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Legislature to consider pay raises for some unionized state workers

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - About 2,400 unionized state employees may get closer Tuesday to receiving long-awaited pay raises.  

Both houses of the Legislature are scheduled to act on new one-year contracts for members of five smaller unions. If Governor Scott Walker signs them, the employees would get one percent pay hikes retroactive to June 30th.  

The bargaining units include professional education and legal employees, patient care workers, building craft trade employees, and statistical and research personnel. Many larger unions decided not to seek negotiations under Act 10, which limits bargaining to pay raises at or below inflation.

Non-union state workers were given one percent pay hikes in July, and some unions had complained that the state was not acting quickly enough on the union packages.  

Also Tuesday, the Assembly is scheduled to vote on requiring 12 person juries for all criminal cases -- both felonies and misdemeanors.

The State Supreme Court ruled over 15 years ago that the state Constitution requires 12 member juries for all criminal cases -- and six person juries for misdemeanors were unconstitutional.  

The new bill mandates 12 member juries unless all parties involved in a case, and the presiding judge, agree to reduce the numbers.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)