The future of state employee union contracts remains uncertain, but workers from around the state gathered at the Capitol Tuesday morning to call for lawmakers to vote on the agreements.
Democrats in the Legislature hope to meet before the end of the year to approve contracts dating back to July of 2009, which will expire next July.
Paul Walton, a state power plant operator from Janesville, says they’ve been living under those agreements in principle for the past two years, and lawmakers need to finish the job.
Walton was among several union members at the Capitol Tuesday, who called on lawmakers to ratify the contracts.
Susan Bahn Monthey (monty), a recreation therapist from Portage, says the contracts are fair and state employees have made many concessions. She says the deals include no wage increases and require them to contribute more to their benefits. Monthey also points to the 16 unpaid furlough days most state employees have taken, which amounts to a wage cut.
Jose Bucio (boo-see-oh) with the state AFL-CIO says lawmakers just need to do their jobs and finish contracts for public sector employees that are long overdue. He says workers have been on the job without a contract in place in good faith, and the deals need to be finalized.
Assembly Democrats are pushing for a vote on the contracts, with members meeting Tuesday to schedule an extraordinary session of the Legislature. However, Senate Democrats have yet to indicate whether they are also willing to also hold a vote.