UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) Hundreds of Wisconsin public school unions have decided to stay in business for one more year, even with their very limited bargaining powers. Voting ended yesterday for about 400 unions that represent teachers, support staffers, and school office employees. State officials released the results, and Christina Brey of the state's largest teachers' union said about 90-percent of the groups said yes to re-certifying.
WEAC union president Betsy Kippers said Wisconsin educators are overcoming "extreme obstacles" -- and they're quote, "standing strong to take their rightful place in their schools and profession."
In 2011 school unions lost their right to bargain for things like the school calendar and working conditions. They can only negotiate pay raises at-or-below the rate of inflation. The annual re-certification votes are required under the state's Act-10 bargaining limits for most public unions. The elections were scheduled for earlier in November, but a judge held them up until the Supreme Court ordered that they take place. Under Act-10, unions must meet a tougher standard for staying in existence. 51- percent of all members must vote yes, instead of 50.1-percent of those voting. It means that those who don't vote are essentially voting no.