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Important News on Merger

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to let you know about an important development in the proposed merger of AFT-Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). As you know, a vote on merger was originally scheduled to take place in April at both the WEAC and AFT-W conventions. Last Saturday, WEAC’s Board of Directors voted to postpone a full merger vote.

One key reason the WEAC Board cited for this difficult decision was member concerns regarding the different dues structures of AFT-W and WEAC.  Under the original plan for a possible merger, this issue would have been resolved over a two-year trial period once both unions had approved merger. Instead, a special committee will now be put in place with representatives from both organizations. The committee’s job will be addressing how to harmonize our two unions’ different systems into one fair, effective dues structure that ensures all members get the staff and services  they need. AFT-W will take full part in this committee, which is slated to make its recommendations by the end of 2014. Based on this new timetable, a merger vote then could take place in early 2015.

I want to assure you that AFT-W’s leadership remains committed to this merger process. Everywhere AFT and NEA unions have merged, from Florida to Minnesota, they’ve formed an even stronger union. We need that in Wisconsin right now—for ourselves and for the people we serve.  We hold the line for them on quality and access in education and public services. We must speak with one voice.

Many of you have put a lot of time and effort toward a merger vote this April, and I thank you for your commitment. While I had hoped to see the vote this April, I’m not discouraged. We’re looking at a change in the timetable—not in our ultimate goal. WEAC and AFT-Wisconsin are both still dedicated to that goal.

 We will be having an AFTW tele-town hall on Tuesday, March 4, at 7:00.  It is important AFTW members have an opportunity to hear from me about the postponement and the plans for AFTW.  In addition, members will be able to address their concerns and have your questions answered.  Members will receive a robo call on Tuesday evening.  I hope that you can participate. 

In addition, AFT-W executive board has motioned to reschedule the AFT-W Annual Convention, scheduled for April 26, to November 13-15 as originally planned.  Please mark your calendars. 

As I travel around the state, I see firsthand that Wisconsin has the best teaching force and public employee force in this nation, in WEAC and AFT-W alike. Our working together can only make us stronger.  Thank you for being engaged in this merger process, and I hope you’ll continue to be.

In unity,

Kim Kohlhaas


AFT-Wisconsin Executive Board


Kim Kohlhaas – Superior Federation of Teachers, Local 202

Executive Vice President

Joe Lowndes-Madison Area Technical College, Local 243


Pam Campbell-Eau Claire Schools Classified Staff Federation, Local 4018


Vickie Boeder-Madison Area Technical College, Local 243

Vice President Graduate Employees

Adrienne Pagac-Teaching Assistants Association, Local 3220

Vice President Higher Education

Aaron Crandall-United Faculty and Academic Staff, Local 223

Vice President PK-12

Cheryl Myers-Menasha Teachers Union, Local 1166

Vice President PSRP

Cynthia Dallmann-Madison Area Technical College, Local 243

Vice President State Employees

Greg Georg-Wisconsin Professional Employees Council, Local 4848

Vice President WTCS

Michael Gradinjan-Moraine Park Technical College, Local 3338

Retiree Council

Kathy Monaghan

Vice President At Large (6)

Donalea Dinsmore-Wisconsin Science Professionals, Local 3732

Mark Evenson-The Assoc. of University of Wisconsin Professionals, Local 3535

Michael Rosen, MATC-Milwaukee, AFT Local 212

Luz Sosa, MATC-Milwaukee, AFT Local 212

Michelle Ann Theisen, Superior Federation of Teachers, Local 202

Cynthia Wynn, Wisconsin State Public Defenders Assoc., Local 4822

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Just Dining Guide

The Workers’ Rights Center (WRC) has launched a project in partnership with the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ) focused on working conditions in central Madison restaurants. They have produced a guide to central Madison restaurants that informs customers and workers about the wages, hours, and working conditions for people who cook, prepare, and serve food.

The guide highlights employers who are going the extra mile to provide good quality, family supporting jobs in our community. It makes it easy for customers and workers to be able to compare and contrast the various restaurants in downtown Madison.

For more information, go to




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