AFSCME Wisconsin Response to Madison Voluntary Time Away Changes


AFSCME Wisconsin Response to City of Madison Voluntary Time Away Changes  

AFSCME Wisconsin, in conjunction with AFSCME Wisconsin Local 6000, applauds the efforts made by the Madison Common Council to ensure that mandatory furloughs are delayed and that a voluntary time away program is implemented as an initial step. City of Madison employees are responsible for ensuring that our communities remain safe, healthy, and thriving amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, as a matter of public safety and interest, employees’ voice must be maintained as a bedrock when arriving at city employee furlough decisions.

AFSCME Wisconsin Staff Representative Neil Rainford stated, “we suspect that some employees will take full advantage of the voluntary time away program, but participation could have been much greater with a clearer promise that employees would not be required to serve twice. We requested that promise, but Mayor Conway-Rhodes refused to assure us that she would support the measure.”

Rainford continued, “we applaud the Council’s efforts to revise the ordinances and to pass a resolution to ensure that any future furloughs are only enacted after a more deliberative process involving employees, along with the approval of duly elected officials in the executive and legislative branches of Madison government.”

AFSCME Local 6000 Vice President Walt Jackson remarked, “after everything that city employees have done to keep our community running during this pandemic and always, we are asking to be heard and be part of a collaborative process. City workers are tired of lip-service and anti-democratic measures. We make this city happen; we demand to be part of the solution.”

For additional information, please see AFSCME Wisconsin’s statement on the proposed mandatory furlough program at

For more information, please contact AFSCME Wisconsin Communications Director

Valerie Landowski ([email protected]) or (715) 347-2740