A state senator wants to protect collective bargaining once and for all.
Righting a wrong, that’s what Democratic Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) says he’s doing by proposing a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee public employees the ability to collectively bargain wages, benefits, hours, and work conditions.
“I think Wisconsin’s gotten sort of a bad reputation going after workers’ rights … so I think this would be good for the long term future of the state of Wisconsin … so it’s not used as a political weapon.”
Governor Scott Walker maintains reducing those negotiation powers would help fix the budget deficit; his plan is currently tied up in the courts.
Carpenter says Wisconsinites should not have to wonder whether their collective bargaining powers would change each time the majority party in state government changes. He says his amendment would trump a governor’s attempts to change or eliminate collective bargaining.
“The constitutional amendment bypasses the governor and it tells all future legislative bodies … a constitutional right is higher than statute or administrative rules.”
Carpenter says a constitutional guarantee would give stability to the political process, the economy, workers and their families. He says stability and certainty is important in order to have a good business climate. Carpenter is seeking co-sponsorship; he’ll formally introduce the bill on Friday, May 13th.
A proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by two consecutive legislatures, and ratification by the people, before it can become effective.