NEWS STORIES

City Council Members Vote to Lower Union Wage Rate Submitted: 04/08/2013

Shardaa Gray
Reporter/Anchor
sgray@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Most city council meetings are fairly quiet.

But what brought Rhinelander residents out tonight was a battle that's become a common one in Wisconsin.

"Equal pay for equal work,"

That's what Union workers wanted to maintain at tonight's city council meeting in Rhinelander.

"We are going to be advocating that this is not how we entered this agreement in good faith," AFSCME staff representative, John Spiegelhoff said.

"Therefore we're advocating for the city to not go through with this ordinance change and to vote it down."

The city is looking for ways to save money.

One way is to lower the wage rate on new department of public works hires by four dollars an hour.

"Before you make the move to reduce four dollars an hour from the wages of people who do the type of work that are covered in the contract which is a tremendous cut in pay," said Rhinelander resident, Dennis O'Brien.

"It really would be fare and prudent at your part to review this more carefully."

A union rep says doing so won't just affect the department of public works.

"This is going to adversely affect labor relations within the city if it goes through," Spiegelhoff said.

"As well as the businesses that are going to be adversely affected."

But the city says it doesn't have more money to give.

"The words that I heard were we want more not less. There is no more." Rhinelander Alderman, Mark Pelletier said.

"If you look at the tax increase that the city has done in the past few years, there's not much capacity to raise taxes on our residents going forward, said Rhinelander Alderman, Alex Young.

"There just isn't money in the piggy bank to keep going the way we're going."

The council voted unanimously in favor of the decrease.

"All those in favor signify by saying "I" "EYE" votes opposed. Motion carried. Ordinance stands."

Young thinks the new wage rate is still a competitive rate.

This new proposal will not affect the current workers, only the new hires.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

WAUSAU - The exhibition, called Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar opened Saturday.

It's a touring exhibition from the National Guitar Museum.

The executive director of that museum led a gallery walk Saturday.

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - One person got hurt in a snowmobile crash this morning.

The crash happened near highway 70 in St. Germain.

Officers say a 19-year-old Beaver Dam woman went off the trail and hit a tree.

The woman had to be airlifted to Wausau hospital.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The ski clinic was held this morning. It only cost $10.

The class was sponsored by Mel's Trading Post and the School District of Rhinelander Community Education Program

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Some local students could win state and national awards by taking a math exam.

Students at Northland Pines High School will take the Trig-Star Exam in March.

The exam tests students on trigonometry they've learned in high school.

Students need to be able to apply that knowledge to real life situations as if they're a land surveyor.

"Land surveying in itself is a basis for a lot of things in our country," says Vilas County Land Information/Mapping Department GIS Technician Tony Jones. "It's a chance to work outside, it's a chance to work with your hands, it's also a professional level position. You get to work with mathematics, and architecture, and history, and law."

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Anglers from across the country came to Rhinelander Friday to compete at the USA Ice Team open trials. Yes, ice fishing has a national team.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Students in Wausau will be able to go to school online next school year.

The Wausau School District is working on a virtual school program. The program, named Wausau Area Virtual Education, is for sixth through 12th graders.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Electricity costs a lot of money, especially when you're not used to paying for it.

The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry moved into a new location in October. In the old building, the pantry didn't have to pay for utilities. Now they do.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here