Madison, WI: Responding to the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee’s expected vote to slash $250 million in UW System funding and remove legislative protections for academic freedom and shared governance, union members in the UW System condemned the funding cuts and called on System and campus administrations to protect academic freedom. “Today’s move by JFC Republicans to pay for Scott Walker’s tax breaks for his wealthy donors by slashing public education is shameful,” said Eleni Schirmer, a UW-Madison graduate student and co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association, AFT local 3220.
Madison, WI: Massive budget cuts and fundamental structural changes to the UW System proposed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker today will lead to a significant reduction in the quality of education for UW System students, AFT-Wisconsin members and leaders predicted. “Scott Walker’s proposal to slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System shows that he’s willing to do just about anything as he puts his presidential ambitions above the needs of Wisconsin,” said AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, in response to Walker’s plan. “He’s scrambling to find money to pay for his irresponsible tax cuts for his wealthy donors, and Wisconsin’s college students will have to pay the price. These cuts to the UW System will almost certainly threaten the ability of current students to graduate on time, and will damage, perhaps irrevocably, the ability of the UW System to attract and retain the best faculty and staff.”
Madison, WI: Responding to today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Madison Teachers, Inc. et al v. Walker et al, AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, expressed regret in the Court’s decision, but was confident that the members of AFT-Wisconsin and other public sector unions would continue to advocate in their workplaces and in their communities. “Today’s decision in MTI v. Walker was unfortunate, but expected,” said Kohlhaas. “The sad fact is that the same wealthy donors and corrupt CEOs that support Scott Walker were the major funders of the
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. “The structure of the WTCS gives our technical colleges the ability to
Madison, WI – AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas responded to the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as follows:
“Today we lost a great labor leader who inspired working-class Americans everywhere. We send condolences to Richard Trumka's family and friends, and to our nation-wide union family. He led with his heart and beliefs. From his days as a coal miner to his time as President of the AFL-CIO, Trumka's leadership strengthened the national and international workers’ justice movement immeasurably. We mourn this loss, but take pride in
Madison, WI – Today Governor Evers announced a special session of the state legislature to discuss support for public education. AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas responded as follows:
“For years now, in opinion polls, listening sessions, referendums, and elections, Wisconsin voters have called for our students to get the educational support they need to thrive in their lives and careers. The Republican budget passed earlier this month neither invested in students nor created a vision for the state’s future.
Madison, WI - Today the UW System announced that Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds III has selected AFT-Wisconsin VP of Higher Education Jon Shelton as a member of the UW System Presidential Search Committee. Shelton is an Associate Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at UW-Green Bay, and also serves as his campus’s Faculty Representative to the UW System. AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas responded as follows:
“The appointment of Jon Shelton to the search committee is a testament not only to Jon's hard work at UW-Green Bay, but
Madison, WI – Today the State Senate voted to pass a budget bill, a day after the Assembly passed its budget. AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas responded to the legislature’s work as follows:
"The people were ignored. Our public schools are at a crisis point: districts regularly increase class sizes, and some are even having conversations about shutting down schools altogether. This budget offers no significant aid for schools. Our technical colleges and the UW System have suffered from years of cuts. This budget puts the burden on students
Today the UW System Board of Regents elected Evers’ regent appointee, Edmund Manydeeds to be the next Board of Regents President.
"Elections matter. The work we did in 2018 put an advocate of public higher education in the Governor’s office,” said AFT-Wisconsin Vice President for Higher Education, Jon Shelton, a professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at UW-Green Bay. “Today, we are thrilled that one of Gov. Evers’ first regent appointments—and a true supporter of shared governance and the Wisconsin Idea—has been elected Board of Regents