SICKOUT

Huge Protests Planned in Madison

Add Madison, Wisconsin, to the list of places hit with protests this week. Huge demonstrations were planned for Thursday after protesters marched for three straight days—with crowds up to 20,000 hitting the capital Wednesday—to rail against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget. While the budget calls for a 7 percent pay reduction for public employees—mainly by forcing workers to pay more into to health insurance and pensions—the biggest bone of contention for workers is the governor’s proposed end to collective bargaining rights for unions. School districts were forced to close Thursday after a massive “sickout” by teachers and the union called on all 98,000 of its members to attend rallies at the capital. Hundreds of University of Wisconsin students also joined in Wednesday, in support of teachers and against a part of the budget that calls to split UW-Madison from the rest of the University of Wisconsin system.