Law would have eliminated collective bargaining rights for most public sector employees.
Wisconsin (26 May 2011) – A Wisconsin circuit judge today issued a permanent injunction against Republican State Governor Scott Walker's controversial anti-union bill which would have eliminated collective bargaining rights for most public sector employees. The law is effectively dead until the Wisconsin Supreme Court acts on it.
In her decision, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi said there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Republicans who control the legislature, violated the state's open meeting laws in their rush to pass the legislation, meaning the law is void. She added that her decision took into account "the potential damage to public trust and confidence in government" if lawmakers don't adhere to the state's transparency laws.
The decision marks the latest event in the months-long battle over union rights in Wisconsin, pitting Walker and Republicans in the legislature against organized labour and Democrats.
Walker originally signed his anti-union bill in March, amid protests by citizens and Democratic lawmakers alike. The law brought tens of thousands of protesters opposed to the legislation to Madison, the state capitol, for days on end in February and March. Almost immediately, the bill sparked legal challenges, including the one Judge Sumi ruled on today.
Lawyers with the State’s Department of Justice had appealed Sumi's previous restraining order that has held up the changes from taking effect. They argued Sumi exceeded her authority in putting a temporary stop to the law in late March and are asking the high court to overturn her ruling. The State Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 to determine whether it will take up the case.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE