State seeks stay during appeal of collective bargaining law ruling

2012-09-16T16:30:00Z State seeks stay during appeal of collective bargaining law rulingBy ED TRELEVEN | Lee Newspapers Chippewa Herald
September 16, 2012 4:30 pm  • 

MADISON — State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he will ask that enforcement be delayed of a court ruling blocking significant portions of the state’s collective bargaining law for public workers while the issue is under appeal.

On Friday, Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas blocked most of the law as applied to municipal and school district workers, including thousands of teachers, finding it to be an unconstitutional infringement on their rights of free speech, freedom of association and equal protection.

Attorneys for Madison Teachers Inc. and a Milwaukee sanitation workers’ union said state employee unions also might attempt to be covered by the ruling.

Said Van Hollen in a statement, “We believe that Act 10 is constitutional in all respects and will be appealing this decision. We also will be seeking a stay of Friday’s decision pending appeal in order to allow the law to continue in effect as it has for more than a year while the appellate courts address the legal issues.“

The move does not come as a surprise to lawyers who sued the state in order to block the law that took effect last year.

At a news conference Saturday, MTI lawyer Lester Pines said he expected the state to file motions to stay Colas’ ruling. He said the state Supreme Court could ultimately be asked to rule on a stay.

An appeal of the case itself could take as long as six months to reach the Supreme Court after it is considered by the state’s 4th District Court of Appeals.

“I can’t predict what any court is going to do with any of the things that may theoretically be done by the state,” Pines said. “All I can predict is that anytime Governor Walker gets a negative ruling from any of the courts he’s going to cry like a baby and whine and say they’re politically biased.“

Pines was referring to Walker’s statement on Friday calling Colas a “liberal activist judge” who wants to take the state backwards.

On Saturday, Pines said Walker “seems to have forgotten that there really are three branches of government” and challenged him to stop attacking the judiciary when he gets a decision he doesn’t like.

A complex decision like the one Colas issued Friday, Pines said, requires parties in the case, especially Walker, “to take time to read and reflect on and not to automatically attack the judge for being politically motivated and biased.“

He also said it’s poor manners and strategy for Walker to insult a judge who still will decide issues in the case.

Walker’s spokesman, Cullen Werwie, did not respond to a request for comment Saturday.

One area where unions did not prevail, Pines said, was an attempt to overturn a prohibition on unionization of UW employees and UW Hospitals and Clinics employees. He said it appears Walker didn’t consider that before claiming Colas is biased.

As written, Colas’ decision applies only to municipal workers and school district employees in Wisconsin, Pines said.

But he said the rationale behind the decision would also apply to parallel laws that govern state workers. He said state workers’ unions can intervene in the case during an appeal. Lawyers representing state employee unions could not be reached for comment Saturday.

“It really could be an apples-to-apples comparison,” said MTI co-counsel Tamara Packard.

She said state worker unions could file a parallel lawsuit and hope for the same result, or “everyone could simply realize that the parallel provisions, if they’re unconstitutional in the municipal law, they’re unconstitutional in the state (employment) law.“

State worker unions sued over the collective bargaining law in federal court. A ruling in April by U.S. District Judge William Conley was not as wide-ranging as Colas’ but struck down key parts of the law, saying the state can’t prevent public employee unions from collecting voluntary dues through payroll deductions and can’t require that they recertify annually.

Colas also said the Legislature violated Milwaukee home rule by prohibiting the city from paying the employee share of contributions to the city Employee Retirement System.

Until another court ruling, municipalities and school districts can immediately start bargaining with certified unions on wages, hours and working conditions, Pines said.

MTI executive director John Matthews said Madison might have to reverse policy changes it made as part of the 2011-13 contract it negotiated shortly before Act 10 took effect.

He cited rollbacks on elementary teacher planning time and the removal of WPS as a health insurance option as examples.

Matthews argued the contract was negotiated in the shadow of Act 10, so provisions of the contract that were agreed upon were adopted under questionable circumstances. An arbitrator might be needed to sort out the issue, he said.

Copyright 2016 Chippewa Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(31) Comments

  1. Truth Serum
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    Truth Serum - September 22, 2012 8:41 pm
    Someone needs to do some fact checking on southernboy. If Wisconsin collects $1.5T in tax revenue, then that would put the US GDP somewhere north of $1000T (it is somewhere around $15T). You are also quite an advocate for public sector unions. Let me tell you sourthernboy, you have just begun to taste the wrath of the taxpayers. In the end, none of this will matter if you keep pushing us......
  2. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - September 19, 2012 6:42 pm
    If you make a post in word, then copy and paste it, it will fit. Most just abide by the rules.
  3. Autonomyseeker
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    Autonomyseeker - September 19, 2012 3:24 pm
    First of all...public sector union collective bargaining priviledges (it is not a gaurenteed right) DOES affect me the taxpayer. Secondly, I agree that on some level we should all be looking out for each other. However, it is NOT the role of the government to make sure that happens.
  4. Radar
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    Radar - September 19, 2012 2:38 pm
    How the devil did you post all that? I'm limited to 500 characters.
  5. Enlightenment
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    Enlightenment - September 19, 2012 12:57 pm
    southernboy, thanks for the post.
  6. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 19, 2012 5:38 am
    A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

    What food might this contain? The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

    Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!

    The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me." " I cannot be bothered by it."

    The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

    The pig sympathized, but said, I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. "Be assured you are in my prayers."

    The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

    The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

    So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

    That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

    The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

    The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

    Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

    But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.

    To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

    The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.

    So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

    The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

    So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
    We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
  7. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - September 18, 2012 3:43 pm
    You obviously don't understand the postings here. Southernboy is happy with the situation, it's Merlin who doesn't get that most union people are alright with the situation, why he's so against it I will never understand. That's unless he was forced into a union at some point. Why worry about something that doesn't affect you? Worry about the things that do affect you then come crying.
  8. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - September 18, 2012 8:48 am
    So why feel the need to attack this person personally? Do you feel better about yourself to attack someone? Have you ever heard of union workers working shifts other than first? What does this have to do with the article posted? People are allowed breaks also, and can use their phone anyway they want, even if it's making posts. There, took five seconds to explain how he could be posting from his phone on a break if he was a teacher. See what happens when you assume, you know the saying
  9. Autonomyseeker
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    Autonomyseeker - September 18, 2012 8:47 am
    Southernboy - no one is forcing you to do anything. If you don't like it......then go do something else.
  10. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - September 18, 2012 8:41 am
    Merlin, very rarely do I agree with you, but this is one that I slightly agree with. I also disagree with the way unions are set up, in my opinion unions are just a bully that lets some get paid more for not doing nearly the same job as I. They get this huge job security even if they make mistakes. But the point is people have the decision to not join, and they do. Who are we to tell people what is right or wrong for them, that's their choice.
  11. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - September 18, 2012 8:36 am
    You and the far right love that 47% figure, but you don't tell the whole story. That doesn't include payroll tax. The 47% does pay tax, and does pay federal tax out of their paychecks. At the end of the year they end up with credits so they don't have to pay more federal tax so it seems when they pay zero federal tax on their end of the year income tax form, it seems as they did not pay tax, when they did. It's an easy way for the right to say we don't have any rights.
  12. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 18, 2012 7:08 am
    merlin- when I authorize my employer to deduct my” Union dues” from my paycheck I do so willingly and its evidenced by my signature, I signed a contract with a labor organization (local 682) permitting automatic deduction of fees/dues To say I am NOT permitted to pay that directly from my pay would be Interference with a contract,



    you could not have demonstrated your lack of knowledge more precisely with your GM statement- The UAW won when they traded 22 BILLION yes billion in Bonds for 10% equity stake- wow
  13. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 18, 2012 5:56 am

    38 TIMES MORE MONEY IS SPENT ON BUSINESS SUBSIDIES THAN WELFARE.

    1. COST OF WELFARE PROGRAMS. TANF, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Public Housing, WIC, Head Start, and the Social Service Block Grant.

    Total costs = $21-billion

    2. SOCIAL PROGRAMS ARE PAID FOR BY USERS. Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment insurance are paid for by the users of the programs by direct taxes. They are insurance programs. 

    3. BUSINESS SUBSIDIES ARE PAID FOR BY EVERYONE. On the other hand, businesses receive $800-billion in subsidies which are not paid for by direct taxes on the companies that receive the money. In fact, the corporation that use the subsidies are paying less and less taxes all the time, so the Burden on the rest of society is huge and increasing.

    ANNUAL DIRECT FEDERAL SUBSIDES: Farm = $16 billion, Airline = $68 billion, Oil = $35 billion, Coal = $86 billion, Natural Gas = $100 billion, Ethanol = $173 billion, Flood Insurance = $12 billion

    Total = $490 billion

    ANNUAL INDIRECT SUBSIDIES: Tax breaks, Delpletion Allowance, Oil Pipelines, Monitoring, Transportation, Remote Sensing/Mapping (USGS), etc

    Cost = $310 billion.

    Total Government Subsidies to Businesses: $800-billion.

    Bottom Line:

    Business gets: $800 billion
    Welfare gets: $21 billion

    38 TIMES MORE MONEY TO BUSINESS.
  14. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 17, 2012 7:18 pm
    Your States Total Tax Revenue by Year: (And why it matters in the Wisconsin story)

    2006: $1.4 Trillion
    2007: $1.6 Trillion
    2008: $1.2 Trillion (uh-oh)
    2009: $600 BILLION
    2010: $1.5 Trillion
    2011: $1.5 Trillion

    How is it possible that public sector employees were draining state coffers when nearly EVERY state but specifically yours was running surpluses and had huge rainy day funds up until 2008?

    Answer: It's not the Unions.  The Great Recession gave radicals like Scott Walker the excuse to come in and dismantle unions, city governments, school districts, etc all under the cover of "fiscal responsibility".

    When the underlying core reason for your action is proven to be flawed (the Unions everyone agreed to Gov. Walkers demands), yet still your Republican legislature pursued it (the law just labeled unconstitutional),

    That means you have an agenda at stake -other-- than the best interest of your state and constituents.
  15. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 17, 2012 3:29 pm
    my original post

    -If you believe he is right ( governor walker), then you believe you have the right to force me (the teacher) to do what you want me to do and force me to shut up about it -

    I suppose the Irony of my reposting this will escape you so, do you notice the accuracy of my belief, using only what you said -- hows that for reality

  16. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 17, 2012 3:12 pm
    never said i was a teacher, im union municipal employee non classified job im a nobody GED, takes four years to get to top pay, the guy working beside me does same job as me i been here 1 year, he makes 5$/hr more--in 3 years I make what he makes- dont matter if hes been here 20years 3 yrs ill make what he makes -not a problem

  17. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 2:55 pm
    Hey, I just thought of something...

    You said you are a teacher right?

    School is in session right now, correct?

    Since you are so over worked and under paid, how did you have time to post in an online forum?

    Better yet, who's computer are you using, who's internet, and are you getting paid to post on the internet?

    All very good questions...
  18. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 2:44 pm
    teacher in the public sector who had a "contract" negotiated with the public sector by a public sector union.

    Can you please explain what is "private" about that?

    If I were you, I would be embarrassed to call myself a teacher - you don't even understand the difference between private and public - no wonder 47% of this country don't pay any taxes and think they are "entitled"!
  19. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 2:42 pm
    Republican Party make for you? Was it to force you to work in the coal mines? No, wait, let me guess the smoking ban? Oh wait, that was your side.

    The government doesn't have a right to interfere with private sector contracts? Did anyone tell your side about this? Remember that little company called General Motors? You know where the stock holders got screwed and the Union got a big pay day - by Obama and your pals violating the law?

    But let's forget about that for a moment - you are a...
  20. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 2:39 pm
    LOL.....

    In 3 years you will make more than the other guy who has 20 years tenure who does nothing?
    Nice fantasy you live in.

    Federal taxes go to the rich? Interesting. So since 47% of the work force pays no Federal Income Tax, what exactly are they then "entitled" too? Oh, wait, I see, the rich who pay like 80% of all taxes, don't deserve some of that back, but those that don't pay in or pay in the 20% "deserve" more.

    Tell us again, just what "decision" did the Governor or the...

  21. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 17, 2012 2:23 pm
    1) I do my job, I work smarter and not necessarily harder & in three years I make what "he" makes.

    2) as opposed to having federal taxes taken out and used to subsidize Millionaires and their yachts, 6 homes, secret bank accounts

    3) like my governor... the supreme court, the republican party

    FYI-gov't is not allowed to interfere with private contracts,not allowed to enact laws against people because they are not republican/Union.

    insanity is defined by ones grasp of reality-
    mines fine
  22. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 2:05 pm
    1) Do you enjoy working harder than someone with more "years" for less pay?

    2) Do you like having a portion of your paycheck taken from you by an entity that doesn't have your best interests in mind?

    3) Do you like other people making your decisions for you?

    Keep one thing in mind before you answer, no one owes you anything, you are responsible for your own success, Unions are against competition, merit based pay, and individual rights.

    If that's not insane, I don't know what is.
  23. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 1:53 pm
    2 choices - join the union, put up and shut up, or be unemployed - that is of course if you didn't like someone running your life for you.

    I guess if you look at it from your perspective - guaranteed employment and benefits regardless of how well you did your job or what rules you broke is a pretty good deal.

    From the perspective of Liberty, Freedom, and 88% of the Wisconsin workforce, it's a violation of some of your basic human rights.

    Answer the following questions:
  24. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 1:49 pm
    You aren't a flaming Liberal? If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck - more than likely, it's a duck.

    Where in Act 10 are you "forced" to do something and then told to shut up about it?

    The part where you personally have to agree with the terms of employment, where you can choose to be in a union and/or pay dues not, where you have the ability to negotiate your own salary based upon how well you do your job?

    It's pretty simple, before you did what the union told you to do and you had...
  25. southernboy
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    southernboy - September 17, 2012 1:39 pm
    If you believe he is right ( governor walker), then you believe you have the right to force me (the teacher) to do what you want me to do and force me to shut up about it -
    which of course would bring (me) into question your sanity...---

    because you think something your thoughts are correct, the person who disagrees with you-is always a flaming liberal with a thinking problem.

    your anti-union law smells like a bill of attainder
  26. EC-Reader
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    EC-Reader - September 17, 2012 1:29 pm
    Never said it was illegal. Just stating if it is found to be illegal by the supreme court (that is where it will end up) it won't matter how many times it was voted on.
  27. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - September 17, 2012 12:04 pm
    This has nothing to do with the recall election, it has to do with people having their rights denied (that is if you believe it's a right). The day people stop trying to fight for what they feel is right is the day I will move to another country where people care about their rights. What other important things does he have to do? Well, I guess raise millions of dollars for people outside of our state. He's great at that, just not bringing jobs to the people who elected him.
  28. Merlin
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    Merlin - September 17, 2012 11:21 am
    Even the rogue Circuit Court Judge who ruled on this said that CB is not a right guaranteed in an Constitution.

    He then babble don about Freedom of Speech and the Right of Association.

    His ruling doesn't pass the smell test. Act 10 did not deny either of these rights.

    If you believe he is right, then you believe you have the right to force me to do what you want me to do and force me to shut up about it - which of course would bring into question your sanity...

  29. straight shooter
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    straight shooter - September 17, 2012 11:09 am
    It's no illegal give me a break... You work for me and others like me!
  30. EC-Reader
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    EC-Reader - September 17, 2012 9:54 am
    It doesn't matter how many times a vote is taken if it is illegal.
  31. straight shooter
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    straight shooter - September 17, 2012 9:33 am
    Ok we've voted on this in a round about way twice now with the Election of Scott Walker and then the Recall of Scott Walker when does it stop we have much more important things to do. Do we actually want to bankrupt our State and increase everyone's taxes to pay additionally for Public Sector employees... Heck NO!.. I've had my Salary cut by 30% due to the economy... come on folks enough is enough....
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