MADISON, Wis. – Madison’s police union is reacting to a statement from Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, who suggested she would consider reopening police contracts if parts of her proposed 2020 budget fail to pass.
At a Wisconsin Public Forum event Monday night, Rhodes-Conway spoke about her budget and the struggles she faced while creating it. During the event, she said she likely wouldn’t have made the same deal as the one the previous administration did.
“Certainly going forward, I think we’re going to have to look very carefully at future negotiations, but also possibly at reopening our current contracts,” Rhodes-Conway said.
Kelly Powers, president of the Madison Professional Police Officers Association, said the police union would not be in favor of reopening contract negotiations.
“There’s not going to be a single person in this labor organization who is gong to advocate for this going back to the table,” Powers said.
Powers said the contract the union received came after an 18-month bargaining period because the previous administration had taken so long to make “any sort of tangible offer.” Powers said he believes if Rhodes-Conway reopens negotiations, police morale would take a hit.
“Our membership collectively does not feel much of any support from the mayor,” Powers said. “I think given the history so far, adding the notion that we would be asked to reopen a contract, versus her to try to balance her budget by other means, would be unacceptable.”
Madison’s City Council is set to hold a vote Tuesday to create an ordinance for Rhodes-Conway’s proposed $40 wheel tax.