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Prompt appeal expected in Act 10 ruling


MADISON (WSAU)  Wisconsin’s attorney general says he’ll try as soon he can to hold up the restoration of most public union bargaining for Wisconsin’s municipal and school employees. J-B Van Hollen says he’ll ask that Friday’s Dane County Circuit Court ruling be delayed until the appellate courts can review the decision.

Judge Juan Colas said the year-old bargaining limits infringe on the unions’ rights to free speech and association. And it violates constitutional clauses for equal protection, because non-union workers don’t have the same limits on pay raises and benefits. Among other things, Colas said the law violates Milwaukee’s home rule rights. Milwaukee’s unionized sanitation workers and Madison public school teachers filed the lawsuit in which Colas ruled.

Madison teachers’ lawyer Lester Pines said unions did not prevail in their effort to overturn a ban on unions for U-W employees, and workers at U-W Hospital. Observers say the new ruling does not affect state employees. Still, Senate Republican Glenn Grothman of West Bend calls it a “disaster” for local governments and schools. He said it’s possible those officials would have to reverse the extra payments for health insurance and retirement that all public workers faced under the union law.

Grothman told WIBA Radio in Madison it’s an expense that’s not built in local budgets – and it would be a financial disaster unless a restraining order can be approved in the next week. Pines said it might take a while, though. He expects the injunction request to go to the Supreme Court before the ruling itself is considered.