Appeals Court upholds Governor Walker's collective bargaining reform law
A sweeping court victory for Governor Walker's Act 10 law that dramatically reformed public sector unions and changed the way that governments can bargain.
A federal court of appeals on Friday upheld Wisconsin's law repealing most collective bargaining for most public employees, handing a victory to Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans who put the law in place amid tumult two years ago.
Parts of the collective bargaining law, known as Act 10, remain on hold because of a state judge's ruling in a separate case, but Friday's decision was a setback for public employees and their unions.
Last year, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley largely upheld the legislation but struck down parts of Act 10 dealing with prohibitions on government employers withholding union dues from workers' paychecks as well as a section requiring labor unions to vote to recertify yearly. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed that lower court's ruling in a split decision Friday that upheld the law in its entirety.
"Today's court ruling is a victory for Wisconsin taxpayers," Walker said in a statement. "The provisions contained in Act 10, which have been upheld in federal court, were vital in balancing Wisconsin's $3.6 billion budget deficit without increasing taxes, without massive public employee layoffs, and without cuts to programs like Medicaid."
This may restart the effort nationwide to reform collective bargaining procedures with public unions. The concept lost in Ohio, and is stalled in several other states. Most GOP governers have been moving cautiously and this might give them a little push to initiate reforms.