May 26, 2011
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Judge’s Decision Striking Down Wisconsin Anti-Collective Bargaining Law
Dane County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi struck down the Wisconsin law that eliminated most public employee collective bargaining, ruling lawmakers violated the state’s open records and open meeting laws.
WASHINGTON—This decision repudiates Gov. Scott Walker’s blatant power grab. It demonstrates yet again that Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers used indefensible tactics when they pushed through controversial anti-democratic and anti-worker legislation in the dead of night without any deference to public input or transparency.
Wisconsinites have told us two things over and over since Gov. Walker took office—public employees have a right to a voice in their workplaces, and the governor and his allies have overreached. Students, teachers, nurses, firefighters and so many others filled the streets and kept watch to protect the rights of workers and their democracy. The Republican-dominated state Legislature has a choice: stop stripping workers of their rights and defying the public will, or face recall elections. We urge these lawmakers to change course and abandon their efforts to insert this anti-worker legislation into their budget bill. Wisconsinites, including the thousands who signed recall petitions, are watching, and so is the world.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.