When educators are respected, appreciated, heard and have the resources we need, we can give students our very best. WEAC members come together to win for our students, our schools and our profession.
Across Wisconsin, we are winning dedicated planning time, protecting benefits, increasing salaries, and improving the daily lives of educators and students. How are educators creating change in your area? Here are some examples:
Educators prevail upon Monona Grove School Board to reverse votes against academic freedom and job security. After testimony from dozens of educators and days of protests organized by the Monona Grove Education Association (MGEA), the Monona Grove school board voted unanimously to rescind changes to the employee handbook that threatened the job security of veteran teachers. In an unusual move following the unanimous board vote, each board member also apologized to district employees in front of everyone in the packed boardroom.
The School Board of Reedsburg reverses the district’s decision to impose a salary plan. The Reedsburg Education Association and Reedsburg Education Personnel Association rallied at a school board meeting to convince the board to reverse the administration’s decision to impose a salary plan without bargaining. In the wake of the rallies, testimony and news coverage, the school board voted to meet with REA and REPA at the bargaining table.
WEAC succeeds in removing provision to hold back students based on third grade test scores. A plan to force students to repeat third grade based on one standardized test score was scaled back after our union mobilized and pointed to research showing it harms students. We partnered with the Wisconsin State Reading Association and other groups to shed a light on problems in the bill, which tripled the number of tests for students in K-3rd grade and made it easier to sue teachers based on how we teach.
Through our Fair Pay Now campaign, educators are earning increased pay. WEAC members are collaborating to negotiate pay increases that keep up with the high cost of living. Local unions including Columbus, Gillett, Green Lake, Madison, Milwaukee, Menomonie, Racine, Stratford, Edgar, Washburn, Waunakee, Monona Grove, Rhinelander and elsewhere worked with administrators to achieve pay increases. In Wauwatosa, our union achieved a 12 percent package increase for every teacher and raised starting teacher salary to over $48,000. Cudahy paraprofessionals earned an 11.7 percent increase.
Our union wins equal pay for equal work. WEAC supported Verona teachers in a gender discrimination case that gained national attention after our union discovered pay differences of nearly $20,000 between male and female teachers holding the same experience and qualifications. Ten female teachers received $450,000 in back pay, interest and retirement earnings. Separately, the district agreed to correct placements of other teachers on the salary schedule, impacting 367 teachers.
Introducing legislation to keep educators in the profession. WEAC’s package to attract and keep teachers and support staff in our schools was introduced in the Legislature, calling for increased pay, reasonable workloads, mandator prep time and bargaining rights.
We provide relevant professional courses by educators, for educators. Tired of mandated PD by people who don’t work with students? Our union has a huge range of educator-led courses, along with hundreds of micro-credentials, book groups and more for teachers and support staff. Our high-quality courses are free or at a reduced price for members. In Marshall, we partnered with the school district to provide Spanish for Educators to staff so they can improve communication with students and families.
Personally and professionally, we have your back. Through our free student loan debt program, we’ve helped thousands of member-educators qualify for forgiveness or navigate refinancing. We safeguard Wisconsin’s best-in-the-nation retirement system so it’s there for you after a career of teaching students. We help educators attain work-life balance and reduce stress so you can be your best and have our own experts to answer your legal or licensing questions so you can always have a trusted partner.
We support candidates who support public schools. In public schools, everything that happens in our classrooms is impacted by policy makers. That’s why our union takes pride in electing people who care about students as much as we do. In 2023, we won the majority of local school board races in which we recommended candidates. Whether with local school boards, state lawmakers or federal representatives, we continue building relationships with elected officials long after Election Day.