- Who We Are
- Where We Stand
- Our Rights
- Our Benefits
- Our Chapters
- ADAPT Community Network
- Administrative Education Officers and Analysts
- Adult Education
- Block Institute
- Education Officers & Education Analysts
- Family Child Care Providers
- Federation of Nurses
- Hearing Education Services
- Hearing Officers (per Session)
- Occupational / Physical Therapists
- Retired Teachers
- School Counselors
- School Nurses
- School Secretaries
- Social Workers & Psychologists
- Speech Improvement
- Supervisors of Nurses & Therapists
- Teachers Assigned
- Charter School Chapters
- Other DOE Chapters
- Other Non-DOE Chapters
- Get Involved
- Career Timeline
- CTLE / LearnUFT
- Classroom Resources
- Courses / Workshops
- English Language Learners
- Job Opportunities
- Positive Learning Collaborative
- Professional Development Resources
- Students with Disabilities
- Teacher Center
- Teacher Leadership
- Teacher's Choice
- Team High School
UFT.org Home > News > New York Teacher > News briefs > Battle over union rights in Wisconsin being fought in court
by Michael Hirsch | October 18, 2012 New York Teacher issue
The battle over union rights in Wisconsin has moved into the legal arena. Legal experts are watching closely since so little case law exists to address legislation that targets the bargaining powers of public-sector unions.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed the anti-union legislation, named Act 10, into law in March 2011. Protesters claimed that the limitations on public-sector unions (except police and fire) were a political maneuver to weaken union power. Gov. Walker framed his efforts as a way to rein in state spending.
In September, Dane County Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and federal constitutional rights of workers to free speech, free association, and equal representation under the law. Central to Colas’s decision is how he perceived Act 10 to treat two sets of public-sector workers differently: Although Act 10 addresses educators and public-safety workers, it has no effect on nonunionized workers, such as municipal clerks or courtroom employees.
A separate lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Education Association is being filed this fall at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. That case explores whether Act 10 violates First Amendment and equal-protection rights — but only connected to its requirements that members recertify a union’s right to organize each year and that the unions can’t automatically deduct dues from worker paychecks.
U.S. District Judge William Conley struck down both provisions to Act 10 in March.
Meanwhile, some unions are anxious to renegotiate contracts before the Colas ruling is potentially blocked by a higher court. For example, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association is requesting that the city’s public-school system engage in collective bargaining for three of its units whose contracts expired in June. The union also wants bargaining to start this fall for its teachers contract, which ends next June.
Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 24
What is your favorite movie about a teacher?
Dead Poets Society
Stand and Deliver
Mr. Holland's Opus
Total votes: 647