UPDATE: Walker's plan gives state workers no raises - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Walker's plan gives state workers no raises

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MADISON (AP) -

Wisconsin state workers will not receive salary increases during the next two years under the first pay plan put forward by Gov. Scott Walker's administration under a law that no longer requires the state to negotiate wages with unions.

Terms of the agreement were outlined in a letter from the Office of State Employment Relations delivered to legislative leaders Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press.

State workers have not had a raise since 2009. Additionally, starting this year under the same law that took away their collective bargaining rights they were required to pay more for their health insurance and pension costs.

Marty Beil, executive director of the 23,000-member Wisconsin State Employees Union, said he wasn't surprised that the plan included no raises for each of the next two years.

"We were of the mindset that it was a given they were going to come up with zero and zero," Beil said.

Beil had not seen the entire pay plan, but based on highlights included in the letter sent to legislative leaders, he expressed concern that many of the protections for workers negotiated and put into union contracts over the past 50 years were being removed.

He said there was no mention of the layoff process, how seniority would be treated, what the grievance procedure would be, how work hours would be scheduled or the procedure for transferring. Beil said the union's attorney was going to carefully review the entire plan to see if a lawsuit is warranted.

"There's a lot of unknowns here," Beil said.

Lawmakers on the Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Employment Relations, were briefed on the deal Tuesday morning. One committee member, Republican Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, offered no comments other than to say he wanted to review the plan and "see what we can move forward on."

A spokesman for Walker's administration declined to comment before an afternoon news conference.

A spokesman for the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin, which represents 17,000 workers, declined to comment before having a chance to review the entire pay plan, not just the summary letter.

The plan covers all state workers who previously would have had their pay plans, benefits and other terms of work negotiated by their respective unions. The new law, proposed by Walker and passed by the Republican controlled Legislature in March, doesn't allow negotiating with unions over anything except pay increases no greater than the rate of inflation.

The measure passed despite protests that grew as large as 100,000 people earlier this year and the decision by all 14 state Senate Democrats to flee to Illinois in a vain attempt to block a vote. Lawmakers' actions on the bill also prompted nine state senator recall elections this summer that ousted two Republicans.

Democrats plan to target Walker and other Republican incumbents for recall in 2012.

In addition to no pay increases over the next two years, the plan released Tuesday also removes separate state agencies' ability to give merit raises and places it instead with the Office of State Employment Relations.

Beil called that a power grab and said Walker was a "control freak."

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The first pay plan for Wisconsin public workers since passage of a law that didn't require Gov. Scott Walker's administration to collectively bargain with employees includes no pay raises for the next two years.

An outline of the deal in a letter sent from Walker's administration to lawmakers was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The plan covers all state workers who previously would have had their pay plans, benefits and other terms of work negotiated by their respective unions.

In addition to no pay increases over the next two years, the plan also removes the ability of separate state agencies to give merit raises and places it with the Office of State Employment Relations.

The plan is subject to approval by a Republican-controlled legislative committee.

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