Cheap Trick? WI Secy of State Gives Unions Extra Time to Lock in Contracts

This may make things a bit stickier in Wisconsin: Democrat Secretary of State, Doug La Follette, is giving public-sector unions until the last moment possible (March 25th) to lock in contracts before publishing the new law limiting collective bargaining rights.


According to AP:

School boards and local governments across Wisconsin are rushing to reach agreements with unions before a new law takes effect that will remove their ability to collectively bargain over nearly all issues other than minimal salary increases.

Secretary of State Doug La Follette said Monday he decided to delay publication of the law until the latest day possible, March 25, to give those local governments as much time as possible to reach agreements. The law doesn’t take effect until the day after La Follette publishes it.


The Wisconsin Association of School Boards is telling districts to be cautious about approving contracts that will make it more difficult for them to handle the cuts in aid Walker is seeking. The association had estimated earlier this month that up to a fourth of the state’s 424 districts have approved new contract extensions since Walker unveiled the bill on Feb. 11.

Walker had asked La Follette to publish the law on Monday, but La Follette refused. [La Follette is a relative to the late progressive icon “Fighting Bob” La Follette.]


While most collective bargaining agreements contain “savings clauses,” which eliminate contractual provisions that are in conflict with the law while leaving the rest of the contract intact, since the new law does not apply to contracts in existence, right now, it is unknown whether mandatory dues and state collection of dues would be part of any rushed-through contracts.


“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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