Madison – Today State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) announced that he has introduced legislation to treat City of Milwaukee police and firefighter unions under ‘Act 10’ the same as other public employee unions in Milwaukee.
“Act 10 all but eliminated public employee unions’ role in collectively bargaining working conditions, salaries and benefits such as health care. However, Act 10 exempted public safety unions, such as police and firefighters unions. My bill, known as the “Act 10 Equity Act” will fix this inequity,” said Carpenter.
The “Act 10 Equity Act” will only apply to the City of Milwaukee.
“In a recent survey in my district, 70% of respondents stated that public safety unions should be treated the same as other public employee unions under Act 10,” said Carpenter.
“In explaining the need for Act 10, Governor Scott Walker liked to say it was a ‘tool’ in local government’s ‘toolbox’ to manage their budgets.However, 58.8% of Milwaukee’s budgetary costs are related to police and fire wages, health care and pensions.The exemption of police and fire unions under Act 10 did not give Milwaukee the needed ‘tools in the toolbox’ to manage its tight budget,” Said Carpenter.
“I support collective bargaining for all public unions. I have introduced a constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining for all workers.However, until all collective bargaining rights are restored, giving specific unions superior status under the law violates a sense of fair play and equality under state law. The fact that Milwaukee’s police and fire unions strongly supported the election Governor Walker gives their exemption from Act 10’s restrictions a pretty foul odor of political payback.It’s time to clear the air of that odor,” said Carpenter.