More than 200 school unions in Wisconsin met a deadline to seek recertification, but it was unclear how many others let it pass and gave up the little bargaining powers they had left under Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s contentious union-rights law.
The law, passed this year, strips most public unions of their ability to negotiate anything but wage increases. It also requires unions without existing contracts to hold recertification elections to determine if they can formally represent their members in salary negotiations.
Unions that don’t recertify can continue to exist, but they won’t have formal bargaining power. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teacher’s union, said that about 300 local chapters were operating without contracts and that cost and the short time frame to seek recertification likely deterred some from recertifying.
A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2011 edition of Education Week as 200-Plus School Unions Try to Recertify Under Wis. Law