MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News) The head of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission denies that it's violating a court order by continuing to enforce the Act-10 public union bargaining limits. WERC chairman James Scott says his panel will proceed with annual recertification votes requested by 400 public unions. A union attorney said a Dane County court ruling does not allow for the elections, and he'll ask a judge today to hold the labor commission in contempt.
Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled a year ago that Act-10 and its annual union election requirements do not apply to the Madison school teachers and a Milwaukee city employee group. Until now, it was not clear whether the ruling applied to all school and local government unions statewide. Last week Colas ruled that it did apply -- but he stopped short of halting recertification votes for the two plaintiffs.
Lester Pines, representing six other unions, has demanded that the state stop the elections. State officials have said that other court rulings allow them to keep administering Act-10. A federal judge in Madison and a federal appeals court have upheld the union law while ruling on other lawsuits against it.