This also means no more pressure from anywhere to keep wages at a livable level for anyone, union or not.

It’s all under the guise of cutting the State’s $3 billion budget deficit and creating 250,000 jobs. Sound familiar? Since the Reagan era, Republicans and corporate Democrats have pushed the big lie that tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, and busting unions would bring jobs and prosperity. Instead we got the Great Recession. And now the people of Wisconsin have voted to cure the disease with more disease and turn our state into an economic dictatorship.

Harsh words? You bet. Reality is worse. One of the first things dictators do is go after organized labor:

- When Hitler outlawed “trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike, the German worker in the Third Reich became an industrial serf, bound to his master, the employer, much as medieval peasants had been bound to the lord of the manor,” writes William Shirer in his classic, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. This was done “democratically” when Germany’s parliament passed the 1934 Charter of Labor that “put the worker in his place and raised the employer to his old position of absolute master.”

- Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini abolished free trade unions.

- Communist China—America’s banker and manufacturer—only allows government-controlled unions.

Walker won’t round up labor leaders and have them jailed as Hitler did; he just wants them neutered. And there’s no comparison with Mussolini, who reportedly made the trains run on time. Walker hates trains; he lost us $810 million dollars and 5,500 jobs opposing high-speed rail. And where China requires even antiunion Wal-Mart to be unionized, Walker would never permit such an outrage.

A better comparison is Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, and L. Paul Bremer. In 1987 the Iraqi dictator declared that workers in his huge state enterprises were civil servants and therefore prohibited from forming unions and bargaining collectively. After Bush invaded Iraq, Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority abolished all of Saddam’s laws but one: the ban on labor unions.

For 80 years, Republican plutocrats have chipped away at “New Deal” laws that raised millions of families out of poverty and into the middle class. They’ve busted union membership down from 35% of the private sector in the 1950s to less than 8% today. Wages stagnated while income inequality soared. From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in incomes went to the richest 1% percent, which now owns more wealth than the bottom 90%.

Republicans don’t care about creating jobs or cutting deficits. GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan, for example, sat idly by as the remains of his district’s auto industry were dismantled, leaving Racine, Kenosha, and Janesville the most economically depressed cities in the state. Instead he plotted to privatize Social Security, despite the Wall Street debacle, and promoted tax cuts for the rich, despite the ballooning deficit.

If Republicans win their war against workers, we face dire consequences. As Shirer observed, “Between the Right and Left, Germany lacked a politically powerful middle class, which in other countries – in France, in England, in the United States – had proved to be the backbone of democracy.”

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Mike Konopacki is a labor cartoonist in Madison. Kathy Wilkes is a Madison writer and editor.

Source: Mike Konopacki & Kathy Wilkes

Source Link:

Wisconsin Appeals Court Orders Arbitrator Decision Affirmed in Milwaukee County Case

(Milwaukee District Council 48, AFSCME v. Milwaukee County and Scott Walker)

The District I Court of Appeals has ordered confirmed an arbitrator’s award rejecting County Executive Scott Walker’s reduction in county employee hours. Milwaukee County circuit courts vacated and refused to confirm the order and Council 48 appealed. The appellate court said the important issue was whether Walker’s directive to reduce employee work hours to 35 from 40 was temporary or permanent and the arbitrator determined a permanent reduction was not permitted. Further, the arbitrator found state law required a county board resolution to have the hours reduced. A resolution had been brought forth to the county board, but the county board did not act upon the resolution. As such, there was no such county board authorization in the form of a resolution.

Walker signed an order in May, 2009 declaring a “fiscal crisis due to a projected $14.9 million deficit in the 2009 (county) budget.” And it was “imperative that urgent emergency action be taken to reduce expenditures for 2009 within the remainder of the budget year.” The order was to remain in place until further order of the county executive. The order, according to the arbitrator, would have affected about 1800 bargaining unit employees and would have saved an estimated $4.5 million if the reduced-hours order was in effect “from June 28 to the beginning of 2010.”

As it has been demonstrated in the past action of Scott Walker, he attempted to create greater authority then he legally had vested in his position as county executive.

To date, based on many comments that Scott Walker has publicly stated since election day we expect him to become very creative in his role as Governor and we expect to face many legal challenges within our state's court system to push back on Walker's anticipated rule of totalitarianism.

Read the entire ruling >>>

Doyle also expressed concern over talk about decertifying unions or turning Wisconsin into a right-to-work state

The following summary is written by;

“I do think giving people an opportunity to have some say in their own economic well-being is really important for a state and country,” Doyle said. He held his efforts to ensure 98 percent of Wisconsinites has health insurance among his top accomplishments. But he wished he would have been able to set up exchanges for small businesses, something he said will now be able to happen under federal health care reform.Doyle also touted his record on taxes, saying that Wisconsin went from the fourth to the 15th-highest taxed states since he took office. When fees and taxes are considered, Wisconsin drops to 21st, he said.“The fact is, although Republicans will just never own up to this, is that for 16 years of their rule, we were fourth in the country—and this is the same measurement, we're comparing apples and apples—as I leave offer we're 15th. That's the fact.”While Doyle said he would do whatever he can to help President Obama get re-elected, he and his wife Jessica want to live in Wisconsin.“I have never lifted a finger or taken a single step in any way to try to have a job in Washington in the administration,” Doyle said.

Watch the program:

Tentative Timeline for Legislative Activity in Wisconsin in 2011

We’ve developed this timeline based on legislative tradition over the last two decades, although it may be somewhat different this year. Nevertheless, the timeline may be helpful to understand what’s next at the Capitol and with the upcoming state budget cycle. Please note that the date for the annual AFSCME “Lobby Day” has not yet been determined, but is likely to be sometime this winter/spring.

Jan. 3, 2011: Inauguration Day at the Capitol for both Gov.-elect Walker and the incoming Legislature.

Early January, 2011: Governor Walker is expected to call Legislature into Special Session on regulatory reform, eliminating the state tax on health savings accounts (HSAs), reforming the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, cutting taxes on small business (per Gov.-elect Walker press releases).

Third week of January, 2011: Governor will deliver his “State of the State” speech to a joint session of the Legislature.

Mid-February, 2011: Governor Walker will unveil his 2011-2013 two year state budget proposal.

Early March, 2011: the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau will publish a document summarizing Gov. Walker’s budget proposal.

Late March, 2011: The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance will likely hold hearings on the budget. In the past, there have been five or six hearings – one in the state Capitol, and four or five in select cities around the state.

April – May and possibly into June: the 16-member Joint Committee on Finance will vote on the budget, usually agency by agency. The committee will vote on the budget via specific budget papers prepared by staff at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, as well as budget amendments (drafted as motions) offered by committee members.

The Legislative Budget Review Process, in Brief:

After the Joint Finance Committee finishes its deliberations on the budget, the committee’s revised budget product will be sent first to the state Senate, which will take the opportunity to review the budget as modified by Joint Finance, and tweak it as the Senate sees fit. The Senate will send the budget as amended to the full state Assembly, which will review work done by the Joint Finance Committee and the Senate, and add its own Assembly flavor to the mix.

After review by both houses of the Legislature, any differences will have to be reconciled by a Conference Committee made up of legislators from both houses and both parties. The final agreed-upon budget product will be sent back to both houses for a final up or down vote, and then will be sent to the Governor, who will sign the budget into law. It is likely that the Governor will exercise his veto authority in some way, as has been the practice for decades.
The budget is “due” on June 30, 2011, which is the end of the 2011 fiscal year and the 2009-2011 budget cycle. A new fiscal year begins July 1, 2011. Gubernatorial veto decisions are issued in August or sooner.

Author: Susan McMurray
AFSCME Lobbyist

NJ’s Christie Used ‘60 Minutes’ Platform to Attack Public Workers | AFL-CIO NOW BLOG

NJ’s Christie Used ‘60 Minutes’ Platform to Attack Public Workers AFL-CIO NOW BLOG

After reading the BLOG posting you can visit the SEPAC website and view the video in its entirety. The run time for the segment on 60 Minutes is 13:50.

View the video:

Authority: Marty Beil
Executive Director
AFSCME Council 24

Monday, December 20, 2010

Poverty rates up in most Wisconsin counties - WKBT News 8 - La Crosse, WI -

Without having actually confirmed what I will write, but based on communications from a few of our union members, some of these families in poverty are public sector workers and Walker's answer to improving our state's economy is to do everything in his power to ADD more worker's to the poverty level.

Unions always have and always will advocate for the improvement of economic status for everyone, unionized workers or non-unionized workers.

I wish Walker would read what others are writing and not be so focused on his own writings or the writings of radical right-wing think tanks.

Poverty rates up in most Wisconsin counties - WKBT News 8 - La Crosse, WI -

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Wisconsin’s Governor-Elect Launches Sharp Attack on Public Workers - Working In These Times

The below article link presents nothing new that most of us reading this blog do not already know. However, please spread the word to your co-workers to visit this BLOG at least once a day to read the news or tidbits of information about what Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Majority will attempt in their quest to "beat down" working families in Wisconsin.

A "Union" is not some ugly assembled and destructive machine, a "Union" is the collective voice of many. So stay united in what appears to be struggles in the immediate future of working families, but "United" will prevent Scott Walker from dividing us and then winning on his anti-worker agenda. You have all heard or read the saying, "United We Stand - Divided We Fall", this statement has absolute meaning and will require absolute unity from ALL Wisconsin workers.

Wisconsin’s Governor-Elect Launches Sharp Attack on Public Workers - Working In These Times

Friday, December 17, 2010

Have you ordered your tickets yet for One Wisconsin Now's alternative inaugural event on January 3rd?

“Rock the Pantry” will be held at the Majestic Theater on King Street in Madison from 7-10p.m. on January 3rd. 'Rock the Pantry will feature progressive speakers, DJ Andrew Larson from Saturn’s 8 and live music from Madison's Big Bang. Demand is high so order your tickets in advance at:
Tickets bought online are available for $10 each, or $5 dollars for students or for those with limited income.

All of the proceeds from tickets sold for “Rock the Pantry” will go directly to charity. Come celebrate with live music, a live DJ and terrific speakers as we “Rock the Pantry” at our OWN inauguration.

Tickets are $10 a piece and can be purchased at:

P.S.: Unlike Governor Doyle, who donated his inaugural proceeds to charity, Scott Walker is sending all his inaugural funds to the Republican Party. We've got to step up to help the charities Walker is leaving out in the cold, that's why we're giving all the proceeds from 'Rock the Pantry' to Wisconsin families in need. Buy your tickets now and help us raise money for this important cause!

One Wisconsin NOW
Scot Ross, Executive Director

One Wisconsin Now is a new-media online network of citizens from across Wisconsin committed to advancing progressive policy, leadership, values and ensuring equal economic opportunity for all.

Editorial: Legislative Charade

Citizens and workers take back seat to politics

By Neil Heinen, WISC TV

This week's legislative consideration of labor contracts for state workers was a joke. A bad joke. The lame duck session followed a month of threats and name calling and precious little research and - or thought given to good public policy. And then, regardless of your opinion of state labor contracts, two state Senators made it clear what they think of state employees and the citizens they allegedly represent by casting votes not on the merits, but to cause political mischief.

The votes cast by Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker and Senator Jeff Plale were cynical, disrespectful and unworthy of people we look to for representation. Whether they were trying to stick it to the Republicans, or more likely stick it to Governor Doyle and the Democrats, they ended up sticking it to the citizens of Wisconsin, who have yet one more reason to distrust elected officials and look for ways to work around them.

Source: WISC TV
Source Link:

Message from Executive Director Marty Beil

In part from AFSCME Council 24 Weekly Summary;

Wednesday afternoon and evening were most interesting in terms of legislative action on our contracts. We started out in the Joint Committee on Employment Relations where all Democrats, including Russ Decker, voted for adoption. Jeff Fitzgerald voted NO; and Scott Fitzgerald never showed up. The contracts then went to the Assembly for action. Your lobbyists, bargaining team members, and other leadership worked hard on both sides of the aisle to secure their approval. After a long day, the Assembly adopted on a vote of 48-Aye; 47-Nay, with every single Republican voting No. The contracts then went to the Senate for their action, where the motion to adopt failed on a tie vote of 16-16. All 14 Republicans and 2 Democrats (Decker & Plale) voted No...

Download, view, print and distribute the Weekly Summary in its entirety >>>

Union Leader Outraged at NO Votes on Contracts

This news story relates to AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director, Marty Beil

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Transcript of Senator Decker's Remarks Before Voting NO on State Employee Contracts

“In front of us today we have numerous labor contracts. But these contracts would not have been in front of us at this time except for the election results of Nov. 2. Some people lost in that election, including myself. Like it or not, state employees are going to have to negotiate four years of contracts with a new governor. Before I came to the Senate I negotiated contracts for bricklayers, and one of the worst things you could do is poke a stick in the eye of a new employer. Governor Doyle’s refused to call (the Legislature) into special session to approve contracts he negotiated despite a repeated request from many of you in this room. In 2002, former Governor McCallum made the same decision when he lost the election and held over contracts for a new governor and Legislature to act upon. If these contracts had been brought to us before the election, as they should have been, this would have been an entirely different situation. Let’s not forget right before the election Governor Doyle signed multi-million dollar contracts moving forward on high-speed rail. But within just a few days after the election, at the request of Governor-elect Walker, Governor Doyle stopped all state action on high-speed rail, recognizing that elections have consequences. While I would obviously like to have seen a different outcome in the election, both for myself and my Democratic colleagues, the people of Wisconsin have spoken and they have said they want someone else to make these decisions for them. There is no reason the next Legislature can not take up these contracts. Now that the election has been held and the voters have spoken, I do not feel comfortable casting a vote in favor of these contracts.”

A Must See Video of a True Democrat Who Stood for State Employees

We all know that two Democratic State Senators abandoned their party's value of supporting organized labor on Wednesday night and voted NO on the state employee contracts before them. We also know that one Democratic State Representative did the same thing in the Assembly and one Democratic State Representative failed to attend the Assembly 2010 December Extraordinary Session.

However, many democratic state representatives and state senator's stood tall and did not abandon organized labor and the tens of thousands of state employees they represent and voted YES for approval of the 16 state employee contracts reached with the Doyle Administration.

AFSCME Council 24 will be acknowledging the legislator's who stood up for state employees and argued like hell in their respective legislative houses for approval of the state employee contracts.

One State Representative caught our attention in specific and delivered a 12 minute speech that will tear at your heart and provoke your mind to think about everything he said. That State Representative is Marlin Schneider (D-72) from Wisconsin Rapids.

A video recording of his 12 minute speech to the Assembly in the 2010 December Extraordinary Session of Wednesday, December 15th is available through "WisconsinEye", the unfettered and unedited media that records government activity and events. We are unable to obtain a stand alone recording of the speech, but if you follow the below instructions you will be able to link to it through your favorite web browser and windows media player.

1. Cut-n-paste or click on this link:

2. Once at the page that the link takes you to, click on "Watch" under the heading of;
12.15.10 Wisconsin State Assembly Extraordinary Floor Session (Part 2/2)

Please Note:

a. After clicking on "Watch" a popup window will warn you about the terms of viewing the video, click on "Agree".

b. After clicking on "Agree" another popup window will appear asking you if you will ALLOW the website to open another program on your computer.

c. The program it will attempt to open is "Windows Media". If you will allow the website to open the program then simply click on "Allow", windows media will open and the video will begin.

d. Run your mouse over to lower left corner of the window media player and you will then activate the "seek" slider at the bottom. If you press your left side of your mouse and hold it down you will be able to advance the "seek" slider bar to the 43:40 mark. It is at this point that Rep. Marlin Schneider begans his speech.

e. Advancing the "seek" slider bar will allow you to not have to watch the first forty-three minutes of the Assembly 2010 December Extraordinary Session.

Please put the effort into loading this video into your windows media player and then watch the 12 minute speech that State Representative Marlin Schneider delivers. Listen carefully to all of the points that he makes. He makes every effort to restrain his anger about the current state of political affairs and the attempts to rest our state's economic downturn on the backs of state employees, but he most definitely delivers his points.

Here are some links to more information about State Representative Marlin Schneider:


Wisconsin Legislative Webpage:

Authority: Marty Beil, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 24 · AFL-CIO
Steven Williams, PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24 · AFL-CIO
(608) 836-0024 Central Office (608) 487-2424 Cellular

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Comments on Senate Labor Contract Vote

Taken from Facebook Posting;

I always try to measure my remarks about other Democrats. But there is no hiding my sincere disapointment at the vote last night. The Democratic Party should always stand for working families, for our brothers and sisters in organized labor. Let us work to elect strong, progressive voices who won't fold because of petty disagreements but always ensure Wisconsin a better place to work, live and raise a family. -- Mike Tate

State unions fume over betrayal, prepare for future negotiations

After 18 months, more than $100 million in concessions, and negotiations that were painfully close to completion, union leaders again find themselves back at the table — and they're not happy about it...

This news story appears in the Wisconsin State Journal and it is written after conducting an interview with AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director, Marty Beil.

Read the news article in its entirety >>>

Summary of Legislative Action on State Employee Contracts

Wisconsin Legislature Fails to Adopt State Employee Contracts: Passage in One House is not Enough

On Wednesday, December 15, both houses of the outgoing 2009-2010 state Legislature met in an extraordinary session to take up 16 state employee contracts. While the state Assembly voted to approve the contracts on a narrow vote of 48-47, later that night the state Senate deadlocked 16-16, ending hopes for legislative approval this year.

It takes a majority vote in both houses of the Legislature for a bill to become law.

How the Assembly Voted:

The 48 “yes” votes were cast by most Democrats and Independent legislator Jeff Wood. The 47 “no” votes were cast by every Assembly Republican and Democratic state Representative Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee. A total of 95 votes were cast.

Although there are 99 state Assembly seats, one of the four who didn’t vote was state Rep. Mark Radcliffe (D-Black River Falls), who failed to show up for the vote. The other three who did not cast votes are three legislators who have resigned to take other jobs. Those individuals are Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing), Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee) and Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin).

Our thanks goes to current Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) and incoming Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) who did an outstanding job rallying fellow lawmakers in the Assembly to pass the bill. Many other Democratic members stepped up to the plate Wednesday to get the job done. State Rep. Marlin Schneider gave an outstanding speech in support of public employees. His speech can be heard on Wisconsin Eye at State Rep. Joe Parisi started the debate by introducing three Council 24 members, recognizing their service and sacrifice.

How the Senate Voted:

All Senate Republicans present voted against our contracts. They were joined by defeated lawmakers Russ Decker (D-Weston) and Jeff Plale (D-Milwaukee) in casting “no” votes. Sixteen Democrats present voted “yes” on our contracts. The 16-16 vote meant failure to pass the contracts.

Democrats had elected Mark Miller as leader for the 2011-2012 legislative session. Sen. Miller and all other Senate Democrats worked very hard to get the votes but came up short because all Republicans, Plale and Decker failed to support contracts that most had supported in the past. Decker betrayed his caucus as well as the thousands of public employees who were counting on legislators to approve the long-overdue contracts.

Download, view, print and distribute this summary in a printer-friendly version >>>

Author: Susan McMurray, AFSCME Wisconsin Lobbyist

State Employee Contracts Now in Walker's Court

Today, state employees have been emailing furiously to Senator Decker and Senator Plale, but appears the two democratic senator's have chosen to abandon state employees at a time when something as important as labor contracts needed to be settled.

There could be other avenues to still bring state employee contracts before this legislature, but after many phone calls by your union's leadership it does not appear that there is much hope for a successful conclusion to the 2009-2011 contract ratification by the legislature.

When either the employees or the employer (legislature in this matter) fail to ratify a contract then both parties need to return to the bargaining table. To that end, it does now appear that the state employee unions will be returning to the bargaining table, but the employer will now be represented by the Walker Administration and these continued negotiations will not take place until after January 3rd, 2011.

The Wisconsin State Employees Union met with all of their respective bargaining teams today (12/16) and have briefed them on the next step and have sent the bargaining teams home for the holidays.

Wisconsin Senate Adjourns Extraordinary Session

As of 10:05am, 12/16 Senate President Fred Risser has adjourned the 2010 December Extraordinary Session with no further action on the state employee contracts.

At this moment there continue to be high level discussions regarding alternative's for the state employee contracts. As new information is learned it will be posted here at the SEPAC BLOG and the SEPAC website.

Use the Poll at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to Say Yes to Your Contract

Should these contracts be acted upon before Jan. 3?

Democrats who run the state Assembly are taking steps to hold possible votes on no-pay-raise labor contracts as early as Wednesday in a rare lame-duck session just before they lose power to Republicans.

SEPAC Note: The Assembly did vote YES on your contracts. Use this poll to let the Senate know that it needs to make a motion for reconsideration and vote on these contracts before January 3rd, 2011.

Vote at the Poll being conducted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel >>>

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

State Employee Contract Status

The official status of the WSEU contracts will need to come from the Executive Director of AFSCME Council 24, but until that is communicated SEPAC would like to leave affected members of those contracts with this information;

On Wednesday, 12/15 JCOER followed by the Assembly approved the state employee contracts. The Senate failed to concur with the action of the Assembly voting in a deadlock tie of 16-16 and one not voting on ALL state employee contracts.

After the votes were tallied the Senate adjourned until 10:00am on Thursday, 12/16. Because the vote was a tie anyone voting can make a motion to bring the contracts back for reconsideration.

Visit the SEPAC website for additional information and to view the legislative roll call reporting sheets on each of the WSEU contracts.

Senate Dems Dump Sen. Decker as Majority Leader

It has just been learned that the Senate Dems in caucus replaced Sen. Decker as the Majority Leader and have elected Senator Dave Hansen (D-30) as the Senate Majority Leader.

Unfortunately, Sen. Decker and Sen. Plale continue to vote with the Republicans and as such all state employee contracts are failing passage at this time.

Contracts in the Senate - Failing to Achieve Concurrence

The ASU contract (AB989) just failed to receive concurrence in the senate, blue collar is facing the same demise at this time and the remainder of the WSEU contracts will most likely receive the same action.

Contracts in the Senate - Update

The senate is presently voting on a third reading of the various legislative bills for the state employee contracts and they are all failing on a 16-16 vote at this time.

Senator's Decker and Plale are voting NO on concurrence of the legislative bills.

This does not mean the end at this point, stand by for further updates.

Contracts in the Senate

The senate has reconvened.

Assembly Votes on WSEU Contracts Will be Posted Soon

We are working on posting the votes tallies for the WSEU contracts.

In the meantime, it was pretty much a party line vote with Democratic Representative Peggy Krusick (D-7) joining the Republicans and voting NO and Democratic Representative Mark Radcliffe (D-92) not attending the Assembly Extraordinary Session and as such did not vote.

Clarification of Senate Action on Contracts

The senate was taking a passage vote on AB979, the Wisconsin State Building Trades Contract and the motion for passage failed on a 16-16 vote.

Immediately after the action the Senate Dems went into caucus. Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-29) voted NO on passage.

NO vote has been taken on any of the additional state employee contracts at this time.

Contract Update in the Senate

The Senate has just recessed into caucus after a motion for passage failed on a 16-16 vote.

Just a Thought During the Senate Debate

Supporters of the state employees are making very direct points to stop the attacks on public employees and stop the blame game for the economic downturn.

The best is Senator Bob Jauch (D-25) who points out that Senator Scott Fitgerald (R-13) who claimed to have voted for every state employee contract in his 16 years of legislative service, contracts that did have some wage and benefit increases and yet now he will vote NO for the first time for state employee contracts that have more than $100 million in concessions.

Excellent point Senator Jauch.

Contracts in the Senate - Update

Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-27) now speaking and supporting state employees and their requests to have the senate approve the contracts. He is reminding everyone that the state employees have given some of the greatest concessions in this contract than they ever have.

He is now saying that the top state employee, Gov.-elect Walker has painted an unwarranted target on the backs of state employees.

Contracts in the Senate - Update

Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-20), incoming senate assistant majority leader now speaking and denouncing the state employee contracts.

Contracts in the Senate - Update

Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-13), incoming senate majority leader says he will vote NO on ALL state employee contracts. Senator Dave Hansen (D-30), incoming assistant minority leader is now speaking on behalf of ALL state employees.

Contracts in the Senate

As of 7:50pm Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-13) is now speaking and admonishing the democrats who just pulled all contracts out of the Senate Org Committee and now have them on the floor of the senate for debate.

Wisconsin Senate Now In Session

As of 7:37pm, Senate President Fred Risser (D-26) has ruled that a quorum is present and the senate is now in session with 27 of 33 senator's in attendance.

Assembly Approves WSEU Contracts

All state employee contracts passed the Assembly on a 48-47 vote. The contracts are on their way to the Senate.

Authority: Marty Beil, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 24, AFL-CIO

Scott Walker Needs to Stop His Misleading Information

Gov.-elect Walker just concluded a 12 minute press conference this afternoon regarding the pending actions on state employee contracts.

His remarks continued his tactic of fear and intimidation and misleading information. This man is not a team builder or an advocate of team work, but rather a Totalitarian (meaning; the control of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible, in part) and I describe him as a "Totalitarian" and he is currently only the "Governor-elect", imagine when he has sole possession of the title as "Governor".

He is greatly placing fear into the minds of the citizens of Wisconsin that state employees are taking money away from them and that those who need medicaid assistance may lose benefits if state employee contracts are approved. He even attempts to place fear into the minds of state employees that they will face layoffs because of approval of the contracts. He never addresses the great concessions in these current state employee contracts and the fact, and let me repeat, "fact" that the state employees are receiving no wage increases and will be paying more for their health insurance and pension.

He also fails to state to the public that any costs, as minimal as they may be, were budgeted into the 2009-2011 state budget that began on July 1, 2009. Approval of these contracts need no additional appropriations are fully funded from monies already budgeted.

Gov.-elect Walker; "Stop with the Lies", start your journey as Governor on January 3rd, 2011 with some integrity and use facts, it may go a long way in winning a working relationship with state employees, the same people who will help you implement your reforms and deliver your promised services to the great people of Wisconsin.

Follow this link to watch the press conference that was recorded by "WisconsinEye".

This BLOG entry is the sole writing of Steven Williams, PEL Coordinator, AFSCME Council 24 and are not the expressed opinion of AFSCME Council 24, Wisconsin State Employees Union, its leadership or members.

Legislative Action on State Employee Contracts

At this hour the Senate is in recess for the Extraordinary Session. The Assembly is in recess for partisan caucus.

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State Employee Contracts

Both the Assembly and Senate will debate and vote on the contracts starting this afternoon.
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Scheduled Legislative Activity for December 15th

  • 10 am: Senate Democratic Caucus
  • 11 am: JCOER (recessed from Tuesday) Could be delayed, Rm 412E
  • 1 pm: Senate Republican Caucus
  • Indeterminate: Assembly Democratic Caucus

AFSCME Council 24 executive director Marty Beil warned today Walker will face "labor unrest" if Gov.-elect pushes for decert

"When you push a person to the corner and there's no escape, he'll push back," Beil warned following a news conference in which a string of union employees urged lawmakers to approve contracts negotiated with the Doyle administration. Beil accused Walker of picking up tips on "corporate extortion" used by Harley-Davidson, Mercury Marine and others to force major wage and benefit concessions with union employees with threats to move their jobs elsewhere if they didn't comply. He also accused him of political grandstanding for demanding a 10-day delay in a vote, saying he voted to approve contracts while in the Assembly on a one-day turnaround.

He said Walker has shown more hostility toward state employees than any of the eight governors he's worked with and said Walker didn't bother to respond to a letter he sent congratulating him on his win and asking to meet with him. He wouldn't speculate on how negotiations would go with Walker if the 2009-11 contracts carry over to his administration or what the union's approach would be, declaring of the agreements reached with the Doyle administration "a deal is a deal." Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie declined to directly address Beil's criticism, writing in an e-mail, "Governor-elect Walker remains committed to finding ways to reduce spending while still providing core government services." Beil also had a warning for Dem lawmakers, promising retribution if they decide to go Christmas shopping rather than coming in to approve the contracts. Beil didn't specify what kind of consequences they could face. "We're just saying do your job," Beil said.


Sen. Plale and Sen. Decker - Selling Out Public Sector Unions?

Will State Sen. Jeff Plale, a South Side Milwaukee Democrat who portrayed himself as a friend of blue collar workers in his losing campaign for re-election, sell out union members and sabotage their contracts as his final act in the legislature? (That's him at right with tin cup and "Will work for food" sign)

Read more >>>

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Senate Dems Will Try Again on Wednesday

Senate Dems failed on Tuesday to call for an Extraordinary Session.

We have learned that once again they will attempt to call for an Extraordinary Session on Wednesday @ 10:00am. We hope that this time the Senate Majority Leader, Russ Decker (D-29), will be in attendance to lead them through the process.

The Assembly did call for an Extraordinary Session on Tuesday. However, it takes both houses of the Legislature to convene an Extraordinary Session.

The Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) is scheduled to convene at 11:00am on Wednesday, but unless the Senate calls for an Extraordinary Session they will not be able to act on the state employee contracts, once again.

State Employee Contracts Stalled

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker is AWOL from today's attempted senate action on the Extraordinary Session.

Senate Dems attempted to act without Sen. Decker, but Sen. Jeff Plale (D-7) declined to join other Dems in acting without Sen. Decker. The Senate was unable to call the Extraordinary Session today.

Governor Doyle could get action on the contracts, but for the moment appears hesitant to call a Special Session of the Legislature. This is the reason both houses are attempting to call an Extraordinary Session.

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WisPolitics: Beil warns Walker faces labor strife

For reason's unknown to AFSCME Council Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-29) did not attend the JCOER meeting today that is now in recess.

AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director Marty Beil sends strong communication to approve state employee contracts... WisPolitics: Beil warns Walker faces labor strife

JCOER Moves Into Recess

The Joint Committee on Employment Relations has recessed for the time being.

No action was taken on the pending state employee contracts because the full legislature has yet to come into an Extraordinary Session.

It appears that the Assembly has moved action for an Extraordinary Session, but the Senate has not yet taken any action on the call for an Extraordinary Session. Both houses are required to take action in order to hold an Extraordinary Session.

The Senate is working on their call at this hour according to Senator Fred Risser who has asked the JCOER to recess until about 4:30pm.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Doyle says state union contracts should proceed

Gov.-elect Scott Walker, read Governor Jim Doyle's lips, it would be ILLEGAL for the State of Wisconsin to stop ongoing negotiations.

Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday that he is proceeding with labor pacts with state unions in his final weeks in office because they had been under negotiation for months and that stopping the process would be illegal...

Read the full article >>>

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AFSCME Lobbyists Outline WSEU Contracts

Monday, November 29, 2010 - Posted 11/30/2010

To: Interested Legislators
From: Susan McMurray and John Grabel, AFSCME Government Relations
Re: Summary of Key Items in the 2009-2011 State Employee Contracts

We’ve been asked to provide some information about the tentative agreement reached between the state Office of Employment Relations (OSER) and the Wisconsin State Employees Union (WSEU-AFSCME Council 24).

On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, the State and AFSCME Council 24 reached a tentative agreement (TA) on contracts for 2009-2011, after months of difficult negotiations.

The contracts between the State and workers cover five state bargaining units represented by AFSCME: professional social services (PSS), blue collar (BC), administrative support (AS), technical (Tech) and Security and Public Safety (SPS).

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • These contracts contain zero pay increases and no market adjustments.
  • The contracts have a 6.9% employee share health care premium increase.
  • The contracts require an increase in the employee pension contribution (between .2% - .8%).
    State employees had 16 furlough days in 2009-2011 biennium, which was a 3.25% pay reduction. This contract underscores the furlough arrangement.
  • These contracts cover the period of the last budget (July 2009 - June 2011), not the budget to be created by Governor-elect Walker and the next legislature.
  • The incoming governor will have the opportunity to negotiate contracts for the period coinciding with the budget he will propose.
  • These contracts are accounted for in the current budget passed by this legislature and governor.

OSER representatives soon will brief legislative leaders on the proposed contracts, providing leaders with information from the employer perspective.

Thank you for your attention and consideration. Feel free to contact Susan at 608-279-9697 or John at 608-279-9093 for more information.

WisPolitics: Special session on state worker contracts moving ahead

At this very hour bargaining conference delegates are learning about the details of the recently tentatively agreed upon state employee contracts. A vote on each of the TA's for each of the WSEU bargaining unit's is expected today. WisPolitics: Special session on state worker contracts moving ahead

Gov.-elect Walker urges lawmakers to stop work on union contracts

Democrats provide the real truth about the present negotiations involving the state employees.

"The contracts currently under consideration by the unions were already budgeted for in the '09 biennial budget, with money already held in the state compensation reserves," the statement read. "They contain no pay increases or other changes that would adversely impact the current state budget."

State Rep. Joe Parisi, D-Madison, said Republicans are attempting to make something nefarious out of the workers' contracts.

"But these workers have been dutifully performing their jobs every day for 18 months, without a contract, based on money that has already been budgeted," he said.

Learn more about what is being said on both sides by clicking on the title link.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sen. Fitzgerald and Rep. Fitzgerald Support Walkers Call for Dems to Not Hold Special Legislative Session on State Employee Union Contracts

Earlier today Gov.-elect Walker sent a letter to the legislative leaders of both houses asking them to not call the Wisconsin Legislature back into special session to approve state employee contracts.

Now, both Minority Leaders of the Wisconsin Senate and Wisconsin Assembly support Walker's call and are implying that the state employee contracts are being done behind closed doors.

Read all of their respective communications:

Employer-sponsored health insurance declining in Wisconsin

COWS (Center On Wisconsin Strategy) has released a report on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in Wisconsin. This reports comes on the heels of a research paper issued on November 16, 2010 by the Economic Policy Institute, a think-tank from Washiongton, DC.

While all of our members have negotiated for health insurance coverage there is an alarming trend occuring all across America that needs to be stopped and that is the declining number of employees being covered by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan.

Read the research paper of the Economic Policy Institute >>>

Read the report of the Center On Wisconsin Strategy >>>

"Please Delay Action on These Contracts" the words of Scott Walker...

Today, Gov.-elect Walker continued his interference with the sitting Administration and Legislature by writing to them and asking them to "not convene an extraordinary or special session of the Wisconsin Legislature to approve yet-to-be-disclosed public employee union contracts."

He went further on in his letter to imply threats for more aggressive spending cuts if the public employee union contracts are approved.

Read his entire letter >>>

Friday, November 26, 2010

No Secret; State Employees Part of Wisconsin GOP Agenda

I don't know about each state employee, but I am livid with an elected official who takes claim to being a "Republican". For years I have heard republicans on the campaign trail talk about how they are for the "worker" and I have actually seen first hand and even attempted to cooperate with the Wisconsin GOP when they created a Wisconsin Labor Caucus within their own state party.

But now that they have seized power starting on January 3rd, 2011 all I have read, watched and heard is the continuous bantering that workers, more specifically state employees and major Unions will not like what the republicans will do when they assume their control.

Of the top ten agenda items of the incoming republican control is an item;

Cutting state employee benefits

"Do you know that state workers don't pay anything toward their retirement?" asked Walker in a campaign ad. "Now people outside of government –– they contribute to their retirement. So I think it's only fair that state workers do too."

Public workers are a favorite target of Republicans, and nothing offers a better excuse for cutting into civil servants' benefits than a budget deficit. Making the change for the state's 33,000 non-unionized workers may be relatively easy –– a GOP-led attempt to do so in 2005 was stopped only by Doyle's veto.

But negotiating benefit reductions with the unions that represent the other 25,000 state employees will be a much tougher task. Walker's attempt to get a head start on this failed when Doyle denied his request to leave negotiation of already-overdue union contracts for the new administration. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Employees Union is gearing up for a fight.

Read the article in full >>>

If I had the wealth of Warren Buffett I would very much like to pay the wages and benefits of every state employee to walk away from their job for two weeks and just let the elected officials and citizens feel the impact of having no delivery of state services. If I truly had the money I would ADD every public sector employee from the city and county levels of government as well.

Then and probably ONLY then would these republican elected leaders and their supporters realize that state employees are not "THE ENEMY OF THE STATE".

For those public servants that are "non-represented" in state service, I pity you, you will be the guinea pigs because Walker and his kowtowing republican leadership will use you as such. For the "represented" state employees at least you will have a collective voice of one that is referred to as "The Union".

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator

An Important Read from AFSCME International President McEntee

The below quote is in taken in part from an opinion written by AFSCME International President Gerald McEntee this Thanksgiving Holiday and contributed to the Huffington Post.


Earlier this year Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky single-handedly held up unemployment insurance payments to families struggling to get by. When a colleague tried to get him to stop his games, Republican Bunning replied: "Tough shit."

Unfortunately for millions of families this holiday season, more than a handful of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives agree with Bunning. Incoming House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) says that the middle class should get assistance only when the rich get a tax cut. Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) says she is only willing to compromise on taxes if unemployment insurance isn't part of the deal.


Read the full article >>>

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Special Announcement from AFSCME Council 24

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

We are pleased to bring you the following announcement regarding bargaining and your contract.

Bargaining Teams met Wednesday afternoon, 11/24. They reviewed the entire package of negotiated language and other issues that would constitute the 2009-2011 collective bargaining agreement. After a thorough review, questions, and discussion all five bargaining teams tentatively agreed to the contract changes.

The Tentative Agreement will now to go the Bargaining Unit Conference delegates who will assemble in Madison on Tuesday, November 30th. Delegates will receive a complete report regarding contract changes and they will decide whether they support the bargaining teams’ tentative agreement.

This Conference will then be followed by a mail ballot for all members to make their decision. Ballots will be due back at Council 24 by 12:00 noon on Friday, December 10, 2010. Bargaining team members will be available during this period o time to answer members’ questions regarding elements of the tentative agreement. Team members can be reached at their e-mail addresses as indicated below. You can also call Council 24 at 608.836.0024 and leave a message (indicating your bargaining unit) for someone to contact you.

This contract was extremely difficult to negotiate given the revenue and economic recession that we all find ourselves in. Your bargaining teams have done the best job that they could with what was available to them. Given these difficult circumstances, they have negotiated an acceptable contract.

Bargaining Teams’ E-Mail Contact List:
Again, best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend. Keep in mind that all Council offices are closed on Thursday and Friday, 11/25 and 11/26.

Authority: Marty Beil, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 24

AFSCME Local 171 Informational Picket

WHEN: Thursday, December 2nd at 12:30pm
WHERE: Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, 1500 University Ave., Madison, WI

Brothers and Sisters;

Our jobs at the university face the threat of privatization. With the election of Scott Walker and Chancellor Martin's efforts to "restructure" UW Madison, our jobs are at the greatest risk in decades.

The current attack on our livelihoods is taking place at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, a research facility on campus where management will contract out food service operations unless we stop them. The workers at these restaurants will be making $8.50 an hour without benefits and no union.

If we let management contract out these jobs, they will be encouraged to do the same in all new facilities that open on campus. Local 171 will represent a smaller and smaller part of the workforce and our power to bargain good contracts and fight for decent working conditions will be that much harder.

Please join your coworkers and our labor allies at the informational picket on December 2nd.

This is the grand opening, and will be attended by politicians, rich donors to the University, and University administrators. We need to show these people we need to fight for what is ours. Privatization at UW Madison is a serious threat to family supporting union jobs in Madison. The threat is real and is growing. WE NEED YOU TO JOIN THE FIGHT!

In Solidarity.

AFSCME Local 171

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Breaking News for AFSCME Council 24 Membership

Tentative Agreement reached between your bargaining teams and the Doyle Administration!

A special bargaining unit conference has been called for Tuesday, November 30th at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Delegates will be reviewing details of the tentative agreement reached on the 2009-2011 contract.

Local Union Presidents will be contacted with information on delegates of record for this contract period.

Authority: Marty Beil, Executive Director

So What Do You Think?

If you are a State Employee then you have been reading and hearing that the NEW incoming Administration and Legislature has plans demonize state employees.

We want to hear what you think of the New incoming Administration and Legislature.

Just click on the below "comment" link and give us your feedback.

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WPR Interview of Director Beil

Go to the SEPAC website ( to listen to this morning's interview of Director Beil.

No downloading required, it will automatically start playing. You can control the audio by use of any of the feature buttons.

Posted by Steven williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Time to Go to The Library

Did you know that SEPAC is building its own Library of information? If not, then you need to point your favorite browser to the SEPAC Library at;

One of the newest additions to the SEPAC Library is the AFSCME Polling Data of its membership.

AFSCME International conducted a nationwide survey of 1,231 members (806 Active and 421 Retired) between November 1-4, 2010 regarding the 2010 midterm election. The poll focused on member support of endorsed candidates, communications they received from their union and views of their union.

Checkout the SEPAC Library to read the poll data and accompanying introductory and overview memorandums.

Point your browser to;

Public Sector Workers: Stand Proud!

Earlier today we posted a BLOG entry regarding Scott Walker's plan to lobby legislators against holding a "special" legislative session to address tentatively agreed upon state employee contracts that have been expired since July 1st, 2009. This posting has bothered me all day and I am now providing my commentary to his publicly made statements.

Scott Walker has not even been sworn into the Office of Governor and yet he is boldly going where no Governor-elect has ever gone before and that is on the edge of interfering with the sworn duties of the incumbent Governor and his Administration.

ALL represented state employees are in the process of nearly reaching or have actually reached a tentative agreement with Governor Jim Doyle's Administration as to the terms of the already expired state employee contracts. The Doyle Administration will then bring these contracts before the "incumbent" legislature for ratification as well as the various state unions will do by bringing the contracts before their membership for ratification. If both sides ratify the tentatively reached agreements (contracts) then Governor Jim Doyle will execute his responsibility and sign into law the ratified contracts.

It is very important to note that the present negotiations, assuming they yield ratified contracts will start all over again in the first six months of 2011 because the contracts will expire on June 30th, 2011. At that time Scott Walker will now have his opportunity to bring his terms forward for negotiations and the negotiating will begin. Given the constant public barrage of insults and claimed attacks on ALL public sector workers it is a given that state employees will not see "Forward" progress on negotiations anytime soon in the next four-years unless state employees would be willing to bend over, grab their ankles and I am sure that you know the remaining verbage of that saying.

Scott Walker says he will lobby the public to engage the legislators to not support a "special" legislative session to address ALL of the expired state employee contracts, but let it be known that will be his vehicle to appeal to support from our very neighbors, friends and even family members of his call that state employees want more when everyone is doing with less. In other words, he will promote less than the truth, he will spin his words and actions and he will send the fight to our communities pitting private sector against public sector. He assumes and knows that the media will run with his communications to the legislators and the media will actually be his vehicle to get his message of spin and fear to our communities.

No other group of public sector workers know better how Scott Walker operates than the AFSCME members (Council 48) of Milwaukee County who have had to face Scott Walkers lies, inaction and just plain fear that he puts into his constituents minds in order to achieve his agenda for the past many years.

State Employees need to "Stand Proud" of the services that you provide everyday to the residents and visitors of Wisconsin, you need to convey to your neighbors, friends and all of your family members just what services you do deliver and the impact it has for Wisconsin.

If Scott Walker would somehow have an epiphany and earns your respect then when you have contact with him provide the respect that we customarily do in America of looking the person in the eye, providing a cordial greeting and shake their hand, but do not ever allow yourself to kneel and touch your forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, that is known as "kowtowing". We DO NOT do that here in America.

DO NOT allow Scott Walker to create an environment in Wisconsin of conquer and divide (private sector vs. public sector). Stand Proud, soundoff and pushback to Scott Walkers world of hatred.

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

This posting is a personal reflection of the writer and is not done with the authorization of the leadership of AFSCME Council 24 or the Wisconsin State Employees Union.

Dems Need to Finish Contract Negotiations

Goobernator-elect Scott Walker thinks he's going to be king and has tried to do all sorts of idiotic things within days of the election. One of the more ignorant and hubris-filled things was demanding that the state stop negotiating contracts with the unions.

This shows how little of a grasp on reality Walker has.First of all, these contracts are for 2009-10.

He was not governor during these years (Thank goodness) nor was he part of the state legislature. What right does he have to demand to rule over previous work done? It's not like he can go back and make the unions pay retroactively towards their pension or make them go back in time because he doesn't understand that furloughs are not the solution to budgetary woes.

And just by making this demand and trying to bully the state unions even before the election, he was interfering with the labor laws and setting up state tax payers for a big hit.

Fortunately, not everyone is falling down for His Majesty and is going on to actually do the people's work. The Democratic leaders in both the Assembly and the Senate have said that they are going to make a concerted effort to get the contracts done in special sessions before the end of the year.

They certainly better, for their sakes, the sakes of the workers and the sakes of the tax payers.

If they don't get the contracts done, they are going to lose a lot of supporters that they will need if they want to stay in office, much less regain power.

Secondly, the state workers have done the work for two years without a contract. They deserve to have that recognized and a clean slate for when Walker does take office.

Thirdly, if they don't get the contracts settled, any concessions that they might have made are going to be lost for years. Given his past history, when Walker gets to Madison, he'll start being a bonehead, putting his presidential aspirations before the people of the state, and offer up empty political rhetoric but make no efforts in saving tax payers money by settling a contract.

The reason he won't is twofold. One, he knows that he wouldn't be able to inflict the draconian measures he wants to, so it is easier to talk tough instead of just doing what needs to be done. Secondly, when he starts to fail at governing, and he will fail, just like he did in Milwaukee, he'll want the unions to use as a scapegoat.

In summary, if the Democrats know what is good for them and for the state, they will get this done before the end of the year. That are get used to always being in the minority.

This BLOG entry was written by; Chris Liebenthal

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Director Beil to Talk About State Employees Future with Joy Cardin on WPR

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 7:00 AM

After seven, Joy Cardin talks to the head of Wisconsin’s state employee union about what the future holds for state workers under a new Governor and state legislature. Guest: Marty Beil, Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24.

You can join the conversations each weekday morning by using the toll-free call-in number 1-800-642-1234 (Madison Listeners please use 263-1890). You can also e-mail WPR at

Democrats Push To Pass State Worker Contracts - Milwaukee News Story - WISN Milwaukee

Thank you Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-39) for not taking an automatic stance against state employee contracts. Your statement that "it is difficult to take a position on the contracts because you do not know what is in them" is a very responsible and professional approach.

State employee contracts expired on July 1st, 2009. The WSEU is nearing a tentative agreement, but has not yet reached that point as of this posting.

Democrats Push To Pass State Worker Contracts - Milwaukee News Story - WISN Milwaukee

Gov.-elect Walker Intends to Pit the Public Against State Employees

Let's forget the notion that state employee contracts with their employer are expired, let's forget that Wisconsin is a state that recognizes collective bargaining and let's pretend, or at least Scott Walker actuallly believes that Scott Walker is Governor and has the power to condem the state employees.

State employees, the people who provide, highway safety, safe roads and bridges, forest fire protection, clean lakes and rivers, safe hutning and fishing, secure state prisons, control and monitoring of criminals after prison release, investigate employer wage and benefit violations, protection of kids at child care centers, unemployment benefits, a proud and efficient system of higher education and the list goes on...

Now, and I wish to emphasize, "Governor-elect", not Governor Walker wants to lobbying public citizens of Wisconsin to oppose state employee contracts by engaging their legislators.

Negotiations on the 2011-2013 state employee contracts is anticipated to begin sometime in early 2011. At that time, then Governor Scott Walker will have his ability to negotiate with state employees. Until that time, step aside Gov.-elect Walker and allow the present administration to complete its responsibility of finalizing its negotiations with the state employees and their expired state employee contracts.

Read the full story here >>>

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Friday, November 19, 2010 WisPolitics: Walker criticizes proposed special session on state employee contracts

State Employee contracts are already 1.5 years overdue. Gov.-elect Walker says its just plain wrong to settle these overdue employer/employee contracts before January 3rd, 2011.

Based on the communicated word of Gov.-elect Walker, both in verbal and written form, it is very reasonable to assume that if these already overdue contracts are not settled under the Doyle Administration, who by the way has that obligation to get them settled, then state employees could conceivably not see any settled negotiations with the Walker Administration over the next four-years thus having state employees work with a contract that could be up to or even more than six-years expired.

Gov.-elect Walker you have already been found in a recent ruling by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission of not bargaining in good faith at the County level, that ruling was for agreeing to one thing and then deliberately doing something else, but now you wish to find ways to fail to negotiate with employees that you will have working for you who have protections under the law for the employer to collectively bargain with the employees and you wish to ignore that requirement?

One has to wonder with what poor positions you are already taking with regards to creating jobs, keeping good manufacturer's in Wisconsin and sending back hundreds of millions of dollars to the Feds as merely the Gov.-elect, what misleading endeavors will you manufacture when you hold the constitutional title of Governor? WisPolitics: Walker criticizes proposed special session on state employee contracts

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Director Beil Comments

While we try and move forward, the threats continue from both the governor-elect and the incoming Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald. The threats are veiled, but they are saying publicly that it is not in the union's best interest to have a special session for our contracts.

It seems to us the incoming administration's vehicle for change is threat and intimidation. As we said last week, we won't be threatened, we won't be intimidated. We have nothing to gain by kowtowing to their demands.

Posted via U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

State Employee Unions Pushing for Special Legislative Session

The WSEU is spending time trying to secure a commitment from the "lame duck" legislature to come back in a special session so that legislative ratification is complete and the contracts can be signed during the month of December.

There are lots of "what if's", but we feel it is imperative that we pursue these options to secure our collective bargaining agreements. Be prepared – we may need membership contact with certain legislators to persuade them about the need for a special session.

Check the SEPAC BLOG often for updates.
Posted via U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Senate Dems Name JFC Members

Today, Senator's Bob Jauch (D-25) and Lena Taylor (D-4) were named as senate dem members of the powerful Joint Finance Committee.

Posted via U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Candle Light Vigil to SAVE WISCONSIN JOBS

He hasn’t even taken office yet and Scott Walker has already begun to chase jobs out of Wisconsin. Help send him a message by attending our Candle Light Vigil to Save Wisconsin Jobs

Date: Tuesday, November 23rd
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Talgo 27th St Parking Lot (between Townsend and Hopkins)

Feel free to download and distribute the flier to get the word out.

If you can’t make it to the vigil then call Scott Walker’s transition office at 608-261-9200. Tell him that you are a constituent and you want the train in Wisconsin because of the thousands of jobs that it will create.

Posted by SEPCA on behalf of; Peter Drummond
"Take Back America" Project Organizer
414-344-6868 office
414-333-1606 cell
414-344-1274 fax
3427 W St Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Looking for Union Democratic Women

Do you have an interest in running for public office at the local or state level? If so, then please read on.

Emerge Wisconsin is a political leadership training program for Democratic women whose mission is to identify, educate and inspire Democratic women who want to pursue a career in politics at the local and state level in Wisconsin.

"Click on this link" to download the application for the 2011 class of Emerge Wisconsin.

Applications are due December 1, 2010. AFSCME Council 24 is a supporter of Emerge Wisconsin as well as the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.

For more information about Emerge Wisconsin, please go to:

Gov.-elect Scott Walker Has NO Team Concept

Since Scott Walker began campaigning for the office of Governor he has used the term "I". I will do this, I will do that, I have this plan... He rarily seems to apply any "team" effort to anything.

Well it continued very recently in an interview with the Washington Post at the Republican National Governor's Association meeting in San Diego. Three midwest Governor's were singled out for their response to their state's budget deficit's and this is what Gov.-elect Walker had to say, related to state employees;

"I've taken on wage and benefit reforms," he said here on Wednesday. "We're going to have to do that [in Madison]."

The possible changes will affect everything from health-care coverage for state employees to pension contributions. Most Wisconsin state employees, Walker said, contribute nothing to their retirement plans. "We have to tackle legacy costs," he said. "Otherwise we end up like GM."

No part of his comment makes any reference to working with affected state employees in this regard. In Michigan, Gov.-elect Rick Snyder (R) responded to the same question as Walker;

Asked where he will have to try to cut, Snyder quickly pointed to public employee compensation. "I view that as one of the toughest things I need to do as the next governor," he said Thursday morning over coffee at the Republican Governors Association meeting.

"You're talking about people and their livelihoods and their families. So it's a very serious topic. I want to do it working with them.

State employees recognize that there is nothing about state government that is excluded from review for cuts, but it sure would be nice if Gov.-elect Walker would have similar thoughts like Gov.-elect Snyder. The thought that comes to my mind is compassion.

A reasonable request to Gov.-elect Scott Walker, start considering that you may accomplish more by approaching an issue with and open-mind and an offering to make everyone part of the solution or you can push forward with "your" agenda in your "I" attitude and see what little you may accomplish. The continuous "I" approach in most countries around the world normally is synonymous with "Dictatorship".

The last point that I feel needs to be made is that wage and benfit costs related to state employees ARE NOT "Legacy" costs, they are costs negotiated over decades with Republican and Democratic Administrations. As a former legislator that has voted on past state employee contracts, you know full well it took "two sides" to agree to all terms of the contract. So lets be honest in your labelling of state employee wage and benefit costs.

"Click Here" to read the article in its entirety >>>

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24
My comments are my own and are not those of AFSCME Council 24 or any of its affiliated local unions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

40 Year Legislative Veteran Is Concerned for Wisconsin

Defeated, 40 year State Representative Marlin Schneider (D-72) distributed today his written opinion of what the future of Wisconsin may face with NEW unbalanced power in Madison that will take absolute control at 12:00Noon on January 3rd, 2011.

Rep. Marlin Schneider says in part; "We will now have a Republican governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer and Republican control of both houses of the Legislature The Supreme Court is technically nonpartisan, but Republicans hold a clear majority of it as well," Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, writes.

"And the concentration of power is not merely within one party, but within familial hands as well. Not only is the new lieutenant governor married to a member of Assembly, but the new Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly—the top leadership positions in each house, wielding tremendous power—are brothers Scott and Jeff Fitzgerald. One family now has control over committee assignments, campaign budgets, and budget conference committees."

The entire written opinion of Rep. Marlin Schneider is published at and can be viewed by "clicking here".

Scott Walker Not Happy with Dems Call to Approve State Employee Contracts

Governor-elect Scott Walker is displeased with Sen. Majority Leader Russ Decker's call to bring the Senate back to Madison to finish work on the already delayed contracts between the State of Wisconsin and its Employees.

"We obviously have a monumental budget deficit to deal with, and the idea that anyone would want to try to pile on and make that more difficult for the next governor and Legislature is just horrible news for taxpayers," he said.

Walker said it's a good sign that the negotiated contracts don't include pay raises. Still, he said that needs to be accompanied with "significant changes" in the benefit packages for state employees.

We have also learned that Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan also intends for the present Assembly to finish up their responsibility of approving state employee contracts that the Administration sends to them after more than a year of ongoing negotiations.

What is outrageous in Walker's above quotes is that he accuses that passage of state employee contracts would amount to "piling on" to the state budget deficit, but in a second breath he acknowledges that the nearly completed negotiations contain NO wage increases. He fails to mention that the nearly completed negotiations require state employees to contribute EVEN MORE toward their pensions and health care benefits.

I have to ask, how will Wisconsin survive such arrogance for the next four years?

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24