Governor Vetoes Attacks on Collective Bargaining, Job Training
A group of WEAC members and staff stand behind Governor Doyle as he
vetoes three bills that would have harmed public education. They are
(left to right) WEAC Executive Director Michael A. Butera; WEAC government
relations program specialist Michael Walsh; Elaine Hoffer from the Middleton
Education Staff Association; Marge Rivard from the Appleton Education
Assistants Association; WEAC Secretary-Treasurer Mary Bell; Leigh Barker,
executive director of the United Technical College Council; WEAC negotiations
specialist Greg Spring; WEAC legislative coordinator Bob Burke; WEAC
government relations program specialist Diane Craney; and WEAC President
Governor Jim Doyle Monday (April 12, 2004) vetoed three bills that would
have harmed public education.
The bills were:
- AB 598, which would have allowed municipal employers, including
school districts, to privatize services without input from employees.
- SB 384 and SB 451, which would have taken funds away from the Wisconsin
Development Fund and allowed Wisconsin Technical College System districts
to issue revenue bonds to provide services and facilities to businesses
for another program, the Wisconsin Advantage Jobs Training Program.
WEAC President Stan Johnson said all three measures amounted to "a
blatant partisan move to insult public employees" and applauded
Doyle for vetoing them.
"AB 598 was a direct attack on public employees and their right
to provide input on decisions that affect their working lives and great
schools," Johnson said. "Making subcontracting services a
permissive rather than mandatory - subject of bargaining ignored
the fact that the best way to keep a professional, well-trained school
staff prepared to help children reach their full potential is to include
staff in decision-making. Collective bargaining has proven to be the
best way for staff to share expertise in creating great schools for
Johnson said AB 598 was apparently based on two misconceptions: that
collective bargaining is bad and privatization is good.
"Through collective bargaining, workers have won decent wages
and benefits that translate into strong communities," he said.
"Subcontracting has not proven to save taxpayers money; these proposed
changes in collective bargaining would only drive the best and brightest
away from the education profession and harm our great schools
"Subcontracting undermines the job security of long-term employees,
allows employers to undercut negotiated pay and benefits, damages the
collective bargaining process by allowing employers to replace workers
whom they don't want to pay, and abdicates the employer's responsibility
to screen and directly supervise the employees who work with our children,"
Doyle said he vetoed AB 598 because it is meanspirited and "undermines
the stability of labor relations and threatens the great quality of
life we enjoy here in Wisconsin."
Johnson said SB 384 and SB 451 offered the false promise of real job
training opportunities to workers. "This amounted to a shell game,"
Johnson said. "It makes no sense to take funds from one program
and put them in another."
Doyle said SB 384 and SB 451 fall "far short of what is needed"
to invest in job training.
"Instead of providing new resources for job training, they simply
shift money from one pot to another, and pit job training against other
worthy economic development programs. We need to get serious about investing
in our workforce. So I am sending these bills back to the Legislature
and asking them to send me the legislation I asked for."
Posted April 14, 2004