Case Name: Act 10; Recertification Elections
Type of Case: Waukesha County Circuit Court
Court: United States Supreme Court
Case Number: 2013-CV-2473
Filed On: October 29, 2013
Current Status: Stipulated judgment entered to hold recertification elections
Governor Scott Walker’s 2011 reforms turned the realm of public sector employment relations upside down. 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 removed most collective bargaining privileges from the vast majority of state, county, and local employees. Specifically, for all government employees except those in an expressly defined “public safety” class, Act 10 did four major things: it (1) prohibited collective bargaining on all topics except base wage increases not to exceed the rate of inflation; (2) prohibited so-called “fair share” agreements which force unwilling employees to pay union dues; (3) required bargaining representatives to stand for re-certification elections every year and earn a majority of votes from all represented employees; and (4) prohibited employees from paying their union dues through payroll deductions.
In order to preserve the rights of teachers statewide under Act 10 in response to Judge Colas’s contempt ruling, WILL filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County on behalf of five public school teachers, seeking a declaration at Colas’s rulings cannot affect those teachers’ right. Specifically, the teachers asked the Waukesha County Circuit Court to order WERC to hold recertification elections for their unions, and alternatively ask that if elections are not held, the judge declare that they no longer have a collective bargaining representative. After the supreme court vacated the MTI contempt order, WERC agreed to a stipulated judgment requiring them to hold recertification elections for teacher unions statewide.