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UW asks for rules clarification on rehiring retired staff

University of Wisconsin System
University of Wisconsin System

MADISON (WSAU) A U-W spokesman says state lawmakers should clarify the rules for rehiring university personnel who retire -- and not just highlight one or two cases where questions were brought up. David Giroux made the comment yesterday, after Assembly Colleges Committee chairman Steve Nass called on U-W Green Bay to fire its chancellor and a special assistant.

Nass said Chancellor Tom Harden and assistant Dan Spielmann should be let go, after the state invalidated Vice Chancellor Tom Maki's pension payments once he returned to his old job 30 days after he retired in March. Maki was under fire for drawing both his pension and his six-figure salary. He was among thousands who walked out the door, fearing that Governor Scott Walker would slash retirement benefits. Maki returned to a short-term position a month after leaving. Earlier reports said it was pre-arranged -- which would be against state law.

Giroux says an Assembly committee will hold a hearing Thursday on two bills that would limit and clarify policies for retirees who return. He says there are 6,000 state employees who retired and were then rehired. The U-W has about 12-percent of those. And Giroux says lawmakers need to deal with all of them, not just Maki.

Harden said last week the university plans to appeal the state's cut-off of Maki's pension payments. The school was also ordered to pay his required pension contributions since he returned.