Labor Day scflLabor Day is only two weeks away! Be sure to mark your calendar and attend LABORFEST 2014 at the Madison Labor Temple from noon until 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 1st.

There will be lots of fun activities for the whole family including food, live music, and face painting.

For more information and updates, visit the event Facebook page.

Throwback-Thursday-Ziegfield-Follies-Chorus-Girls-Form-Union_blog_post_fullWidthNinety-five years ago, during August 1919 while the members of the Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) were on strike, the chorus girls in the Ziegfield Follies create their own union, the Chorus Equity Association, after they learned their boss, Florenz Ziegfeld, was joining the Producing Managers’ Association. They were helped by a $100,000 donation from superstar and former chorus girl Lillian Russell. In 1955 the union merged with AEA.

Source: AFL-CIO blog

Capitol - Wisconsin LegislatureThe Wisconsin Legislature may not be in session, but that doesn’t mean that there are no important activities taking place under the State Capitol Dome. The current Republican-dominated Wisconsin Legislature is discussing ways to replace local control of technical colleges by centralizing decision-making power in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).

The 2014 Legislative Council Study Committee on the Review of Wisconsin Technical College System Funding and Governance “is directed to review the current governance model of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) in the interest of transferring governance responsibilities of local district boards to the state WTCS Board and examine the current funding model for the WTCS with a preference toward reassigning current local property tax revenue to a broader state tax source.”

The committee had its first meeting on July 24, 2014. On that same day, AFT-Wisconsin issued the following press release in response to the proposed changes: [click to continue…]

AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas

AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas


A message from, Kim Kohlhaas, President AFT-Wisconsin:
This morning [Thursday, July 31, 2014], the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its ruling in Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, in which the Court’s conservative majority overturned Judge Juan Colas’s 2012 decision that found most of Act 10 unconstitutional for municipal employees. The decision did not affect our state employee and UW System unions, which have been operating under Act 10 since 2011. As expected, a majority of the Court upheld the law, which is no surprise—the conservative ideologues that make up the Court’s majority have reliably sided with Scott Walker and big-money special interests in nearly every major case over the past few years. This decision is aptly summarized by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, joined by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, in her dissent, which states that “the majority’s failure to address the actual issues presented in this case allows it to reach results that countenance the needless diminution of multiple constitutional rights.” While I (and our legal counsel) strongly disagree with the Court’s opinion, today’s decision closes the books on the major legal challenges to Act 10.
[click to continue…]

The new AFT National officers elected at the 2014 Convention are (left to right)  Lorretta Johnson , Randi Weingarten, and Mary Cathryn Ricker

The new AFT National officers elected at the 2014 Convention are (left to right) Lorretta Johnson, Randi Weingarten, and Mary Cathryn Ricker

Ten members of Local 243 attended the AFT National Conference held in Los Angeles, California from July 10-14, 2014 as delegates. They participated in workshops, listened to a range of inspirational speeches, and unanimously voted for the Progressive Caucus of- Randi Weingarten President, Loretta Johnson AFT Secretary/Treasurer, Mary Cathryn Ricker AFT Executive Vice President. A convention summary, including the list of Local 243 delegates is available for download from this website.

Click here to see YouTube videos of two of the inpsirational speeches delivered at the convention

Social-MediaSocial media is an increasingly important way to communicate. AFT National has a Twitter account and a Facebook page. FOLLOW the Twitter account and LIKE the Facebook page to stay abreast of issues affecting AFT members.

Also remember that you can share posts from this blog by using the buttons at the end of each post.

Running for OfficeA message from Local 243 member Robin Gee:

Madison College Instructor Rebecca Parish has been working with the League of Women Voters – Dane County to set up voter registration tables at some of our Madison campuses.

Rebecca has left the Madison area, but remains connected to the college as an online instructor. Now that she is not here, she is trying to do what she can from afar but hoping that another faculty or staff member or members might take over as the liaison to the League.

The liaison role would include:

  • Working with the League of Women Voters to plan tabling (Kathleen Fullin is the LWV contact)
  • Reserving tables for a LWV registration table at our campuses
  • Publicizing the tables (notices to student life/Clarion, Matters and printing out and putting up posters — not sure if LWV has posters for you to use or if you have to create them).
  • Getting parking passes if possible for the LWV people
  • Lining up a person at each campus on the day of the event to help LWV get set up, access wifi, etc.

[click to continue…]

The case, said speakers at the press conference, seeks to divert attention from the real issues in public education in order to demonize teachers.  At the mic is fifth grade teacher Gaby Ibarra from ABC Unified School District. Behind her, from right, CFT president Joshua Pechthalt, CTA president Dean Vogel, parent Martha Sanchez, and college student Kenia Alcocer.

The case, said speakers at the press conference, seeks to divert attention from the real issues in public education in order to demonize teachers. At the mic is fifth grade teacher Gaby Ibarra from ABC Unified School District. Behind her, from right, CFT president Joshua Pechthalt, CTA president Dean Vogel, parent Martha Sanchez, and college student Kenia Alcocer.


On Wednesday, June 11, 2014, California Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu issued a decision in the case of Vergara v. State of California that struck down teacher tenure protection, seniority-based job protection and existing disciplinary policy.

The judge agreed with the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge to several state statutes that provide job protections to teachers, particularly to teachers with greater seniority. The judge enjoined (prohibited) the enforcement of the statutes and then placed a stay on his ruling pending the expected appeal, meaning that the injunction is not currently in force.

[click to continue…]

Checkmark-225wA message from Local 243 President Marie Dusio (on behalf of the 3+3/CAC and SGTF employee member teams):

The Contract Alternative Committee (CAC) and the Shared Governance Task Force SGTF) will continue meeting over the summer. We would like to be able to continue soliciting input, but are aware that many employees take vacation during this time and may not consistently monitor their Madison College e-mail account.

If there is a different e-mail address you would like information and requests sent to during the summer months, please send an e-mail to aft243. Please identify yourself and indicate that this is your ‘summer’ e-mail. We will also continue to post information on the Local 243 website: http://aft243.org

We anticipate working on the following: [click to continue…]

Problems-solvingThe Full Time Faculty IBPS/CAC and Shared Governance Task Force (SGTF) committee members would appreciate feedback from all Full Time Faculty members concerning Summer 2014. Our goal is to better understand the implementation and implications prior to any discussions concerning future summers. The survey can be found via this link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3VC5CNL

The Survey Monkey tool limits the number of questions we can include, so please feel free to reply to the following questions by replying from a personal e-mail to aft243.

  • Please describe your reaction to the changes in compensation for interim and summer school.
  • Additional comments, details or questions.
  • If you have suggestions for improving the request and/or the assignment procedures for the 2015 interim and summer sessions, please describe them.

Thank you in advance for your input.