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Many public employee unions unsure about legal status in wake of Act 10 ruling

by
Union solidarity graphic.
Union solidarity graphic.

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Many of Wisconsin’s public employee unions are not sure about their legal status, in the wake of a judge’s decision last month to throw out parts of the collective bargaining limits.

Federal Judge William Conley tossed out the parts of the law which required annual re-certification elections for unions – and banned payroll deductions for union dues.

The Oshkosh Northwestern says several public unions in that city chose not to hold re-certification votes. And city official Sue Brinkman took that to mean that the unions no longer represent their memberships.

But in the wake of Conley’s ruling, Brinkman says it’s hard to understand whether the unions are in business or not.

Peter Davis of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission said his office has not given a formal opinion on what the judge’s ruling means. But he says a general understanding is that the unions which did not reject re-certification are still in existence – whether they held a vote or not.

The State Justice Department has asked Judge Conley to delay implementing his ruling, to sort out the full effects. That decision could come as early as next month. 

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