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Appeals court denies stay in Act 10 case

By Dan Shaw

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (File photo by Kevin Harnack)

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (File photo by Kevin Harnack)

A Wisconsin Court of Appeals declined Monday to issue an immediate stay the state attorney general had sought in a challenge of a 2011 law stripping most public workers of collective-bargaining rights.

The refusal means there will be a delay of recertification elections that school unions were to hold Friday. The elections play a big role in determining what influence unions will have; public employers are required to negotiate only with unions that have been certified by a majority of union members.

In its ruling, the District IV Court of Appeals in Dane County contended that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen had failed to show that delaying the elections would cause irreparable harm. The ruling noted that Van Hollen’s motion to the court had said the elections could still take place this year if the stay were granted by Nov. 5.

The court’s ruling says it will issue a final decision Nov. 4.

Postponing the date, according to the appellate court, will allow the other parties involved in the case of Madison Teachers Inc. v. Walker to respond to Van Hollen’s motion.

Van Hollen on Friday asked both the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court to stay a contempt order Dane County Judge Juan Colas handed down Oct. 21.

The order was issued against two commissioners of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, which regulates matters concerning labor and employer relations.
Colas said the commissioners, James Scott and Rodney Pasch, were continuing to enforce the collective-bargaining legislation in contravention of his ruling this past year that parts of the law were unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court has yet to respond to Van Hollen’s stay request.

The challenge to the law, commonly known as Act 10, was brought by the Madison Teachers Union and a union representing Milwaukee public employees, as well individual members of each group. The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case Nov. 11.

Appeals Decision (PDF)

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