"It's hard to miss the rumble out in Wisconsin: The battle between labor and its union-bashing foes has been loud and long. But for faculty and staff of public colleges and universities, the Wisconsin story is even worse... 'People have been demoralized, and everyone recognizes the new challenges, but it has galvanized a lot of people to become active in the union,' says [UW-Green Bay union member Jon] Shelton."
The AAUP and AFT-Wisconsin stand together in condemning the attacks on higher education that the Wisconsin Legislature included in its biennial budget, which Governor Walker signed into law last Monday. We call on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and the UW System and campus-level administrations to work with their faculty and academic staff to reconstitute the language previously included in Chapter 36 into system-wide and campus policies.
The legislative changes to tenure, due process, and shared governance and the $250 million cut to the UW System budget are direct attacks on
Governor Scott Walker’s proposed 2015-17 budget for the state of Wisconsin, introduced earlier this year, was jam-packed with shameful attacks on working Wisconsinites. Since then, Republican majorities on the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) have been finding ways to make a bad budget even worse. Now that the JFC has wrapped up budget deliberations, its budget proposal will be taken up by the state Senate and Assembly, then head to Governor Walker’s desk for his signature. Here's what AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas had to say:
I'm proud to share with you a joint statement from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of educational policy studies and sociology at UW-Madison and a member of AFT local 223, United Faculty and Academic Staff. Randi and Sara, two committed educators and unionists, strongly condemn Scott Walker's attacks on higher education, which will slash essential state funding and threaten the bedrock of academic freedom upon which higher education depends. Please share this statement widely and help us get the word out about the danger facing every university in the UW System, from Superior to Milwaukee.
Madison, WI: Responding to the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee’s expected vote to slash $250 million in UW System funding and remove legislative protections for academic freedom and shared governance, union members in the UW System condemned the funding cuts and called on System and campus administrations to protect academic freedom. “Today’s move by JFC Republicans to pay for Scott Walker’s tax breaks for his wealthy donors by slashing public education is shameful,” said Eleni Schirmer, a UW-Madison graduate student and co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association, AFT local 3220.