While teacher unions are succeeding in bankrupting Chicago, the teacher unions of Wisconsin are trying to bankrupt the entire state in the name of getting what they “deserve.”
All in one week, the Chicago teacher unions halted the education of 350,000 students by striking for increased compensation, the right to not be evaluated via student standardized tests, and control over teacher-hiring for Chicago’s failing school system. In Wisconsin a teachers union convinced a Circuit Judge to overturn a portion of Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform law, also known as his “Budget Repair Bill.”
As reported by the Associated Press, Circuit Judge Juan Colas reasoned in his ruling that sections of the law,”…single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions.”
The ruling is a result of a lawsuit filed by the Madison Teachers Union (MTU), who collaborated with a union for Milwaukee city employees. Colas’s decision will apply to municipal and school district employees, but exclude those employed by the state.
Unions are celebrating their victory, but perhaps a bit prematurely. Allysia Finley reports for The Wall Street Journal:
The state stands a good shot at winning its appeal, if precedence is any indication. Unions tried to defeat the conservative-leaning state Supreme Court Judge David Prosser in his re-election last April, anticipating that he’d cast the swing vote on the court to uphold the law. And so he did last summer after a Dane County judge had overturned it on procedural grounds. Judge Prosser is likely to do the same this time around, and with good reason.
That good reason being: Walker’s reform has helped turn Wisconsin’s fiscal ship around. As noted by ABC News, the state will have a budgetary surplus of $89.5 million by June 2013. Impressive, considering the $3.6 billion deficit Walker inherited when he took office.
A labor law professor at Marquette, Paul Secunda, is one of many Wisconsinites that feel starting the collective bargaining process now would only lead to “mass confusion” in light of Governor Walker’s efforts to stay the ruling until it can be appealed. MTU will waste no time taking advantage of this confusion; Madison Teachers Union Inc. Executive Director John Matthews holds that the school district should go to work immediately on creating a new two-year contract while it’s still “legal for the school district to bargain with us [the union].”
Colas, an appointee of former Governor Jim Doyle, does not seem to hear — or care about — the wishes of the citizens of Wisconsin who voted for Governor Walker (twice) and elected the legislators who approved the reforms. Instead, he clings to a suspicious interpretation of the law to serve the interests of the angry unions.
Teachers’ unions in Chicago are no better. They have brought education to a screeching halt demanding more money and more control over the school system they are already running into the ground; with less accountability for student education levels. As Reuter’s reports, only 60 percent of Chicago’s public school seniors graduate… yet the Chicago teachers feel justified in swapping the classroom for the picket line.
Never mind that the Chicago school system is broken. Forget that Walker’s “Budget Repair Bill” has been effective. The teachers’ unions want what they want.