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Bargaining over health benefits narrowed

Published On: May 21 2013 02:16:54 PM CDT
Updated On: May 21 2013 02:17:53 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

Public safety workers could collectively bargain over their health insurance premiums but not other costs of their plan under action taken by the Legislature's budget committee.

The Joint Finance Committee voted Tuesday to make the restriction for police, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers. They retained their collective bargaining rights two years ago while all other public workers saw them taken away.

Republicans who control the committee said the change is consistent with the intent of the Legislature two years ago and with an April state appeals court ruling.

The Milwaukee Police Association argued the law allowed for bargaining over out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and co-payments.

An appeals court said it did not, and the committee's action would make that explicit in the law.

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