Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Wisconsin Stops Withholding Unions Dues As Of Today

Wisconsin Stops Withholding Unions Dues As Of Today

Guess what?  The Legislative Reference Bureau published the Wisconsin budget repair bill Friday, and as the law provides, the Governor is taking the position the law is in effect.

And he’s stopped withholding union dues as of today, even though there are more court hearings tomorrow.  From JSOnline:

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is no longer collecting dues on behalf of state unions and as of Sunday began charging employees more for health care and their pensions, even though nonpartisan legislative attorneys say the changes are not yet law.

Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Monday administration attorneys have determined the law is now in effect. State workers will receive paychecks April 21 that reflect the changes, he said in a conference call with reporters.

In addition to requiring state, local and school employees to pay more for their benefits, the measure ends most collective bargaining for public workers. The law also bars the state from charging dues to employees and passing them on to unions, as it has done for years.

Critics of Gov. Walker’s move cite an opinion from the Legislative Council, essentially the staff attorneys at the Wisconsin legislature, who opine that the bill has not yet become law. 

As pointed out by Kevin Binversie at Lakeshore Laments, it is quite ironic for opponents of the bill to rely on the opinions of the Legislative Council, since it was the Legislative Council which also opined that the actions of the Republican state Senators in passing the bill complied with Senate Rules.

If the Legislative Council was right that the bill passage complied with Senate Rules, and since legislative Rules trump the Open Meetings Law, then the bill should survive court challenges and there should be no injunction, temporary or otherwise.

Tomorrow will be interesting, as Judge Sumi grapples with the mess created by a precipitous Temporary Restraining Order.

With the law now in effect and paychecks getting an increase since union dues are not being withheld, Democrats are the party arguing for a reduction in state worker paychecks.

Update 3-29-2011– I’ll be posting updates on the court proceedings in Wisconsin throughout the day.

Update: Wisconsin Judge Expands TRO, Prohibits Implementation of Budget Bill

——————————————-
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
Visit the Legal Insurrection Shop on CafePress!
Bookmark and Share

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Tags:
,

Comments

Will the paychecks actually be higher? Are the union dues higher than the new contributions that the teachers have to make towards their benefits?

@Ber – all we've heard non-stop is that the unions already agreed to the financial give-backs, so there was no need for the collective bargaining part of the bill. So the paychecks will be higher than they otherwise would be if the collective bargaining issue had not been raised.

Can Judge Summi 'unring' this bell and order the implementation halted until further notice, either by her or the WI Supremes?

The question of more importance is just how many Union members will cut a check for their Union dues and forward to the proper Union office.

My guess is less than 20%. That figure might be a bit high.

Now Chuck, I shall have to disagree with you. I'm bettin' that the first 2 or 3 pay periods roughly 80% will pay up. Then it'll drop to about 60%, where it will likely stay until summer kicks into high gear. I'll bet by next fall the average will be between 35% to 40% will pay regularly.

That wasn't my point. I'm totally on your side here.
The last sentence of your post is all about what it looks like based on the actual money the teachers are getting.
Because the number on the check will actually probably go down because of those new payments that they have to make, the governor will always be looked at as the bad guy. Regardless of what the unions would have agreed to.

Real American | March 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm

hopefully, the bigger paychecks will make some of these public employees change their tune on Walker.

Alternate title: Union Members Get More Take-home Pay As Of Today

Bigger paychecks? You commenters haven't got a clue about Walker's bill; do you read the links? No, the paychecks for state employees will be a LOT smaller by an average of 8 percent because of Walker's bill that greatly increases workers' take-home pay reductions for health insurance and pensions (even though Wisconsin's public employee pension fund is in great shape, no need to do this — unless the plan is to grab that fund, as a previous governor did, and then the state lost that court case, too, and had to pay back the fund plus interest).

And the average 8 percent hit in take-home pay is in addition to the 3 percent-plus hit in take-home pay that all state employees took for the last two years in the fake "furloughs" (but many were ordered not to miss any days).

That's a total of at least 11 percent in take-home pay cuts for workers for the largest employer in the state: the state. So the hit to the economy with so much less spending money by so many workers in the state will be big.

And by the way, many state workers are not in unions, so the 1 percent or less back in union dues to some will not make a difference at all for other state workers. Overall, after two years of pay cuts and after three or five (depending upon the group) years of no raises, most state workers will be taking home less than they did ten years ago. The hit to the businesses that depend upon them as customers will be big — mainly in Madison, but state workers are much more highly educated than most workers in the state, so they also often were the better-paid workers in many smaller cities and towns (doctors, nurses, teachers, etc.).

To paraphrase Milwaukeean:

It's the end of the World! Eleventy!!!

Listen to me, fella. I would gladly give up the percentages you state if it meant the extortio … sorry, union dues were no longer confiscated from my check. Union dues that go towards candidates and causes I didn't support.

Gladly. And twice on Sunday.

milwaukeean, are you a product of a public school math education, just parroting the union bosses talking points or are you purposely being misleading?

The increase in health insurance premium is 8% of the COST of the health insurance. You're going to pay more of the PREMIUM than you did before. Get it?

If your premium is $2000 a month then you will pay $160 more per month than you are now. Not 8% of your PAY, 8% more of the PREMIUM.

If your union dues are $1200 per year then your monthly income will only show (using my figures for the example) a $60 hit. Not so devastating is it? Of course I'd be thinking about 'renegotiating' that union dues payment if I were you.

And it surely is better to see none of your sister and brother members being laid off, isn't it?

Most folks in this current economy haven't seen a pay raise in over 3 years. Myself, who has been underemployed for 4 years haven't seen a raise in 6 years and MY income has dropped. During that time the average State worker has seen SOME increase in their pay AND NO decrease. Seems like a good deal to me.

With the law now in effect and paychecks getting an increase since union dues are not being withheld, Democrats are the party arguing for a reduction in state worker paychecks.

Ah!…I love having irony for breakfast.

Even if "paychecks for state employees will be a LOT smaller," not bigger, that will make the union dues bite seem even bigger.

Milwaukeean: I don't understand. It's zero sum. If the teachers aren't spending the money, the taxpayers whose taxes won't need to be raised will be. But your teachers who'll be spending less as the taxpayers spend more will at least not be out of a job. Again, for the businesses that depend on them — these businesses depend on taxpayers too. Yes, even RICH taxpayers. Geez you probably hate being forced to see the need for THAT consistency in your argument. 😉

I'm still hung up on milwaukeean's assertion that the biggest employer in the state is the state and that the state workers are also the best compensated.

Where does all that magic money come from again?

"but state workers are much more highly educated than most workers in the state"

OMG. Yeah. I see that every time I visit the state bureaucracies. Staffed full of geniuses, they are.

"take-home pay cuts for workers for the largest employer in the state…"

The state is the largest employer? Well, that surely says something right there. Terrible.

Here's a thought… if you don't like it, quit. Take all that incredible brain potential out into the world of actually having to work and produce. I am sure that the private sector will be enthusiastically supportive to finally get back all those incredibly bright DMV workers.

I see the state as rebounding amazingly fast.

I'm going to quit beating this dead horse and I certainly don't want to hijack the comments, but here is something for anyone coming here to bemoan the plight of the poor teachers.

Compared to what the average private sector worker has gone through since the financial meltdown in September 2008, the teachers in Wisconsin have not got it so bad. They are being asked to sacrifice far less then many families across the country. They still have retirement, they pay less in benefits, and make above the average wage of the standard American household. Yet they expect people to sympathize.

I am not a Democrat or a Republican, but I am a taxpayer and a complete outsider. I have to say as an outsider the events that took place in Madison reflected very poorly on public unions in general and teachers specifically. I'm not sure how anyone involved thinks that people outside their cause are actually going to care. Most of us have been through far worse or know someone who has. Many people in this country wish they had it so "bad".

Denying dues checkoff is about the most disastrous thing for a union. It puts the shop steward in the untenable positon of threating to fire union members if they don't pay their dues (in a union shop). He becomes the antagonist.

Not only that, but shop stewards aren't usually the best record keepers, they've never had to. The company keeps the records, the shop steward handles grievences. And disputes inevitably arise as to who has paid, revesing the role of the shop steward.

In the illegal subway strike in NYC several years ago, the city penalized the union by denying dues checkoff. It was a far better solution than trying to sue the union. First, most unions don't have a pile of cash on hand and second the union will negotiate the penalty away in the next contract. Rest assured it happens that way. But dues checkoff has real sting and the penalty has almost no negatives to management from a PR point of view.

Hey Milwaukeean, cry me a river. I'm an insurance broker, and I used to have health insurance as the heart of my agency. Then your petulant God-child Bambi came in and in the name of the people f***ed the industry, now I make less than half of what I was making 4 months ago. Less. Than. HALF*! So spare me your classless whining about having to pay 8% of the cost of your health insurance (probably not 2k/month Jakee, the national average is more like you $1100/month) you excretable twit.

* After calculations are done, a bottom line figure is reached, then I'm paid a percentage. It used to be 23.5%. Now it's 10%.

Jason is right on the money. I earn a great salary, but learning about the real retirement benefits of teachers, I am questioning why I didn't go into teaching. What a great deal! Isolated from any economic cycles…constantly increasing salaries (step increases when wages aren't increased), tenure, the ability to indoctrinate young minds with your world view…

"My guess is less than 20%. That figure might be a bit high."

"I'll bet by next fall the average will be between 35% to 40% will pay regularly."

Seems like the simple way to estimate this, other than pure quesswork, is to take the level of unionization in right to work states as the likely bottom.

"As pointed out by Kevin Binversie at Lakeshore Laments, it is quite ironic for opponents of the bill to rely on the opinions of the Legislative Council, since it was the Legislative Council which also opined that the actions of the Republican state Senators in passing the bill complied with Senate Rules."

Isn't it equally ironic for Walker's supporters to listen to the LC when they agree with them (the bill passes the 24 hour rule) and to ignore them when they don't (publishing in LRB does not implement the law)?

The mote in everyone else's eye, huh?

Hey, Tlaloc:
To quote a well-known "Constitutional Scholar":

"We won."

First, this affects state workers, not teachers. Teachers have contracts with local districts. Most local districts, unsure of what will replace collective bargaining, extended their current contracts with teachers for another year to sort this stuff out. Teachers in most cases agreed to wage and benefit concessions. In my district we have a wage freeze as well as an additional 2.5% payment for health-care (the employee paid 10%, now it's 12.5) and an additional 3.5% of salary payment for WRS benefits. For me, it's about a $260 a month loss in net income. I'm frugal. I'll make it.

BTW, according to the BLS employment data release for February, average hourly wages have increased over the past year at 1.7%. Just saying.

@jakee308: I have to disagree with your assertion that this "milwaukeean" is a product of public school math education. I would bet you dinner that this "milwaukeean" person TEACHES math in the public school. Probably has tenure, too.

Other than that, good post.

I recently spoke to the wife of a Police officer that is a Supervisor. The Sup's, according to her, are getting all the negatives and none of the positives. The Sup's are not in the union, she said. But, they get the same deal that unions get. They have no union dues collected; so they will not see the pension and HC costs offset. However, she did recognize the shared pain in the economic downturn. Plus, she recognized my point in that police should have been paid their worth in the first place. And not have pension and HC promises that municipalities can't keep. It was nice to talk frankly with someone honest about these issues.

In other news, most school districts see a net plus in money with the Walker Bill. So, don't swallow the school class size changes whole. Look for yourself.

http://content.clearchannel.com/cc-common/mlib/3627/03/3627_1300303985.pdf

"To quote a well-known "Constitutional Scholar":
"We won." "

Are you really sure about that? Looking at the end result I have a hard time seeing this as a win for you. The polls show a sea shift away from the right in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida. Aren't those states you;d rather liked not to have lost in so short a time?

The whole affair has energized the left and made the right appear to be, shall we say flexible in terms of their commitment to both contracts and the rule of law.

And finally the chances of the law standing up to legal challenges looks to be shakey and it seems pretty likely that Wisconsin voters will elect dems who will rescind it anyway. The political cost to the WI GOP would seem to be rather discouraging to any other state GOP thinking about trying it.

So what exactly did you win?

The whole affair has energized the left and made the right appear to be, shall we say flexible in terms of their commitment to both contracts and the rule of law.

And finally the chances of the law standing up to legal challenges looks to be shakey and it seems pretty likely that Wisconsin voters will elect dems who will rescind it anyway. The political cost to the WI GOP would seem to be rather discouraging to any other state GOP thinking about trying it.

Concern Troll much?

Rush talked about this post today. And mentioned your blog. Again.

I'm in awe, but not surprised, at how fast this blog rose.

To many of the commentators who misstate the math and the impact on state (repeat, state) workers, you can go to the state OSER site or many other state agency sites to use the calculator that shows that the impact on state employee checks of the increases — plus the still-in-place pay cuts ("furloughs"); I stand by the math.

To Scott who thinks that the taxpayers, including state employees, will have more money to spend, see the updated stories on Walker's biennial budget proposal: It is an increase over the previous budget, so no savings for taxpayers there. And see also the stories of the impact of his budget on municipal gov'ts and school districts: increased taxes, if they wish to retain services, schools, etc.

And re the state being the largest single employer in the state, that's so in many states. Have you checked yours?

"And see also the stories of the impact of his budget on municipal gov'ts and school districts: increased taxes, if they wish to retain services, schools, etc."

Take Madison for example. Under the Walker plan the benefit Savings = $3,294,161 Possible spending cuts needed? No.

Madison, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Green Bay, etc. Huge pluses in savings.

Contrast that with news from 2006 in Kenosha.

"About 40 teachers in the Kenosha Unified School District will be laid off this year, after the district’s teachers chose to keep their health insurance with WEA Trust, the insurance provider of the teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC)."

http://www.biztimes.com/news/2006/6/9/kenosha-teachers-stick-with-weac-insurance-so-district-cuts-jobs-2

If you like workers keeping their job, picking the Walker plan seems a no brainer. It's "odd" that some in the pro-union crowd don't care.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend