Fight continues for worker’s rightsThe fight for public worker’s rights to bargain is not over yet, despite the governor’s signature on the budget repair bill.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The fight for public worker’s rights to bargain is not over yet, despite the governor’s signature on the budget repair bill.
After an estimated 85,000 people marched on the Capitol and another 2,000 protested in Washburn over the weekend, nearly 200 headed to the University of Wisconsin-Superior to say thanks to one of 14 Democratic senators who waged the battle from the land of Lincoln.
Sen. Bob Jauch of Poplar was greeted with cheers, applause and chants of thanks Sunday on the steps of Old Main.
“Thank God the senate left and gave us the time we needed,” said Rep. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland. “They did what they had to do; they are heroes. They gave us in the Assembly time to expose that bill. They gave you the chance to realize what was happening in your own state, to gather together and get yourself organized.”
After meeting in conference committee Thursday, Senate Republicans approved a conference committee report on the budget repair bill.
The bill was passed legislation with less than two hours notice, even though the Senate hadn’t previously voted on the bill, according to Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, in a complaint made to the district attorney of Dane County accusing the Senate Republicans of open meeting violations. Barca said he was the only Democrat in the meeting and he wasn’t notified of the meeting until 4:20 p.m.
“This all began a month ago,” Jauch said Sunday. “It was a very painful weekend when teachers were calling each other with so much fear about what was going to happen in the workplace. They felt so insecure.”
Then, he said, they found their voice and showed up in the hundreds to testify before the Joint Committee on Finance.
“They kept coming until 10:30 in the evening,” Jauch said. “Then at 10:30 in the evening, the co-chairman of finance, a Republican, said … we’re going to no longer take testimony from the people of Wisconsin.
“… They adjourned the hearing because they were tired of democracy.”
However, Jauch said the fight isn’t over.
Friday, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi considers an injunction filed by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Supervisor Scott McDonnell on behalf of Dane County to put the brakes on the bill signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on Friday.
Secretary of State Douglas La Follette said he would not publish the law until March 25 to allow time for legal challenges to move through the courts.
“Never, never, never in the course of history in this wonderful country has there been a fight for rights that has been lost,” Jauch said. “Let me say that again. In every fight for rights in this country, it has been won.”