On Friday attorneys representing six unions, including the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 and the Kenosha Education Association, sent a letter to Chairman James Scott and Commissioner Rodney Pasch of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) indicating that if they do not promise to stop enforcing provisions of a law restricting collective bargaining by Monday, they will seek contempt-of-court orders against them.
The letter ramps up the ongoing legal dispute between labor and Gov. Scott Walker’s appointees and brings a new batch of unions into the lawsuit, including those that represent teachers and other government workers statewide.
The move came three days after Dane County Judge Juan Colás ruled the state could not enforce the law against local government unions. Colás declined, however, to issue an injunction against the state in his Tuesday ruling, and a top official with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission said then the decision would have no effect on how it operated.
No doubt the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission will ignore the request from public employee unions, and I can only hope Judge Colas will hold the members in contempt if they continue to choose to ignore court rulings.