Judge Reaffirms Legal Basis for Government Union Reforms While Striking down Part of Wisconsin’s Act 10
Ruling makes clear: Future reforms that include all government sector unions would be safe from legal challenges
Madison, WI (March 30, 2012) – In response to Judge Conley's opinion striking down several aspects of Wisconsin's recently-enacted public sector union reforms, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix issued the following statement:
"Critically, Judge Conley's ruling reaffirms the right of states to limit government union officials' monopoly bargaining powers. Once again, a federal court has made it clear that union officials have no right to collect dues or fees from nonmembers."
"While we disagree with the ruling's conclusion that there isn't a rational basis for recertification requirements and a ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues for general employees, the opinion shows why public safety officials should not have been exempted in the first place. The real solution to the 'equal protection' claims raised by the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is to apply Act 10 to all government employee unions and stop – in the judge's words – 'selectively subsidizing public unions.' If anything, this ruling provides a blueprint for state legislators looking to limit union officials' extraordinary special legal powers that no other private organization enjoys."
In addition to upholding most of Act 10, the order granted three employees represented by National Right to Work Foundation and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty attorneys amicus status. Each of the employees has exercised their right to refrain from full membership in the same public sector unions challenging Act 10 and favor the protections the reforms give them as nonmember employees.
A number of other groups had asked to file amicus briefs, but were all denied by Judge Conley.