September 20, 2014

Supreme Court upholds Act 10

Protesting Act 10 in February, 2011. (FILE PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Protesting Act 10 at the statehouse in February, 2011. (FILE PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Legislative leaders react to Thursday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision to uphold the so-called collective bargaining law.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says he’s “very pleased” with the decision made by the state Supreme Court on Act 10, after three years of court battles. Fitzgerald says the decision underscores what he’s known all along, that collective bargaining is a benefit, not a fundamental right. “What was granted by the Wisconsin Legislature when it comes to public employee benefits could also be withdrawn by the Legislature.” He adds, “That’s basically what the court is reaffirming again today.”

Governor Scott Walker’s signature legislation that restricts public employees’ ability to collective bargain has survived several lawsuits since it was introduced in 2011. Walker says the High Court’s 5-2 ruling is yet another win for hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin, saving them over $3 billion.

Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) is not surprised by the decision. “Obviously I’m extremely disappointed but not surprised that the court sided with Governor Walker once again and the Republicans and their attacks on voting rights and collective bargaining.”

Barca adds, “Collective bargaining is vital to securing workers’ rights and helping maintain a strong middle class in Wisconsin and in America. My fellow Democrats and I will continue to fight to protect the middle class and ensure every working family can have a fair shot at economic security.”

Madison Teachers Incorporated Executive Director John Matthews says the decision is not only “extremely disappointing, but is morally bankrupt.”