Attorneys Aaron Halstead and Timothy Hawks have won another significant victory for organized labor, this time in Dane County Circuit Court. In December 2011, the City of Monona’s Library Board informed library employees, represented by AFSCME Local 60, that the Board would not honor the parties’ 2012-2013 collective bargaining agreement. The parties had signed that agreement in 2010, but the Board claimed that to fulfill its promises under the parties’ agreement would violate Governor Walker’s union-busting legislation, 2011 Wisconsin Act 10. Rejecting all of the Board’s arguments, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colás stated:
“It is the declaratory judgment of the court that the Second Agreement is valid and enforceable and that the Board has committed prohibited practices in failing to perform its obligations under the Second Agreement. The Board is ordered to recognize Local 60 as the exclusive bargaining representative of the persons employed in the Monona Library bargaining unit and to arbitrate the pending grievance as required by the terms of the Second Agreement.” You can read the full decision here.
This is the second time in recent months that Attorneys Hawks and Halstead have defeated a Wisconsin municipal employer attempting to avoid its obligations under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated before the enactment of Act 10, as noted by the Wisconsin State Journal in its February 25, 2013 article.
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