After passage of Wisconsin Act 10,Columbia County officials have agreed they have no mandate to bargain with the former exclusive representative, AFSCME.  County officials, it seems, are finding it effective to sit down and talk with their employees, instead of working with union negotiators until the union is recertified as the sole representative, and County workers seem to be fine with that arrangement also. 

Lynn Jerde has the story in the Portage Daily Register.

Ruf’s letter to AFSCME Staff Representative Neil Rainford, dated Tuesday, was in response to Rainford’s Dec. 31 email to Ruf, and to all 28 County Board members, calling on the county to begin negotiations with AFSCME and to refrain from enforcing employee policies and procedures that were adopted after Dec. 31, 2011.

It would be premature for Columbia County officials to engage in collective bargaining with the union that formerly represented almost 400 county employees, the county’s corporation counsel told a staff representative of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees in a letter this week.

Ruf’s letter to AFSCME Staff Representative Neil Rainford, dated Tuesday, was in response to Rainford’s Dec. 31 email to Ruf, and to all 28 County Board members, calling on the county to begin negotiations with AFSCME and to refrain from enforcing employee policies and procedures that were adopted after Dec. 31, 2011. 

“Until you become certified as the exclusive bargaining representative through an election of unit members conducted by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, we cannot engage in collective bargaining with you on total base wages or otherwise,” Ruf wrote. 

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