Teachers’ union lays off 42

Print Article

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s powerful statewide teachers union said 40 percent of its staff members were laid off Monday as a result of the law pushed by Gov. Scott Walker and passed by the Legislature curbing collective bargaining rights.

Wisconsin Education Association Council executive director Dan Burkhalter said the laying off of 42 workers resulted from what he called Walker’s “union-busting” bill. Opponents had argued one of the law’s goals was weakening the power of unions like WEAC, which is typically one of the biggest spenders in campaigns on behalf of Democrats.

The law takes away the right of teachers and other public workers to collectively bargain over anything except salary increases no greater than the rate of inflation. It also disallows the automatic withdrawal of union dues from workers’ pay checks and requires unions to vote annually on staying organized, making it tougher for public sector unions to stay viable.

About two-thirds of the state’s 427 school districts reached collective bargaining agreements before the law took effect, leaving about 150 subject to the law, according to estimates by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

WEAC has been working to get those teachers to become members, Burkhalter said. He refused to say how many had actually been signed up, saying those were “internal figures.”

The cuts announced Monday were necessary due to drops in school district employees caused by lay-offs and retirements, not any projections about where union membership will stand later in the year, Burkhalter said.

The work to sign up previously covered teachers into the union is ongoing, Burkhalter said, and he expects to see a spike in membership once school resumes in the fall.

“Despite budget cuts and layoffs, our goal remains the same: to be a strong and viable organization that represents the voices of Wisconsin’s public school employees,” he said in a statement.

Before the law was passed, WEAC had about 98,000 members and was one of the most powerful unions in the state. Lobbying reports released last week showed that in 2009 and 2010, at a time when Democrats were in control of the Legislature and the governor’s office, WEAC spent $2.5 million twisting the arms of lawmakers, more than any other group.

It has reported spending $500,000 in support of Democratic candidates in this summer’s recall elections.

Print Article

Read More Wisconsin News

Friday's Scores

AP

December 07, 2019 at 12:30 am | BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Almond-Bancroft 44, Port Edwards 34 Appleton North 58, Fond du Lac 40 Arrowhead 72, Racine Horlick 51 Ashland 74, Mellen 63 Auburndale 81, Abbotsford 24 ...

Comments

Read More

Outdoor Addiction ushers in new era of deer processing

AP

December 07, 2019 at 5:00 am | BLUE MOUNDS, Wis. (AP) — The number of people hunting deer is on a decades-long slide, this year’s harvest is off from last season, and chronic wasting disease is still a major concern. Alex Leas...

Comments

Read More

Giannis scores 27 on 25th birthday, Bucks rout Clips 119-91

AP

December 06, 2019 at 11:46 pm | MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had plenty of time to relax and enjoy his 25th birthday Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 11 rebounds before ex...

Comments

Read More

Friday's Scores

AP

December 07, 2019 at 5:00 am | BOYS HOCKEY Bay Port 7, Baldwin-Woodville 1 Chippewa Falls 6, Antigo 0 Chisago Lakes, Minn. 4, Somerset 3 De Pere/West De Pere 7, Waupaca 0 Fond du Lac Springs 13, Tomah/Sparta 1 ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2019 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X