Pro-Act 10 Settlement in Wisconsin Teachers' Lawsuit Clears Path for Union Recertification Elections
Teachers win right to union recertification elections guaranteed under law
Waukesha, WI (December 5, 2013) – The Waukesha County Circuit Court has approved a settlement between five Wisconsin public school teachers and the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) that will allow teachers across the state to determine whether union officials can continue to claim to represent those teachers in their respective workplaces guaranteed under Wisconsin Act 10.
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 filed a lawsuit in the state court last month against the WERC after WERC officials canceled the teachers' recertification elections.
The WERC cancelled the elections, which were originally scheduled to take place in early November, after a Dane County Circuit Court judge halted implementation of the law.
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 government sector union officials from forcing nonmember workers to pay any union fees, 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.
In compliance with the court's judgment approving the settlement, the WERC began conducting secret-ballot recertification elections on November 29, 2013.
Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling vacating the Dane County Circuit Court judge's order that had prohibited the WERC from conducting recertification elections.
"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 now these civil servants will be allowed to participate in the elections that they were promised to express their interests regarding union representation."