Public education workers will have to decide in the coming weeks whether their unions will continue to represent them.
The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission voted in closed session Monday to move ahead with plans to make about 400 local school unions vote on re-certification. The move comes after the state Supreme Court lifted an order last week that had halted those elections for much of the past month.
A Dane County judge ruled this fall that WERC was in contempt for continuing to schedule the elections, after he had previously struck down portions of a state law stripping most public workers of the ability to collectively bargain. Judge Juan Colas’ original 2012 decision overturning portions of Governor Scott Walker’s controversial Act 10 is currently before the state Supreme Court. Justices heard oral arguments in the case earlier this month, along with an appeal of the contempt ruling. The high court vacated the contempt order last week, but has yet to issue a decision on Colas’ original ruling in the case.
The elections require 51 percent of a union’s membership to vote in favor of re-certification. Even if members vote for continued representation, the unions are limited to only bargaining over basic wage increases based on inflation.
The elections are expected to start this coming Friday and will run through December 19.