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Saturday, August 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Fog/Mist
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In regards to Judith Davidoff's article "What's Left to Give?" (10/28/11) on the impact of state employees' ability to continue their level of donations to United Way of Dane County following cuts to our take-home pay, I may have given the wrong impression that my union, the Wisconsin Professional Employees Union, is encouraging its members to donate to United Way outside the workplace. That is not the case. What I meant to relay is that if our members decide on their own not to donate through the workplace as a protest of the state forbidding dues deductions, I certainly encourage them to continue to donate on their own to United Way as much as their reduced budget allows. Indeed, our union has renewed its direct donation of $500 to United Way for this year despite a dramatic decrease in our revenues.

Steve Mahoney, Executive council at-large member, Wisconsin Professional Employees Council

If true, it's unfortunate that a state employees union would discourage its members from contributing to their charitable workplace campaign to protest the new state prohibition on payroll deductions of union dues.

The Partners in Giving campaign in Dane County and its counterparts elsewhere in Wisconsin raise more than $3 million annually from state and university employees for hundreds of charities.

These campaigns are endorsed by, yet independent of, state government. They are conducted by countless volunteers, of which I am one. Many are union members.

Payroll deduction is a popular way to give because it is convenient and spreads contributions throughout the year. Urging employees to give directly to charities instead may seem reasonable, but realistically it discourages many from giving at all.

Tom Sinclair, Marketing chair, Partners in Giving Campaign

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