Democrat Burke votes to negotiate union contracts

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has voted to negotiate new union contracts for Madison school district teachers.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Friday that Burke voted along with every other member of the Madison school board to allow negotiations with the teachers union to extend the contract through the 2015 academic year.

Gov. Scott Walker's 2011 law effectively ended most collective bargaining for public school teachers. But the Madison teachers union signed contracts while legal fights over the law continue.

No one spoke against extending the contract during a public meeting Thursday.

Attorney Rick Esenberg with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty warned in a statement that extending the contract is "almost certainly illegal" and would likely be challenged in court.

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