Ninety-six percent – 240 of 251 – of 2016 recertification elections for WEAC locals passed this fall, results released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission show.
The overwhelming support for local unions to be recognized by the state as the bargaining agent in their districts mirrors similar results in these elections since 2011.
“In the local associations that chose recertification elections, we saw a tremendous support for the role of the union in supporting educators so they can better help their students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, a middle school social studies teacher. “This support signals the strong role unions still play in their local school districts to partner with parents and their communities on ensuring the best public schools for students.”
Laws aimed at limiting employee rights passed in 2011 require associations to jump through a series of legal hoops to be recognized in the limited capacity of bargaining agent, including requiring the local association to pay for an election and setting a 51 percent threshold for victory — a bar that even the president doesn’t have to reach to be elected. Additionally, members of the association and non-members vote for recertification and, should an employee not cast a ballot, that is considered a ‘no’ vote.
Local associations across Wisconsin determine whether they will seek recertification based on their own unique circumstances. Whether or not a local chose to participate in recertification, the union still exists and consists of members who work together to improve their schools for their students, expand their professional skills, and advocate for shared interests like school safety and opportunities for all children, no matter where they live in Wisconsin.