Raised fist

In this file photo, a union supporter raises his fist during protests at the state Capitol in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many public workers.

State Journal file photo

Two unions representing prison guards and state teachers failed to muster enough member votes to continue negotiating over wages, according to election results released Thursday.

Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining restrictions prohibit public employee unions from negotiating with managers over anything beyond base wage increases based on inflation. The restrictions also require the unions to hold annual certification elections to see whether members want the organizations to continue to represent them in those limited negotiations.

A Madison judge ruled in 2012 the provisions were unconstitutional as they apply to local public unions, such as school district and municipal workers. The state Supreme Court is reviewing that finding.

The 2012 ruling had no effect on state employee unions, however. Five of those unions held elections beginning on Nov. 1. They wrapped up at noon on Thursday.

Under Walker's restrictions, 51 percent of a union's eligible voters must approve of the organization continuing to negotiate on their behalf. The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission released data Thursday afternoon showing three unions representing assistant district attorneys, tradesmen, such as electricians, carpenters and bricklayers, and state attorneys made the cutoff.

But only about 15 percent of 5,412 Wisconsin Association For Correctional Law Enforcement members that WERC deemed eligible to vote wanted to retain the union as their wage negotiator, according to the data.

Only 49 percent of the 664 voting members in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 24 chapter that represents teachers who work in state institutions such as prisons voted "yes."

WACLE officials didn't immediately return an email from The Associated Press. AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director Marty Beil didn't immediately return a telephone message.

The unions have eight days to challenge the results, commission attorney Peter Davis said.

Prison guards voted to form WACLE after breaking away from the Wisconsin State Employees Union this summer. WACLE filed a lawsuit last month in Dane County Circuit Court alleging the employment relations commission can't force it to undertake a certification election within a year of the first election that formed the new union. That lawsuit is still pending.

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