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AFT-Wisconsin Leaders Urge Legislators to Protect WTCS Local Control

Madison, WI: As legislators and other committee members met on Thursday, July 24, to discuss drastic centralization of power in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), members of AFT-Wisconsin called on the committee to keep WTCS decision-making power in Wisconsin’s communities.  AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, urged the committee to protect a system that gives each technical college the ability to respond to local needs and provide high-quality practical education.

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AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas Responds to Harris v. Quinn

Like many of you, I have been anxiously awaiting the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn, a case which threatened to eliminate fundamental workers’ rights across the entire public sector. In this case, an extreme right-wing anti-union organization, the Right to Work Legal Foundation, used a dispute over a recently formed union for home health care workers in Illinois to attempt to outlaw fair share fees and even the right to exclusive union representation in the entire public sector of the United States. While the Court’s conservative majority sided with right-wing special interests in their decision, dealing a substantial blow to our sister and brother home health care workers in Illinois and elsewhere, the decision did not, as feared, impact the right to exclusive union representation in the public sector or the ability to require all public employees to pay their fair share of the cost of their representation. This, at least, is something to be grateful for.

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An Update on Merger

I’m writing to let you know about an important development in the proposed merger of AFT-Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). As you know, a vote on merger was originally scheduled to take place in April at both the WEAC and AFT-Wisconsin conventions. Last Saturday, WEAC’s Board of Directors voted to postpone a full merger vote.

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Wall Street deals costing schools, municipalities billions

Following a new report detailing how Wall Street sold toxic deals to school districts and municipalities that are costing communities billions in fees, interest and other payments, educators, parents, community members and local officials have joined together for a Day of Action in cities across the country.

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AFT and other groups release new accountability framework

A broad-based group of organizations has released "A New Social Compact for American Education"—a groundbreaking rethinking of accountability that replaces the current paradigm of "test and punish" with a focus on what is needed to support and improve teaching and learning.

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