Saturday, February 27, 2010

UPDATED Lobby Day Bus Schedule as of 02/26/2010

TWO NEW changes in the AFSCME Lobby Day bus schedule is a revised pickup location in Oshkosh and a Madison bus has now been ADDED. The Madison bus will transport lobby day participants from AFSCME Headquarters to the Masonic Temple.

Review the lobby day bus schedule as of 02/26/2010 >>>
Learn more about the AFSCME Lobby Day at the SEPAC website >>>

Friday, February 26, 2010

WPRI Report Erroneous About the Wisconsin Retirement System

WPRI Says Public Sector Workers are a Drain on Taxpayers

The right wing think tank; an obvious arm of the Walker campaign, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute issued a report on Wednesday that erroneously spoke about the high value of the Wisconsin Retirement System and public employee pensions. As you read both the report and the summary it makes every public employee’s blood boil. It’s the same mantra about how public employees should work for minimum wage, have no pension and be just like workers in Alabama or Mississippi. The report also said public employees do not deserve the pensions that they get and that they are a drain on the taxpayers.

We have issued a press release and been on talk radio in the Madison area. We would suggest that as your local newspapers begin to report the story that public employees, whether state, county, school or city all respond in kind about the inaccurate information and conclusions made in the report. The real irony of the report is that 3 of the 6 members of the board of directors for this institute are receiving benefits from the Wisconsin Retirement System; they got theirs, but you can’t get yours kind of philosophy.

This is all a prelude to the political elections coming this fall. The only thing missing from this report is the disclaimer on the bottom that it was authorized and paid for by Scott Walker for Governor. There is no coincidence that the findings of the report parrot what Scott Walker has been saying publicly about state employees and their benefits. If there is anyone out there that is a public employee that thinks that Scott Walker will be good for state workers and programs that they are involved in, they need to get their head examined.

Read the AFSCME Council 24 press release >>>
Read the Milwaukee Journel Sentinel news story >>>

Authority: Martin Beil, Executive Director

Thursday, February 25, 2010

AFSCME Wisconsin Lobby Day

March 3rd, 2010
State Capitol

Lobby Day is our chance to walk the walk in the fight against privatization, to stand up for fairness at the bargaining table, and to explain to elected officials that quality public services are essential for economic recovery.

Motorcoach buses will converge on Madison for registration from 9-10 am. We will have you heading home no later than 3pm.

Checkout the SEPAC website for the bus schedules and the lobby day issues:

It is not too late to still join the hundreds of AFSCME members who will attend this lobby day. Simply send an email with your name, address and local union number to; or call the AFSCME C11 office at 608-836-6666 if you have any questions!

Support the Repeal of Minimum Mark-Up Law

The Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans is part of a coalition of community, labor, and business organizations urging the Wisconsin Legislature to pass Assembly Bill 482 (AB 482),which would exempt prescription drugs from the minimum mark-up law in Wisconsin. The enactment of AB 482 would save Wisconsin consumers millions of dollars while also saving significant amounts for people insured by private companies, Medicaid, and Medicare.

At a time when the federal government has yet to pass health care reform legislation, the State of Wisconsin can help to lower the costs of prescription drugs by passing AB 482. Currently, even with the federal Part D RX drug program that started in 2006, the price of prescription drugs has increased at least 8 percent a year. People who are struggling to afford their medications need help now.

Please contact your state assembly and senate representatives and let them know that you support AB482.

Source: Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans

The Governor Will Continue to Appoint the DNR Secretary

Assembly Fails to Override Governor's Veto of DNR Secretary Bill

The Assembly Democrats, joined by a handful of Republicans, failed to garner the two-thirds vote needed to override the Governor's veto of Assembly Bill 138, which would have removed the Governor's authority to appoint the Department of Natural Resources secretary and handed the authority to the unelected Natural Resources Board members.

The bill passed both the Senate and Assembly last year, but was subsequently vetoed by Gov. Jim Doyle. A veto override requires a two-thirds vote in both the Assembly (66) and the Senate (22). The Assembly vote was 59-39 (counting pairs) with 48 Democrats and 11 Republicans voting to override the veto and four Democrats, 34 Republicans, and one Independent voting to sustain the veto.

Proponents of AB 138, which include environmental and sportsmen groups, argued that allowing the Natural Resources Board authority to appoint the DNR secretary (instead of the Governor) removes the political nature of decision making within the agency.

Opponents of the bill include Gov. Jim Doyle, current DNR Secretary Matt Frank, and business groups. They argued that removing the DNR secretary from a cabinet level position would leave DNR unaccountable and allow unelected bureaucrats to essentially run the massive state agency. Gov. Doyle in his veto message noted that the DNR Secretary is "an integral part of a Governor's Cabinet, playing a regular and key role in interagency projects," and that a secretary appointed by the Governor "ensures a direct line of accountability for citizens concerned about the natural resources policy" of this state.

The Wisconsin State Employees Union was "FOR" the legislative bill.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Corporate attacks on pensions are nothing new

Corporate interests that attack retirement security for front-line workers are hardly making news, despite the breathless media attention given reports cranked out by corporate-funded “think tanks”.

“It’s no surprise that wealthy interests are pumping out propaganda to erode support for pension plans relied on by lower-wage workers,” said Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24. “What’s disappointing is that major media outlets give this propaganda great play, while burying news that paints Wisconsin’s pension system in a positive light,” Beil said.