Wis. contract bill political payback? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wis. contract bill political payback?

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MADISON (AP) -- Everyone who works for the state or local governments would lose their right to negotiate everything from vacations to sick leave under Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill -- except for local police, firefighters and state troopers.

Walker's bill would strip state and local government employees, including teachers, custodians and game wardens, of their ability to collectively bargain everything except their wages. But the measure carves out a special exemption for local police officers, firefighters and the State Patrol.

Critics say the move amounts to political payback for unions that support Walker and could create a schism between government workers. Walker counters that the state has had a long tradition of protecting local safety services.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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