MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - The national head of the AFL CIO was scheduled to speak at a State Capitol rally during the noon hour.
Richard Trumka planned to add his voice to the thousands of opponents who have been protesting this week. They’re against the Republican plan to strip most public employee unions of their bargaining power except for their salaries – and to make them pay more for their pensions and health insurance.
Hundreds camped out at the Capitol overnight, after an estimated 25,000 protestors showed up Thursday. Thousands are back there Friday.
For the first time, supporters of the GOP bill are planning an organized Capitol rally. Tea party members say they’ll demonstrate early Saturday afternoon.
Public schools in Milwaukee shut down for the first day this week, while Madison schools were closed for a third straight day.
Madison Superintendent Dan Nerad called on the teachers to end their protests and get back to class. He e-mailed parents to apologize for, “not being able to provide learning” for the last 3 days. Nerad also said school officials were looking at options to “more quickly move back to normal school days.”
Mike Lipp of the Madison teachers’ union says it will be a “day by day” call.
Madison physical therapist Nan Schaefer says teachers should boycott businesses that gave money to Governor Scott Walker’s election campaign. And Schaefer said protestors should also vote for liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg for the State Supreme Court in April.
Kloppenburg would give the court a liberal majority, and Schaefer said the protestors will need that if Walker’s bill passes.