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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. We all know what Scott Walker’s promises are worth.

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!

2014 AFT-Wisconsin Scholarship Winners

AFT-Wisconsin members highly value and honor education. As part of our values, we offer scholarships for children and grandchildren of current or retired AFT-Wisconsin members who will be attending technical colleges or universities. This year a $1,000 university scholarship and a $500 technical college scholarship were awarded.

2015 AFT-Wisconsin Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

AFT-Wisconsin has a long tradition of offering educational scholarships to support dependents of members in good standing who wish to pursue higher education at a technical college or university. Currently, AFT-Wisconsin offers one $1,000 university scholarship and one $500 technical college scholarship. The application period for 2015-2016 scholarships is now open; applications are due to AFT-Wisconsin by March 15, 2015, and winners will be notified by May 1, 2015.

A Call to Action

Yesterday’s election results were disappointing, to say the least. With Scott Walker’s reelection, we’re going to have some tough fights on our hands in the coming months. We must remain vigilant against many threats that are likely to come our way, including forced public school privatization, outsourcing of state positions, further cuts to higher education, and centralization of power in the state technical college system. But while the political environment in the Capitol will continue to present us with challenges, remember—AFT-Wisconsin members are resilient.

Legal Update from AFT-Wisconsin: MTI v. Walker

This morning, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its ruling in Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, in which the Court’s conservative majority overturned Judge Juan Colas’s 2012 decision that found most of Act 10 unconstitutional for municipal employees.  The decision did not affect our state employee and UW System unions, which have been operating under Act 10 since 2011.  As expected, a majority of the Court upheld the law, which is no surprise—the conservative ideologues that make up the Court’s majority have reliably sided with Scott Walker and big-money special interests in nearly every major case over the past few years. This decision is aptly summarized by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, joined by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, in her dissent, which states that "the majority's failure to address the actual issues presented in this case allows it to reach results that countenance the needless diminution of multiple constitutional rights." While I (and our legal counsel) strongly disagree with the Court’s opinion, today’s decision closes the books on the major legal challenges to Act 10.