Green Room

Federal court upholds Wisconsin PEU reforms

posted at 5:40 pm on September 11, 2013 by

Looks like the public-employee unions in Wisconsin had better get used to losing:

Wisconsin’s collective bargaining reforms, which prompted strong protests from organized labor, do not violate the free speech and equal protection rights of public sector union workers, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

The reforms, passed in 2011 by Republican lawmakers, severely limit the bargaining power of public sector unions while forcing most state workers to pay more for benefits such as health insurance and pensions. They also made payment of union dues voluntary and forced unions to be recertified every year. …

The reforms, which do not apply to public safety workers, do not violate equal protection rights of workers because the government has the right to set wages and benefits for individual workers based on performance and skills, according to Conley.

That was their 14th Amendment argument.  They also lost their First Amendment argument, as the judge pointed out that no one was curtailing their right to free speech or association.  They can talk and hang out together all they want, but the state has the right to determine what their compensation structure should be, and on what terms they can organize for collective bargaining in public-sector work.

They’ll appeal it, of course … but it’s not going to get any better for them after the finding of fact here.

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If only Republicans would fight this hard for what they believe in.

Kafir on September 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

…it’s this stuff…. I can’t find in our newspapers!

KOOLAID2 on September 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Hey Federal Judge, thanks for allowing the serfs to exercise common law rights.

Salaam, salaam.

FOWG1 on September 11, 2013 at 8:34 PM

They also made payment of union dues voluntary

This is what is killing the union. Making them collect their own dues. Oh, what a shame.

BobMbx on September 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Hey Federal Judge, thanks for allowing the serfs to exercise common law rights.

Salaam, salaam.

FOWG1 on September 11, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Please tell us what it is that is serf-like about being a Wisconsin State Employee? The retirement and benefit package is still not only far better than Federal, but is one of the best in the nation … at least in those states that aren’t rapidly paddling toward Bankruptcy Falls.

And the if you’re making a Taliban joke with the “salaam, salaam” crap today, you should be beaten until comatose.

M240H on September 11, 2013 at 8:55 PM

The libs found a judge in Dane County to stall Act 10 while they rushed their union payoffs. No surprise that it was overturned.

What is also delightful is Madison mayor, Paul Soglin, is criticizing the former Madison mayor for doing this since now … tada … there isn’t enough money to pay the “negotiated” union contracts.

Too bad they didn’t take advantage of Act 10 to write a financial realistic contract, but then again the Madison government doesn’t serve the taxpayers, it serves the unions.

PackerBronco on September 11, 2013 at 10:13 PM

So what’s the timing on this going to the U.S. Supreme Court where Roberts gives another favor to his cocktail party friends among the left? Somewhere in the vicinity of June 2016, provided Scott Walker has managed to win the GOP primaries?

Gingotts on September 12, 2013 at 12:36 AM

The cherry on this sundae – Conley is an Obama appointee.

Steve Eggleston on September 12, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Hopefully, this will lead the way for other forward-thinking States.
Recall that “welfare reform”, which began with the GOP Governors of Wisconsin, and Michigan (Thompson, Engler), prompted Congress to send “reform” bills to Bill Clinton, which BillyJeff promptly vetoed twice before taking credit for the idea and implementing same.
Our RINO(ish) Michigan Governor Snyder, to his credit, is taking the necessary baby-steps in dismantling the BIG Labor suffocating hold on Michigan workers. MI is now a “Right-to-Work State”. THIS is the time for him (Snyder) to jump on the bandwagon like his once upon a time predecessor Engler and seize the opportunity to throw da bums out.
Good for Wisconsin. Sadly, these days, one must also give kudos to a Federal Judge for following the Constitution and duly-enacted laws.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on September 12, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I like Snyder. Even though it does seem that he’s RINOish, when some of us dislike those far more conservative for turning squishy on issues, it also seems as if he’s playing the slow game. It takes a lot of long difficult work to turn around a state stupid enough to elect batcrap Granholm and subsequently eat eight years of her policies.

I expect given his slow approach that he won’t jump on any further reform until after 2014. Complain or call it weak if you will, but he expended a lot of political capital to shift Michigan as much as he has. Now he’s stepping back, letting it sink in to the thick-skulled that his ideas actually are working, and has found a bit of a lead in prospective polling. Hopefully an 10 or so point win up there next year will be enough to tell him to press on, and embrace being a conservative.

Gingotts on September 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Wisconsin has really led the way since Walker/Kleefisch took over in 2010

I think Tea Party America should study carefully what Conservatives in so-called ‘blue’ WI have achieved in the last 3 years:

WI (2010, 2011 (recalls) and 2012) has shown us that some blue/purple States could well become ‘red’ *if* the right TRUSTED Conservative Reformer Candidates are found to stand for office

people are reluctant to volunteer for Liars or corrupt Permanent Political Classers even if they have an (R) by their name

The Tea Party was very active in Wisconsin in 2012 (as well as 2010, 2011) ….notice they returned all their Conservative Reformers to the State Govt so that their Proven Reformer Gov Scott Walker could continue advancing WI in the right direction

also notice that those same Tea Partiers did not elect R/R, or Tommy Thompson to the US Senate

(they also dumped the proggy hero US Senator Feingold in 2010! and also that long-standing corruptocrat chair of the ways and means committee in the US HOR, defeating BIG LABOR there!)

WI Tea Partiers and Tea Partiers in general will not work and volunteer for Candidates THEY DON’T TRUST

I believe that WI has shown us what is possible nationwide … in WI there are clearly dormant Conservative voters who have been disconnected, unengaged from politics, due to disgust with BOTH private political parties …. UNTIL … they found Scott Walker

they not only elected him and Kleefisch, (AND defeated Big Labor backed Recall attempts) but they also gave them a controlling Conservative State House and Senate, PLUS they made sure that Prosser made it through to the Judiciary (in 2011 V. the Big Labor Kloppy woman, with some last minute help from Madame Steel Spine) because they KNEW Walker’s reforms would be challenged in Court

We need to reproduce WI in as many States as possible (blue, purple, red, whatever)

#BeClingers ————-> #AmericaRISING

exodus2011 on September 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM