Raises, bargaining agreements get the OK, but not $15 an hour

By: - December 20, 2019 6:08 pm

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

An Assembly committee this week voted to approve six collective bargaining agreements for three Wisconsin government entities with the only union that still negotiates wages with the state. 

Meeting on Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Employee Relations also approved 2% raises in the state’s compensation package for non-union employees that were recommended earlier this fall by the Department of Administration under Gov. Tony Evers.

But the Republican-dominated committee rewrote the administration’s recommendation in order to cancel a $15 minimum hourly wage for all state employees.

The compensation plan and the bargaining agreements passed the committee unanimously, according to The Wheeler Report

The bargaining agreements are all with the Building Trades joint bargaining committee. It is the only union that continues to negotiate wages with the state since the passage in 2011 of Act 10, which stripped most collective bargaining rights for most government workers. The agreements are with the state, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW System.

The 2018-19 agreements with those three units have been languishing for nearly a year after they were to take effect. The three 2019-20 agreements are to take effect in January.

All of the agreements, as well as the nonunion compensation plan, must still be approved by the legislature and signed by Evers before they can actually be implemented.

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Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.