Reductions in public workers' take-home pay by Gov. Scott Walker appear to be having a trickle-down effect on charitable donations.
Partners in Giving, a combined charity of state, UW-Madison and UW Hospital employees, has been collecting money from employees since 1973, to give to 520 charities. Last year, 8,500 employees and retirees donated about $2.8 million. The group hopes to raise the same amount this year.
Laurie Wermter, a reference librarian at the UW, says she gives every year but can't this year because of cuts to her pay and benefits. "With cuts made by Gov. Walker I felt that I couldn't give, and apparently a lot of people are in the same boat."
The campaign ended its solicitation efforts on Nov. 30. At that time, employees had pledged $240,000 less than they had at the same time in 2010, according to Nick Wood, a campaign volunteer.
So far this campaign, workers have pledged a combined $1.7 million, he says, but he adds, "We receive pledge forms well into next year."