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Collective bargaining law claim leads to union disbanding


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s new collective bargaining limits have created their first casualty.

The union that represents UW Madison teaching assistants has decided to drop its status, instead of going through a re-certification vote. Members approved the move, but the margin of their vote was not disclosed.

The graduate students who belong to the Teaching Assistants Association were among the most active protestors against the union law earlier this year.

Co-president Adrienne Pagac told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that a re-certification vote would have been hard to pass with the new 51% majority that’s required. In return, she said the group would have had very little to offer its members.

The law passed by Governor Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature allows most public unions to bargain only for wages at-or-below the rate of inflation.

Members can no longer have union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks – and recertification votes are required each year. Also, union workers must join other state employees in paying more toward their health insurance and pensions.

Local government workers had the deductions take effect as soon as the law began in late June. But state officials said they needed more time to get the deductions set up – and they’ll take on the bi-weekly checks starting Thursday.