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WEAC president's statement on judge’s ruling of Act 10

Posted: 3/30/2012 4:43:27 PM

A federal judge Friday released a decision finding parts of Governor Walker’s Act 10 law unconstitutional.

The following can be attributed to WEAC President Mary Bell:

“The judge found what we’ve been saying since last February, and that’s the fact that Act 10 wasn’t about addressing the fiscal needs of the state.

“Act 10 eliminated workers’ rights to have a voice through their union. The two provisions found unlawful were specifically intended to attack the operations and viability of unions that didn’t support Scott Walker by requiring us to go through excessive hoops in order to maintain basic operations.

“What does this mean to our members? It means the union will be able to once again focus on the issues that are tied most closely with the success of students and our schools – professional issues, safety issues – leaving educators to in turn focus on what they most care about: educating children.

“It never made sense to us why an educator could have payroll deduction for health club dues or United Way contributions – and not their union dues. The judge agreed with our position, saying this restriction is unlawful – even going as far as calling it an example of political favoritism. Under today’s ruling, if a union member elects to be part of the union, they can have their dues deducted from their paychecks as they had for the last few decades.

“Regarding the provision about recertification elections, today’s ruling says that it’s unlawful to require local unions to file for annual recertification elections. Walker’s rule required unions to meet an extreme threshold that no other election requires – not even presidential elections. The court said Walker’s actions in going this far was unprecedented.

“The court ruling goes to show that Act 10 was never about balancing the state’s budget – like Governor Walker claimed. It was a mean-spirited attack designed to attack unions and the workers who belong to unions. 

“But the fact of the matter is that our members still don’t have their bargaining rights back. And the fight continues until workers’ rights to negotiate for fair wages and safe working conditions are fully restored.

“WEAC is fully committed to reclaiming Wisconsin by recalling Scott Walker. Today’s ruling represents a step forward in the battle to restore the rights of workers – and it shines a light on the extreme political  agenda and partisan politics Scott Walker has rammed through since taking office.”

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