Wisconsin state workers get no raises under Walker pay plan

CREATED Oct. 25, 2011

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin state workers will get no salary increases during the next two years under the first pay plan put forward by Gov. Scott Walker's administration after passage of a law no longer requiring negotiations with unions over the deal.

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

Legislative leaders need to be briefed on the plan before any public comments will be made about it, said Chris Schoenherr, deputy secretary for Walker's Department of Administration. A news conference was planned for Tuesday afternoon.

Marty Beil, executive director of the 23,000-member Wisconsin State Employees Union, had not seen the letter and had no immediate comment.

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 law, proposed by Walker and passed by the Republican controlled Legislature in March, disallows 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 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 in August that ousted two Republicans.

Democrats are planning 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 the ability of separate state agencies to give merit raises and places it instead with the Office of State Employment Relations.

The plan is subject to approval by a Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Employment Relations.