Oppose Budget Repair bill!

NASW WI’s Legislative Social Policy Committee urges you to call your State Senator and State Representative immediately and ask them to vote no on Governor Walker’s budget repair bill.  A vote is expected on this bill as early as Thursday.  To find your legislator, go to  www.legis.state.wi.us  and click on Who Represents Me?

NASW – WI opposes Governor Walker’s Budget repair bill’s collective bargaining and medical assistance provisions.  NASW- WI does not question that cuts need to be made, however, there is no reason to cut workers' rights, collective bargaining, and especially no need to give Governor Walker unlimited power to change Medicaid programs whenever and however he chooses.

Under this bill, Governor Walker’s Department of Health Services could, and would, rewrite the Medicaid program and have the rewrite only be reviewed by the Legislature’s budget committee. The Department of Health Services would be able to change services for children, parents and childless adults, prescription drug plans for seniors, nursing home care for the elderly, and long-term care for the elderly and disabled outside of nursing homes. Ultimately the administration could change services for any recipient of Badger Care Plus, Badger Care Core plans, Family Care, and Senior Care without public input or legislative action. Social workers need to fight for improving health services and service systems and work aggressively for the right to enroll all eligible citizens into preventive care benefits as well as diagnostic and treatment services.  

The budget repair bill includes numerous provisions that seriously limit the ability of unions to operate on behalf of state workers including provisions eliminating collective bargaining except for limited pay increases, and provisions affecting union dues.  As a result of this bill, state unions could no longer engage in collective bargaining about just cause protection from discipline/discharge, hours and shifts worked, other benefits like tuition reimbursement, life insurance, vacation and personal leave days, and computer policies, to name a few.

Many social workers are part of state unions.   Like other social workers, they often encounter very difficult working conditions and lower pay compared to other professions.   We believe it is essential that social work state employees, along with other state employees retain their ability to engage in collective bargaining to improve their working conditions, which ultimately affects their ability to provide quality services to their clients. 

Please contact your State Senator and Representative and tell them to vote against the budget repair bill.  

There is a list of suggested starter points from the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO which can be found at:  http://www.wisaflcio.org/index.cfm?action=article&articleID=e853549c-2ec7-40b6-954c-c6b096b09e72