Local police officers and firefighters would no longer be exempt from key restrictions on collective bargaining, under a bill introduced by state Representative Bob Ziegelbauer (I-Manitowoc).
Earlier this year Governor Walker signed a law curtailing collective bargaining for the public sector, a measure which left out police and firefighters. Ziegelbauer calls it “a sense of equity” in applying the same changes to fire and police services as faced by other public workers.
The Independent from Manitowoc says with police-and-fire services making up nearly half of most personnel budgets, his proposal would “go a long way” in solving fiscal challenges faced by local communities.
Mediation and arbitration would remain in place under the bill, with a “little find tuning around the edges.” Contributions to health care and pensions would not be required, but the bill would allow municipalities to mandate them.
Ziegelbauer voted for Governor Walker’s budget repair bill which contained the labor changes. That law is currently tied up in court.