Local Teachers Outraged Over Gov. Walker's Budget Proposal

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Local teachers are expressing outrage to Governor Scott Walker's proposal to change state union rights.

Gov. Walker says the state is broke and has no money to negotiate, so he's taking away bargaining rights and reducing benefits which will cost the average state worker thousands of dollars a year.

Area teachers say education is being unfairly targeted, and fear the cuts will mean less quality teachers and education.

"We feel like we're a target and we feel like there are better ways of doing this and we just wanna know why we are the target," said Shelley Miller, a second grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Wausau.

Cathy Ordemann, a teacher at Merrill High School says the proposal is a full on attack, which will negatively affect her community.

"If you put a cap on all those individuals that work there that's 212 teachers alone... that's gonna have a trickle down effect on the private businesses because if the money's not available, they money can't be spent," she said.

Along with taking away bargaining rights, the governor's proposal would put a cap on salary increases.

Ordemann and Miller fear educators will quit, quality teachers will be even harder to find, and students will be the ones losing in the end.

They say it the proposal passes, they'll be forced to pay $5,000 to $6,000 more a year in benefits.

The bill is expected to be voted on Thursday.

Governor Walker said Friday at a news conference that his budget proposal should not come as a surprise to anyone, and that it was part of his campaign promise.

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