AFT-Wisconsin is a labor organization representing 17,000 public employees in the state of Wisconsin. Formerly called the Wisconsin Federation of Teachers (WFT), AFT-Wisconsin is a Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Started primarily as a teachers’ union with 1,400 members in 1931, AFT-Wisconsin has grown exponentially and today represents many diverse professionals with over 500 job classifications.
A message from Local 243 President Marie Dusio: The possibility of merger between AFT-Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Education Association Coucil (WEAC) was a major topic of debate at the AFT-Wisconsin Convention in held in Appleton from October 24-26, 2013.
While the overwhelming majority of delegates voted to continue the process of exploring and moving toward merger, there is a small minority either opposed to the idea or the process.
Superior teacher Kim Kohlhaas is the new president of AFT-Wisconsin. Kohlhaas, a member of the Superior Federation of Teachers, Local 202, was elected over the weekend at the AFT-Wisconsin Convention in Appleton.
Kohlhaas has taught elementary school in Superior for 17 years and has been an engaged member in the community and the union.
Kohlhaas noted that AFT-Wisconsin and other public sector unions have been under attack the past three years, and “it is time to change the paradigm.”
A message from Local 243 President Marie Dusio: Congratulations to the following members of Local 243 who were nominated and elected to statewide office during the AFT-Wisconsin Convention held from October 24-26, 2013 in Appleton: Joe Lowndes is now Executive Vice President; Vickie Boeder is Treasurer; Cindy Dallmann is Vice President for PSRP. In addition, Christine Henker is now Secretary of the PSRP Council.
Bryan Kennedy did not run for re-election as President. The newly elected AFT-Wisconsin President is Kim Kolhaas from the Superior Federation of Teachers. A complete list of AFT-Wisconsin Executive Board members is available at the end of this post.
Thanks again to all the delegates who participated in the annual AFT-Wisconsin Convention. Our local was well represented by Cindy Dallmann, Christine Henker, Flynn Dustrud, Tom Wozniak, Travis Wiersma, Mary Stauffer, Jerry Lehman, Wayne Sigelko, Maryann Dubree, Vickie Boeder, Joe Lowndes, Dixie Burns, and Lawrence Bechtel Pearson.
A message from Local 243 President Marie Dusio: MATC President Daniels has charged Diane Walleser, Vice-President-Enrollment Maagement, with leading a new strategic planning process to establish the 2014-17 Strategic Plan for the College.
Everyone who attended the October Convocation participated in the first step: focusing on Mission, Vision, and Values. That work was done in small groups and is now being sifted through, evaluated, and organized to identify themes and commonalities to develop the new Mission, Vision, and Values. That work is being performed by a new committee that includes members from Local 2343 PSRP and Full Time Faculty chapters, as well as part time faculty and administration.The goal is for President Daniels to present the work to the District Board at their December 2013 meeting for approval.
Copies of the minutes from the Strategic Planning Steering Team minutes provide updates about progress of their work. You may download copies of minutes from the following meetings from our Local 243 website:
A message from Local 243 President Marie Dusio: 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, the state’s 2013-15 biennial budget, requires the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board to establish by March 2014 a new formula for allocating a portion of general state aid to technical colleges based on nine areas of performance identified in state statute.
Effective July 2014, a portion of state aid funding to each technical college is mandated to be based on the college’s performance in nine specific, statutorily-defined areas. Each year, the percentage of state funding distributed by this method will increase.
In October, we encouraged Local 243 members to participate in a web-based online survey sponsored by WTCS that was designed to to understand stakeholders’ priorities and to get input into what would be the best way to measure each of the nine areas.
Here are the preliminary results from that survey as reported by WTCS:
More than a month after MATC District Board Chair Carolyn Stoner issued a set of “Rules for Public Comment During Board Meetings” and Local 243 posted them for members to read, The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the instigator of the new rules may have been MATC President Jack E. Daniels. According to the article by Dan Simmons, published online at Madison.com this morning (Thursday, November 14, 2013): “…new MATC president Jack E. Daniels said he suggested the rules after attending his first meeting in September, noting they will bring about a more formal, businesslike atmosphere to match what he was accustomed to at previous jobs.” [emphasis added]
Simmons also reports that at least one former board member has spoken out about the changes:
Noel Radomski, whose two-term service on the board ended in July, sharply criticized the rules and said MATC, also known as Madison College, should be moving toward more openness and public disclosure, not less.
“The (rules) will limit, not encourage, the public’s participation in the sole decision-making body for the Madison Area Technical College District,” Radomski wrote in an email. “The public has the right, and the board has the responsibility, to encourage discussion at all public board meetings.”
If you wish to read the entire article by Simmons, you may click here.
Congratulations to MATC students Sidney Edwards and Corey Schmidt, recipients of the 2013 Local 243 PSRP Scholarships.
Each year, the Local 243 PSRP Chapter awards $500 scholarships to Madison College students who are members of a PSRP family (e.g. spouse, child, grandchild, domestic partner, stepchildren). Selection is based upon grade point average, financial need, and essay. The deadline for applications for the Fall Semester was May 31, 2013.
Here’s some background on this year’s recipients:
Today (Monday, November 11, 2013), the Wisconsin Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the case of Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Scott Walker — the challenge to the state’s collective bargaining law.
Until the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules on this case, Dane County Judge Colás’ decision overturning aspects of Act 10 for municipal employees remains in effect. According to Lester Pines, an attorney for the plaintiffs, the Supreme Court’s ruling on this case is not likely to be issued until late winter or early spring of 2014.
The Wisconsin State Journal published a lengthy analysis of the pending court case in it’s Sunday, November 11, 2013 edition, which you can read online.
In addition, the newspaper published a useful chart of all pending cases — including Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Scott Walker — showing their current status and the paths they’ve followed to attain that status You may download a PDF of that chart.