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Appeals court: Act 10 did not infringe on rights of most public workers

CHICAGO (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers scored another legal victory Friday in their approval of the Act 10 public union bargaining limits.  

A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Chicago affirmed that most public workers did not have their rights infringed upon, when they lost nearly all of their collective bargaining privileges in 2011.  

Two Dane County unions filed the federal lawsuit, claiming that Act 10 violated their rights to free association and equal protections under the law.  

The appellate panel agreed with Federal Judge William Conley of Madison, who ruled Act 10 still allows public employees to assemble and speak -- but it does not require their government employers to listen.

Previously, the Chicago appeals court ruled that all of Act 10 was constitutional. That was after parts of the package had been struck down.

Also, the State Supreme Court is in the process of deciding whether the law applies to local government and school unions, in addition to state government employees.

The law allows all public employees except police and fire unions to bargain only for pay raises at-or-below inflation. Also, unions cannot be recognized unless 51 percent of all members agree to it -- which means that members who don't vote are in essence voting no.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)