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Scores of AFT-Wisconsin members joined the thousands of Wisconsinites that converged on the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to protest legislation designed to weaken private sector unions.  (Be sure to check out our post on what you can do to stop so-called "right to work" legislation!)  And while union members and community supporters rallied outside, many more were making their voices heard inside the Capitol, registering their opposition to the bill, offering testimony about why it's wrong for Wisconsin, and holding a Solidarity Singalong in the rotunda.


So-called "right to work" legislation meant to attack private sector union workers is being fast-tracked through the Wisconsin Legislature this week. Our sisters and brothers in the private sector stood shoulder to shoulder with us when Scott Walker attacked us in 2011; now it's our turn to show that we remain united. Here are five things you can do to take action:


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.”


Wisconsin Labor History High School Essay Contest


The Wisconsin Labor History Society is currently accepting essays for its 2014-15 Labor History Essay Contest, open to all Wisconsin high school students in grades 9-12.  Up to eight prizes between $100 and $500 will be awarded to outstanding essays of up to 750 words on the topic "Unions have been important to my family and my community because..."  Essays must be postmarked by February 13 for consideration.  Please distribute this contest flyer or share the contest website with any interested high school students and with your fellow union members to spread the word!

This past Spring, UFAS members visited over a dozen departments in the College of Arts and Sciences to solicit feedback and concerns regarding how pay and working conditions at UW-Eau Claire can best be improved. Although volunteers were unable to meet with members of every department, and because we were unable to include the other colleges and administrative units in our canvassing, the information we received is clearly not representative of the campus as a whole. However, the results were somewhat illuminating.

The questionnaires asked respondents to rate ten issues on a scale from 1 (least


In April, members of the United Faculty and Academic Staff of UW-Eau Claire approved a resolution at the spring General Membership Meeting asking the administration to improve its budget transparency and to address long-standing inequities in salary for faculty and academic staff.

The resolution was approved unanimously on April 18, 2014 and sent to the University Senate, where it was received as an announcement. One month later, in his end-of-the-year message to faculty and staff (sent May 27), Chancellor Schmidt listed "Sustainable and transparent budgeting" as one of the four high-priority