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Appeals Court Will Rule by Nov. 4 on Act 10 Enforcement Issue

A Wisconsin appeals court will decide whether to lift a contempt of court ruling against the agency enforcing new public union election requirements.

Last year, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas declared parts of Wisconsin Act 10 unconstitutional. One of its provisions, requires public unions to re-certify every year, and the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission has continued preparing for this year's re-certifications. Because of those preparations, Colas found WERC in contempt of court, last week.

WERC has asked the state appeals court to hasten a decision, as to whether the agency should continue enforcing Act 10, while its constitutionality is litigated. On Monday, the appeals court said it would work to reach a decision by Nov. 4, the day before WERC says it must act regarding union elections. However, the court refused WERC's request to rule almost immediately, without hearing from opposing parties. The court has given them until Wednesday to weigh in on the contempt issue.

State attorneys have also taken the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but the high court has not indicated when it might consider the issue.