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Representative hopes bill will help cities, unions work together

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Catherine W. Idzerda
September 30, 2011
— If cities and municipal unions want to work together, the law should make it easier for them to do so, says one state lawmaker.

On Thursday, State Rep. Evan Wynn, R-Whitewater, introduced legislation to make it easier for municipal unions to reopen their contracts without being penalized by Act 10, the law that stripped state employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.


"The bill is very similar to the provision that was included in the budget that allowed school districts to reopen contracts without any consequences," Wynn said in a news release. "It allows local unions that are willing to give some concession for the good of local budgets to renegotiate some parts of the contract with the employer."


Earlier this year, Rep. Joe Knilans, R-Janesville, introduced the provision that Wynn refers to. The amendment to the budget, which passed, allows districts and unions to reopen a contract to modify compensation and fringe benefits only.


Knilans said he put together the amendment at the urging of school district officials and board members in Janesville.


Wynn said Milton City Administrator Jerry Schuetz approached him about the issues. He added that other towns and municipalities are interested in the legislation, as well.


Wynn said he hopes the bill will make it through the Legislature by the end of October so governmental units may use the bill during their current round of budgeting.


Wynn said he hopes that the bill will gain bipartisan support.


Wynn represents the 43rd Assembly District, which includes Whitewater, Milton, Edgerton and most of western Rock County.



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