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WI Employees Union Head Blasts Walker Pension Plan

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MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - The head of the State Employees Union blasted Republican Scott Walker’s proposal to make workers start paying for some of their own pensions.

Marty Beil says state employees have taken less in wages for years, so they could have solid pensions when they retire. And Beil says Walker is basically saying, “We’ve got to violate that trust.” 

Walker – the Republicans’ endorsed candidate for governor – says he would pay for part of his own pension if he’s elected. And in his first state budget next year, he would make others in state government do the same.

But Walker would have to negotiate it with the unions. And Beil says it would be difficult for his 22,000 members to accept it. The state pays both the employer’s and the employee’s share of workers’ pensions.

When Republicans ran the Legislature, they voted in 2005 to make non-union workers pay for part of their own pensions. But Democratic Governor Jim Doyle vetoed it. But Walker says the only way to get state spending under control is to change the way we govern. And he says it would save $180 million a year to make state employees pay their share of pension costs.

Beil’s union has endorsed Democrat Tom Barrett for governor. Barrett calls Walker’s proposal a gimmick.

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