The MATC Board and its faculty union agreed to a new one-year contract this week, set to take effect in 2014, when their existing three-year pact expires.
What makes the deal noteworthy is the fact it happened months earlier than usual and while courts consider challenges to Act 10. That relatively new state law prohibits most public unions from negotiating for anything except limited pay increases.
Workers at the Caterpillar factory in South Milwaukee are closely watching a labor dispute at the company plant in Illinois. Caterpillar employees in Joliet have been on strike for three months. The company is seeking steep wage and pension concessions, and the union representing nearly 800 workers refuses to accept the demands. WUWM’s Erin Toner reports on speculation that the outcome of the dispute could be a bellwether for labor relations across the country.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO held a pro labor rally in Milwaukee on Wednesday. The event was part of a statewide tour that will end in Madison on Saturday, to mark the one-year anniversary of Governor Walker restricting collective bargaining rights for public workers.
As WUWM’s Bob Bach reports, Wisconsin is at the forefront of retracting public union gains that opponents insist went too far, while the state was once a leader in creating worker protections.