Wis. GOP strips public workers' bargaining rights (not want to...did it)

I confess I am unsure exactly what happened here.

For debate is this legal?

Will the protesters go home in defeat now or will this inflame people?


Sorry…didn’t look in the Pit. Seems a decidedly GD topic.

My bad. Mods close this since it is a duplicate.

If you choose to absent yourself from the proceedings in an effort to block their progress, it is difficult to be sympathetic to your protests that you aren’t getting your chance to participate.

The Dems tried to play games, and lost. Boo hoo.


Was this particular “Boo hoo” directed at just the Democrats, or are all the people who lost their collective bargaining rights included too?

Which part was unclear?


The part about violating the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law to shit on the voters.

Then by all means provide a cite that the WI GOP has been found to have violated that law. And by a credible source, not the whiny sore losers of the WI Dems.


What is the Open Meeting law, and why is it alleged to be significant here?

It’s codified at Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81-19.98. It generally provides that governmental bodies cannot meet in secret, but must publish notice of their meetings and the agenda thereof in advance of such meetings.

However, the legislature chose to except itself from such requirements by its own rules, as § 19.87 provides inter alia:

As long as the vote was in compliance with the rules of the senate, the open meetings law does not apply.

Color me confused. (really asking here…I am not arguing anything)

There is a rule which says they must publish notice of their meetings and agenda and another rule which says they don’t have to abide by any rules previously listed?

What does, “No provision of this subchapter which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule” mean?

Sounds like nothing that conflicts with the rules applies as long as they comply with the rules.


I’ve only sort of been following this, but can someone summarize what “collective bargaining rights” are? Since they’ve been lost, what stops the teachers from all getting togeather and simply saying they won’t work unless X,Y and Z are in their contract? Surely the State can’t make them work if they don’t want to, or forbid them from meeting to collude on what terms they want in their contracts?

“This subchanter” refers to the requirements in the open meetings law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81-19.98.

“A rule of the senate” refers to a rule made internally by the senate.

As long as a meeting is conducted in compliance with a rule of the senate, the open meeting law of Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81-19.98 doesn’t apply.

Sure, the state can’t make them work. However, they aren’t guaranteed jobs either if they walk out. Teachers could be hired to replace those that walked out, and life would go on.

As for how things would look without collective bargaining for public employees, I don’t have to look very far. That’s how it has been in Virginia since 1993 - that reform was passed here with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Wilder, a moderate Democrat.

The sky hasn’t fallen in - indeed Virginia has a reputation for being a state with a well-managed government. Teacher pay has to stay relatively high so that recruitment of teachers to schools here can succeed. So there you go.

So if it is no big deal and nothing has changed why do it?

To remove political opposition maybe?

In the case of Virginia it was to codify a decision of the state Supreme Court - so it didn’t make much of an overall difference.

So basically the senate rules trump the law?

I realize the law stipulates the rules trump the law but then why make a law regarding this stuff then?

Seems absurd.

Well, the law applies to other public meetings. School boards, water commissions, library boards, stuff like that.

I suppose the real question is what are the current Wisconsin rules of the Senate and can they be changed on the fly.

No. The law is of general application: it covers all governmental bodies and any formally constituted subunits of those bodies. A state or local agency, board, commission, committee, council, department or public body corporate and politic created by constitution, statute, ordinance, rule or order; or a governmental or quasi-governmental corporation. Interestingly, the law also specifically excludes the Bradley center sports and entertainment corporation.

So having reached far and wide, the law then notes any exceptions, like the Bradley Center… and the legislative houses.