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Posts Tagged ‘collective bargaining’

Dane County judge strikes down collective bargaining law

May 26, 2011 Comments off

jsonline

Madison – A Dane County judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation repealing most collective bargaining for public employees.

In a 33-page decision issued Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said she would freeze the legislation because GOP lawmakers on a committee broke the state’s open meetings law in passing it March 9.

The legislation limits collective bargaining to wages for all public employees in Wisconsin except for police and firefighters.

“It’s what we were looking for,” said Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat.

Ozanne sued to block the law after Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) filed a complaint saying that GOP legislative leaders had not given proper notice in convening a conference committee of lawmakers from both houses to approve Walker’s budget-repair bill.

A spokesman for state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state Department of Justice could not be reached immediately for comment on the decision. A spokesman for Walker also could not be immediately reached.

In the decision, Sumi appeared to be bracing for an outcry from Republicans and supporters of the law, noting that judges are supposed to apply the law even if their decisions will be “controversial or unpopular.” Sumi writes that Ozanne showed by “clear and convincing evidence” that the open meetings law had been violated.

“This decision explains why it is necessary to void the legislative actions flowing from those violations,” wrote Sumi, who was appointed to the bench by former GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.

But the issue is far from settled. The state Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 on whether to take over the case.

“It’s not over yet. I’m positive of that,” Ozanne said. “The supremes are the supremes. They can do what they want.”

GOP lawmakers also have said they would consider passing the law a second time as part of the 2011-’13 state budget if it was necessary to ensure that it takes effect.

Ohio panel OKs measure to limit collective bargaining rights for 350,000 public workers

March 30, 2011 Comments off

dispatch.com

Democrats and union leaders blasted the latest Republican changes to Senate Bill 5 today, including those that would allow workers to decline to pay union dues, even if they are covered by a union contract, and allowing government employers to refuse to deduct union payments that are directed to political action committees.

“They’ve clearly made a horrible bill even worse,” said William Leibensperger, vice-president of the Ohio Education Association.

Under many negotiated contracts, workers who do not want to join a union, but are still covered by terms of the union contract, must still pay dues known as “fair share.” The bill would no longer allow a fair-share requirement in union contracts.

“That kind of amendment really shines the light on what this bill is all about, which is silencing the voice of people who collectively bargain on behalf of their members, and, in our case, on behalf of the children we work with,” Liebensperger said.

Republicans have argued that workers who do not want to join the local union should not have Read more…

Senate approves bill to strip public employees of collective bargaining

March 10, 2011 Comments off

seattletimes

 Wisconsin Senate GOP bypass Democrats to cut union rights

 

Wisconsin Senate Republicans used a surprise legislative maneuver to pass a bill that would strip collective-bargaining rights from most public-sector workers — a move accomplished without the 14 Democratic senators who had fled the state to stall the measure.

Republicans voted 18-1 Wednesday night to pass nonfiscal provisions of the budget-repair bill — including those that would eliminate or severely limit collective-bargaining rights for most public employees.

Republicans control the Senate but had been blocked from voting on the issue after Democrats left the state Feb. 17 to prevent a quorum. Instead, Republicans used a procedural maneuver to force the collective-bargaining measure through: They removed elements of Gov. Scott Walker’s bill that technically were related to appropriating funds, thus removing a requirement that 20 senators be present for a vote.

In the end, the Senate’s 19 Republicans approved the measure without any debate on the floor or a single Democrat in the room.

Walker issued a statement praising the action: “The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused.”

The fight over the legislation has drawn national attention, with unions calling it an attack on all organized labor and some GOP lawmakers and governors calling it a necessary step to control state spending.

“You are cowards!” spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters had grown to thousands outside the state Capitol in Madison.

“The whole world is watching!” they shouted as Read more…

Detroit Schools’ Cuts Plan Approved

February 23, 2011 Comments off

By MATTHEW DOLAN

The state of Michigan approved a plan for Detroit to close about half of its public schools and increase the average size of high-school classrooms to 60 students over the next four years to eliminate a $327 million deficit.

The plan was submitted in January by Robert Bobb, Detroit Public Schools’ emergency financial manager, as a last-ditch scenario if the district couldn’t find new revenue sources, which it hasn’t so far. Final approval came after Mike Flanagan, the state superintendent of public instruction, cleared Mr. Bobb’s initial plan with some new requirements, including that the district not file for bankruptcy protection during Mr. Bobb’s remaining months in office.

The state approved the plan in a Feb. 8 letter, which the Detroit public-schools district released Monday.

Mr. Bobb said the deep cuts were Read more…

Wisconsin: ‘As Long As It Takes’

February 22, 2011 1 comment
Howard Ryan
Tens of thousands marched in Madison this weekend as cracks appeared in the Republican caucus. Meanwhile, some union leaders have announced they will accept the governor’s economic takeaways. Rank and filers say they’ve already given too much. Photo: Sue Ruggles.

The spirit in Wisconsin is best captured by two teachers from Janesville sitting on the stairs inside the Capitol. They’re holding the sign that’s everywhere at these protests—“Care about Educators Like They Care for Your Child.”

The two answered their union’s call and headed to Madison. They arrived with Read more…