Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin's Anti-Bargaining Law

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A May 26 decision by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi striking down the Wisconsin law that eliminated most public employee collective bargaining is a repudiation of Gov. Scott Walker's blatant power grab, AFT president Randi Weingarten says.

The ruling says that Wisconsin lawmakers violated the state's open records and open meeting laws. "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," Weingarten says.

Says AFT-Wisconsin president Bryan Kennedy, "The people of Wisconsin have made it clear in no uncertain terms that they do not want this bill. Attempting to silence Wisconsin's public workers has cost legislators who supported Act 10 dearly. More importantly, it's divided the state, turning the people against their government."

Weingarten notes that "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." [AFT and AFT-Wisconsin press releases]

May 26, 2011