Teachers seek union recertification elections guaranteed under law
Waukesha, WI (October 30, 2013) – With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, five Wisconsin public school teachers have filed a lawsuit in state court against the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC).
In the lawsuit, the teachers seek the secret-ballot recertification elections, guaranteed under Wisconsin Act 10, which will allow teachers across the state to determine whether union officials can continue to claim to represent those teachers in their respective workplaces.
All five teachers are employed in workplaces where they are subject to a union monopoly bargaining agreement, which means all five have been forced to accept the union's so-called "representation." The teachers work in school districts in Waukesha, Milwaukee, La Crosse, Racine, and Elmbrook.
Wisconsin Act 10 prevents public sector union officials from collecting any money from nonmember workers, restricts union monopoly bargaining to the issue of employee wages, ends the use of taxpayer funded payroll systems for the collection of union dues, and guarantees that public workers will vote on their union representation yearly.
After a Dane County Circuit Court judge recently halted implementation of the law, WERC officials canceled the teachers' recertification elections. The elections were originally scheduled to take place in November.
Alternatively, the teachers ask that if the court does not declare that WERC must hold the recertification elections, then the teachers should be granted their right to represent themselves individually regarding the terms and conditions of their employment.
"Many independent-minded civil servants have no interest in associating with government sector unions and they deserve to have their voices heard," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Act 10 protects those workers' right to do so and we hope these civil servants will be allowed to participate in the elections that they were promised to express their interests regarding their union representation."