Phone bankA message from Aaron Bibb, AFT-Wisconsin Communications Director:

Dear local union leaders and activists,

You have probably heard that state Republicans are re-introducing legislation that would force the closure of struggling public schools and convert them into independent charter schools. This would be a huge blow to our public school system, leading to the forced privatization of many public schools and continuing the right wing’s mission to defund public education. You may read a summary of the bill by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to learn more about the specific details of the legislation.

AFT-Wisconsin members in the Madison area will be joining other local union members and educators, as well as concerned community members on Monday, January 26, 2015 to phone bank to help organize support for our public schools. I hope you can make it – and please share this information with fellow union members and anyone else who might be interested in standing up for public education.If you or anyone else from your local can attend, please contact John Yaggi to RSVP at via email at yaggi or telephone (515) 451-6974.

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WORT 2The WORT Labor Radio show featured a short interview with Local 243 President Marie Dusio on Friday, January 23, 2015.

WORT Labor Radio program host Sandy Park, a retired AFT member, talked with Dusio about President Obama’s recent proposal to provide two years of community college free for anyone who’s willing to work for it.

If you’d like to hear the Dusio interview (which is one of many features on the half-hour program), you can access it in MP3 format in the WORT audio archives.

The Local 243 Forum will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 on the Truax campus. Please check the Google calendar on this website after 1 p.m. on the day of the meeting for the room number where the meeting will be held.

A copy of the agenda for the January 20, 2015 meeting is available on this website as a PDF document. This document also has a list of Forum meetings scheduled through May 2015.

All Local 243 union members are welcome to attend Forum meetings.

Income inequality

In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years.

During his penultimate State of the Union address on Tuesday, Janury 20, 2015 President Barack Obama will lay out a plan to extend tax credits to the middle class by hiking taxes on wealthier Americans and big banks, according to senior administration officials.

In the meantime, Wisconsin Republicans who now control both houses of the Legislature planning to raise their tax-free “per diem” payments from $88 to roughly $138, according to a recent column by Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times. “Speaker Robin Vos, the main man behind ideas like requiring folks on unemployment to submit to drug tests and devising ways to turn public schools over to private interests justified raising legislators’ tax-free “per diem” payments… because of inflation,” notes Zweifel.

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