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The Statute

Describes the enabling legislation passed in 2009

Provisions authorizing unionization by faculty and academic staff were contained within Wisconsin’s last biennial budget.  The budget bill also directed how faculty and academic staff can organize and what matters are/are not subject to collective bargaining.  

The definitive enumeration of the provisions contained in the law can be accessed at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0111.pdf. (see in particular Subchapter VI)

Important elements within this statute include:

  • the faculty at each four year state University will be deciding separately whether or not to unionize; likewise, the academic staff at each four year state University will decide separately whether or not to unionize
  • no unionization vote will take place without 30% of the personnel eligible in any potential bargaining unit petitioning to hold such a vote; a simple majority in favor of unionizing in such a vote allows the personnel voting to form a bargaining unit
  • after unionizing, faculty bargaining units can choose to join together with faculty units from other UW schools, and academic staff units can join with academic staff units from other UW schools, and, moreover, faculty bargaining units can join together with academic staff units
  • the Board of Regents is the state’s negotiating arm; any agreement they reach with bargaining units must be submitted to and approved by the Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER), and through legislation when necessary; JCOER and the state legislature can reject terms agreed to by the Board of Regents
  • bargaining units can decertify by 30% of those in the bargaining unit petitioning followed by a majority vote in favor of decertifying; employees can change the union which represents them by a similar process
  • individuals and groups can file grievances outside of any union process 
  • what collective bargaining pertains to is limited in many instances; wages, fringe benefits, hours, and conditions of employment are up for negotiation; but the bill mandates that the mission and goals of the University system, tenure, the promotion and renewal processes, academic freedom, and contributions to the Wisconsin Retirement System are not and cannot be subjects of union-state negotiations
  • neither faculty nor academic staff are allowed to strike

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by Kercher, Stephen E last modified Mar 05, 2010 12:05 PM
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