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Collective Bargaining Changes go into Effect Wednesday


MADISON, Wis. (WHBL) - An estimated 175-thousand state, local and school employees will be without contracts starting on Wednesday. That’s the day Wisconsin’s new limits on public union bargaining take effect. About half the state’s teachers’ unions will feel the immediate impact, along with around four-thousand local government employees and at least 22,000 state workers. Deputy administration secretary Cynthia Archer says local public employees without contracts will start paying more for their pensions and health insurance with their first paychecks after Wednesday. State employees will start getting their reductions in their August 25th checks. But it couys it will be at ld be a few months before other parts of the union law start being felt. Archer says the state will keep following the work conditions in the current contracts until officials come up with something else. Archer says it will be until at least October before the state’s new compensation plan will be ready. State Employees’ Union chief Marty Beil says officials don’t want voters to see, quote, “Neanderthal kinds of changes” before this summer’s state Senate recall elections. But Archer denies that politics are slowing things down. Governor’s spokesman Cullen Werwie says the changes will be good for both labor-and-management, because the best workers will be rewarded. Walker has also said employees will save money by not being required to pay union dues. But the state’s larger unions are working on voluntary dues payments to remain as strong as they can. And government union representative Ed Sadlowski says the removal of negotiated salaries-and-working conditions will make a lot of decisions by management appear arbitrary.