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We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

FREEZE in the forecast.

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John Eyster
Saturday, September 19, 2009

FREEZES in the forecast!

Have you noticed that more and more union contract negotiations are resulting in AGREEMENT on a FREEZE of compensation? I have and continue to believe that this is a NEEDED and APPROPRIATE public policy for ALL negotiations with PUBLIC EMPLOYEES – persons paid with tax money. WHY NOT?

The key area in which I am stunned by SILENCE is discussions re. compensation settlements for K-12 public educators.

YOU ALL know about the Mercury Marine FREEZE complemented by other concessions voted – eventually – by Mercury Marine union members in WI.

JANESVILLE AREA READERS are keenly aware of the concessions – touted as the MAJOR part of Wisconsin’s package for General Motors – voted by UAW Local #95. Union workers tried. Janesville still lost its historic GM plant.

NOW, we have the news from Milwaukee, WI “City union members agree to pay freeze” covering 2010 and 2011 combined with no-layoff guarantee. Additionally, the maximum number of furlough days would be four (4). If you want ALL the details, read the article.

WE THE PEOPLE asserted back on July 9 “Freeze needs to include JEA members.” Subsequently, WE THE PEOPLE asked WHY we were NOT hearing the “FREEZE” word in connection with negotiations for K-12 public educator contracts. I was asked at the Milton School District’s Annual Meeting where “freeze” was on the table. I was able to distribute the media report that Marshfield School District had agreed to ADMINISTRATIVE pay freeze. Later, administrators in Stevens Point School District agreed to pay freeze too.

I admit, to date, I am not aware of an OFFICIAL statement of a FREEZE being on the table for K-12 public educator negotiations. Do you know of one?

Yes, Janesville School District has had a school board member express his support for a FREEZE, but that is NOT official word. Each school board member is a citizen elected to serve on a school board. ONLY a school board in official session with legal posting and a quorum can take an OFFICIAL action.

On August 5, WE THE PEOPLE asked, “FREEZE – why are we NOT hearing this word?”

With LABOR DAY, WE THE PEOPLE noted, the concessions of private sector labor along with the announcement that Stevens Point School District administrators had accepted a freeze.

That blog posting added, “Remember: ALL WISCONSIN STATE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES have a 2-year (2009-11) pay freeze along with a 3.065% pay cut with the Governor’s furlough orders.... One ought to also note that ALL WI STATE EMPLOYEES and legislators too have a 2-year pay freeze.”

And added, ”With the 7 year PAY FREEZE for the Mercury Marine union workers, a 1 or 2-year pay freeze does NOT look too bad, does it?!”

So, WHY are we NOT hearing the FREEZE word from local school districts? What is your comment?

Next week is the last FULL (all 7 days) WEEK of September 2009… already! Here we go…

Mr. E.


Last updated: 10:46 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.


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