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Public school teachers file suit to reinstate collective bargaining restrictions

WAUKESHA, WI (WTAQ) - Five public school teachers have asked a judge to reinstate part of the Act 10 collective bargaining restrictions.

The lawsuit, filed in Waukesha County, seeks to proceed with about 400 recertification elections for local government and school unions.

The votes are required each year to keep most public unions in existence -- but they were held up by a Dane County judge's ruling earlier this month. Judge Juan Colas ruled that Act 10 is unconstitutional for everyone except state government employees -- and the judge held state employment relations' officials in contempt of court for proceeding with local elections anyway.

A state appellate court says it will decide by Monday whether to overturn that finding.

The State Supreme Court will then give the affected parties one day to challenge whatever the appellate court decides.

The five plaintiffs in the new lawsuit agree with the state's argument -- that the Colas ruling only applied to the plaintiffs in that case, the Madison teachers and a Milwaukee city employee union.

Colas made it clear in his latest ruling that his decisions applied statewide.