MADISON, Wis. (WCCO) — More protests are planned across Wisconsin on Thursday over a proposal that unions call an assault on workers’ rights.
Thousands rallied at the capitol building in Madison Wednesday. They’re against Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip most state workers of their collective bargaining rights. Madison public schools had to call off classes Wednesday after nearly half the teachers called in sick in protest.
The frustration is being felt closer to home. On Wednesday night, Wisconsin state workers took over the Student Center at UW-River Falls.
Shelly Moore, a high school teacher, told a crowd of hundreds they must get Walker to make a different move.
“Go forward, make those phone calls, send those emails,” Moore said. “This literally voids immediately all of our contracts, everything.”
Walker’s bill would mean workers have to cover more of their costs for health insurance and pensions.
A dozen miles away, in Hudson, Wis., teachers picked an interstate overpass to take a stand.
“This obviously is about our right to organize but it’s also about what’s fair,” said Brian Huser, a social studies teacher.
The measure would mean a pay cut of anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for most of them.
Walker has said he has no choice making tough moves to tackle Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion deficit.
When it comes at the cost of workers protections and in the state that started some of them, people are left with concern over their own costs.
Walker still expects that his bill will pass as early as Friday.