Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Walk-O-Meter

Change mediation/arbitration rules for teacher unions to consider "local economic factors"


Will change mediation/arbitration rules. "Mediation and arbitration changes will also be needed to ensure that local economic factors are considered."


Subjects: Education

Updates

Collective bargaining changes did this much and more

In his 2010 campaign for governor, Scott Walker emphasized holding down local school costs and creating efficiencies in local government.

One proposal from Walker was on mediation-arbitration, the process used to settle labor disputes over wages, benefits and working conditions when unions and management could not agree on a contract.

Echoing a common complaint by local officials, Walker said he wanted to ensure that "local economic factors” and other "common sense” factors were considered when arbitrators selected from among the final offers by teachers" unions and school boards.

In other words, does the school district have the ability to pay?

Most arbitration hearings are decided on which offer is most comparable to settlements in other districts.

Once elected, Walker rendered the arbitration system moot for all but police, fire and transit workers in government jobs. His overhaul of the collective bargaining system eliminated the arbitration system for most workers, at the same time it eliminated benefits as a subject of bargaining and greatly limited bargaining on wages.

Walker's stated intent in making his promise was to give local districts financial control and lower costs.

His controversial limits on collective bargaining accomplished that on a grander scale than he promised when discussing mediation and arbitration.

He took a far more dramatic and sweeping route to get there: He didn't just change the arbitration rules, he wiped them out for teachers.

This goes down as a Promise Kept.

Sources:

Scott Walker education plan, 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,"Walker signs budget bill, legal challenges mount,” March 11, 2011

Interview with James Scott, chairman, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, Feb. 1, 2012

Interview with Peter Davis, general counsel, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, Feb. 1, 2012