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.

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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.
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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.

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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

Some Postive News

An aide to Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-29) has indicated that the DEMS do plan to come back to Madison before the legeslative session ends to approve state employee contracts. "Approve" being a key word in that sentence.

As of today Sen. Majority Leader Decker is polling the senate members.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ALL State Employee Contracts ar RISK!

As a state employee if you have not yet read a news article, listened to a news report on radio or TV, not read some email communication in your "inbox" about state employee contracts or even had a co-worker make a comment about the attacks on the present state employee negotiations then you need to at least take the time to read a very direct to the point and well written BLOG entry written by a gentleman named Bill Christopherson.

Read his BLOG posting here:


After reading I hope every state employee reaches out to their "presently" elected legislator's and begin telling them that you truly hope they will support the state employee contracts when they come before them in the very near future. DO NOT let them push you away by saying, "the contracts have not yet come before me and when they do I will look them over carefully". Your state employee contract is already a year and one-half overdue. We all know that these contracts will not flourish with increased wages and benefits and your legislator's will know that also. So push them to commit that when the contracts come before them they will vote on these contracts and not leave them for the NEWLY elected leadership at 12:00Noon on January 3rd, 2011.

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stop Your Game, Sen. Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald

It was learned today that Senate Minority leader Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-13) again communicated that the present negotiations with state employees on their 2009-2011 contract is not wise. He continues to insist, almost to the point of deliberately interfering with the Doyle Administration to govern, that they MUST STOP GOVERNING... Sen. Fitzgerald will become Senate Majority Leader at 12:00Noon on January 3rd, 2011.

Sen. Fitzgerald went on to say that he is not even sure that Democrats have the votes in the Assembly. I find that comment to be very odd given the fact that at the moment Democrats have the majority. He makes no prediction of the direction the Senate would go, but then like the present Assembly, Democrats have the majority in the Senate as well.

Sen. Fitzgerald and Gov.-elect Walker have a definite learning curve to overcome, but the people of Wisconsin elected the present Administration and Legislature to govern until 12:00Noon on January 3rd, 2011.

There is a very simple solution to the continuous disregard for the present Administration to govern by each of you and that is to stand down, be silent and then at 12:00Noon on January 3rd, 2011 you will have a voice with standing.

If you respect the State Constitution and the process of electing our government officials then just wait your turn as many elected Administrations and Legislators have done in the history of Wisconsin.

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Scott Walker: Transportation Chameleon

So now this possibly sheds a little more light on why Scott Walker has been so adament to stop the train as his first priority. Because the Road Builders contributed great amounts of money to his campaign.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Scott Walker: Transportation Chameleon

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

A Millionaire Bailout, But Nothing for the Jobless

Executive Director Marty Beil Pulled No Punches and Sent a Clear Message to the NEW Power in Madison

Director Beil on the Wisconsin Public Television show "Here and Now" on Friday, November 12th made his message very clear that if Republican leaders at the Capitol want a fight, he and his members are ready.

He went on to say "If Scott Fitzgerald and Walker want to declare war, we're up for that. We'll step up to the line.

Director Beil DID NOT call for a strike, but said "the most valuable asset a worker has is to withhold their labor. If state employees are pushed to that point, I believe they will respond by taking the matter to the streets." He emphasized again that the most valuable action that a worker has is to withhold their labor.

Director Beil went on to say during the seven minute interview that the Republican rhetoric hides the fact that state employees have sacrificed and do contribute to their pensions and health care costs.

Director Beil also addressed the issue of Gov.-elect Walker calling for the Doyle administration to cease any ongoing contract negotiations as a very inappropriate request of the current administration and that his call for this action is done with total disregard for the rule of law. He went on further to say that "next" week (week of 11/15) bargaining will continue with the state on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

If you have not seen the interview you can watch it from the SEPAC website at or scroll down and you will find it at this very BLOG. The interview is approximately seven minutes in length and it requires no downloading. You can watch it right from the SEPAC website in your favorite browser.

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Sunday, November 14, 2010 Fundraiser in support of Sen. Bob Wirch

Senator Robert Wirch (D-22) has been a long time friend of working families and more importantly public sector workers. If at all possible, pleas consider attending his fundraiser. All contributions are greatly accepted. Fundraiser in support of Sen. Bob Wirch

You can learn more about Sen. Wirch at the SEPAC Action Center;

Incoming Majority Leadership is... NUTS!

What is it with the NEW majority leadership? They do not have solutions for creating jobs or improving our economy so they now want to fight with Unions? In my years as the Political and Legislative Coordinator of AFSCME Council 24 I have had many Republicans tell me that they do not understand why more Republicans can...not get Union endorsements. I use to tell them to appear at candidate screenings and respond to candidate surveys. NOW I WILL TELL THEM; FIRE YOUR MAJORITY LEADERSHIP and ask; not what Unions can do for you, but what can you do for Unions!

Read the full article regarding Sen. Mike Ellis's remark >>>

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24

Sen. Mike Ellis Says Unions Will Be Treated Differently

Republicans, who have claimed to be for the "Working Family" seems to want to use their new found control to simply shove it up the "backside" of Union workers. What a plan, I am so impressed with the priority of the majority. What happened to the creation of jobs and improving our economy? It just must be easier for the NEW majority to belittle Unions who by the way represent more than a quarter of a million workers here in Wisconsin than it will be to create jobs and improve the state's economy.

Such intelligence emerging from the NEW senate majority, Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-13) stating that we (NEW majority) will be happy to ruffle the feathers of Unions and now Senate President, Sen. Mike Ellis (R-19) who says under their control Unions will see a different treatment.

I guess the same message to Gov.-elect Walker from AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director Marty Beil applies to you two NEW majority leaders, bring it on, state employees have proven for nearly 80 years in Wisconsin that we are resilient.

Posted by Steven Williams
PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24