Law & Courts News in Brief

Wisconsin High Court Upholds Collective Bargaining Restrictions

By Mark Walsh — August 05, 2014 1 min read

The Wisconsin Supreme Court last week upheld Act 10, the state law passed amid rancorous debate in 2011 that sharply curtails the collective bargaining rights of teachers’ unions and most other public-employee labor groups.

“Collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation,” the state’s highest court said in its 5-2 decision.

The court upheld the law in its entirety, handing a victory to Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who led the charge to scale back the power of public-employee unions.

Act 10 bars collective bargaining between municipal employers such as cities and school districts and labor representatives on all subjects except base wages. This provision stripped issues such as hours, working conditions, and grievance procedures from the collective-bargaining process. Also, base-wage increases are limited to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index, unless a larger raise was approved by referendum.

The statute also bars “fair share” or agency-shop arrangements in which public-employee unions may charge employees who object to joining their share of fees for collective-bargaining activities. And it bars local governments from deducting dues from employee paychecks on behalf of unions.

The law does not burden employees’ rights to organize themselves in a labor organization or to speak out on issues, the majority said.

In a concurring opinion, Justice N. Patrick Crooks wrote that Act 10 “effectively ended meaningful union representation” for many public employees.

Madison Teachers Inc., a National Education Association affiliate and the lead plaintiff, issued a statement calling the decision “morally bankrupt.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 06, 2014 edition of Education Week as Wisconsin High Court Upholds Collective Bargaining Restrictions

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Praying Coach v. District That Suspended Him: What's Next in Fight Over Religious Expression
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declined to reconsider an earlier panel ruling that sided with the school district.
4 min read
Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, center in blue, kneels and prays after his team lost to Centralia in Bremerton, Wash., on Oct. 16, 2015. Kennedy, who was suspended for praying at midfield after games, has filed a discrimination complaint on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission according to The Liberty Institute, a Texas-based law firm representing the coach.
Joe Kennedy, center in blue, kneels and prays after a game in October 2015 when he was the assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash. In a long-running legal fight, Kennedy contends he has First Amendment free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion rights to express his Christian faith while on the job. The case is likely headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lindsey Wasso/The Seattle Times via AP
Law & Courts Appeals Court Again Backs Transgender Student, But on Narrower Grounds Amid Signs of Rift
A federal appeals panel removed a holding for student Drew Adams based on Title IX, perhaps to ward off a rehearing by the full court.
4 min read
Image of a gavel.
Marilyn Nieves/E+
Law & Courts Schools Will Get At Least $25 Million From Opioid Lawsuit
Lawyers are aiming to place significantly more money into the grant program as school districts' lawsuits against opioid companies continue.
3 min read
This June 17, 2019, photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone.
This June 17, 2019, photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone.
Keith Srakocic/AP
Law & Courts The List of Districts Suing Opioid Companies Is Growing. Do They Stand a Chance?
Schools hope the companies will help pay for the costs of educating and supporting children affected by the ongoing addiction crisis.
2 min read
Pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass. on June 15, 2018.
Pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass. on June 15, 2018.<br/>
Elise Amendola/AP