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BREAKING NEWS / URGENT: The State Supreme Court upholds Act 10, Voter ID, and the state's domestic partnership registry

MADISON, Wis (WSAU)  - The Wisconsin State Supreme Court upheld Act 10, the state law that limits the collective bargaining rights of state employees. The law from three years ago sparked protests at the state capital and led to the recall attempt against Governor Scott Walker. The court's ruling in favor of Act 10 was 5-2. Justice Michael Gableman wrote the lead opinion, which was also signed by Justices David Prosser, Pat Roggensack and Annette Ziegler. Justice Patrick Crooks concurre...

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Unions urging state lawmakers to pass 5 health care bills

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Three unions are starting a campaign Tuesday to urge state lawmakers to approve five health care bills – including one to bring back collective bargaining for UW Hospital employees.

Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach of Middleton and Assembly Democrat Jon Richards of Milwaukee are sponsoring the measures.

Leaders of the Service Employees International Union, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees planned a mid-day news conference.

About 300 health care workers were expected to meet with other lawmakers Tuesday, to lobby for the five measures.

One would restore bargaining for about 5,000 UW medical workers, who can only seek pay hikes at or below inflation under Act 10. They have three contracts in the process of expiring through late January.

The other bills would require minimum ratios of nurses to patients – ban mandatory overtime – require safe patient handling programs – and create programs to prevent violence and bullying of health care personnel.

The unions said most workplace assaults from 2003 to ’07 involved assaults on health care and social assistance workers.

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