Collective Bargaining Rights in Wisconsin (2011)

In February, 2011, the Wisconsin state legislature passed a bill that was signed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees.

The bill attracted protests as large as 85,000 people.

Senate Democrats left the state of Wisconsin for three weeks and made Wisconsin the focus of the national fight over union rights.

On March 18, 2011, Dane County District Judge Maryann Sumi temporarily blocked the law from taking effect.

Walker's spokeperson Cullen Werwise and Republican legislative leaders indicated they would press on with a court battle.

Judge Maryann Sumi granted the temporary restraining order in response to a lawsuit filed by the local Democratic district attorney, alleging that Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law by hastily convening a special committee before the Wisconsin Senate passed the bill.

The law would also require most public workers in the state to contribute more to their pension and healthcare costs, changes that would amount to an 8 percent pay cut.

Frederick Bryant
March 19, 2011