Skip to main content

Over at Uppity Wisconsin we are dumbfounded that we seem to be the only media outlet in the state that is covering this story - From our fine blogger Jud Lounsbury, full story and an audio interview from Wisconsin progressive host  Sly In The Morning on the topic available here.

Under Act 10, public workers can't negotiate health care benefits, work conditions, or really anything.  The one thing they can "negotiate" is whether or not their wages will be adjusted for inflation.

But, now we find that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) General Counsel Peter Davis has confirmed that a new rule recently approved by Governor Walker, together with Act 10, will prohibit school districts and other governmental bodies from including most so-called "add-ons" in the pay scales of new contracts.  While years-of-experience add-ons largely will be preserved, additional education, advanced degrees and most other add-ons will be prohibited from being put in the contract.

This will hit all public sector workers hard, but will teachers the hardest.

Davis agreed and said that a commonly used "guesstimate" for the effect of the changes was that about 30% of the wages actually paid to teachers would not be counted as part of the total wages.

Davis says that it is possible, however, for school districts to volunteer to give teachers bonuses for their additional education.  This hypothetical make-up pay, to bring wages back up to their current level, would have to occur outside of a union contract. But, even this scenario is implausible considering that the budget will be worse this year than last year and the vast majority of school districts will not have any money left for bonuses after the contracts have been signed.

As an example of how this will play out, below is the pay scale for the Monticello School District's teachers.  Previously, the maximum a teacher could earn in the district was $52,927-- which is what someone who has a Masters degree, 24 hours of college credit and 12 years of experience is paid.  Under the new rule, the maximum a teacher will be able to earn  in future contracts is $38,167, which is the maximum for a teacher that has the minimum educational requirements, but many years of experience.

While it is true that the Act 10 era will prohibit the inclusion of all add-ons in future contracts-- including years of experience and additional education--  everyone had reasonably presumed that the starting point for salaries in their first post-act 10 contracts... would be the actual salaries they had been earning, and that the Walker administration wouldn't retroactively go back and eliminate previously earned salary components.

We all thought this, of course, because Walker himself has been emphatically downplaying his "reforms" as being "modest" and "only" effecting the "reasonable" cuts in the income public workers earn through their health care and other benefits.

Nobody in their wildest nightmare thought Act 10 was going to be this devastating to teachers and other public workers.

NOTE:  This article was written based on direct confirmation from WERC General Counsel Peter Davis, who is top staffer at the agency that developed this rule.  The Journal-Sentinel first reported on the issue a few days ago, but focused exclusively on cost of living increases no longer being allowed for education add-ons, (which is true), but missed the much larger story presented here.

Originally posted to uppitywis on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 04:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Your Government at Work, Badger State Progressive, and Democracy Addicts.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Grassroots Mom, northsylvania, RF, teacherken, grumbleberries, tikkun, NYmom, Dave the Wave, Sprinkles, michael in chicago, Eman, bramish, jdld, rightiswrong, figdish, WI Deadhead, 22state, Creosote, kissfan, cinnamon68, concernedamerican, litho, wonkydonkey, bluesteel, Xapulin, mkfarkus, mrblifil, roses, limae, jalbert, oceanview, corncam, fumie, Iberian, Cedwyn, antirove, suzq, RLF, kharma, Cream City, Nag, sockpuppet, pat bunny, NYFM, lcrp, One bite at a time, outragedinSF, lonespark, jcrit, Gowrie Gal, historys mysteries, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, Treg, Auntie Neo Kawn, NoMoreLies, boji, Ckntfld, blueyedace2, qofdisks, Alice Venturi, eru, majcmb1, SaraBeth, Burned, skyounkin, Ice Blue, CompaniaHill, kazoo of the north, spunhard, sillia, Eileen B, Unduna, martini, cybersaur, ruleoflaw, arlene, blueoasis, erratic, JVolvo, middleagedhousewife, llbear, onionjim, Statusquomustgo, Tom Anderson, Little, Quicklund, Aaa T Tudeattack, DBunn, ammasdarling, FlamingoGrrl, pgm 01, Loudoun County Dem, ColoTim, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, bnasley, Back In Blue, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, janatallow, 123man, also mom of 5, Sixty Something, Youffraita, elwior, Buckeye Nut Schell, Lujane, jorogo, petulans, kallen808, luckylizard, lissablack, Bule Betawi, Dirtandiron, bobatkinson, Dopeman, Nebraskablue, marzook, COwoman, Shelley99, sfarkash, Edge PA, Larsstephens, commonmass, Laurilei, GreenDog, eb23, Giles Goat Boy, Puddytat, cai, ban48, morninmist, Maverick80229, Oh Mary Oh, slice, translatorpro, Barbara Marquardt, redlum jak, slowbutsure, ardyess, Sand Hill Crane, marleycat, badscience, KVoimakas, seattlebarb, nogo postal, worldlotus, Sark Svemes, whoknu, poliwrangler, Frameshift, StateOfGrace, Vatexia, Mentatmark, No one gets out alive, Azazello, sow hat, vacilando, Historyguy53716, molecularlevel, Citizenpower, Trevin, joanil, barkingcat, a2nite, Deep Texan, FloridaSNMOM, Trotskyrepublican, JGibson, congenitalefty, Forward is D not R, Arahahex, Olkate, MartyM, BRog, Margd, Victim of Circumstance, GAladybug, astroguy, George3, Robynhood too, CalBearMom, GeoffT, Sue B, isewquilts2, ForestLake, Panacea Paola, semiAdult, idbecrazyif, Setsuna Mudo, weck, rosarugosa, bwtsang, bob152, Mike Kahlow

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site