The Local 243 Forum will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 in Room 1423B on the Truax campus.

A copy of the agenda for the December 16, 2014 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.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 American Federation of Teachers Robert G. Porter Scholars Program.

Porter played an invaluable role in leading the union during an era of explosive growth, during his tenure as secretary-treasurer of the AFT. After his death in 1991, the AFT executive council established the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program in 1992.

This program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are dependents of AFT members. The scholarship/grant is solely merit-based, centering on academic excellence, but evidence of volunteerism and activism at the school and community level are also highly regarded.

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employee-manual-action-plan handsIn consultation with employee union members, the Dane County Board has passed ordinances that leave significant amounts of workplace power in the hands of workers, reports the Sunday State Journal. “County and union officials say the rules are meant to re-create, to the extent legally possible, the union rights taken away by the controversial state law [Act 10] that banned collective bargaining and payroll dues collections for most public employees,” according to reporter Steven Verburg.

The County Board adopted rules that significantly limit its authority in deciding disciplinary matters, as well as disputes over pay, benefits, and working conditions. The new ordinances permit employees to use “impartial arbitrators whose awards can be rejected by the County Board only in limited circumstances.” Madison has also passed ordinances that provide similar rights to employees.

You may read the complete article — As Act 10 kills union pacts, Dane County limits its power over workers — online. Please note that this article also appeared in the print edition of the Sunday, December 7, 2014 State Journal with a slightly different headline: “Public workers retain some input”

Solution Driven unionism AFTAFT Local 212, the union that represents Milwaukee Area Technical College’s faculty, counselors and professional staff, is one of two AFT higher education unions to win a $25,000 prize for Solution-Driven Unionism, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The award was for a program the union developed to enhance student and teacher engagement in the learning process to improve student success, and help boost the college’s completion and graduation rates.

“Solution-driven unionism,” is a new vision of unionism that advances solutions focused on uniting union members, the people they serve and the communities in which they live, says national AFT President Randi Weingarten.

Local 212 will use the $25,000 prize “to fund a competitive grant process among faculty who develop innovative, high-quality service learning opportunities for their students and to support building innovative partnerships with Milwaukee Public Schools”, according to Lisa Conley, the MATC chemistry instructor who authored the grant.