Nov 21, 2017

Wage Loss After Wisconsin Unions Weakened

Teachers in Wisconsin have experienced significant changes since the state passed Act 10 in 2011, which greatly impacted collective bargaining rights for public sector unions. As detailed in an article by Lydia DePillis for CNN, a recent report found that Wisconsin teachers have seen lower wages, higher turnover rates, and a sharp drop in benefits.
 
Since Act 10 was passed:
  • The average value of healthcare and pensions paid to Wisconsin's teachers has fallen 21% and median benefits have declined by 18.6%.
  • Median salaries for teachers in the state have fallen by 2.6%.
  • 10.5% of public school teachers in Wisconsin left the profession after the 2010-2011 school year, up from 6.4% the year before. The exit rate remains elevated, at 8.8%.
 
The Supreme Court is preparing to hear a case, Janus vs. AFSCME, which could make paying union due voluntary across the country. As noted by DePillis, "That would cut into the unions' budgets and reduce their power, which could lead to the same weakening of pay and benefits that Wisconsin's teachers have experienced."
 
"NAGE will continue to work against legislation and court cases that are not in the best interest of our members, because our leaders understand that strong unions maintain a strong workforce," said NAGE National President David J. Holway. 

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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