March 2015

Solidarity imageA message from Local 243 Secretary-Treasurer Mike Lussenden:

Local 243 will hold a general membership meeting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 in Room C1423 on the Truax Campus. A tentative agenda for this meeting is available for download. All members of both the PSRP chapter and Full Time Faculty chapter are encouraged to attend.

It goes without saying that this has been a complicated, post-ACT 10 year for 243. A lot has happened and a lot has changed. There have been a lot of challenges that we have had to deal with and changes that we have had to learn to navigate — and Local 243 has worked to meet these challenges head on. We would like to share this information with you, so please join us for an update on the latest union activities and efforts.

Please note that the Local 243 website now includes a Google calendar listing upcoming meetings and events. You’ll find a brief version on the sidebar of the blog. A larger version may be accessed via the navigation bar at the top of the page.

april-fools-day-4Our First Annual Certification Election kicks off on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 — and we are going to do it with a BANG!

Join us at the Ale Asylum after the general membership meeting for the Local 243 April Fool’s Day Party. The festivities start at 5 p.m.

Voting stations will be set up so you can cast your vote for our certification and then join us for food, drink, and comradery! As part of the festivities we will be having a drawing for several great prizes, including an iPad, Beats Headphones, and several other great prizes (you must be present to win). We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Note: The Ale Asylum is located at 2002 Pankratz Street, not far from the MATC Truax campus.

Ballot BoxNot sure you can make it to the polls for the Spring Election? Consider the “early voting option” available at your municipal clerk’s office. In-person absentee voting (aka “early voting”) for Madison residents started on Monday, March 23, 2015 and will end on Friday, April 3, 2015. Eligible votes may cast their ballots at Madison City Clerk’s office, Room 103 in the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The Clerk’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

If you are not a Madison resident, contact your municipal clerk for details about early voting schedules. If you do not know the identity and/or location of your municipal clerk, you can find this information at My Vote Wisconsin (a service of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board). Click on REGULAR VOTER and then use the ADDRESS SEARCH option to locate both your municipal clerk’s office and your polling place (if you plan to vote in-person on April 7, 2015).

104 years ago today, on March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City — one of the deadliest industrial disasters in United States history– left 146 workers dead. Almost all of them were young immigrant women.

Triangle-Fire New York Herald

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory building interior after the fire. Photograph from the National Archives.

“Locked doors kept the workers from escaping; there was not enough water to put out the flames, and firemen’s ladders were too short to reach the upper stories. Many of the young women and men working there leapt out the windows and fell to their deaths onto the sidewalk outside. Others were crushed in the elevator shaft or when the fire escape collapsed,” reports the U.S. National Archives, which holds many records of this tragic event.

In the aftermath of the fire Congress passed sweeping reforms in labor laws and safety standards, providing a boost to labor unions. After the fire, Frances Perkins served as secretary for the Committee on Safety, which led the way to new labor laws. Perkins later became FDR’s Secretary of Labor — the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet.

“But 104 years later it has become clear that too many folks in this country have forgotten the painful lessons of that day,” writes Huffington Post blogger Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, the largest majority-owned union bank in the United States. “And as we gear up for next year’s presidential election, voters should know that some of the candidates running would rather folks forgot about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire altogether.”

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Rockwell_1943_Rosie-the-RiveterNow that Spring Break is over, representatives from the Local 243 Recertification Committee will once again be visiting the Madison College regional campuses to answer questions and provide information regarding the First Annual Certification Election, union efforts, and union membership.

Local 243 will be providing box lunches for all full-time faculty and PSRP staff during these visits. So look for the union table, stop by, grab your lunch, and ask questions.

Union and campus reps will be staffing the tables this week between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the following locations


Monday, March 23, 2015 – Commercial Avenue Campus
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – DTEC
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – Watertown Campus
Thursday, March 25, 2015 – South Campus

Agenda for Local 243 Forum meeting scheduled at Truax campus on March 24, 2015

March 22, 2015

The Local 243 Forum will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Room C1423B on the Truax campus. A draft copy of the March 24, 2015 Forum Meeting agenda is available on this website as a PDF document. This document also has a list of Forum meetings scheduled through May […]

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