MADISON, Wis. — The Associated Press is reporting that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has softened his insistence that Wisconsin public employees give up nearly all collective bargaining rights.
Tens of thousands of Americans — union and non-union — have been demonstrating against union-busting legislation being considered in Wisconsin, and some $1 million has been contributed from across the country to help derail the legislation and fund a recall campaign against Republican senators supporting it.
The AP says Walker is now offering an olive-branch, saying in e-mails to Democrats that he would accept continuing bargaining over wages, mandatory overtime, performance bonuses and hazardous duty pay; and allow collective bargaining agreements to last up to two years, instead of the one-year limit in his original proposal.
Walker also reportedly is willing that unions would only have to vote to remain in existence every three years, instead of annually, as Walker initially proposed.
The AP also reports that state Democratic Sen. Bob Jauch “hopes” the compromise “would serve as a blueprint for future negotiations,” but Jauch reportedly called Walker’s compromise “still inadequate.”