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AFSCME supports Wisconsin public sector workers

 


AFSCME supports Wisconsin public sector workers

Editor:

Wisconsin public service workers... we hear you, and we support you.

Montana AFSCME Council 9 is part of America's largest union, with 1.6 million members that provide vital services that make Montana and America happy.

With members in hundreds of occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child-care providers to sanitation workers, from officers to attorneys — AFSCME is the voice of the dedicated workers who take care of America and is a leading advocate for all working families.

Currently, there are thousands of state and local public service workers and teachers demonstrating outside the Wisconsin State Capitol to oppose the threatened loss of collective bargaining rights and cuts to retirement and health benefits, The Wisconsin governor's proposals are particularly galling to AFSCME members, since AFSCME was born in Wisconsin in 1932.

Depriving workers of their voice is never a smart way to go, but it's really tone-deaf when Americans are cheering democracy overseas and then seeing it stiffed within their own borders. Montana is no different. In our current legislative session, we are seeing departments slashed, employees asked to do more and threatened with cuts in wages and benefits.

Whatever side of the debate you are on, does rolling back wages to 2005, as House Bill 569 suggests, really make any sense? Or by limiting any increases to employees making $50,000 or less? I empathize with employees who are currently making $50,001, which happens to include attorney members of the Office of Public Defenders, the lowest paid workers in state, county and city sectors.

The negotiated agreement between the working families of Montana and the governor is fair, applies to all state employees, and most importantly is what the employees agreed to. My analogy would be as if you purchased a house in good faith with the seller only to show up at the closing and find out a third party is working your buy-sell without your input.

Forced input is better than none at all. I would encourage our elected representatives and senators to let our state employees know their public service is appreciated and their efforts to secure a fair pay plan, (House Bill 13) be left intact and become reality.

Timm Twardoski, Executive director, AFSCME Montana Council 9

Editor:

Wisconsin public service workers... we hear you, and we support you.

Montana AFSCME Council 9 is part of America's largest union, with 1.6 million members that provide vital services that make Montana and America happy.

With members in hundreds of occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child-care providers to sanitation workers, from officers to attorneys — AFSCME is the voice of the dedicated workers who take care of America and is a leading advocate for all working families.

Currently, there are thousands of state and local public service workers and teachers demonstrating outside the Wisconsin State Capitol to oppose the threatened loss of collective bargaining rights and cuts to retirement and health benefits, The Wisconsin governor's proposals are particularly galling to AFSCME members, since AFSCME was born in Wisconsin in 1932.

Depriving workers of their voice is never a smart way to go, but it's really tone-deaf when Americans are cheering democracy overseas and then seeing it stiffed within their own borders. Montana is no different. In our current legislative session, we are seeing departments slashed, employees asked to do more and threatened with cuts in wages and benefits.

Whatever side of the debate you are on, does rolling back wages to 2005, as House Bill 569 suggests, really make any sense? Or by limiting any increases to employees making $50,000 or less? I empathize with employees who are currently making $50,001, which happens to include attorney members of the Office of Public Defenders, the lowest paid workers in state, county and city sectors.

The negotiated agreement between the working families of Montana and the governor is fair, applies to all state employees, and most importantly is what the employees agreed to. My analogy would be as if you purchased a house in good faith with the seller only to show up at the closing and find out a third party is working your buy-sell without your input.

Forced input is better than none at all. I would encourage our elected representatives and senators to let our state employees know their public service is appreciated and their efforts to secure a fair pay plan, (House Bill 13) be left intact and become reality.

Timm Twardoski, Executive director, AFSCME Montana Council 9

 

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