Appeals court upholds Act 10 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Appeals court upholds Act 10

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Act 10, a controversial law stripping collective bargaining rights for most public workers has been upheld by a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit overturned U.S. district judge William Conley's ruling from March. In that decision, Conley struck down two parts of the law -- the requirement for unions to hold elections each year for members to keep their official status and the prohibition of automatic withdrawals for union dues.

"We're not surprised there were legal challenges but we expected that we would prevail in those legal challenges and we've prevailed in a big way," Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.

The plaintiff in this federal lawsuit, the Wisconsin Education Association Council released a statement from their president, Mary Bell, following the decision:

"Wisconsin educators are extremely disappointed with the appeals court ruling. What is so abundantly clear is that Act 10 was never about addressing the fiscal needs of the state but instead a ploy to eliminate workers' rights to have a voice through their union – political payback for citizens who didn't endorse the governor. This marks a setback, but the fact of the matter is that our members will not give up on their commitment to restoring their rights to negotiate for fair wages and safe working conditions."

While the federal appeals court found all of Act 10 fully constitutional, other lawsuits are still pending. "We really believe that based upon that order and it's interpretations that Act 10 is in very good stead going forward -- how quickly were able to wrap up these other cases -- we'll obviously try to move them along as fast as we can," Van Hollen said.

Until then, an injunction on Act 10 issued by Dane County Judge Juan Colas still stands. Madison Teacher's Inc., the plaintiff in a state lawsuit against Act 10, issued a statement saying the federal decision will not affect their pending litigation.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen announced early Friday afternoon the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Wisconsin Act 10, the law that restricts collective bargaining rights for most public employee union members in Wisconsin.

The court's ruling can be seen here.

The following is a statement from Attorney General Van Hollen.

"For nearly two years, those opposing Act 10 have tried every angle to have it struck down and invalidated.  Today's decision by the Seventh Circuit confirms what I have stated from the beginning.  Act 10 is constitutional.  While there are no guarantees, it is my hope that this decision will pave the way for resolving any remaining challenges in a manner that supports the legislative decisions made by our elected officials." 

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