Public Sector Unions 

Pro-Act 10 Settlement in Wisconsin Teachers' Lawsuit Clears Path for Union Recertification Elections

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Pro-Act 10 Settlement in Wisconsin Teachers' Lawsuit Clears Path for Union Recertification Elections

Teachers win right to union recertification elections guaranteed under law

Waukesha, WI (December 5, 2013) – The Waukesha County Circuit Court has approved a settlement between five Wisconsin public school teachers and the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) that will allow teachers across the state to determine whether union officials can continue to claim to represent those teachers in their respective workplaces guaranteed under Wisconsin Act 10.

With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, five Wisconsin public school teachers filed a lawsuit in the state court last month against the WERC after WERC officials canceled the teachers' recertification elections.

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Teachers File Brief Defending Gov. Walker's 'Act 10' Reforms in Union's State Appeals Court Lawsuit

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Teachers File Brief Defending Gov. Walker's 'Act 10' Reforms in Union's State Appeals Court Lawsuit

Teachers ask state court to uphold legislation protecting most state employees from forced unionism

Madison, WI (February 6, 2013) – Three Wisconsin public school teachers filed a brief in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals last week supporting Governor Walker's public sector union reform bill, known as "Act 10."

Elmbrook School District educator Elijah Grajkowski, Kenosha teacher Kristi Lacroix, and Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish filed the amici curiae brief with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.

The case is a legal challenge brought in Dane County Circuit Court by union officials from Public Employees Local 61 and Madison Teachers, Inc., a local affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA).

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Federal Court Upholds Wisconsin Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

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Federal Court Upholds Wisconsin Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

Workers asked court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Chicago, IL (January 18, 2013) – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld all of Governor Scott Walker’s public-sector unionism reform measures, also known as "Act 10."

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, three Wisconsin public employees moved to intervene in the lawsuit in favor of the law after lawyers from seven unions, led by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, challenged it in federal court. The three civil servants, Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz, were permitted to file amicus briefs in the district court.

Union lawyers sought to strike down the law’s annual union recertification requirements, ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues, new limits on the scope of what union officials can demand in contract negotiations, and a provision that granted most of Wisconsin’s public employees Right to Work protections.

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Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Boss Forced Dues Powers

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Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Boss Forced Dues Powers

Relying on landmark Knox Supreme Court decision, Troopers seek to end automatic dues deduction for politics from non-member state employees

Anchorage, AK (January 8, 2013) – Five Alaska State Troopers have filed the first federal lawsuit that seeks to expand public employees’ right to refrain from paying union dues used for union politics in light of last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Knox v. SEIU.

Robin Benning, Patrick Johnson, Andrew Neason, Chris Terry, and Ken VanSpronsen filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in Anchorage with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The troopers refrain from formal union membership in the Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA) union, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 803. Because they are not formal union members, the troopers have a right not to pay the part of union dues used for union politics, lobbying, and member-only events.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the Foundation-won Knox v. SEIU decision that California state employees who refrain from formal union membership could not be compelled to pay for union politicking via a "special assessment" for a self-described "political fight back fund." The Court's majority ruled for the first time that union officials must obtain affirmative consent from workers before using workers' forced union fees for union politicking.

The Alaskan troopers are seeking to expand that decision to apply to all instances when public employees refrain from union membership.

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Update: Wisconsin Civil Servants Defend Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms in Federal Appeals Court

Monday, a National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney argued for three Wisconsin public employees who are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (located in Chicago) to uphold all of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10."

The case is on appeal after a federal circuit court judge in Wisconsin struck down Wisconsin's new union recertification requirements and ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues from general employees' paychecks, and excluded the three workers from participating fully in the case.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed a motion to intervene in the lower court. When their motion to intervene was denied, the employees appealed and were given a portion of the argument time in Monday's appeals court argument.

The three workers are asking the appellate court to uphold the law as a whole as constitutional especially the law's Right to Work protections -- relying on Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedents in which the Court held that union bosses have no constitutional right to collect fees from nonmembers and that unions have no constitutional right to use government resources to deduct dues from workers' paychecks.

Teacher Files State Complaints After Union Bosses Violate Act 10, U.S. Constitution

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Teacher Files State Complaints After Union Bosses Violate Act 10, U.S. Constitution

Case shows why Act 10 is needed to protect state workers

Madison, WI (September 21, 2012) – A former Greenwood, Wisconsin teacher has filed complaints against a local teacher union for illegally refusing to honor her right under the state law commonly referred to as "Act 10" to refrain from union dues payments, and for refusing to follow constitutional disclosure requirements.

Amy Anaya filed the complaint with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Anaya was a School District of Greenwood teacher for a year, beginning in August 2011, after Act 10 became effective. In September 2011, Greenwood Education Association (GEA) union officials approached Anaya and illegally told her that she "had to" sign the union's membership form. Anaya informed them that she had no desire to become a member of the union.

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Wisconsin Civil Servants Defend Governor’s Public-Sector Unionism Reforms in Federal Court

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Wisconsin Civil Servants Defend Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms in Federal Court

Workers ask court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Chicago, IL (August 14, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, three Wisconsin public employees asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to uphold all of Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10."

Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed their reply brief Monday.

The workers, who are forced to accept the "representation" of union officials, want instead the freedom to represent themselves with their employers. The workers are challenging a lower court judge's ruling striking down Wisconsin's new union recertification requirements and the ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues for general employees, as well as excluding them from the case.

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Government Union Officials Sic Collection Agency on Unsuspecting Public Defender for Illegal Forced Dues

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Government Union Officials Sic Collection Agency on Unsuspecting Public Defender for Illegal Forced Dues

Worker unaware of union officials' so-called representation; case shows need for state Right to Work law

Albuquerque, NM (June 26, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a public defender from the Alamogordo office of the New Mexico Public Defender Department has filed a charge against a local union for wrongfully charging her with failure to pay union dues for the past five years.

Nancy Fleming filed the charge with the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board against American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) New Mexico Council 18 union for illegally trying to confiscate forced union dues payments from her paycheck without notifying her that she was in the union’s monopoly bargaining unit and refusing to follow federal disclosure requirements.

Fleming was unaware that AFSCME Council 18 union officials' claimed to "represent" her and was never asked if she wanted to be a member or pay union dues or fees to the union. However, Fleming began to receive notices earlier this year from a collection agency stating that the union reported her delinquent in paying union dues or fees dating back to 2006.

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Wisconsin Civil Servants File Federal Appeals Brief Supporting Governor’s Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

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Wisconsin Civil Servants File Federal Appeals Brief Supporting Governor’s Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

Workers ask court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Madison, WI (June 6, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, three Wisconsin public employees have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to uphold all of Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10."

Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed the brief yesterday.

The workers, who are forced to accept the "representation" of union officials, want instead the freedom to represent themselves with their employers. The workers are challenging a lower court judge’s ruling to strike down Wisconsin's new union recertification requirements and the ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues for general employees.

Read the entire release here.

Civil Servants Appeal Wisconsin Public-Sector Unionism Case to Federal Appeals Court

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Civil Servants Appeal Wisconsin Public-Sector Unionism Case to Federal Appeals Court

Workers ask court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Madison, WI (May 1, 2011) – Three Wisconsin public employees have asked a federal appeals court to uphold all of Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10," in the latest development regarding the ongoing court saga.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Pleasant Prairie English teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed their appeal late last week supporting the reforms which limited government union officials' monopoly bargaining power over public workers and taxpayers.

All three Wisconsin civil servants want to exercise the freedom to represent themselves with their employers. In their earlier brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, they likened "the 'services' provided by (union officials) to be akin to those of some itinerant street window washers who sling dirty water on your car windshield, smear it around, and then demand payment." The teachers also object to the union's use of their forced union dues for the union's political activities and to the public employer serving as the unions' collecting agents.

The workers are appealing the district court's rulings denying them intervenor status and striking down Act 10's provisions that protect workers with a yearly secret-ballot recertification election to determine whether they want a union hierarchy to remain in their workplace and that prohibit the deduction of union dues.

Read the entire release here.


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