Thursday, April 25, 2013
A lawsuit filed by unions representing Madison teachers and city of Milwaukee employees over the state's collective bargaining law may be headed to the State Supreme Court.
A state appeals court is urging the Wisconsin State Supreme Court to take on an Act 10 lawsuit filed by two unions, which challenged the constitutionality of the collective bargaining limitations Gov. Scot Walker imposed on almost all public unions in 2010. The Supreme Court could take the case without waiting for an Appeals Court decision, but whether is does so is at the high court's discretion. If the Supreme Court doesn’t take the case, then the Appeals Court would need to take it. A certification filed by a panel of three judges from the 4th District Court of Appeals, asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case because “a number of public unions have filed suits against municipalities over Act 10 provisions, which have left …
Monday, November 12, 2012
New report says the Greendale School District has seen a big reduction in pension and health care costs because of changes in state's collective bargaining law.
Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect a correction in regards to the amount paid in 2011-12. The controversial state law that eliminated most collective bargaining rights for school employees reduced benefit costs for the Greendale School District by about $1.2 million last school year, according to a report released Monday. However, Greendale school officials say it's more than that. According to Business Manager Erin Green, the actual number is closer to $1.8 million. The bulk of the savings came from reductions in the district's share of employee retirement costs, the report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance said. In the 2010-11 school year, Greendale paid $878,617 toward pension costs for workers. In 2011-12, about $…
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Greendale School District officials and the teachers union don't want to waste time with negotiations the courts may yet reverse.
Since news broke that a Dane County judge declared the state’s collective bargaining law as unconstitutional, Greendale Schools and the teachers union have said they are not making any rash decisions in negotiations. Colas' ruling came as municipalities and school districts are planning for the next fiscal year, or putting the finishing touches on budgets. Erin Green, Greendale Schools Business Director, said the collective bargaining law will have to work its way through the courts and they do know what will happen yet. Greendale Education Association President John Bly said the union has met with district administration to discuss the issue and will not be jumping the gun with demands. “At this point, we are assuming that this process …
Friday, September 14, 2012
A Dane County judge has declared Act 10 — the budget repair bill — as unconstitutional at both the state and federal levels.
The law that ended most collective bargaining rights for public employees was struck down Friday by Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas. According to our media partners at Fox 6 News, Colas ruled Act 10 — the budget repair bill — as null and void because the law violates both the state and US Constitutions. Specifically, the law violates the guarantee of freedom of speech and citizens' freedom of association. Colas' 27-page decision is summarized in The Capital Times, quoting the judge's primary reason for his decision as " (Act 10) single(s) out and encumber(s) the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and …
Monday, April 23, 2012
State Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, praises changes in state law after Gov. Scott Walker announces the savings from collective bargaining limits for the public sector. He says Greendale has saved over $900,000.
A state lawmaker from Greendale is praising Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement that the state’s controversial budget repair law that significantly limited public unions in collective bargaining has reached $1 billion in savings. "I think it's good news for tax payers that the changes that were made had a positive impact for school districts at a local level," said Greendale State Rep. Jeff Stone. Stone said he has seen a positive impact in Greendale with about $900,000 in savings to taxpayers with contributions necessary to pensions. "It’s been a way to maintain the quality of staffing at a local level and reduce costs to taxpayers," Stone said. "When you look at this area that’s substantial savings." The $1 billion in tax savings was made …
Friday, March 30, 2012
A federal judge today said automatic collection of dues and requiring annual re-certification violate unions' First Amendment rights.
Two components of Act 10 - the budget repair bill - were deemed unconstitutional today, according to a federal judge's ruling. Specifically, unions challenged whether or not dues can be automatically deducted from public employee paychecks and that unions must certify with an absolute majority. The lawsuit was filed by a coalition of unions shortly after Act 10 was passed last year. Saying those provisions violate union members' First Amendment rights because public safety employee unions are not subject to the same restrictions, US District Judge William M. Conley issued his opinion Friday. He rejected assertions that the law violates any equal protection under the law clauses, but he ordered that automatic dues withdrawals be reinstated …
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
School Board votes to honor commitment to staff who already have fifteen plus years in the district.
Hoping to stem a tide of retirements similar to what the Greendale School District experienced last spring, the Greendale School Board plans to allow qualified future retirees to lock in benefits they earned before 'Act 10' went into effect. Governor Walker's controversial budget repair bill took effect in June 2011, ending the current collective bargaining agreements in Wisconsin. Across the state, many teachers opted to retire rather than face increases in health insurance costs or reductions in benefits. Nineteen Greendale staff members retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year, up from an average yearly retirement of five-to-ten employees in the district. That echoed a trend statewide, as data from the Wisconsin Retirement System …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
We Are Milwaukee to demonstrate on same day that effort to recall Wisconsin governor officially gets under way.
- Jim Price
Thursday, November 10, 2011
A statewide effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker gets under way Tuesday, and at least one organization plans to start the effort off with a bang: By holding a recall rally in front of the governor's Wauwatosa home. Planning for the rally has been under the radar. No press releases have been sent to the media and there isn't much information about it online. But organizers said Thursday that the rally is a go, with local, regional and national groups behind it. We Are Milwaukee, an "alliance of community-based organizations, unions, faith communities and local leaders," is planning to meet at 4:30 p.m. at the Juneau High School, 6415 W. Mount Vernon Ave. in Milwaukee, and march four blocks north to Walker's residence at 520 N. 68th St. There…
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Retirements came in wake of the budget repair bill.
Twice as many public school teachers have retired this year than in past years, according to an AP article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Many teachers chose retirement in the wake of Gov. Scott Walker's new law that forces them to pay more for benefits while taking away most of their collective bargaining rights. Each year on average, the Greendale School District has about five to ten retirements, but this year there were 19. In June the Greendale School Board approved an additional $1 million dollars to the retirement trust due to the unexpected number of faculty retirements this year.