Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wisco court rules parts of union-busting bill are still on hold

This just in, thanks to Brother Tom Bennett, president of Local 200 in Milwaukee: The Wisconsin state Court of Appeals ruled parts of Job-killer Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting bill are still on hold. 

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
reports the high court left intact -- for now -- Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas' ruling in a case brought by Madison Teachers Inc. and Public Employees Local 61, which represents City of Milwaukee workers. 

They argue the law violated the state constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech, freedom of association and equal protection under the law. Judge Juan Colas sided with the unions in September, striking down portions of the law. 
Walker's law left intact unions for police, firefighters and state troopers, but barred other unions from negotiating over anything but wages, and it limited any negotiated raises to the rate of inflation unless voters approved higher raises in a referendum. Colas' ruling meant local workers could negotiate over a broad array of issues, such as workplace safety, and that there were no limits on how much they could seek in raises. 
Act 10 also required public workers to pay more for their pensions and health care. Colas' ruling said the provision in the law requiring City of Milwaukee workers to pay more for their pensions violates the "home rule" clause of the state constitution. His ruling did not change the requirement that all public workers pay more for their health care and did not change the requirement that public workers outside of Milwaukee pay more for their pensions. 
The Colas ruling also didn't change the fact that public employers can now impose on workers their best and final offer if bargaining fails to produce a deal.
The Court of Appeals could still overturn the lower court's ruling.  It will probably be decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

Stay tuned.