by Clyde Weiss | August 28, 2015
A majority of Milwaukee County employees now have a 1.5 percent cost-of-living wage, thanks to the persistence of Wisconsin AFSCME Council 32.
It took months of one-on-one with county supervisors, but the efforts succeeded when the County Board voted overwhelmingly for the increase in July. They actually had to vote twice, the second time overriding a veto from County Exec. Chris Abele.
Then it took a flood of phone calls from AFSCME members and a legal opinion to spur the executive into finally factoring in the new wage rate. But now the raise is on its way to county workers, retroactive to June 21.
AFSCME Council 32 members demonstrated they deserved a raise, after seeing their standard of living erode through years of wage freezes and increases in benefit co-pays. Fourteen supervisors accepted their arguments that the county’s economic vitality depends on investing in quality public services and the workers who provide those services.
“We appreciate all the county supervisors who stood with us,” said Paul Spink, AFSCME Council 32 president. “Their leadership stands in stark contrast to a county executive who only wants to starve vital services that citizens depend on every day.”
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