Wisconsin currently covers employer and employee pension fund contributions for many state workers. Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker says that costs the state $176 million a year, and it needs to stop.
Walker is pledging to end the practice, if he’s elected Governor. He says state workers should be covering their own portion of contributing to the state’s retirement fund.
Many of those pension contribution agreements are part of union contracts. Walker says those workers need to realize sacrifices must be made, and he’d look at the legal means available to make that happen.
The Milwaukee County Executive points to efforts in his own administration to work with unions to get similar concessions. He says possible layoffs or employee furloughs have proven effective in getting unions to agree to contract changes.
Walker is also pledging to cover his own pension contributions if elected governor, which would amount to about $5,000 out of his annual salary.
Former Congressman Mark Neumann, Walker’s opponent in the Republican primary, says the proposal only addresses one piece of a very large puzzle in shrinking the state’s budget deficit.