Chalkboard: Unions offer benefit concessions for bargaining rights

2011-02-18T18:00:00Z 2012-05-22T17:52:49Z Chalkboard: Unions offer benefit concessions for bargaining rightsSUSAN TROLLER | The Capital Times | stroller@madison.com madison.com

Mary Bell, president of the state's largest teachers union, said Friday afternoon her group would concede to Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill on benefits and pay but would not give in on collective bargaining rights.

"It's about compromise. We will meet the governor half way, but we will not be denied our right to collectively bargain," Bell said in a written statement issued Friday afternoon.

According to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, the largest state workers union, also said Friday that his group is willing to give up benefits and pay in exchange for maintaining bargaining rights for public worker unions.

The Wisconsin State Employees Union represents about 23,00 blue-collar state workers. The Wisconsin Education Association Council represents 98,000 teachers in the state. 

Emails and phone calls to Gov. Scott Walker's office for a response to the compromise offer were not immediately returned.

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