Albert-EinsteinMany well-known Americans have been AFT members, including John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Hubert Humphrey, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, former Senate Majority Leader and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and former United Nations Undersecretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche.

Albert Einstein was a founding member of AFT Local 552 at Princeton University in 1938. He devoted an entire chapter of his memoir “Out of My Later Years” to his thoughts on the “organization of intellectual workers.” Here’s a brief selection:

“An organization of intellectual workers can have the greatest significance for society as a whole by influencing public opinion through publicity and education. Indeed, it is the proper task to defend academic freedom, without which a healthy development of democracy is impossible.”

The Local 243 Forum will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Room C1423B on the Truax campus.

A copy of the agenda for the November 18, 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.

Checkmark-225wA message from Jimmy DeGidio, AFT Local 243 Faculty Vice President:

As part of our continuing efforts to address the recent unconventional faculty hiring, we met with Dr. Daniels this morning [Friday, November 7, 2014]. He reassured us that this hire was an exception to the practice. We will be taking this to the (ERPD) Employee Relations and Professional Development council this afternoon. We are continuing to work with AFT on this issue. Now is the most important time for us to work together to make sure that the councils represent our interests. In these challenging times ahead we will need to be stronger than ever and continue to support each other at every opportunity. The union will continue to advocate for all members. Feel free to contact us with any ideas, interests, options, or suggestions.

MTI RecertifyOn the day after the November election, members of MTI (Madison Teachers Inc.) began participating in a first-ever union recertification vote — something that members of Local 243 will be confronting in 2015.

Wisconsin Act 10 mandates that public sector unions, other than police and fire, undergo recertification elections to determine whether the Union will maintain its status as the “certified representative” of the workers covered by the Union. In other to retain recertification, a Union must win 51% of eligible votes.

Local 243 Forum members have established a committee to begin the re-certification process. Theresa Valencia is the Chair of the ReMembering Committee. We must file our intent to re-certify in January 2015 and vote in April 2015.

In an essay published in the Opinion & Commentary section of the Wednesday, November 5, 2014 print edition of The Cap Times, La Follette High School English teacher Andrew McCuaig noted that:

As most Wisconsinites know, Walker’s Act 10 requires that a majority of the workforce in a union vote “Yes” for recertification to occur. Unlike any other democratic election imaginable, non-votes will be counted as “No” votes. Teachers like to point out that if we had applied this system to Walker’s recall election, only 30 percent would have said “Yes” and he would not have been “recertified.”

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