Wisconsin collective bargaining

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Public Employee Unions and the Budget Bill

Gov. Walker introduced and the legislature passed a budget bill that would impact what state employees pay for their health care costs and their ability to collectively bargain.[1] Initially the legislative language regarding collective bargaining and employee health insurance and pension fund contributions was part of a budget bill, but then taken out of the budget bill and used to create a separate bill, Wisconsin Act 10. The bill polarized lawmakers and up to 40,000 thousands of union protesters filled the state Capitol in protests that lasted for weeks.[2][3] The governor signed the bill into law on March 11, 2011.[4]

The collective bargaining law established a system in which most of the public unions were required to have an "absolute" majority of their members vote every year to recertify — a standard higher than traditionally used. The law also took away some unions' rights to collect mandatory dues and prevented unions from deducting voluntary dues directly out of employee paychecks.[5]

The law requires all public employees to pay more for their health care and pension benefits at the same time it takes away all collective bargaining rights except over raises no greater than inflation. Local police and firefighters, along with the state patrol, would retain their bargaining rights.[6] Walker counted on the public worker concessions generating about $300 million in savings to the state over the next two years to help balance the budget.[7]

The new law made sweeping changes to collective bargaining for most public unions, including requiring public employees contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries to pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums, which amounted to pay cuts.[8]

Gov. Scott Walker said the reforms passed in 2011 are having a positive impact. Walker officials released survey data from state school districts showing most class sizes have stayed the same, there have been fewer teacher layoffs, and property taxes were kept in check. Administrative officials are chalking the results to passage of Act 10. Some school officials say Walker's interpretation is not accurate.[9]

Property tax levies adopted by the state's school districts declined $47 million in 2011 - or 1 percent - and Walker's office cited the figures as evidence that GOP efforts to control school spending were working. State education officials and the state's largest teachers' union, though, have argued that the levy cuts, along with a $749 million decrease in state aid to public schools, have harmed many schools throughout the state. For example, the latest WASDA-DPI survey shows 31 percent of districts laid off teachers. But WEAC's anonymous surveys from 2008-'09 and 2007-'08 show 64 percent of districts laid off teachers, according to a release from the governor's office.[10]

Passage of the Act 10 led to a recall election for Gov. Walker and to court challenges.

A Brief History

Collective bargaining is a method whereby representatives of employees (unions) and employers negotiate the conditions of employment, normally resulting in a written contract setting forth the wages, hours, and other conditions to be observed for a stipulated period.

During the 19th century Wisconsin unions worked collectively to influence how businesses dealt with employees. Sometimes the protests led to violence. In 1898, woodworkers in Oshkosh staged a general strike, largely because they had been denied “catch-up” pay raises they had been promised after suffering major paycuts during the 1893 Depression. Some 1,500 went on strike during the summer; one young striker was killed and violence erupted at several times.[11]

Working with the Socialist Party, union leaders in Wisconsin campaigned for social reforms and were successful in the passage in 1911 of the nation’s first Workers Compensation law, which required employers to provide medical attention, compensation for loss of life and limb and payment for lost time due to injuries on the job.[12]

The Wagner Act of 1935 protected the right to organize unions and bargain collectively for many private-sector workers, but it did not cover local, state, or federal workers. Nor did the Social Security Act cover them. in 1959 Wisconsin became the first state to enact legislation recognizing the rights of government workers to bargain collectively.[13] The new law provided the right of collective bargaining to public employees, and also required municipalities, school districts the university system and other public entities to bargain with the unionized workers.[14] The collective bargaining law also included teachers in the category of public employees.[15]

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was founded in 1936 in Madison before collective bargaining was a protected act.

In February 1964, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association became the first certified teachers’ bargaining agent.

The Municipal Employment Relations Act was amended in 1971. The amendment made it a requirement for districts to bargain with teachers, rather than simply allowing collective bargaining. Binding arbitration was included as a means for settling stalemates. The amended law stipulated that the obligation to bargain did not expire once the school board offered a contract, but continued until the contract was signed. Previously, school board members would stop bargaining in good faith after making their first contract offer. Fair Share was also included in the amendment. This made it possible for teachers to be included in their school districts’ bargaining units on the day they were hired, rather than being required to sign up to have the union represent them.[16]

Collective bargaining occurs during contract negotiations between public government bodies and public employees.

Passage of Act 10

The law eliminates almost all union bargaining rights on everything except salary.[17][18] Unions will be unable to seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum.[19] In addition, unions also will have to hold annual votes to stay organized and would be unable to force employees to pay dues.[19]

Employees who retain their collective bargaining rights are local police, firefighters and state troopers.[19]

Vote on the Healthcare and Collective Bargaining Provisions

On March 9, 2011, the state Senate moved to separate the collective bargaining language from the fiscal budget legislation language, because a quorum isn't needed for a nonbudgetary bill. The Senate could then vote on the collective bargaining language.[20]

When Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald read the bill to a joint conference committee, Rep. Peter Barca objected, saying the committee's meeting was in violation of the state's open meetings law. The vote was held and the measure was approved.[21]

After the Senate vote, the collective bargaining bill moved to the Assembly on March 10, 2011, amid intense protests that prevented lawmakers from entering. Capitol police closed the building and removed demonstrators inside who refused to leave and reopened one entrance to the building, allowing lawmakers to enter for the vote.[22] The Assembly passed the bill that afternoon.[23]

The governor signed the bill into law on March 11, 2011.[24]

Recall Election

The governor's actions related to collective bargaining in the state led Democrats to collect over 900,000 valid signatures to the recall Gov. Walker, Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four GOP state senators. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voted unanimously for the recall election. It set the primary on May 8 and the general election for June 5.[25]

Wisconsin is one of 18 states that allow for recalls of state elected officials. The Wisconsin governor can be recalled after serving one year of a four-year term. Petitioners needed to file 540,208 valid signatures to recall Walker to force an election. The state elections board determined they filed more than 900,000.[26]

Exit polls following the April 2012 presidential primary show Walker has strong support from the Republican voters. Republican primary voters overwhelmingly — by about 8 in 10 — approve of Walker’s job as governor.[27]

Polling indicates that the recall battle will tight. A recent poll from Marquette University Law School showed Walker with a slight advantage over two of his possible Democratic challengers. Measured against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated for governor in 2010, Walker has a two point lead of 47 percent to 45 percent. Against former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, Walker has a 4-point lead of 49 percent to 45 percent.[28]

If successful in challenging Walker Falk promised to veto any budget that did not repeal Walker's collective bargaining reforms. Barrett said that strategy would not work. Barrett said he would attempt to repeal Walker's union reforms by calling a special legislative session.[29]

Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is throwing his support behind Walker in the recall election. Ryan said Walker's reforms, including stripping most public workers of collective bargaining rights, are helping school districts balance their budgets and attracting business to the state. "If Scott Walker or these state senators get recalled in June, what governor or state legislature in the future is going to take on these big structural challenges?" Ryan told members of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. "What politician in state government will take on these entrenched special interest groups and deal with the structural problems of their state if this is what happens do you? So that's why the stakes are so high."[30]

Union Support

Unions spent more than $12 million on the Wisconsin state Senate recall effort.

Most unions have lined up behind former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who has pledged to veto any state budget that doesn't reinstate collective bargaining rights. However, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced last month that he would run in the Democratic primary, even after union leaders tried to talk him out of it. Barrett, who narrowly lost to Walker in 2010, has stronger statewide name recognition than Falk, but he has clashed with unions in the past and refused to take the unions' veto pledge.[31]

Barrett's entry into the race means unions will have to spend even more money to boost Falk's profile. Falk has won the endorsement of the statewide teachers union and the largest union representing public workers. No unions have backed Barrett so far, but the head of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association has praised Barrett and there could be a rift if some unions rally behind the Milwaukee mayor.[32]

Advisory Referendum

Dane County voters overwhelmingly called for a return to collective bargaining between state and local governments and their union employees following an advisory referendum during the April primary election. By a 2 to 1 margin voters approved an advisory referendum stating that employees should, “have the right to seek safe working conditions and fair pay through collective bargaining.”[33]

Court Challenges

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi struck down Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees. Sumi ruled the March 9 meeting of the state Legislature's Joint Committee of Conference violated Wisconsin Open Records Law and that the budget bill "consequently has no force or effect."[34]

Democratic lawmakers left the state to block the Republican majority from passing the budget legislation, which included a controversial measure to diminish collective bargaining rights. But in an unexpected move, Walker and the Republican lawmakers split their bill into two, allowing the non-budget collective bargaining measure to fly through with no Democrats in the room. The Senate’s 19 Republicans approved the measure, 18 to 1, in less than half an hour, without any debate on the floor or a single Democrat in the room.[35]

In her ruling Sumi wrote "This was not a case in which proper notice was missed by a few minutes or an hour. Not even the two-hour notice justified by 'good cause' was provided." The judge said state lawmakers were "understandably frustrated by the stalemate" but added frustration does not justify foregoing compliance with the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law in order to move the budget bill forward. "This case is the exemplar of values protected by the Open Meetings Law: transparency in government, the right of citizens to participate in their government, and respect for the rule of law."[36] Sumi's May 23 ruling was a reaffirmation of a ruling she made March 18 halting implementation of the governor's bill. However, the governor challenged Sumi's initial stay of his budget plan. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in June to determine if Sumi had the authority to block Walker's budget bill.[37]

In addition, Sumi said that the legislature could fix it all by giving new, adequate notice of a meeting -- and then pass the law again.[38]

On June 14 the state Supreme Court reinstated Gov. Walker's plan that would impact collective bargaining for public workers. The court was divided in its decision, ruling 4-3 to overturn the lower court's decision.The court found a committee of lawmakers was not subject to the state's open meetings law, and so did not violate that law when they hastily approved the measure and made it possible for the Senate to take it up. In doing so, the Supreme Court overruled a Dane County judge who had struck down the legislation, ending one challenge to the law even as new challenges are likely to emerge.[39]

The high court struck down Sumi's ruling, saying the judge exceeded her jurisdiction, "invaded" the Legislature's constitutional powers and erred in halting the publication and implementation of the collective bargaining law.[40]

On March 30, 2012, Wisconsin Federal District Court Judge William Conley ruled that some portions of Wisconsin’s Act 10 violates the equal protection rights of state employee unions. The judge found that the law’s prohibition of automatic dues collecting and the requirement that the affected unions hold annual recertification elections was unconstitutional because police and firefighter unions were exempt from those portions of the law.[41] "So long as the State of Wisconsin continues to afford ordinary certification and dues deductions to mandatory public safety unions with sweeping bargaining rights, there is no rational basis to deny those rights to voluntary general unions with severely restricted bargaining rights," wrote U.S. District Judge William M. Conley.[42]

The plaintiff unions challenged three specific provisions of Act 10:[43]

  • Restricting the subject of "general employee" unions' collective bargaining to base wages only, and prohibiting fair-share agreements by which nonunion members pay the unions for the benefits won through the unions' efforts.
  • Requiring annual re-certification of general employee unions by an absolute majority of all employees in the bargaining unit, as opposed to a majority of those voting.
  • Prohibiting the automatic deduction of dues and fair-share payments from payroll checks of general employees.

Wisconsin officials asked a federal judge to put on hold a ruling that overturned a law requiring members of some public employee unions to vote yearly on whether to continue their union representation.[44]

After Conley’s March 30 ruling, seven or more unions that had been decertified “demanded that the state immediately begin negotiations over total base wages” for their bargaining units, Wisconsin officials said in yesterday’s filing. If the court doesn’t stay the decision, the state will have to negotiate with those unions on wages, they said.[45]

The Wisconsin State Attorneys Association and the Professional Education and Information Council filed unfair labor practices complaints alleging that state officials have refused to meet or negotiate.[46]

Public Protests

Thousands of opponents to Walker's collective bargaining actions filled the streets of the state capital protesting the proposed legislation. Following the Supreme Court's overturning of Sumi's ruling, thousands returned to the capitol to again protest the legislature's plan to end collective bargaining.[47]

The upheaval the measure caused continues to roil state politics. Six of the Republican senators who supported the law, and three of the Democratic senators who opposed it, faced special recall elections in July 2011.[48]

One Year Anniversary

To mark the one year anniversary of passage of Act 10 thousands returned to the capital to protest the measure. The Reclaim Wisconsin march was organized by the AFL-CIO.[49]

During the anniversary protest state reps. called for passage of the Collective Bargaining Restoration Act. The Collective Bargaining Restoration Act would repeal the provisions of Wisconsin Act 10.[50]

Healthcare Costs

Protests erupted over the Governor's budget bill that would require state employees to contribute 5.8% of their salary toward their pensions, and also pay 12.6% of their health insurance premiums.[3][19] The move is anticipated to save nearly $300 million over the following two fiscal years.[17] Gov. Walker said that asking employees to pay half the national average for health care "is truly a modest request."[51] Walker also denied that his proposal is trying to break the unions.[51][52]

In the Prisons

With passage of Act 10 Wisconsin prison workers say they're at risk because the changes to collective bargaining are causing experienced guards to leave their positions. With the departure of officers, some say the prisons are becoming more dangerous.[53]

Public Employee Layoffs

Republican lawmakers said collective bargaining rules must be changed so governments can avoid laying off thousands of workers.[54] Walker has said that he will have to lay off up to 6,000 state workers if the measure does not pass.[19] On March 4, 2011, The governor sent letters to state employee unions informing them that layoff notices would go out to 1,500 state employees in 15 days,[55] but he rescinded those layoff notices once the bill was approved, saying that the bill would lead to suffiicient savings that layoffs would not be necessary.[56]

School Layoffs

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget cut about $749 million from state education aid over two years and mandated a reduction in how much school districts could raise from property taxes to offset those cuts. It was the first reduction in the revenue limits in 20 years and, combined with flat revenue limits, resulted in a $1.6 billion swing from what districts would have been able to raise under the previous law to what they can raise now. As a result, school property taxes statewide declined this year by about 1 percent. It was only the second decline in school property taxes in the past decade. To offset the cuts, most districts in the state negotiated higher pension and health insurance premium contributions from employees.[57]

A claim by the Wisconsin Education Association Council that 4,000 school workers were laid off has been proven false, according to Politifact.[58] However, a PolitiFact report shows losses are closer to 3,400 education staff spread across more than 350 local districts, about a 5 percent drop.[59]

A Wisconsin superintendent survey last fall found state budget cuts caused school districts to eliminate thousands of staff positions, increase class sizes, raise student fees and reduce extracurricular offerings. However, data compiled by Gov. Scott Walker’s office said those results don’t tell the full story and that, in fact, similar surveys from past years show school districts fared better after his education changes went into effect.[60]

Following the release of the survey data Gov. Walker requested the Wisconsin Education Association post the results on their website.[61]

The older surveys show more school districts increased class sizes, reduced extracurricular programs, raised student fees and tapped reserves to balance their budgets in each year between 2002 and 2008 than they did in 2011. In past years, anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of districts reported increasing student fees each year. This year, 22 percent of districts reported doing so. More than half the districts said they reduced sports and extracurricular programs, compared with 11 percent this year.[62]

Walker’s office also pointed out that, in past years, between 62 percent and 70 percent of districts reported laying off teachers, compared with 31 percent this year. However, that doesn’t account for this year’s unusually high number of teacher retirements. Overall, 65 percent of districts reported a net loss of teachers this year.[63]

Consensus Bargaining

Despite changes in collective bargaining mandated at the state level, Wisconsin Rapids School Board members are willing to meet with the district's teachers to discuss concepts such as school policies, procedures and expectations. Before state legislation restricted many public employee unions' ability to collectively bargain last year, the district used consensus bargaining, allowing for such discussions as part of negotiations. Consensus bargaining differs from traditional contract negotiations in that both sides work toward developing solutions, rather than having each side present its own desired outcome. Proponents of consensus negotiations say the process allows both sides to approach the deal with more of an open mind.[64]

Democratic Senators Leave State

To avoid a vote on the measure, 14 Senate Democrats disappeared and could not be found.[65] They reportedly went to a hotel in Illinois.[19] Republicans control the State Senate by 19 to 14, but to have a vote on fiscal matters, 20 senators must be present.[65] The Senate Democrats, however, threatened to stay away for weeks.[66] The Senate scheduled votes on other bills of interest to Democrats, hoping that they would return to vote on them.[67] On March 2, 2011, the Senate voted to levy fines of $100 a day for the 14 Senators who fled Wisconsin to stall the vote.[68] The remaining senators passed a unanimous resolution finding the missing Senators in contempt and ordering them to return to the Senate, with threat of arrest if they resisted.[69]

The Assembly passed the bill just after midnight on Feb. 25, 2011.[70] Assembly Democrats, however, tried to stall the proposal by offering more than a hundred amendments.[71] Lawmakers extended debate for 43 hours.[72] On Feb. 24, 2011, the Assembly reached a deal to limit amendments and debates and appeared to be close to voting on the bill.[73] State troopers were then sent to the homes of the 14 missing Democrats, but they were not found. Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach said all 14 senators remained outside of Wisconsin and would not return until Walker was willing to compromise.[73]

The governor said that if the bill is not passed and signed into law before Feb. 26, 2011, a key part of the proposal is lost because a refinancing of state debt that would free up $165 million will be lost if not complete by then and more cuts will be needed to balance the budget.[67] A payment on state debt is due by March 15.[70]

In the case of a walkout, Walker has put the National Guard on alert.[74]

School Closures

More than 15 school districts, including the Madison schools were closed for four days due to teachers and staff calling in sick.[75][76] Judge Maryann Sumi of the Dane County District Court denied the Madison school district requests for an injunction against Madison Teachers Inc. so that schools could reopen.[75]


  1. CNN.com Live: Wisconsin Assembly passes controversial labor bill March 10, 2011
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named slash
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named protest
  4. MSNBC.com "Wis. governor officially cuts collective bargaining" March 11, 2011
  5. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/federal-court-strikes-down-parts-of-collective-bargaining-law/article_562c581e-7a9f-11e1-9aea-0019bb2963f4.html/ Wisconsin State Journal, Federal court strikes down parts of collective bargaining law, March 31, 2012]
  6. Forbes, Latest union proposal exempts Wis. transit workers, June 14, 2011
  7. Forbes, Latest union proposal exempts Wis. transit workers, June 14, 2011
  8. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/federal-court-strikes-down-parts-of-collective-bargaining-law/article_562c581e-7a9f-11e1-9aea-0019bb2963f4.html/ Wisconsin State Journal, Federal court strikes down parts of collective bargaining law, March 31, 2012]
  9. WKBT, Walker administration: Survey shows collective bargaining reforms working, April 10, 2012
  10. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WEAC, Walker at odds over surveys' release, April 12, 2012
  11. Wisconsin Labor History, A Primer
  12. Wisconsin Labor History, A Primer
  13. The New Republic, What's Really Going on in Wisconsin?, Feb. 19,2011
  14. Wisconsin Labor History, A Primer
  15. Wisconsin Education Council Association, History
  16. Wisconsin Education Council Association, History
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel "Budget bill draws a crowd" Feb. 15, 2011
  18. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Wis. state workers and allies descend on Madison to protest halt to collective bargaining" Feb. 15, 2011
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 MSNBC.com "Wis. union vote on hold after Democrats leave state" Feb. 17, 2011
  20. Fox News "Wisconsin Republicans Plan to Pass Budget Bill Without Democrats, Sources Say" March 9, 2011
  21. MSNBC.com "Wis. GOP votes to push through anti-union bill" March 9, 2011
  22. [http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/03/10/wisconsin.budget/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1 CNN.com "Wisconsin Capitol re-opens as state Assembly takes up bill" March 10, 2011
  23. CNN.com Live: Wisconsin Assembly passes controversial labor bill March 10, 2011
  24. MSNBC.com "Wis. governor officially cuts collective bargaining" March 11, 2011
  25. Politico "Scott Walker recall set for June 5" March 30, 2012
  26. ABC, How Wisconsin's Recall Election Works, April 11, 2012
  27. NY Times, In Wisconsin Exit Polls, Hints at the Leanings of November Voters, April 3, 2012
  28. ABC, Gov. Scott Walker: Most Polarizing Man In Wisconsin?, April 4, 2012
  29. Weekly Standard, Tom Barrett Undermines Efforts to Undo Walker Reforms, April 12, 2012
  30. Post Bulletin, Wis. Congressman says he'll help Walker in recall, April 10, 2012
  31. Fox News, Wisconsin recall is high-stakes bet for unions, April 11, 2012
  32. Fox News, Wisconsin recall is high-stakes bet for unions, April 11, 2012
  33. WTAQ, Dane Co. voters approve returning collective bargaining to union employees, April 4, 2012
  34. Legal News Online, Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Governor's Budget Bill, May 24, 2011
  35. New York Times, Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Law Curbing Unions, May 35, 2011
  36. Legal News Online, Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Governor's Budget Bill, May 24, 2011
  37. Legal News Online, Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Governor's Budget Bill, May 24, 2011
  38. MSNBC, Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Union Right Law, May 25, 2011
  39. https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/123859034.html/ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Supreme Court reinstates collective bargaining law, June 14, 2011]
  40. https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/123859034.html/ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Supreme Court reinstates collective bargaining law, June 14, 2011]
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  42. Bellingham Herald, Federal judge strikes down parts of Wisconsin's collective-bargaining law, March 31, 2012
  43. Bellingham Herald, Federal judge strikes down parts of Wisconsin's collective-bargaining law, March 31, 2012
  44. Bloomberg, Wisconsin Seeks Union Recertification Order Stay During Appeal, April 9, 2012
  45. Bloomberg, Wisconsin Seeks Union Recertification Order Stay During Appeal, April 9, 2012
  46. Lacrosse Tribune, Public employee unions file unfair labor complaints, March 21, 2012
  47. Public News Service, Thousands Protest WI Budget, June 15, 2011
  48. Reuters, Divided Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds anti-union law, June 14, 2011
  49. WTVR, Protest in Wisconsin over collective bargaining bill, March 11, 2012
  50. WEAC, On one-year anniversary, Pocan and Risser call for reversal of anti-collective bargaining law, March 8, 2012
  51. 51.0 51.1 CBSNews.com "Wis. gov: I took "bold political move" on budget" Feb. 18, 2011
  52. Wall Street Journal, Union Fight Heats Up, Feb. 18, 2011
  53. WEAU, Prison workers rally against new work rules, staff shortage , April 9, 2012
  54. Reuters "Thousand of Wisconsin union workers protest budget plan" Feb. 15, 2011
  55. The Washington Post "Wis. governor begins process for layoffs" March 4, 2011
  56. The New York Times "Wisconsin Governor Rescinds Layoff Notices" March 11, 2011
  57. LaCrosse Tribune, Past schools surveys shed new light on '11-12 results, April 5, 2012
  58. Politifact, Fact-checking claims in the Wisconsin recall election, April 23, 2012
  59. PolitiFact, Walker says ‘overwhelming number’ of Wisconsin school districts’ staffs grew or stayed the same after 2011-2013 state budget, Nov. 15, 2011
  60. LaCrosse Tribune, Past schools surveys shed new light on '11-12 results, April 5, 2012
  61. WEAU, Walker, teacher union head at odds over survey, April 12, 2012
  62. LaCrosse Tribune, Past schools surveys shed new light on '11-12 results, April 5, 2012
  63. LaCrosse Tribune, Past schools surveys shed new light on '11-12 results, April 5, 2012
  64. Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, School Board willing to meet with teachers before wage negotiations, April 11, 2012
  65. 65.0 65.1 New York Times "Democrats Missing, Wisconsin Vote on Cuts Is Delayed" Feb. 17, 2011
  66. Yahoo! News "Wisconsin Democrats could stay away for weeks" Feb. 18, 2011 (dead link)
  67. 67.0 67.1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Both sides in Wisconsin budget battle dig in deeper " Feb. 23, 2011
  68. ABCNEWS.com "Ohio Public Employee Unions Lose; Wisconsin And Indiana Democrats Seek Deals" March 2, 2011
  69. The Wall Street Journal "Pressure Mounts on Absent Democrats in Wisconsin, Indiana" March 3, 2011
  70. 70.0 70.1 Reuters "Wisconsin Assembly approves plan to curb unions" Feb. 25, 2011
  71. Reuters "In Wisconsin, a jarring new note in discordant debate" Feb. 23, 2011
  72. []
  73. 73.0 73.1 MSNBC.com "Wis. stalemate: Deal struck, cops sent to Dem homes" Feb. 24, 2011
  74. The Chicago Tribune "Walker says National Guard is prepared" Feb. 11, 2011
  75. 75.0 75.1 WKOW.com "MMSD denied temporary restraining order" Feb. 18, 2011
  76. WFRV.com "Madison schools remain closed, Fourth day in a row" Feb. 21, 2011