About a dozen Whitefish Bay parents and students gathered Tuesday and Wednesday morning outside to protest a bill that would eliminate many collective bargaining rights of public union workers, including teachers.
Craig Johnson and his wife Paige Styler, both Whitefish Bay attorneys with a child in Cumberland Elementary School, organized the mini-rally through emails and phone calls to friends and active community members. Some of the protesters were state employees, Johnson said. He said he did not contact any Whitefish Bay School District employees to take part in the demonstration.
In addition to holding signs that said “Senator Darling Are You Listening” and “Public Employees Serve Our Community,” the group was also handing out literature asking residents to contact State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay).
“Our feeling is that as parents and residents of Whitefish Bay, the quality of schools and municipal services are directly related to how well you treat your employees," Johnson said in an interview. "We expect quality services and schools in Whitefish Bay. To expect that quality you need to recognize that public employees are valued people and ought to have a voice in how they are treated in the workplace.”
The Republican-controlled Legislature could vote on the measure included in Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill as early as Thursday.