Legislative committee votes down 17% raise for unionized state t - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Legislative committee votes down 17% raise for unionized state troopers

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER) voted 5-2 against a 17 percent pay raise the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA) negotiated for its state troopers with the Walker administration last year.

That means roughly 360 Wisconsin State Patrol officers will continue to work at the same pay level they were last approved for in June 2009. 

The WLEA negotiated the raise with the Office of State Employment Relations last year and has been waiting on approval from JCOER ever since.

But Republicans on the JCOER said the state simply cannot afford that much of an increase right now.

"You heard me say three percent.  I'm gonna say three percent again," said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.  "It's just - we have to do incrementally, maybe more frequently, but this kind of lift I just don't see happening right now."

WLEA Vice-President Glen Jones told the committee that a number of troopers will take jobs with other law enforcement agencies if the raise didn't get approved and indicated to 27 News that Sen. Fitzgerald's suggestion was a non-starter.

"I'm not sure where the three percent number comes from.  I can tell you right now that in the meetings I've had with our rank and file membership, three percent is not a number they will accept," said Jones.

The denial comes just weeks after the Walker administration approved a $4 per hour raise for the ten state troopers who make up the Governor's Dignitary Protection Unit.  OSER used a special "pilot program" provision to award those raises, allowing them to bypass the JCOER completely.
But the committee did approve one percent raises for about 700 other state employees who are represented by the Building and Trades Construction Council and the Wisconsin State Attorneys Association.

27 News originally broke the news in February that the members of all three unions were still waiting on agreements that were approved by the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) last year.
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