Local Government Leaders Urge Lawmakers Not To Take Away Collective Bargaining
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/24/2011) - About 300 elected officials from county, town, village and city governments, as well as school board supervisors and mayors throughout Wisconsin have issued an open letter to Governor Scott Walker and Republican legislators. The open letter says the officials respectfully urge the governor, senators and assembly representatives to reconsider and delete the proposal in the Budget Repair Bill to severely restrict the collective bargaining process between local governmental bodies and their employees.
The officials tell Gov. Walker and Lawmakers that the elimination of Collective Bargaining is inconsistent with the Wisconsin tradition of local control over local community issues. In addition, it does not help achieve the prime goal of providing cost-effective, quality public services for Wisconsin's people.
The open letter says, "Public employees have offered to accept your proposed health care and pension concessions to balance the budget if you will respect and preserve the collective bargaining process so basic to maintaining a strong middle class."
The 300 elected people who have included their names on the document encourage the governor and legislators to accept the compromise offered by labor leaders.
"By doing so, all of the state and local budget savings in your proposed budget adjustment bill will be realized and Wisconsin's historic commitment to the right of working people to organize and negotiate for fair wages and decent working conditions will be honored," the open letter reads.
The 300 say "Skilled public employees and proactive public sector unions are vital for stable, cost-effective operations in municipalities, counties, school districts and state programs".
"Effectively doing away with local collective bargaining is not something we have asked for nor support as a "tool" to solve our budget challenges. It is not in the best interests of Wisconsin communities," the letter reads.
"We recognize the significant fiscal challenges facing state and local governments in the coming budget biennium. The leadership challenge we share as state and local leaders is how to work together to protect the public structures that are the foundation for strong local communities and fundamental to the continued prosperity, stability, and economic strength of our state."
"We ask the governor, as the state's chief executive, to work within the existing collective bargaining framework and to convene a collaborative partnership of state leaders, local officials and public sector workers to move forward and work together in the best interest of our state's future", say Goverment Leaders from throughout Wisconsin in the open letter to Governor Scott Walker and State Senators and Assembly Representatives.
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