Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

City Council Members Vote to Lower Union Wage Rate Submitted: 04/08/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

City Council Members Vote to  Lower Union Wage Rate
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

MEDFORD - The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Virginia Tech University, and Sandy Hook School in Connecticut all stir memories of deep fear and sorrow.

Mass shootings can happen anywhere, at any time.

In rural areas like northern Wisconsin, county courthouses could be prime targets. Taylor County trained for that possibility this week with an active-shooter simulation.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander woman may see a 10-year-old bucket list wish come true.

On Monday the Rhinelander Parks Committee supported having a dog park at Shepard Park in Rhinelander. 

For 10 years Tina Werres has been advocating to get support for a dog park in Rhinelander.

The decision is now left to the Rhinelander City Council, which is scheduled to vote on June 12.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins takes pride in his department's connection to the community. 

And many members of the community clearly feel the same way.

Augie's Collectibles owner Richard "Augie" Augustine donated eight ballistic helmets and a shield to the Tomahawk Police Department.

+ Read More

Play Video

- A Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies to socialize and discuss personal issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

However, outside of the campus, there is no supportive group in the Northwoods. Now, the Rainbow Hodags Club is helping to get a community LGBT group started. Club member Don Schindhelm says he wishes a club like this existed years ago.

"I really felt like I didn't know anyone else who was gay or lesbian. It was frowned upon, so I suppressed it for most of my life. That's why I struggled with it for so many years," said Schindhelm.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - In 2006, more than 40,000 pets died in fires due to smoke inhalation. 

That number has gone down, in large part thanks to oxygen masks designed for animals. 

The Minocqua Fire Department got its own set of pet oxygen masks Tuesday, courtesy of Invisible Fence of Northern Wisconsin.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods. Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most people stop by Rhinelander's chamber of commerce to get their picture taken with the giant hodag out front. Visitors to the chamber can also stock up on Rhinelander trinkets and gear.

Now, the chamber has decided to downsize its store in order to let someone else set up shop. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here