Tags: Scott Walker | Unions | Wisconsin | teachers | unions | membership

Wisconsin Teachers Choosing to Pull Out of Unions

By    |   Monday, 20 October 2014 07:13 AM

Increasing numbers of teachers in Wisconsin are choosing not to remain union members now that they have a choice, Fox News reported. A 2011 law — unsuccessfully opposed by unions in the state Legislature, through a gubernatorial recall election, and in the courts — has resulted in a precipitous decline in enrollment.

Until the law was passed, teachers were compelled to be members of either the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) or the smaller AFT-Wisconsin. The educational system was obligated to withdraw union dues directly from teachers' pay and pass the fees on.

Under the current law, unions need to seek annual recertification from teachers to establish that a majority still want it to represent them in collective bargaining, Fox News reported.

Since the law's passage, WEAC membership has fallen by about 33 percent from some 100,000 teachers. The AFT-Wisconsin union has seen its membership fall by more than 50 percent from 16,000 in its heyday.

Supporters of the law said that unions were heavily invested in supporting the Democratic agenda and making contributions to Democratic candidates.

"It's important to have a choice, because we are all professionals. We shouldn't be pigeonholed into contributing to politics we don't believe in," said special education teacher Michelle Uetz, Fox News reported.

"As soon as I was given the choice, I left," said teacher Amy Rosno, adding, "I realized that it was all political and not about teaching."

Some new teachers say the union tried to frighten them into staying, warning they would otherwise have little leverage against administrators, Fox News reported.

The law was championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who survived a 2012 recall election. He is running for re-election in November against Democrat Mary Burke.

If Walker wins, he could be a contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, The New York Times reported.

"A lot of teachers are afraid to admit that they support Walker," Rosno said, according to Fox News.

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Increasing numbers of teachers in Wisconsin are choosing not to remain union members now that they have a choice, with membership in the state's largest union having dropped by 33 percent since 2011.
Wisconsin, teachers, unions, membership
Monday, 20 October 2014 07:13 AM
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