Politics

Wisconsin Senate can eliminate collective bargaining for teachers — even without Democrats who fled

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Wisconsin’s Senate can move forward on many pieces of legislation — and could eliminate some or all collective bargaining rights for public sector workers — even without the 14 Democratic state senators who fled to Chicago.

Wisconsin’s Senate needs a quorum, or 20 senators, to proceed on any spending or fiscal business. There are only 19 Republican state senators, and because all the Democrats fled, the Senate can’t hold a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget. But a quorum isn’t needed for most non-spending legislation.

Newly elected state Sen. Leah Vukmir, a Tea Party favorite, told The Daily Caller the Senate could separate the removal of collective bargaining rights for state and local employees from the spending bill if the Democrats refuse to return. Vukmir said she’s not yet sure if Wisconsin’s Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald will do so, but said it’s a possibility.

“All the collective bargaining stuff could be done as a separate bill,” Vukmir said in a phone interview. “I’m not certain if we’re going to do that at this point.”

Vukmir said the Senate could go a step further and make union membership voluntary for public sector workers, or change the rules so union workers would have to vote in favor of representation annually.

Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to TheDC’s request for comment.

This article originally misspelled the name of state Sen. Leah Vukmir. It has since been corrected.

  • JDoe

    Sorry to sat this, but…

    Only the Dems have the BALLS to look for loop holes and use them to their

    advantage….remember the “RECONILATION” loop holes they used for

    ObaMao “care”?

    99% of the GOP is too SOFT to play HARDBALL like the Dems do…we bring a

    knife and they bring a gun, and instead of bringing a flame thrower, we say…

    “never mind” , drop our heads, go to a corner and wait until the Dems decide

    to kick our asses…ONCE AGAIN…

    Sorry to be so blunt, but you all KNOW it’s the TRUTH.

    The GOP FOLDS EVERYTIME…just like they will this time…just wait and see.

    They will “COMPROMISE” on something…my guess is it will be the thing that is

    needed most.. to get rid of “collective” bargaining…after all, that is what

    the Dems want the most and we ALWAYS give them whatever they want in the end,

    to get them to stop screaming, right…?

    Just like a spoiled child and the overly induligent parent…and that is why

    we have so many bratty kids in school and horrible laws in government.

    They scream, we give in….bottom line !

  • ernielane

    The Senate Republicans should pass laws like there’s no tomorrow. For starters, eliminate public sector unions immediately, but allow collective bargaining (but no unions now, remember) on pay only.

  • maggiethecowdog

    And after unions are busted, and there is no collective bargaining anywhere, and the GOP gets rid of the minimum wage, what is to stop wages sliding into the basement?

    The GOP seems to want to repeal the 20th century and return us to the age of the Robber Barons. Is this truly the side that you’re on?

    In Missouri

    Missouri Lawmaker Pushes Bill Rolling Back Child Labor Laws
    Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham (R) is pushing a bill which would dramatically claw back state child labor protections. As the bill’s official summary explains:

    This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment…
    Source: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/15/missouri-child-labo/

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  • http://twitter.com/CommieJuice CommieJuice

    Peggy West needs to chime in with her infinite wisdom!

    Anyone remember Peggy West? She is the Milwaukee elected official who said Arizona’s immigration was too strict because they aren’t a border state, they are a few states separated from the Mexican border. I want to hear what this genius has to say about what is going on. Peggy West/Alvin Greene 2012!

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