New rules are taking effect today on the annual re-certification votes that most public employee unions in Wisconsin must take to stay in existence.
Jack Bernfeld of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees says many groups are shying away from re-certifying. He says the process is too expensive, and it’s designed to drain unions of money and energy. Bernfeld says unions will stay alive even if they’re not certified. They plan to represent workers in informal meetings with their bosses – and they vow to keep speaking out at public government meetings. It will cost them up to $2,000 for the state to hold re-certification elections – and Bernfeld calls it a “poll tax” for the right to talk with public employers about very minor matters.