Given the changes Governor Walker has proposed to the collective bargaining rights of public employees in Wisconsin that are before the Legislature for consideration this week, a reading of the “Declaration of Policy” from sec. 111.80 which clearly states the legislative intent of Wisconsin’s Employment Relations statute seems most appropriate at this time:
STATE EMPLOYMENT LABOR RELATIONS
111.80 Declaration of policy. The public policy of the state as to labor relations and collective bargaining in state employment, in the furtherance of which this subchapter is enacted, is as follows:
(1) It recognizes that there are 3 major interests involved: that of the public, that of the employee and that of the employer. These 3 interests are to a considerable extent interrelated. It is the policy of this state to protect and promote each of these interests with due regard to the situation and to the rights of the others.
(2) Orderly and constructive employment relations for employees and the efficient administration of state government are promotive of all these interests. They are largely dependent upon the maintenance of fair, friendly and mutually satisfactory employee management relations in state employment, and the availability of suitable machinery for fair and peaceful adjustment of whatever controversies may arise. It is recognized that whatever may be the rights of disputants with respect to each other in any controversy regarding state employment relations, neither party has any right to engage in acts or practices which jeopardize the public safety and interest and interfere with the effective conduct of public business.
(3) Where permitted under this subchapter, negotiations of terms and conditions of state employment should result from voluntary agreement between the state and its agents as employer, and its employees. For that purpose an employee may, if the employee desires, associate with others in organizing and in bargaining collectively through representatives of the employee’s own choosing without intimidations or coercion from any source.
(4) It is the policy of this state, in order to preserve and promote the interests of the public, the employee and the employer alike, to encourage the practices and procedures of collective bargaining in state employment subject to the requirements of the public service and related laws, rules and policies governing state employment, by establishing standards of fair conduct in state employment relations and by providing a convenient, expeditious and impartial tribunal in which these interests may have their respective rights determined.
History: 1971 c. 270; 1977 c. 196; 1993 a. 492; 1995 a. 27.
The entire Chapter 111 - Employment Relations may be viewed at the Wisconsin Statutes Home Page.
Submitted by Eric Taylor, Evening Reference Librarian on February 15, 2011
This article appears in the categories: Law Library/IT