February 17, 2011

For Charlie Sykes, mendacity is the law

Tweets the local wing-nut howler and reputed "blogfather":
UPDATED: "Sickouts" are illegal... here's the law.
"The law," according to Sykes's trusted source,* WPRI "senior fellow" Christian Schneider, is an informational paper prepared by the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau. First of all, informational papers are not "the law," although they may make reference to "the law."

This one does: The Municipal Employment Relations Act. Second of all, Sykes and Schneider are claiming that the "sick-outs" staged by some Wisconsin teachers in protest of Governor Scott Walker's move to repeal the collective bargaining rights of public employees are "strikes." What they base that on is not explained by either of them.

Third of all, even assuming arguendo that the sick-outs are in fact strikes, these ones are not prohibited by the real law, Wis. Stat. § 111.70(1)(nm) (a provision of the Municipal Employment Relations Act), which defines "strikes" for all of the administrative directives (law) and informational papers (not law) which proceed from it:
"Strike" includes any strike or other concerted stoppage of work by municipal employees, and any concerted slowdown or other concerted interruption of operations or services by municipal employees, or any concerted refusal to work or perform their usual duties as municipal employees, for the purpose of enforcing demands upon a municipal employer. Such conduct by municipal employees which is not authorized or condoned by a labor organization constitutes a "strike" . . .
Emphases added. That is the actual "law" to which Sykes and Schneider's citations ultimately lead, whether they know it or not.

So. These sick-outs are not "for the purpose" described above — Walker and the Republicans in the Wisconsin State legislature are clearly not municipal employers** — and furthermore: "The leader of Wisconsin's largest teachers union is asking all 98,000 members to head to Madison Thursday and Friday." That would be the "authorized or condoned," as obviously the teachers' union leader is aware that both Thursday and Friday are work days. See how easy that was?

Easier than lying, which requires mendacity. And a wing-nut.

If Schneider and Sykes want to accuse teachers of breaking the law, they'd better have better grounds for it than their own foolishness.

* That was his first mistake.

** See Wis. Stat. § 111.70(1)(j), defining municipal employers.


Anonymous said...

And Dane County Judge Sumi refused to grant an injunction against MTI today to stop the school district from having to put up with the inconvenience of a lot of sick teachers.

illusory tenant said...

"In court, MTI lawyer Lester Pines argued it was not a strike because the union made no demands against the district [the 'municipal employer'], a requirement for a strike under State law."