UW-Madison students and staff plan to deliver Valentine's Day cards to Gov. Scott Walker today that read, "We ♥ UW: Don't Break My ♥," as a protest to his budget repair bill that eliminates collective bargaining rights for public workers.
The delivery is set to take place at 12:15 p.m. today at Walker's office in the Capitol.
UW-Madison faculty are not unionized, but teaching assistants and some staff are in collective bargaining units. Walker's bill will also require all UW System employees to contribute more to health insurance and retirement.
On Friday, UW System President Kevin Reilly said he was glad to hear that the bill didn't involve cuts to the university's operating budget or furloughs for employees, but was concerned about what the bill would do to the university's ability to compete for talent.
"What's going to be very tough is we compete in an international market for talent, and our salaries are already low compared to most of our competitors," Reilly said. "So requirements that our employees pay more in benefits is going to make it harder for us to recruit people and harder for us to retain people."