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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

 3:56 PM 

Dems offer amendment to restore declaration of policy

The Senate has moved on to an amendment from Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, that would restore the declaration of policy in the employment peace subchapter of the employment relations statutes.

She noted that Gov. Scott Walker has said his budget proposal that removed language related to the "Wisconsin Idea" for the  UW System was the result of a drafting error and that she was hoping this was a drafting error, too.

Sen. Fred Risser, said nothing in the section relates to right-to-work and that it is good public policy akin to the Wisconsin idea for labor relations.

Fitzgerald responded the language was not necessary and does not affect the other parts of the right-to-work bill.

Here is the language SB44 would remove:

111.01 Declaration of policy. The public policy of the state as to employment relations and collective bargaining, in the furtherance of which this subchapter is enacted, is declared to be as follows:

(1) It recognizes that there are 3 major interests involved, namely: the public, the employee and the employer. These 3 interests are to a considerable extent interrelated. It is the policy of the state to protect and promote each of these interests with due regard to the situation and to the rights of the others.

(2) Industrial peace, regular and adequate income for the employee, and uninterrupted production of goods and services are promotive of all of these interests. They are largely dependent upon the maintenance of fair, friendly, and mutually satisfactory employment relations and the availability of suitable machinery for the peaceful adjustment of whatever controversies may arise. It is recognized that certain employers, including farmers, farmer cooperatives, and unincorporated farmer cooperative associations, in addition to their general employer problems, face special problems arising from perishable commodities and seasonal production which require adequate consideration. It is also recognized that whatever may be the rights of disputants with respect to each other in any controversy regarding employment relations, they should not be permitted, in the conduct of their controversy, to intrude directly into the primary rights of 3rd parties to earn a livelihood, transact business, and engage in the ordinary affairs of life by any lawful means and free from molestation, interference, restraint, or coercion.

(3) Negotiations of terms and conditions of work should result from voluntary agreement between employer and employee. For the purpose of such negotiation an employee has the right, if the employee desires, to associate with others in organizing and bargaining collectively through representatives of the employee’s own choosing, without intimidation or coercion from any source.

(4) It is the policy of the state, in order to preserve and promote the interests of the public, the employee, and the employer alike, to establish standards of fair conduct in employment relations and to provide a convenient, expeditious and impartial tribunal by which these interests may have their respective rights and obligations adjudicated. While limiting individual and group rights of aggression and defense, the state substitutes processes of justice for the more primitive methods of trial by combat.

History: 1985 a. 30 s. 42; 1993 a. 492; 1997 a. 253; 2005 a. 253, 441; 2007 a. 96. A labor agreement offering special parking privileges to county employees in a county ramp did not violate this section. Dane Co. v. McManus, 55 Wis. 2d 413, 198 N.W.2d 667 (1972).

This section does not create substantive rights for employees. Ward v. Frito−Lay, Inc. 95 Wis. 2d 372, 290 N.W.2d 536 (Ct. App. 1980). The application of the open meetings law to the duties of WERC is discussed. 68 Atty. Gen. 171.


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