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.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

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

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

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