Walker reinstates merit pay for some state workers

CREATED Apr. 20, 2012

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  • Governor Scott Walker shares a laugh at the old Oconomowoc middle school Wednesday, April 18, 2012 following an announcement about this years WHEDA tax credit financing. The school will be converted to 55 apartments following this years haunted house. Image by Todd Ponath

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has quietly reinstated a program to give merit raises and bonuses to some state workers even as he preaches cost-cutting and pushed through a bill eliminating most public employees' collective bargaining rights.
  
An analysis of data obtained by The Associated Press shows Wisconsin agencies have handed out more than $765,000 in bonuses and merit raises this year to 218 employees. The money was distributed under a program suspended by former Gov. Jim Doyle but reinstated by Walker last year.
  
The raises come as the state faces a $143 million shortfall and after the collective bargaining law required thousands of workers to contribute more to their pensions and health care.
  
Walker faces a June recall election prompted by anger over the collective bargaining law.