Wisconsin Court Reinstates Right to Collective Bargaining
A Wisconsin court reinstated the right for the state’s city, county and school employees to engage in collective bargaining. The county court decision overturned a March 2011 law, often called the “anti-union law,” which had prohibited government employers from collective bargaining with unions for any issues except wages. The decision does not affect state employees, who were not a party to the lawsuit.
The court found that parts of the law violated employees’ constitutional rights of free speech and free association. The state Attorney General plans to appeal.
The court found that “[t]he state has imposed significant and burdensome restrictions on employees who choose to associate in a labor union. The statutes limit what local governments may offer employees who are represented by a union, solely because of that association.”
In addition to restoring local and school employees’ rights to collectively bargain on issues such as pensions, healthcare benefits and workplace safety, the decision had several other effects. Local unions can once again reach “fair share” agreements, which require all employees in a bargaining unit to pay union dues, even if they don’t join the union. The decision also appears to have stricken down laws requiring local employees to make certain contributions to their pension and health plans.
The decision could be overturned on appeal. The Supreme Court restored the law last year after it was blocked in a different case.
WeComply’s online training course in maintaining a cooperative workforce teaches managers how to create respectful work environments so that employees will not feel compelled to join unions and teaches managers how to respond to unionization efforts without violating the NLRA.Categories: Workplace Compliance
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