Capitol Chaos: Teachers Furious
SOUTH MILWAUKEE - South Milwaukee teacher Guy Costello could barely focus on tonight’s budget meeting. He was too upset about the state senate’s vote to severely restrict collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin.
“It makes perfectly clear what this fight has been about, said teacher Guy Costello. We’ve been saying for weeks this has nothing to do with the budget. This has nothing to do with the deficit. This is just about taking away the rights of public employees and working families.”
These are tough times in South Milwaukee. This public forum was called because the Budget Repair Bill is forcing them to consider cutting programs like swimming and orchestra. Administrators are looking at a $1.4 million structural deficit for the coming school year. It’s the reason the teacher was moved to tears when the bill passed tonight.
“I’ve worked every single day and gone to Madison in the evenings and on the weekends,” said Rachel Swick. “So it feels like a fight that happened for three weeks and just got snatched away from us.”
But this former school board member says he’s happy the Budget Repair Bill made it through the Senate tonight.
“It is the collective bargaining rules and work rules that hamper school boards, actually more than salary compensation. It’s the work rules that cost a lot of money,” said South Milwaukee Resident Thomas Arend.
And even as person after person took to the microphone, to argue why programs here in South Milwaukee should be saved, many people here say the real fight, continues to be in Madison.
“Our resolve is stronger than ever and we will stop this,” said Costello.