The state will no longer be required to negotiate with Wisconsin’s largest public employee unions. That’s after unions representing about 50,000 state workers decided not to hold recertification votes required under the collective bargaining law passed earlier this year.
The decision means those unions can now only request informal talks about contracts, and the state is under no obligation to negotiate with them.
The collective bargaining law ended decades of protections for public employee unions, eliminating their ability to negotiate on issues such as benefits and working conditions. With that in mind, recertification votes would have been an expensive prospect for unions to organize. The benefits would have been greatly limited because the new law only allows negotiations on salary increases, which can be no larger than the rate of inflation.
A spokesman for Governor Scott Walker declined to comment on the decision against recertification or what it means for the future relationship between the unions and state government.