The Governor and the Democrats in the Legislature followed the dictates of the State’s teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, by eliminating the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO). The teachers’ unions, not being satisfied with automatic annual increases in their salaries, were able to have the Democratic Governor and the Democratic Legislators change the arbitration statute to guarantee that the unions will win even greater compensation increases than they already receive.
The teachers have argued that the QEO unjustly caps their wages. This is patently false since they receive automatic annual increases in their salaries (Wauwatosa teachers are guaranteed increases that average 3.6% each year). The actual goal of the teachers’ unions was to obtain a guarantee that they would achieve compensation increases beyond what they already receive at whatever level they want to establish. To guarantee that the unions gain the increases they want, the Democratic Governor and the Democrats in the Legislature eliminated consideration of a community’s economic condition as part of the arbitration process exclusively for school district employees. All the teachers’ unions have to do is to propose the compensation increases they want. It doesn’t matter if the School Board rejects their proposal since the State arbitrator will not have to consider whether a community is in the position to pay for the increases.
Wauwatosa taxpayers should not simply cower to the will of the teachers’ unions and the Democrats in State government. Regardless of what our School Board or State arbitrators approve for new compensation increases, we must have the School Board cover increased compensation from within the Districts’ current budget rather than forcing the taxpayers to pay.