What Winning Means

Two days before Thanksgiving, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) released the results of the annual union recertification elections and told us something we already knew: Education employees in WEAC Region 6 like their union. All but three of the Region 6 locals that participated in recertification prevailed in their elections. More than 80 percent […]

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Worth Fighting For

I was without my right hand at Saturday’s Region 6 board of directors meeting in New Glarus, but it was for a great cause. Region 6 vice president and Beloit elementary school teacher Tim Vedra had to miss the board meeting because he was traveling to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress on our state’s […]

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Here’s What Unions Can Do

The Lake Mills Education Association (LMEA) has gotten a lot of attention recently for the relatively large pay increase that Lake Mills’ teachers gained in a tough economy. It’s a great story. After a lengthy organizing effort, Lake Mills’ teachers were able to get a 2.5 percent salary increase and professional advancement pay increases. LMEA’s […]

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Be Very Afraid of Attack on Government Accountability Board

Every time we think the politicians running our state government can’t get any scarier, they get scarier. This time they are just in time for Halloween. As I write this, the “leaders” in our state Legislature are moving new legislation to abolish the Government Accountability Board (GAB) and replace it with a partisan board that […]

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Kick

When a Wisconsin State Journal reporter interviewed me recently about new GOP proposals to increase the retirement age and reduce retirement payments for teachers and other public employees, I told her the bills are just the latest tactics in an ongoing campaign to degrade public services and insult public employees. They are another kick in […]

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Membership is Everyone’s Business

The first month of the school year is when we admit that the items from our personal to-do lists that we didn’t get to over the summer will have to wait until next summer. It is when we realize our lesson plans need revision because they are not quite right for this year’s group of […]

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Talk About Your Union

It has been a few years, but there are some things you don’t forget. During my first week as a teacher, I remember having a lot to worry about. Everything was new. I didn’t know if I would like teaching or be good at it. I didn’t know if the students would listen to me […]

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Saw You on TV

You and I were very well represented by the three teachers and Region 6 members who participated in the “For the Record” show on Channel 3 last Sunday. The venerable public affairs program, hosted by Neil Heinen and broadcast after “Face the Nation” every Sunday morning, focuses on the most important issues in our communities. […]

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What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

It has been another busy summer for Region 6. I’m not just talking about the things most teachers do in the summer but don’t get credit for in the “teachers get three months off” mythology. Almost every teacher I know spends summers earning credits, planning lessons, attending conferences and developing themselves as professionals. Many of […]

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This is How Change Happens

Scott Walker interrupted his presidential campaign ever so briefly to sign a state budget one newspaper has deemed “awful” this week. The budget short-changes schools, children, workers, the economy and the future. And that’s just for starters. We have written a lot about the budget over the last several months, so if you want specifics […]

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