March 3, 2011 | Madison - Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz is the first to admit he wanted a quick Common Council vote on Feb. 17 to approve collective bargaining agreements with 12 unions in advance of possible legislative approval of Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill.
E-mails obtained by Citizens for Responsible Government between staff for Cieslewicz and Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) indicate an effort to slow the timing of the publication of the bill had it passed.
In one e-mail from Janet Piraino, Cieslewicz's chief of staff, Piraino writes: "As you may have heard, Madison will convene a special council meeting on Thursday to extend collective bargaining agreements so that all our unions are on the same footing, with a contract through 2O12. We are racing against the clock so that our extensions will go into effect before the bill becomes law. To make matters worse, if the state law goes into effect first, the amendments to the agreements will make them null and void under the provisions of the new law. lf that happens, all our employees will be subject to the benefit cuts immediately, instead of at the end of the current contract."
Cieslewicz said Thursday that, since the bill didn't pass, the matter is a moot point. But he said he doesn't regret making the effort to approve the contracts.