Five things you can do this week to stop "right to work"

So-called "right to work" legislation meant to attack private sector union workers is being fast-tracked through the Wisconsin Legislature this week. Our sisters and brothers in the private sector stood shoulder to shoulder with us when Scott Walker attacked us in 2011; now it's our turn to show that we remain united. Here are five things you can do to take action:

National news coverage of Scott Walker's war on the UW System

National media are paying close attention to Scott Walker's outrageous attacks on the University of Wisconsin System.  Walker is facing close scrutiny as he attempts to pay for tax breaks for his wealthy donors by cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the UW System, with in-depth articles in both the New York Times and the Washington Post in recent days.

UW-Milwaukee Union and Community Members Mobilize to Defend UW System

Members of the Milwaukee Graduate Assistants' Association (AFT local 2169) and The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (AFT local 3535) gathered last night with other faculty, staff, students, and community members to defend the UW System against Scott Walker's proposed $300 million budget cut, partial privatization, and attacks on shared governance and tenure. (Read AFT-Wisconsin's press release on Walker's attacks here.)  Union members and community allies across the state are mobilizing in opposition to these attacks, which threaten the quality and viability of the UW System as a home for world-class education and research.  To find out what's happening in your area and get involved, contact AFT-Wisconsin Leadership Development Director Rob Henn at henn@aft-wisconsin.org.

UW System Viability, Academic Freedom Facing Serious Threat from Walker Budget Proposals

Madison, WI: Massive budget cuts and fundamental structural changes to the UW System proposed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker today will lead to a significant reduction in the quality of education for UW System students, AFT-Wisconsin members and leaders predicted. “Scott Walker’s proposal to slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System shows that he’s willing to do just about anything as he puts his presidential ambitions above the needs of Wisconsin,” said AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, in response to Walker’s plan. “He’s scrambling to find money to pay for his irresponsible tax cuts for his wealthy donors, and Wisconsin’s college students will have to pay the price. These cuts to the UW System will almost certainly threaten the ability of current students to graduate on time, and will damage, perhaps irrevocably, the ability of the UW System to attract and retain the best faculty and staff.”

Wisconsin Labor History High School Essay Contest

The Wisconsin Labor History Society is currently accepting essays for its 2014-15 Labor History Essay Contest, open to all Wisconsin high school students in grades 9-12.  Up to eight prizes between $100 and $500 will be awarded to outstanding essays of up to 750 words on the topic "Unions have been important to my family and my community because..."  Essays must be postmarked by February 13 for consideration.  Please distribute this contest flyer or share the contest website with any interested high school students and with your fellow union members to spread the word!

AFT-Wisconsin's new website is now live!

Welcome to AFT-Wisconsin's new website! Our new site, which uses AFT's StateWeb system, will allow us to better share information from the national AFT and our state federation with AFT-Wisconsin local union members. We hope you find our new site useful—if you have any suggestions for useful pages or features, or if you have any news from your local that you'd like to share, please contact AFT-Wisconsin Communications Director Aaron Bibb at bibb@aft-wisconsin.org.