Faculty, staff ‘appalled’ by bill

Some UW-Whitewater faculty and staff have written a statement about Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. The statement was sent out last Wednesday.

The statement says faculty and staff are “appalled” by Walker’s bill, which would further cut benefits as soon as April. Faculty and staff have already endured furloughs, pay cuts and pay freezes during the 2009-11 biennium budget.

The bill would require state employees to pay 5.8 percent toward their pension and 12 percent of their healthcare benefits. Both are at or below national private sector averages, according to a press release issued by Walker.

Additionally, the legislation would give state and local governments the ability to manage spending by changing some of the requirements of the state’s collective bargaining laws.

According to the Competitive University Workforce Commission published in June 2010, professors in the UW System make 20 percent less than the national average. Associate professors and assistant professors make 17.37 percent and 10.56 percent less than the national average, respectively.

Walker has vowed he will not compromise on the bill, which has caused days of public protesting.

“We must take immediate action to ensure fiscal stability in our state,” Walker said in a press release. “This budget-repair bill will meet the immediate needs of our state and give government the tools to deal with this and future budget crises.”

Wisconsin currently faces a deficit of $137 million for the current fiscal year, which ends July 1.

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