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D.L. Davis
By D.L. Davis March 9, 2021

Evers makes a move on Act 10

Act 10 is the measure passed in 2011 by then-Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans that curtailed collective bargaining for most public employees, among other matters. 

When we last checked in on the Act 10 promise, we rated it Stalled, as Evers had not taken any concrete steps on the matter. However, his 2021-23 budget, announced Feb. 16, 2021, proposes several key changes. 

Under Act 10, only public safety and certain municipal transit workers can collectively bargain over wages, hours, and conditions of employment. 

In his budget, Evers is calling for establishing collective bargaining rights for workers who have been on the frontlines of Wisconsin's COVID-19 response. This would include workers at the state and local level whose regular job duties include interacting with members of the public, large populations, or public works.  

Evers is also proposing allowing frontline workers at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, WHEDA, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. -- all of which were involved in the COVID-19 response -- to collectively bargain as state employees

There were other Act 10 elements in the budget as well. 

Republican legislative leaders immediately rejected the full proposal and are expected to spend the next months rewriting Evers' spending plan. 

That said, Evers did finally make a move on his Act 10 promise, earning a rating of In the Works. 




Our Sources

Eric Litke
By Eric Litke January 15, 2021

No movement on Act 10 reversal in a polarizing year

Act 10 was the signature accomplishment under Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a law that sharply limited collective bargaining for most public employees in Wisconsin.

Democrat Tony Evers narrowly defeated Walker in 2018 after a campaign in which the former schools superintendent said he would repeal or soften Act 10. At the halfway point in Evers' four-year term, it's time to check in on that promise.

Republicans have long celebrated Act 10 for the financial benefits it brought schools and local governments, while Democrats have decried it for hamstringing labor unions and their power to protect workers. In short, it's about as partisan a topic as there is.

And this particular chapter of Wisconsin governmental history hasn't exactly been marked by compromise.

Evers and the Republican-run Legislature have butted heads at almost every turn. Legislative leaders avoided taking action when Evers called special sessions on gun control, elections and police reform. This came to a head (or lack of one) in the last half of 2020 as the Legislature went more than six months without even passing a bill as COVID-19 exacted a heavy toll across the state.

In this political atmosphere — and amid a historic pandemic — Evers has not attempted to address Act 10. He is still only halfway through the term, so there's time to move the needle, but at this point we rate this promise Stalled.

Our Sources

Email exchange with Britt Cudaback, spokeswoman for Gov. Tony Evers, Jan. 11-14, 2021

Tony Evers, Executive Orders, accessed Jan. 13, 2021

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