Wisconsin Supreme Court hears arguments about union vote records

The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a challenge by Madison Teachers Inc. to a state agency’s decision to withhold union recertification records — a case that could have broader implications for the state’s open records law.

The case stems from a 2015 decision by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission to deny the Madison teachers union’s request for a list of which teachers did and did not vote in the annual recertification election.

MTI sought the records under the state open records law so it could urge district employees who had not yet voted to do so. The union was overwhelmingly recertified.

WERC denied the request because it feared the union would coerce voters. It cited a report that coercion had happened in the Racine School District, although that report was never investigated. Read more…