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Union contract extensions prolong bargaining rights through 2012

Posted on April 11th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in Winnebago County, Wisconsin recently received new contracts and contract extensions from the county board, according to The Northwestern.

The news source notes that, in total, four extensions were approved by the county's Personnel and Finance Committee. The beneficiaries include contract workers from the highway department, human services, courthouse as well as 911 dispatchers.

These contracts are being put in place because of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's objective to withhold the collective bargaining rights of public workers. The law currently awaits a supreme court challenge. 

County executive Mark Harris explains to the media source that the contracts aim to preserve the union's right to bargain with the county through 2012, in exchange for taxpayer savings.

"Taxpayers would come out better than without these extensions," Harris told the news source. "And unions come out ahead because they can continue to exist through 2012."

The original bill was passed in March, despite the fact that many Wisconsin democrats hid out in Illinois to delay the vote. However, Republicans were able to bypass the missing representatives, and advance the bill to Walker's desk, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network. 

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