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Employees have lost a lot

May 9, 2012
The Daily News

EDITOR:When Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill passed, (otherwise known as the Union Busting Bill), there were shouts of glee from some people.

Others of us have had all of our collectively bargained rights taken away. Here is an example of a right that has been stripped away that probably does not come to mind.

An employee of the Florence County School District has a sister that has been diagnosed with cancer. The degree of cancer would be determined by tests and of course a surgery in which part or all of the cancer would be removed, or the patient closed up and an alternate course of medical treatment discussed.

This same sister has been the care giver to a spouse who also requires medical care for a different illness. Now both will be needing care.

The employee of Florence County Schools asked to use sick leave or Family Medical Leave to be with the sister and family during the surgery or help with medical needs during the recovery time.

One to three days was requested.

The employee of Florence County Schools was denied the right to be with the family for the following reasons. The new handbook does not allow time to care for a brother or sister. FMLA does not allow for time off to care for brother or sister. Unpaid leave was difficult if at all possible. The accumulated sick leave would not be made available to the employee to care for a brother or sister.

It appears obvious that the budget repair bill was not about saving the state money, as this has already been proven a falsehood.

The budget repair bill was about stripping the rights of workers to a heartless degree. State employees have lost a lot more than salary. We have lost the ability to be care givers or offer support for our own family.

I have lost the ability to care for my sister.

Jennifer Kellstrom

Florence County Teacher

Spread Eagle, Wis.



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