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 Racine Unified School District has seen a big reduction in pension and health care costs because of changes in state's collective bargaining law.
The controversial state law that eliminated most collective bargaining rights for school employees reduced benefit costs for the Racine Unified School District by $18.4 million last school year, according to a report released Monday. 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, Racine Unified paid $7.99 million toward pension costs for workers; in 2011-12, that dropped to about $25,378, the report said. The district also saved more than $10.4 million in health insurance costs, according to the report, which was based on data that public school districts provide to the state Department of Public Instruction…
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 …
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
State Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), praises changes in state law after Gov. Scott Walker announces the savings from collective bargaining limits for the public sector.
Updated at 3:40 pm to reflect new input from the Governor's office regarding Racine County. A state lawmaker who represents a good part of Racine County is praising Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement that the state’s controversial budget repair law has resulted in $1 billion in savings. Act 10 - the budget repair bill - significantly limited public unions in collective bargaining. State Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, released the following statement after Walker appeared in Manitowoc Monday morning where the governor made the announcement: “The fiscal reforms are paying off for Racine County and the entire state. The $1 billion in savings is just the beginning of the benefits from the smart choices that were made for the financial future of …
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 …
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Vos looks back on 2011, and lists what he sees as the highlights of the year.
- Robin Vos
Saturday, December 31, 2011
As I look ahead with great optimism for the coming year, I also look back at 2011 and all that we accomplished in the Wisconsin State Assembly. From balancing the state budget to passing important incentives for job creation, I'm proud of what we did for the future of our state. This past month I made a list of the top ten legislative events for 2011 for the WisEye show, Civil Dialogue. Here they are: 10. January 3: Inauguration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans who controlled the Assembly 60-39, and Senate 19-14. This victory allowed us to pass important legislation including the legalization of concealed weapons and the passage of photo ID to ensure the security of our elections. 9. July 19: Bill to repeal the early …
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…
State Democrats want to repeal what is commonly known as the Budget Repair Bill.
Despite calls from state Democrats to hold a new hearing about Act 10, also known as the Budget Repair Bill, the Joint Committee on Finance is unlikely to reopen the issue. Senate Bill 233 is sponsored by nearly every Democrat in Madison and was authored to fully repeal the budget repair bill to restore collective bargaining priviledges for public employees. But State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) issued a statement saying he'd rather continue focusing on how to bring to and expand companies in Wisconsin than rehash issues that will only cost taxpayers more money. "My constituents are tired of the political 'gotcha' games and partisan fighting," he said in a press release. "I remain committed to their goal of bringing more family-…
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Officers will take 5 furlough days in 2012 and Highway Department employees will have wages frozen at 2010 levels.
Sturtevant village officials have reached agreements with the Police and Teamsters unions. Expected savings could total at least $8,000 a year just from the police department. Trustees discussed the details briefly at the Sept. 13 Committee Meeting before moving each segment of the agreements forward to the Village Board for the Sept. 20 meeting. The agreement with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association includes: Specifically, wages for officers in the Patrolman #1 category will see an overall decrease in hourly wages in 2012; from $24.57 to $24.10. Officers who are considered Patrolman #2 will see their hourly rate decrease from $23.58 to $23.13. Officers chose to have their reduced wages spread over the course of the year so even …
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Poll workers confirm steady streams of traffic at two locations.
Residents of Senate District 22 filed through polling locations on Aug. 16 at a steady pace for the recall election of Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha). He faces Republican challenger Jonathan Steitz. Marty Redlin, chief inspector at the Moose Lodge on 30th Street, said turnout is less than during the 2008 Presidential election but well above normal. "I feel like this is an emotional election for people on both sides," he said. "And it's interesting because with the redistricting maps, neither candidate lives inside the new senate district." Wirch was targeted for recall because he was one of 14 state senators to leave the state to stop a vote on Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, which removed most collective bargaining rights from public …