Friday, May 6, 2011

UW leaders show separation anxiety -- GazetteXtra

UW leaders show separation anxiety -- GazetteXtra Election Blog: Dems, Darling challenge recall petitions Election Blog: Dems, Darling challenge recall petitions

Union vote could come in committee

This article has been posted by AFSCME Council 24 SEPAC

Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislative Majority want to try every tactic to get their anti-collective bargaining bill and their attacks on Wisconsin Workers implemented by any means possible except, by following the courts suggestion that they simply properly re-notice the legislative hearing and then properly follow legislative procedures.

Union vote could come in committee
By Scott Bauer, Associated Press - 05/04/2011

MADISON, Wis. — Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that if the courts have not ruled on the legality of the collective bargaining bill passed earlier this year by early June, it will be added into the state budget by the Joint Finance Committee. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald both told The Associated Press that it would make the most sense for the committee to add the language into the budget before it comes up for debate before the full Legislature. However, both Fitzgeralds are hoping the courts rule that the bill passed in March is legal and can take effect so further legislative action isn't necessary. The state Supreme Court has been asked to take the case, but it has not said if it will. Two lawsuits are pending in circuit court. Gov. Scott Walker supports putting the issue in the budget if the courts haven't ruled by the time that comes to the Legislature for a vote. The last time the Legislature took up the issue, tens of thousands of protesters descended on Madison in a vain attempt to get them to reject Walker's proposal. The protests, which grew to as large as 85,000 people, lasted for weeks and made Wisconsin the center of the national debate over union rights. "I would hope they would get the message that the public isn't behind them," said Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha. "If they're going to try to put this back in the budget, through whatever mechanism, I think it's a mistake." Scott Fitzgerald said voting again on the issue may attract protesters back to the Capitol, but it won't change the votes of Republicans who supported the proposal before. "It would be political suicide to switch your vote on that bill," he said. Walker's proposal called for state workers to contribute more to their pension and health care costs, resulting in a savings to the state of $330 million through mid-2013, but also took away their right to collectively bargain over anything except base wages. Police and firefighters were exempt. Walker was counting on the savings to help blunt the impact of more than $1 billion in aid cuts to schools and local governments he's calling for in his two-year budget that takes effect in July. The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee is currently tweaking that plan, which it hopes to have ready for the full Legislature to vote on in mid-June. Lawmakers and Walker have said for weeks that they would support putting the collective bargaining restrictions into the budget if the courts hadn't ruled, but it was unclear how they planned to do it. Any vote by the Joint Finance Committee to add in the language would mean there will be several days, and possibly weeks, before it would come up for votes in the Senate and Assembly. Another option would be to have it added as an amendment to the budget during floor debate, something the Fitzgeralds rejected Wednesday in favor of the committee taking the action first. "I don't think it should come for that, but that's not for me to decide," Scott Fitzgerald said. "I'm hoping that the Supreme Court does take it up soon." Co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills and Rep. Robin Vos of Caledonia, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. The process of how the collective bargaining language may be put into the budget is important because it was the process of passing the bill the first time around that generated the lawsuits that have so far kept the law from taking effect. In order to pass the bill in March, the Senate called a special committee meeting with roughly two hours' notice so it could amend the bill to take out spending items that required a higher quorum to be present. The Senate couldn't meet the higher 20-member quorum because all 14 Democrats had fled to Illinois in protest. Once the bill was amended, the Senate passed it and the Assembly followed suit the next day. The Assembly had previously passed the more expansive version of the bill following a 61-hour filibuster by Democrats. Walker signed the stripped-down version into law on March 11. But Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi put enactment of the law on hold while she determines whether the open meetings law was violated since just two hours' notice was given of the meeting that changed the bill, instead of the usual 24 hours' notice. The lawsuit filed by Democratic Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne also argues that the bill passed illegally because it should have been subject to the higher quorum requirement. Sumi isn't likely to rule until at least after May 23, the last deadline for filings in the case. Sumi said earlier that the lawsuits could be resolved if the Legislature simply passed the bill again, something lawmakers have been hesitant to do hoping the Supreme Court would rule in their favor first.

May 14 Rally at the Capitol

May 14 Rally at the Capitol

How badly do Scott Walker and his allies want to take away rights from working people?

They are prepared to use any and all means to push through Walker’s plot to bust unions.

With their first flawed pass at union bashing now tied up in the courts, Walker’s allies now say they may add rights-stripping changes to the state budget now flying through the legislature.

They’ve apparently slept through the largest citizen uprising in Wisconsin history.

It’s time to give them a wake-up call.

On Saturday, May 14th, join us for a state Capitol rally to deliver the message louder than ever – Scott Walker’s attack on Wisconsin’s working families will not stand.

Efforts are under way to arrange for buses but May 14th availability appears tight. Check back here often for more details in the coming days.

We can be proud of what we have accomplished since Walker “dropped his bomb” on worker rights.

What he planned to push through in four February days still has not happened. Six Senators who blindly followed Walker face recall. Wisconsin has become a national example of citizen-fired democracy.

Once again, thank you for all you have done for the cause. We really need you to stand with us once again on May 14th.

Please join us in Madison if you possibly can. And if you can’t, please keep speaking out and standing up whenever and wherever you are.

The fight is not over. We need you with us every step of the way.

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear union case

Click on "share" to read the entire news story.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We Need Personal Email Addresses

We Need personal email addresses. Please click on "We Need" to link to the SEPAC e-Alert describing the situation caused by the Walker Administration and the need for personal email addresses.

The Governor, in person, asking for help in recognizing state employees

As you watch this sickening appeal from Scott Walker notice how he appears very uncomfortable, with shoulder twitching, neck bending and his constant movement in his chair. If it were not that I thought he was extremely nervous, I would almost guess his constant movement of his buttocks in his chair may be related to a bad case of hemorrhoids. I have read hemmorhoids can develop in a short period of time from excessive use of the buttocks, or was that from trying to excessively appear like a buttocks? Well, in any case, its crap...

Posted by Steven Williams
Political Education Legislative Coordinator

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 Wisconsin State AFL-CIO rally Wisconsin State AFL-CIO rally

State AFL-CIO to Pull $105,000 from M&I Bank As part of the ‘Move your Money’ campaign labor federation to close account with M&I Bank.

Walker Declares 'State Employee Recognition Day'

Many State Workers Protested Walker's Collective Bargaining Bill
Posted: 3:28 pm CDT May 4, 2011

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proclaimed Wednesday "State Employee Recognition Day," months after pushing a bill that would strip most of those workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.

Read the entire news story >>>

SEPAC NOTE: This action of Scott Walker reaffirms a very simple slogan often heard coming from the Milwaukee area when he was county executive; "Scott Walker, YOU LIAR, YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE!"

His "State Employee Recognition Day" is an absolute joke and yet another action on his part to simply anger the people of Wisconsin. He thinks being Governor is a game and he is nothing more than a power-grabbing, under-educated, idealogue.

GOP leaders: If there's no ruling by June, union vote could come in committee

Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that if the courts have not ruled on the legality of the collective bargaining bill passed earlier this year by early June, it will be added into the state budget by the Joint Finance Committee... Click on "share" to read the entire news story.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Calls for oral Arguments

The state Supreme Court has ordered oral arguments regarding whether the court should take jurisdiction in the case brought by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.

The case brought forward dealt with open meetings violations in the passage of Wisconsin Act 10 that contains the stripping of collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The Wisconsin supreme court will take written arguments on this issue prior to the 9:45 a.m. hearing on June 6th, 2011.

Read the WSC Court order >>>

Wisconsin Democratic Party - The Significance of the Steve Doyle Victory

MADISON-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate following the victory in the 94th Assembly District.

"Steve Doyle's victory tonight was a direct and stunning rejection of the anti-family, anti-Wisconsin policies of Scott Walker and Dan Kapanke. The seat was formerly held by a top Walker ally and now, the voters of the Coulee Region have made clear that the efforts by Kapanke and Walker to kill private-sector jobs, strip working families of their rights, damage our state's institutions and give corporations free reign. More change is coming soon but this victory is a clear pivot point for the citizens of Wisconsin as they throw off the yoke of the misguided and dangerous Kapanke-Walker agenda."

[END] Rep. Barca: Statement on the victory of Steve Doyle in the 94th Assembly District Rep. Barca: Statement on the victory of Steve Doyle in the 94th Assembly District

Photo ID bill advances in Capitol

Assembly committee’s passage follows party lines
By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel

Madison — Republicans on an Assembly committee approved a bill Tuesday to require people to show photo ID to vote, but Democrats ripped the measure because few if any existing college IDs could be used for voting.

Republicans who control the Legislature plan to pass the measure as early as next week. GOP Gov. Scott Walker supports requiring photo ID to vote.

Read more >>>

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Press Conference Call: "Making A Killing" Private Prison Industry

For Immediate Release
Contact: Megan Lubin, 253-906-5608
May 3, 2011

** Press Conference Call TOMORROW, May 4th at 1:00pm EST**
**Call-in: 800-894-5910; Passcode: PRISON**

REPORT: “Making A Killing”

A new report exposes how the private prison industry thrives in a pay-to-play culture; making our communities less safe and more prone to violent crime

WASHINGTON — This Wednesday, May 4, 2011, as correctional officers from around the country arrive in Washington for National Correctional Officers week, corrections leaders Ken Kopczynski and Glen Middleton will join Marty Hathaway, a corrections officer from Iowa, for a press conference call to release a new report on the corporate campaign to privatize America’s prisons.

Each election cycle, America’s largest private prison companies pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaigns of governors, state legislators, and judges, in the hopes of advancing their political agenda—establishing more private prisons and reducing the number of public ones. The report, “Making A Killing: How Prison Corporations Are Profiting From Campaign Contributions and Putting Taxpayers at Risk”—tracks the flow of money from the companies to the people in power, and details some of the worst cases of violence and death in the nation’s least safe facilities.

“Making A Killing” will be released at 1pm EST tomorrow by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

WHAT: Press Conference Call to release a new report, “Making A Killing: How Prison Corporations Are Profiting From Campaign Contributions and Putting Taxpayers at Risk”

WHO: Ken Kopczynski, Executive Director of Private Corrections Working Group
Glen Middleton, Chair, AFSCME Corrections United
Marty Hathaway, Correctional Officer at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville

WHEN: Wednesday, May 4th, 2011, at 1 PM EST

HOW: Call-in: 800-894-5910, Passcode: PRISON.

Please RSVP to Megan Lubin at

Honoring Our Corrections Officers

AFSCME corrections officers in Wisconsin join thousands of workers at the state Capitol in February to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting bill.

Read more >>>

Video: Memphis Comes to Washington

Posted May 02, 2011 by Amy Hendrick

The 1,300 sanitation workers who participated in the historic 1968 strike in Memphis, Tennessee — members of AFSCME Local 1733 — were enshrined into the U.S. Department of Labor's "Labor Hall of Fame" on April 29, 2011. Eight of the original strikers attended the induction ceremony before a full house in the Grand Hall of the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. and connected their struggle to the attacks that continue to be waged against workers today.

Inductees included Local 1733 members Ben Jones, Baxter Leach, Herbert Parson, Cleophus Smith, Alvin Turner, Ozell Ueal, Russell Walton, and Joe Warren.

Special Elections Update

Three vacant GOP seats, AD60, AD83 & AD94, generally strong GOP leaning districts conducted special elections today and the GOP easily cruised to victories in AD60 & AD83 with 76 and 75 percent of the votes, respectively.

However, in the AD94, the GOP seat previously held by Michael Huebsch who has since been appointed by Gov. Walker to serve as Secretary of Administration, was flipped to the Democrats with La Crosse County Board Chairman, Steve Doyle winning the special election with 54% of the votes. This victory makes no significant change to the GOP control of the Assembly, but it does now place a person into the assembly who believes in restoring collective bargaining.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Public Employee Recognition Week

This week is Public Employee Recognition week, as well as Correctional Employee Recognition week. We don’t know who established these observations, but certainly Scott Walker is taking advantage of them. By now, most of you have either received a memo from your Department Secretaries, or seen the self-serving, aggrandizing, patronizing video sent out today by the Governor. We are incredulous that this governor is two-faced enough to try and pretend he is concerned about state employees and what they do. If he was really committed to pubic service, he would not be assaulting your rights every day; and he would not be constantly attacking the unions that represent these public employees.

We are here to tell you that the only entity and the only people concerned about you as a state employee and/or correctional employee is your union. And we live this commitment every day in an honest, open, sincere fashion – not for political mileage.

If you have a chance this week to send the governor a message, please be extremely candid about how you feel and the way he is treating you as a public employee when he classifies you as a “have” and continues to lie to the world that you are somehow getting rich off the taxpayers.

Finally, a most sincere THANK YOU for all that you do as a public employee from your friends at AFSCME – the folks who do have a clue what you do every day for the citizens of this great state.

Source: AFSCME Council 24 UIN

AFSCME Statement on the Death of Osama Bin Laden

Monday, May 2, 2011
Contact: Gregory King, 202-429-1145

AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee issued the following statement on the death of Osama Bin Laden:

“AFSCME members welcome President Obama’s announcement that on his orders Osama Bin Laden has been killed. Our members were on the frontlines on September 11, 2001. We’ve always been on the frontlines.

“We continue to mourn our brothers and sisters who lost their lives on that fateful day, members such as Father Mychal Judge, a chaplain to the fire department who was the first identified victim at the World Trade Center, and Carlos Lillo and Ricardo Quinn, emergency medical technicians who were members of AFSCME District Council 37, Local 2507. Our brothers and sisters from CSEA lost five members from the Department of Taxation and Finance who worked in the twin towers: Yvette Anderson, Florence Cohen, Harry Goody, Marian Hrycak and Dorothy Temple. These eight workers were engaged in the unselfish and professional work of public servants. They were taken from us too soon.

“In the years since 2001, AFSCME members and many of our family members have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to secure freedom and save lives. At the same time, scores of emergency medical technicians, paramedics and emergency workers, who were exposed to a toxic mix of dust and fumes on September 11, have developed a wide range of medical problems, including lung cancer and respiratory diseases. Many of these valiant rescuers have died.

“At this historic moment when a vicious murderer has been found and justice has been done, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families of our members who served and died, and those who continue to suffer and sacrifice. We mourn those we lost and celebrate those who showed such courage and commitment during those terrible days nearly a decade ago. They were heroes. We will never forget them.”

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AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, childcare providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.