The Madison School District and its teachers’ union are asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit which seeks to invalidate new contracts approved during a legal battle involving Act 10, Governor Scott Walker’s controversial law the ended collective bargaining for most public employee unions.
The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and conservative blogger Dave Blaska filed the suit last month. The school district and the union argue Blaska is not a school employee, and therefore has no legal standing to bring such a lawsuit. The institute has filed a response, saying taxpayers always have the right to challenge government actions.
Madison teachers and the School Board approved new contracts through 2016, after Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the state’s public union bargaining limits did not apply to Madison’s teachers — who were plaintiffs in one of several lawsuits against Act 10. In July, the state Supreme Court ruled that Act 10 was constitutional for all state and local unions, which were included when Republicans passed the law in 2011.
In its suit, the Institute for Law and Liberty said Madison school officials should have known that Act 10 could be upheld, and had no right to approve new contracts. The district and unions claim they did nothing wrong, because the law was not in effect at the time they acted.