County approves labor contractsWith less than two weeks until Gov. Scott Walker’s union-stripping Budget Repair Bill is enacted, Douglas County reached agreements with seven of its collective bargaining units.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
With less than two weeks until Gov. Scott Walker’s union-stripping Budget Repair Bill is enacted, Douglas County reached agreements with seven of its collective bargaining units.
Thursday night, the Douglas County Board approved the new one-year contracts to replace agreements that expired Dec. 31.
Under the terms of the new agreements, county workers have agreed to have their wages frozen and pay more of their benefit costs to give the county the flexibility it needs to manage changes coming out of Madison. Douglas County employees will pay 5.8 percent of their retirement costs when the Budget Repair Bill collective bargaining provisions are enacted and 12 percent of their health insurance costs starting in July under the new agreements.
“When we were presented with the proposed legislation in Madison, we sat down with all nine collective bargaining units and we made a commitment to all nine that we would continue to sit at the table and work with them to develop agreements that would embody the county’s long history of treating employees,” said County Administrator Andy Lisak.
Agreements were reached with all six of the counties AFSCME units, which affects emergency communications center employees, social workers, registered nurses, buildings and grounds, and forestry workers, child support employees and courthouse and government center workers. The county also reached an agreement with the Teamsters, which represents the highway department.
The remaining collective bargaining units in the county are exempt from the provisions of the Budget Repair Bill because they affect law enforcement in the county.
Lisak said those agreements are headed for mediation.