District Judge William N. Conley found that parts of Act 10 violate equal protection rights by imposing restrictions to collective bargaining and mandatory dues collections, and requiring annual recertification on most unions but exempting them for police and firefighters.
The decision enjoins those portions of the bill and requires a return to automatic dues collections, and forbidding the annual mandatory recertification elections by an absolute majority of workforce members. “So long as the state of Wisconsin continues to afford ordinary certification and dues deductions to mandatory public safety unions with sweeping bargaining rights, there is no rational basis to deny those rights to voluntary general unions with severely restricted bargaining rights” held Judge Conley.
From the opinion:
The fact that none of the public employee unions falling into the general category endorsed Walker in the 2010 election and that all of the unions that endorsed Walker fall within the public safety category certainly suggests that unions representing general employees have different viewpoints than those of the unions representing public safety employees. Moreover, Supreme Court jurisprudence and the evidence of record strongly suggests that the exemption of those unions from Act 10’s prohibition on automatic dues deductions enhances the ability of unions representing public safety employees to continue to support this Governor and his party.
The Walker administration says they plan to appeal the decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Photo from ra_herd via flickr.