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Wisconsin County Judge Strikes Down Union Law
posted by: Alix | May 26, 2011, 06:24 PM   

This morning, Judge MaryAnn Sumi struck down Governor Scott Walker's budget repair law aimed at curbing union power, ending forced unionism, and closing budget shortfalls.

The Dane County judge issued a permanent injunction against the law, rendering the law essentially dead until the Wisconsin Supreme Court acts on it.

Judge Sumi argued in her ruling that the legislature acted unethically in "hurrying" the bill through.

The Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 to determine whether it will take up the case. Lawyers for the state Departments of Justice and Department of Administration argue Judge Sumi exceeded her authority in putting a temporary stop to the law in late March and are asking the high court to overturn her decision.

Governor Walker's budget repair law will have wide-ranging effects on many elements of Wisconsin governance, including pension contribution, health care benefits, debt restructuring, collective bargaining, Medicaid and much more. AAE has only taken a position on the elements of the budget repair law that end the practice of forced union dues and employer collection of dues, in accordance with AAE's longstanding opposition of forced unionism

AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner released this statement following the judge's ruling:

"This decision is a setback for the thousands of teachers across Wisconsin who deserve a choice in their representation. The practice of forcing teachers to pay union dues as a condition of employment is archaic and wrong."

"The unions have spent countless dollars before the election, during the protests, and even more still in repeal efforts. The fact is the union stands to lose millions if teachers are given a choice. Clearly, the unions are fighting for their pipeline of forced dues."

"Hopefully, the Supreme Court will act and see that the will of the elected members of the Wisconsin legislature is carried out."

Comments (4)Add Comment
to Tracy in Wisconsin
written by Mark in Illinois, May 30, 2011

I don't support the Wisconsin law but the hyperbole you use is not helpful in the discussion: "inhumane" "thoughtless" "moronic" "vicious". The state is like any business that when the bottom line isn't in the black, they need to change policies to save money. The state is renegotiating employment agreements to save money. Gov. Walker thinks he's solving the serious budget crisis the right way. The next state election will tell him whether or not he succeeded.

The unions caved on the pay and benefit cuts, but only because they were trying to save its monopoly in the state--forcing all teachers to pay for a union they don't want. And before you defend collective bargaining, ask yourself if it should be legal for a union to negotiate into a contract funded by taxpayers, health insurance from a company the union OWNS! Look up "WEA Trust". A bunch of districts have now switched insurance companies to save serious money (hundreds of thousands of dollars per year)--but the union is fighting it tooth and nail because that money is their profit.

You are teaching in your classroom, and the WEA Trust managers are fleecing the taxpayers and pocketing six figure incomes. Are you making six figures? Me neither.

Also, I don't think you were reading carefully--AAE responded to Bruce and clarified that they have not endorsed the bill. Both of Bruce's questions were incorrect.
Good for you Bruce . . .
written by Tracy in Wisconsin, May 29, 2011

Bruce, you are asking significant questions, and I'm not sure an organization such as AAE thinks about the tremendous impact such inhumane, thoughtless legislation as Gov. Walker's has on an incredible mass population of people. I am a teacher in Wisconsin, however, believe this whole ordeal lost sight of just how many other professions this moronic bill will affect. It is also unbelievable how much negativity has been directed at teachers as a result of all this coverage and, often, misrepresentation of a teacher's contract, profession, daily responsibilities, etc. The disrespect for what many of the public service workers actually do for others is overwhelming.

I feel Judge Sumi is one of the last honorable people understanding this issue. Thank goodness she is doing something to hold back the vicious Walker.
re: AAE supports pay cuts?
written by AAE, May 26, 2011

Thank you for your question, Bruce.

AAE has not endorsed the Wisconsin repair bill, which has far more reaching aspects, many of which are unrelated to education. AAE does not take a position on issues unrelated to education. AAE has focused exclusively on the efforts in Wisconsin and other states to end forced union dues and employer collection of forced union dues. AAE's opposition to forced unionism is firmly rooted in our mission to protect teachers rights to choose their professional association.

Hopefully that clarifies the situation for you. For more information, please see this post:

AAE supports pay cuts?
written by Bruce, FL, May 26, 2011

So, am I understanding correctly that the AAE supports this bill because the bill would ban forcing teachers to pay union dues? Does the AAE also support legislating a permanent freeze on teacher salary and simultaneous cuts to pensions and healthcare coverage?

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