Walker gains concessions from two unions
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting two unions have come to terms with Milwaukee County:
The first two of Milwaukee County’s eight labor unions have agreed to a set of concessions County Executive Scott Walker and the County Board have been seeking as budget-balancing steps.
The trade-off for the union workers: They won’t have to take 10 furlough days this year and will be free of layoffs through the end of the year.
Unions representing county engineers and machinists – two of the smaller county bargaining units – have agreed to the givebacks. Both deals include a pay freeze for most workers, a 20% cut in pension credit, higher health care costs and raising the retirement age from 60 to 64.
Details of the tentative agreements were released Tuesday. The board’s Personnel Committee reviews the deals Tuesday afternoon and the full County Board is expected to vote on them Thursday.
Kevin O’Brien, president of the 34-member Technicians, Engineers and Architects of Milwaukee County, said the relief from 10 of 22 furlough days and the no-layoff guarantee were key factors in members voting in favor of the agreement. The six-member Machinists and Aerospace Workers union members also ratified a similar deal.
The concessions were included in the 2010 budget passed by the County Board and signed by Walker, but can’t be implemented without agreement from the unions through collective bargaining.
The savings for the county from the two small unions comes to about $67,000. If all unions agreed to the concessions, the savings would total about $10 million.
Well, that’s two unions that put the needs of their membership ahead of trying to score political points against Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.
I wrote about Milwaukee County’s budget issues and the unions, and the silly statements by some claiming the county budget was illegal, for the MacIver Institute.