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State Senate President unhappy about Milwaukee Co. Board union contract talks

by
Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah)
Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The president of the Wisconsin Senate is not happy that a Milwaukee County Board committee voted to let the county negotiate a labor contract with a decertified public union.

Republican Mike Ellis of Neenah told County Board chair Marina Dimitrijevic that the contract talks, “raise serious questions as to the integrity of the board’s leadership.”

The Journal Sentinel said the talks were authorized against the advice of county attorneys, and County Executive Chris Abele.

But the union involved – District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees – said the talks were legal, because Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas threw out the state’s limits on local government and school bargaining last fall.

The union said the ruling restored its certification, while a state appeals court challenge Colas’s decision. But the ruling conflicts with a federal court decision that upheld virtually all of the Act 10 bargaining limits. And Ellis said the county’s talks are, “a violation of state law.”

It comes at a time when the Milwaukee County Board is already in hot water with the Legislature. An Assembly committee voted Thursday in favor of a bill to cut the board’s pay in half and limit some of the supervisors’ authority.

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