I purposely waited to send an email to the membership, partly because I’m sure all of you have been bombarded with emotion and partly because I did not know what to say. This past week has sent me through every emotion and brought back painful memories of 2011. I tried to avoid social media but then felt disconnected. However, social media spurred me all over again with rage, sadness and shock. I have read statements by leaders and analysts, listened on multiple conference calls, and nothing provided comfort or understanding. Everyone has opinions on what went wrong, who’s to
Eau Claire, WI: Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution of no confidence in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents. Members of AFT local 6481, United Faculty and Academic Staff of UW-Eau Claire, collected signatures from one-third of campus faculty to call for a special meeting of all faculty on the resolution, the first such meeting at the university in nearly fifty years. The resolution, which passed by a landslide margin of 227-98, is the latest in a wave of no confidence resolutions across the UW System, a nationally unprecedented event.
A nationally unprecedented series of votes of no confidence in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents, led by AFT-Wisconsin Higher Education Council and American Association of University Professors members, has spread rapidly across the UW System. The first such resolution was passed by the UW-Madison faculty senate in late April, followed quickly by faculty senates at the River Falls, La Crosse, Green Bay, and Stout campuses, and at the 13 two-year institutions comprising the UW Colleges; by the academic staff senate at UW-Milwaukee; and by a historic, unanimous vote of the
Kathy Evert, an elementary school teacher in the Wisconsin Heights district, was one of a group of teachers from across the United States invited to participate in President Barack Obama’s celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Day at the White House. Evert, the co-president of AFT local 1917, represented the AFT at the May 3rd event honoring the national Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes.
As the school year began, members of the Whitnall Area Federation of Teachers were discussing two disturbing trends. Class sizes had started high and were continuing to grow as the district accepted many open enrollment students. At the same time, many experienced teachers were either finding jobs elsewhere or considering leaving because of the district’s extremely slow progress in implementing a compensation plan. With many classes exceeding 30 students and as they faced the loss of highly qualified teachers, WAFT members were concerned about the impact on their working conditions and student learning conditions.