Appreciating Each Other

The Region 6 representative assembly (RA) is set for May 30 in Madison, and the annual WEAC RA was held a couple of weekends ago in Milwaukee. Last year’s Region 6 RA saw the creation of our new organization and set the parameters for this first, highly successful, year.

If you are not a Region 6 RA delegate, talk to your local union’s leaders about becoming one. Education employee unions are the most democratic organizations in the world, and there are never too many voices. We would love to hear yours.

Meanwhile, May 4-8 is designated as this year’s national Teacher Appreciation Week. Happy Appreciation Week to you.

Many Region 6 members tell me they do not feel all that appreciated. State and federal laws take away our time and professionalism and make it harder for us to do our jobs. Heavily-funded right-wing organizations work around the clock to convince people we are stupid, lazy, greedy or worse. State government cuts our paychecks, guts our schools’ budgets, and takes away our bargaining rights. They say our schools are such “failures” that it makes more sense to send taxpayer money to unproven and mostly unmonitored private and religious schools than it does to support the public schools we already have.

Thanks goodness then that we still have our union’s RAs. We govern ourselves, and we do it very well. We have maintained influence and strength against almost the odds, and we get better at working with our local communities every year. Despite the state government’s best efforts, our public schools are still great places to get an education. Our unions deserve much of the credit.

These are good things to keep in mind not just as we head into our organization’s RA, but even more so as we get into the thick of the state budget debate. Our advocacy has caused many legislators in the governor’s party to back away from his budget stances. We need to hold them to it and make this budget work for Wisconsin’s families and our state’s future.

Keep the calls and messages flowing to your legislators and local newspapers. Keep reminding everyone that educators know what works for students. Wisconsin’s great public schools are the best investment strategy. WEAC’s website has great resources that make it easier for us to raise our voices.

Talk to your local officers and building representatives about attending the Region 6 RA as well as other ways you can get involved. And you can always contact us at Region 6. Email me at region6.weac.wi@gmail.com and call the Region 6 office at 1-800-397-2287.

We would really appreciate it.

In Solidarity,

Mark Lindsey

President of WEAC Region 6