After waiting for two years, thousands of state employees have a new contract. With a few strokes of his pen, Governor Jim Doyle ratified the 2003 through 2005 labor contracts for the Wisconsin State Employees Union.
The agreement ends nearly two and a half years of negotiation began between the state and the union. It won't give state employees a pay raise for the last two years, but they won't have to repay the state for health insurance premiums.
However, the governor says employees can expect better things in the future. Mister Doyle says, “I want all state employees to know that I recognize their sacrifice, now that the state's financial outlook is improving, it is only fitting that state employees share in that progress."
The agreement also gives employees more annual leave and a $100 signing bonus. Doyle hopes that the current agreement will help negotiations for the next two year contract.