By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A contract that would give most Wisconsin state troopers a 2% pay increase and include a much larger bump for starting salaries was at risk Tuesday after it wasn’t included on a list of raises to be voted on by a Republican-controlled special legislative committee.
The Joint Committee on Employment Relations is scheduled to meet Wednesday to approve 2% pay raises in each of the next two years for state employees and workers at the University of Wisconsin System and on the Madison campus. But the troopers’ contract, which would include retroactive pay increases of 2% for 2018 and 2019, was not included on the agenda released Tuesday.
Republican senators were concerned about the double-digit percentage increase in pay for starting salaries and wanted more time to review it, said Angela Roidt, spokeswoman for Republican Senate President Roger Roth. Roidt said she didn’t know if the contract would be voted on at a later date.
Roth and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos co-chair the committee. Vos did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment.
The troopers deal would raise starting salaries from about $44,000 a year to nearly $54,000. That is an increase of about 23%. It’s designed to bring troopers in line with other law enforcement agencies. Police officers in Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, La Crosse, Green Bay and various other agencies all have higher starting salaries.
The troopers deal was to cover 2017-2019. They did not have an agreement between 2015 and 2017.
Gov. Tony Evers has also asked the special committee to approve a $15 minimum starting wage for state workers. Evers first asked for the $15 minimum wage in his budget proposal that Republicans rejected. He renewed the call when submitting the pay plan to the special committee for approval, but Republicans who control the panel are expected to reject it again.