MADISON, Wis. (WCCO) — More than 24,500 students had classes canceled in Madison, Wis. Wednesday and about 40 percent of teachers, assistants, and social workers in the city called in sick, according to a report from CNN.
The news network reports that more than 10,000 employees and supporters rallied in opposition to legislation supported by Gov. Scott Walker.
Walker is asking legislators to pass his “Budget Repair Bill” to help fight a $137 million shortfall through June 30. The legislation would require collective bargaining units to conduct annual votes to maintain certification.
Unions would lose the right to have dues deducted from worker paychecks and collective bargaining can only cover wages.
CBS reporter Dustin Weis said today is the fourth straight day of protest in the capitol and the 48th straight hour protestors have occupied the state rotunda.
With so many people at the state capitol Weis said that the Wisconsin National Guard has been briefed about the situation.
“If they are needed to be called up in the role to fill for prison guards in the event of a much broader worker strike than we have seen already,” Weis explained, “Now today the state’s larger teacher union is calling on all 96,000 of its members to get to the state capitol if they can.”
In a press briefing Wednesday, Walker brought up campaign literature that the unions had distributed about him saying that this isn’t something that should come as a surprise to people.
Weis said that Walker was pretty vague about how he would deal with unions.
“He never outlined directly the fact that he would want to take away their ability to negotiate with the state over hours, conditions they work in, or over their benefits and pensions.”
Not only are the protests affecting teachers, but students and parents as well.
“Most of the parents are pretty upset with the fact that their kids for the second day in a row now don’t have any school’s to go to,” Weis explained. “They are left scrambling to find some kind of daycare or just to stay home with their kids.”
WCCO’s Dave Lee Interviews CBS Reporter Dustin Weis