The head of the union representing state workers says they’re frustrated as they try to open negotiations under Wisconsin’s new law governing public employee unions. It’s been nearly two weeks since the Wisconsin State Employees Union sent a letter to the state Department of Administration and the Office of State Employment Relations, seeking to commence collective bargaining under the terms of Act 10. Governor Scott Walker was asked about the process on Tuesday. “My understanding from OSER is they received that letter,” said Walker. “Greg Gracz, who’s the head of OSER, will be continuing to reach out and meet with them.”
“We have not to date, right up to this very moment, received an acknowledgment from either Secretary Huebsch or Mr. Gracz, that they even received the letter, let alone are intent on following the law,” said AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director Marty Beil on Thursday. “We’ve had one meeting with Mr. Gracz, that lasted nine minutes,” earlier this year, said Beil. “There have been other issues since Walker’s been elected that we’ve attempted to communicate with the administration. They’ve either chosen not to acknowledge our presence or our existence, or they’ve blown us off.”
Beil said the union has followed up with letters to state lawmakers and is consulting with its legal counsel. Gracz’s office at OSER did not return a call seeking comment.