Action by WEAC members leads to withdrawal of proposal that threatened teacher rights

Due to the efforts of WEAC members, a proposal to seriously threaten teacher rights won’t move forward, the state education agency announced Thursday. Thousands of WEAC members answered the call to action to provide testimony on proposed changes, which included the licensure system as well as sweeping revisions to teacher discipline procedures. While WEAC collaborated on the system changes to support the goal of easing the teacher shortage, our members determined the discipline changes would push professionals away from teaching. “WEAC members stood up in huge numbers to get involved,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, and it paid off.

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Family’s experiences in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin illustrate impact of political climate on education, unions

In an Education Minnesota article, Sparta, Wisconsin, teacher Lauren Cody says her mother’s involvement in the union as a Minnesota Education Support Professional has instilled in her a deep appreciation of the importance of the union for educators and students. The article emphasizes the negative impact of Act 10 on educators and education in Wisconsin and also the impact of similar legislation in Iowa, where Lauren’s brother, Kalyn, teaches. Mother Deb Cody says the experiences of her children in Wisconsin and Iowa illustrate how critical it is that educators in Minnesota work to maintain their much friendlier environment for unions and public education.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court bars access to public records created during union recertification elections

The decision blocks unions’ access to a public record of the employees who have voted as of the mid-point of the 20-day election period. Madison Teachers Inc., which filed the lawsuit, was not seeking a record of “how” employees voted (that is rightfully kept confidential), but only a list of voters who had cast a ballot. MTI said the ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the Open Records law and is a blow to transparency and open government.

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Unions call Janus case ‘a political effort to further rig the rules against working people’

“The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people,” four public employee unions, including the NEA, said Thursday in a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the Janus case. “The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the freedom to come together in strong unions.”

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Lighting the SPARK of learning in students

WEAC is welcoming Wisconsin Public School students and educators back to school with the launch of a statewide video promotion reminding parents and everyone in our communities about the critical role teachers and education support professionals play in lighting the spark of learning. WEAC’s SPARK video is reflective of our union – filmed and produced by members, for members.

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Summer Leadership Academy participants urged to ‘be relentless’

“Be relentless; never give up.” That’s what NEA Executive Committee member Earl Wiman told participants this week at the WEAC Summer Leadership Academy, where dozens of members gathered for inspiration and guidance in supporting public education and children. “Push farther and do more than you’ve ever done before,” Wiman said in a keynote presentation in which he emphasized that public education is about helping all children succeed, no matter their zip code.

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The union helps give educators ‘a voice in what matters to students,’ WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen says

Educators know best what students need in the classroom, and WEAC helps give those educators “a voice in what matters to our students,” WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen said Monday in an address at the WEAC Summer Leadership Academy. Educators from throughout the state gather annually at the WEAC Summer Leadership Academy for training how to lead the profession and strengthen public education to benefit students. This year’s Academy is at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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Young delegates find camaraderie, inspiration at NEA Representative Assembly

Approximately 8,000 delegates – including 122 from Wisconsin – will represent state and local affiliates, student members, retired members, and other segments of the united education profession at the NEA’s Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly this summer in Boston. We asked a few of WEAC’s younger delegates why they have chosen to be NEA RA delegates and they said they want to speak up for their students, get more involved in the association and meet new friends and colleagues.

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WEAC is learning from the past and building for the future, WEAC President says

Inspired by the legacy handed down by our past leaders and encouraged by the incredible promise of our current and aspiring educators, the future of WEAC is very strong, WEAC President Ron Martin said Saturday at the 95th WEAC Representative Assembly. Despite what some media say, “It’s an exciting time to be a union member,” Martin said at the daylong Assembly in Stevens Point.

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How to take your advocacy to the next level in 2017

It’s never been more important for educators to fill the role of advocates for public education and students, and 2017 can be the year for you to take that important next step. “Last year, you might have signed online petitions, shared a social media graphic or sent emails to your elected officials,” Education Votes noted in a new article offering ideas for how you can strongly speak up for kids. “This year, think about how you might take your online advocacy to the next step. You might speak at your school board meeting, attend a rally, write a letter to your local newspaper, distribute information door to door, or participate in a phone bank.”

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