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AFT: Wisconsin universities shaken by anti-academic policies

AFT published an in-depth article today on Scott Walker's attacks on the UW System - and how AFT-Wisconsin members are fighting back:

"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."

Read the full story at aft.org - and share it with family, friends, and coworkers!

Joint Statement on Gov. Scott Walker's Higher Education Attacks

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.

Members organize for success in technical college recertification elections

The results are in, and the message is clear: strong unions matter.  Once again, every AFT-Wisconsin local union that pursued recertification was victorious, showing that even with the game rigged, union members still know how to organize for success.  (You can read AFT-Wisconsin's press release by clicking "more" below.)  Congratulations to members of the following AFT-Wisconsin local unions for their election victories!

  • Local 212 - faculty and PSRP at Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Local 243 - full-time faculty and PSRP at Madison Area Technical College
  • Local 395 - faculty at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Local 2308 - faculty at Blackhawk Technical College
  • Local 3338 - faculty at Moraine Park Technical College
  • Local 3605 - faculty, non-teaching professionals, and PSRP at Western Technical College
  • Local 4019 - PSRP at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Local 6100 - part-time faculty at Madison Area Technical College

President's Message: Walker signs "right to work": What Selma can teach us today

Governor Scott Walker broke yet another promise to working Wisconsinites this morning by signing so-called “right to work” legislation. After repeatedly stating that it was not a priority, that private sector unions were essential partners in economic recovery, and that the bill would never make it to his desk, he signed the bill gleefully, showing yet again that he’s willing to betray Wisconsin as many times as it takes in service to his personal political aspirations. But we’re not surprised; we’ve come to expect this from Scott Walker.

AFT-Wisconsin members and leaders rally, testify against latest attack on unions

Scores of AFT-Wisconsin members joined the thousands of Wisconsinites that converged on the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to protest legislation designed to weaken private sector unions.  (Be sure to check out our post on what you can do to stop so-called "right to work" legislation!)  And while union members and community supporters rallied outside, many more were making their voices heard inside the Capitol, registering their opposition to the bill, offering testimony about why it's wrong for Wisconsin, and holding a Solidarity Singalong in the rotunda.

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.

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 outlines priorities for ESEA reauthorization

As Congress gears up to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is time to return to the law's moral and legal roots as a vehicle to ensure civil rights and equal opportunity for all children, particularly those most at risk, AFT President Randi Weingarten says.