Support Your Colleagues at Madison College (MATC)
The teachers and support staff at Madison College need your help. In the past few months, the members of AFT Local 243 have come under attack from their administration. Their contract expires in March 2014, and for three months, the union has been attempting to open negotiations for a successor contract. This request has been refused and the administration is forcing Governor Walker’s Act 10 “handbook” on them. In a second attack, the administration has signed a contract to outsource custodial work. The union has filed two grievances on this issue.
In response to the above, AFT Local 243 and their supporters have packed the last two Madison College Board meetings to voice their concerns. This is where all of us can continue to help. The next MATC Board meeting is on June 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Truax Campus. Attend this meeting to demonstrate support for the efforts of AFT Local 243 to gain a Contract and oppose subcontracting. If you want to speak on the issues, arrive at 5:00 p.m. to sign up. If you are unable to attend the Board meeting you can email the Board at http://madisoncollege.edu/emaildistrict-board. For more information on the struggle please follow on Facebook, Madison College Solidarity.
Remember, this fight is our fight too. Solidarity!
RECAP ON SPRING ELECTION
Dear AFT-Wisconsin members:
This week’s message is a summary of the many election victories our union had throughout the state. While we were disappointed that Ed Fallone did not win the State Supreme Court race, we have the landslide re-election of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to make us proud. Tony, a longtime friend of the AFT and a strong supporter of public education, won decisively, 61% - 39%. We also have many local victories to celebrate. From Superior to Milwaukee to the northeast and southwest, AFT-Wisconsin members stepped up and ran for office, and our locals endorsed and led efforts to win local elections. We became much more engaged at the grassroots level than we have been in the past.
In the past, we have had significant state fed staff to guide our political efforts. This was typically done from Madison. This year, locals took the lead in recruiting candidates, and helping them get elected. This is a new direction for our union—but a VERY positive step in the right direction. The building of relationships at the local level has encouraged our members to become a much more dynamic presence in their communities. To all of you, I say: “Job well done!”
Bryan Kennedy, Ph.D.
RECAP ON THE SPRING ELECTION
Menasha—The Menasha Teachers Union local became a true example of a union that became engaged in local politics and made a real difference.
1. The Menasha Teachers Union recruited a candidate to run for the school board. The local then ran their own campaign and got Chad Bruechert (a former teacher in the district and AFT member) elected to the school board. What was amazing was that Chad ran a WRITE-IN campaign and won! AFT-W provided local election assistance to the local in this race.
2. The MTU also supported a WEAC member, who lives in Menasha but teaches in a neighboring school district, in a race for the Menasha City Council. Kaukana Teacher Michael Keehan won his Menasha aldermanic race.
3. MTU member Andrea Reichenberger’s husband Tim ran for the Kaukana school board and was elected in a six-person race.
4. Menasha also had a $30 million referendum on the ballot for the high school and it passed.
Milwaukee—Local 212 has long been an integral part of local politics in the city and county. This year was no different. The local at Milwaukee Area Technical College supported candidates for the Milwaukee Public School Board, for County Supervisor, and for Circuit Court Judge. Former AFT member in the Milwaukee Graduate Asst. Assoc., and now educator, Dr. Tatiana Joseph, was elected to the MPS Board. A number of other local candidates also won. AFT member (in Wisconsin State Public Defenders local) Ravae Sinclair was not successful in her bid for County Supervisor. Her opponent Khalif Rainey, an aide to Congresswoman Gwen Moore and a longtime friend to the AFT, won that race. Either one of the two county supervisor candidates would have been great and the AFT’s locals in the Milwaukee area were divided in their support of the two candidates.
Chippewa Falls—Past President of the Chippewa Falls Federation of Teachers, Melanie Schaller, now retired, was elected as a write-in candidate to the Chippewa Falls School Board. Because of her former union position, Melanie ran a stealth campaign until the last few weeks before the election. She managed to fend off last minute, significant opposition from a Tea Party group and won a seat on the School Board. The CFFT was very involved in Melanie’s campaign and are pleased to have their former president on the school board.
Superior—Concerned about relations with some members of the School Board, the Superior Federation of Teachers went out and recruited several candidates for the school board. The SFT had the candidates appear at a forum at the Labor Council where they were endorsed by the Superior Federation of Labor. One of their endorsed candidates (Do we have the name of the successful candidate?) was successful in the school board election. The SFT received assistance from AFT-W to run a local campaign.
Eau Claire—Several AFT-W members and spouses stepped up and ran for office in Eau Claire. UWEC faculty member Richard Spindler was the top vote getter in the Eau Claire school board race. Catherine Emmanuelle, wife of UWEC professor David Jones, was elected to the Eau Claire City Council. In addition, former WEAC teacher’s union leader and former Eau Claire teacher Christine Hambuch-Boyle was elected to the Eau Claire School Board.
Hortonville—The Hortonville school district had two referenda before voters—one was a $25.5 million capital expenditure to build a new elementary school and renovate the high school, and other for $370,000 in operational expenses. The capital referendum passed but the other narrowly lost.
Wisconsin Heights—Wisconsin Heights school district had an operational referendum on the ballot to increase spending by $1.9 million each year for the next two years. It easily passed, 59%-41%.
Same-day registration referenda in Dane County and the City of Milwaukee—Both Dane County and the City of Milwaukee ran referenda in support of maintaining same-day registration. Both passed overwhelmingly. The Dane County referendum won 82% YES to 18% NO. In Milwaukee, the split was 73% - 27%. The South Central Federation of Labor supported the Dane County initiative. The Milwaukee effort was spearheaded by AFT Local 212.
Anti-Citizens United referenda—A number of municipalities ran referenda against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. These ballot questions asked if the United States Constitution should be amended to define a person as a human being, limit constitutional rights to human beings, and to call on Congress to get corporate money out of politics. A number of our members in Chippewa County worked on the referendum effort there. It passed 68% - 32%.