Legal battle between Alabama lawmakers and public school teachers continues

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March 31, 2011

Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Alabama: Across the country, state governments are dealing with budget crises and revenue downfalls. Many states are considering (or have already passed) controversial legislation regarding collective bargaining and unions for public employees.

A law was passed in December by the Alabama Legislature that would no longer allow public employees to pay dues to labor organizations via payroll deductions. The Alabama Education Association (AEA) filed suit, alleging it will cost the organization $1.4 million. That ban was set to take effect before April 2011, but an injunction was filed by judge Lynwood Smith on March 18, which stopped the law from taking effect.[1]

The state then appealed to the 11th circuit court. Smith also denied a state motion to lift the filing until the appeal is settled.[1]

The Alabama State Employees Association joined the AEA as a plaintiff this week. The International Association of Fire Fighters also filed a similar lawsuit and requested to have their case joined with the AEA.[1]

Democratic lawmakers and union members have criticized the legislation as an attack on the middle class.[2]

Last week, a rally was held at the statehouse by union members and Democratic legislators. A series of nationwide protests are scheduled for the weekend of April 1.[3]

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