Bargaining Fix Ready for Walker's Signature

Legislation pulling back on the collective bargaining rights of public employees has finally been passed by the assembly in Wisconsin.


The Wisconsin Assembly voted 53-42 to give final passage to a bill curbing collective bargaining for most government workers that was stalled for weeks when Democratic senators left for Illinois to prevent a quorum.


The measure, which exempts police and firemen, limits bargaining to wages, not benefits or working conditions. Unions would be subject to recertification votes every year, requiring 51 percent of members, not just those voting. Automatic withdrawals to pay union dues would be prohibited.


Governor Scott Walker, a 43-year-old first-term Republican, said the measure would generate $30 million in savings this fiscal year and $300 million in the next two years. The bill calls for workers to pay more toward pensions and health insurance. He said he will sign the measure as soon as he is able.