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.
After the workers filed their appeal, the federal district court stayed its injunction against Act 10’s annual recertification requirement with regard to the 417 unions that refrained from filing for recertification or lost a recertification vote. Those 417 unions will remain decertified during the appeal, and the 58,180 employees freed from union control in their workplace will not be forced to accept the representation of or pay dues or fees to an unwanted union.
“These three courageous workers carry on the fight to uphold workplace freedom for all of Wisconsin’s civil servants who want nothing to do with union bosses’ so-called ‘representation’,” said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. “With the help of the National Right to Work Foundation, these workers are resisting Big Labor’s all-out assault to restore its forced-dues privileges over Wisconsin’s public workers.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.