A new era supportive of public education and educators is about to begin, Evers says in phone call to WEAC members

Governor-Elect Tony Evers personally thanked WEAC members for the critically important role they played in helping him win this month’s “watershed” election that will change the way Wisconsin state government treats public schools and educators. “The hard work of the campaign is over. The hard work of governing and making sure that we are being supportive of the people who work in the schools begins now in earnest,” Evers said during a Tele-Town Hall conversation with WEAC members throughout the state. All WEAC members were invited to participate in the phone call last week.

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WEAC locals are successful in 98% of recertification elections

Ninety-eight percent of 2018 fall recertification elections for WEAC locals passed, according to results released by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. In all, 229 of 234 elections were successful. The overwhelming support for local unions mirrors similar results in recertification elections since 2011. “In the local associations holding recertification elections, educators show tremendous support for the union,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, a middle school teacher. “Unions play a very strong role in their local schools and partner to ensure the best for students.”

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With a new record for approving referendums, Wisconsin residents sent a strong message in 2018 that they support their public schools

Wisconsin residents made it very clear in 2018 that they stand behind their public schools and will do whatever it takes to support them. After years of state funding reductions by the Republican Legislature and the about-to-be-former Republican governor, voters went to the polls in droves to make up for the lack of state funding by approving a record number of local school referendums. According to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, voters this year signed off on a record $2 billion-plus in debt and revenue increases for local schools. The approval rate was 90 percent.

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Former educators praise Tony Evers’ leadership qualities

Channel 8 in La Crosse interviewed three former educators who had nothing but praise for the leadership qualities that Governor-Elect Tony Evers displayed when he was a principal and the local school district superintendent in Tomah. Sandy Murray, a retired teacher, said: “I very much enjoyed him as a principal. I always liked the fact that he was open. He’d listen to you, he was fair, he was friendly. I was a young teacher, I was a new teacher and he helped me become who I am.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Tomah Education Association

The Tomah Education Association is lucky to have a strong foundation built by educators and union activists of the past, TEA leaders say. “In general, our tradition of organizing is strong, and our members value us,” TEA President Nathan Jungmeyer told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen for her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “We are continuing to build upon that tradition to grow,” Jungmeyer added.

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Legislative Update: Rep. Gordon Hintz elected Assembly Minority Leader

State Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) was re-elected Tuesday to serve as the State Assembly Minority Leader. Assembly Democrats also elected: Dianne Hesselbein, of Middleton, assistant minority leader; Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, caucus vice-chair; Mark Spreitzer, of Beloit, caucus chair; Beth Meyers, of Bayfield, caucus secretary; and Christine Sinicki, of Milwaukee, sergeant at arms.

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