For Release: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Madison – Once again, faculty and staff at technical colleges across the state have voted to re-certify their unions at increasingly large margins, despite repeated attempts by the Walker administration to discourage unionization. Act 10, which was written to undermine public sector unions, also requires an annual vote to re-certify the union.
Dr. Michael Rosen, President of Milwaukee Area Technical College AFT Local 212 noted, “MATC educators have once again rejected Governor Walker’s attempt to strip educators of their right to organize and have a voice at work. Act 10 was designed to destroy educator unions by requiring “yes” votes from 51% of all eligible voters in order to win annual certification. Governor Walker would not be governor under these blatantly unfair and undemocratic rules. Local 212’s impressive margin of victory sends a clear message that Wisconsin’s educators will not be silenced or driven into submission.”
Despite the Walker administration’s talk of investing in job training, the state’s technical colleges have not been insulated from severe budget cuts. In his first budget alone, Walker slashed technical college funding by 30%. Programs, sections, and services have been eliminated or cut in response. Faculty and staff have responded by continuing to organize for greater statewide investments in technical colleges, an investment that returns $12.20 for every dollar invested.
“As we continue to work for what is best for our students and the community, I am glad that faculty and staff see the importance of having a unified voice that makes sure fair and logical practices continue to be followed at WITC,” said Tim McRaith, faculty member at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake and Secretary of WITC AFT Local 395. “The people on the front lines of teaching know what our students most need, and keeping our union active ensures our voice is still being heard.”
All election results can be found at werc.wi.gov.
Contact: Wren Keturi, AFT-WI Director of Communications, Keturi@aft-wisconsin.org