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WILL files notice of claim over MPS union-leave policy

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//January 28, 2021//

WILL files notice of claim over MPS union-leave policy

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//January 28, 2021//

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The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is preparing for a legal fight over a Milwaukee Public Schools policy that allows employees to take paid union leave.

The firm filed a notice of claim on Thursday on behalf of a Milwaukee resident challenging the district’s union-leave policy, which allows MPS employees to use 10 days each fiscal year for paid union leave to work on union activities.

The notice of claim alleges that the policy amounts to compelled speech because it forces Milwaukee taxpayers to subsidize labor-union activities. The policy, according to the claim,  also violates the public-purpose doctrine of the Wisconsin Constitution because MPS is paying employees to work exclusively for private entities.

Dan Lennington, WILL deputy counsel, said taxpayers are paying for the speech and political activities of labor unions by paying teachers and other employees full wages and benefits while they’re on union leave. The claim said MPS has spent thousands of dollars paying employees over the past several years, and the district has authorized union leave for the 2020-21 school year as well.

The notice of claim asks MPS to suspend the union leave policy and provide public records showing the work performed by district employees under the union leave policy in 2019 and 2020.

The district has 120 days to respond before a lawsuit can start. MPS declined to comment on the notice of claim.


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