The Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that union contracts covering about 39,000 workers, which had been extended for nearly two years, are set to expire Sunday March 13. Included among the nearly 20 expiring agreements are contracts covering non-building trades workers, administrative and technical support staff, security and public safety, and professional social services workers represented by the Wisconsin State Employees Union (WSEU). Various provisions of the recently passed anti-union legislation will be phased soon and in over the next few months, such as the termination of dues deduction, greater deductions from paychecks for pensions, and higher health insurance premiums.
Currently, recall efforts targeting Republican state senators are underway, with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee spearheading and raising funds for the effort. Eight Republicans in all are eligible for recall, though six are likely targets. Should three lose recall votes and Democrats replace them, the balance of power in the state senate will dramatically shift.
Not to be overlooked, with the eventuality of legal challenges to the terms of the anti-union bill and how it passed the senate, it is essential to note that there is an election on April 5, less than a month away, for a seat on the state supreme court. The election is between Republican David Prosser and Democrat JoAnn Kloppenberg. Expect this to be a hotly contested, well attended, and expensive election for the seat, since currently four Republicans and three Democrats comprise the state supreme court.