Conservative group kicks off legal fight over MPS union leave policy

NOW: Conservative group kicks off legal fight over MPS union leave policy

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty field a notice of claim on behalf of a Milwaukee resident against the Milwaukee Public Schools policy to allow certain employees to have paid union leave.

According to the MPS employee handbook, certain employees, “may request that its representatives be released with pay to engage in union-related activities for a maximum of ten days per fiscal year.”

WILL argues the policy is a form of compelled speech as taxpayer funds are used to pay those wages when employees participate in union activities.

“The Constitution guarantees everyone the right to speak, and also the right not to speak,” WILL Deputy Counsel Dan Lennington said in a statement. “This policy forces Milwaukee taxpayers to pay for the speech and political activities of labor unions by paying teachers and other employees full wages and benefits to work for unions. Taxpayer money should be spent on educating students, not helping labor unions.”

The notice of claim filed Thursday, Jan. 18 starts a timeline before a lawsuit against MPS can begin.

The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association shared this statement to CBS 58:

“The allegation made by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) that 'MPS pays public employees full wages and benefits to work for unions' is false. Had they simply read the section of the MPS Handbook they claim to be citing, where it could not be more clearly explained that MTEA pays for the salary and benefits of full-time release members, they would know this. Instead, WILL made no effort to determine the truth of its allegation before making an inflammatory, malicious statement that was designed to harm MPS, MTEA and the hard working public education workers of Milwaukee. MTEA will issue a formal demand for a retraction of WILL’s feckless statement to the public.”

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