Educators remain committed to the role of the union

UnionYes_150pxThe results of the November 2014 recertification elections are in and underscore the fact that educators remain committed to the role of the union. Consider this:

  • There were 200 teacher units seeking recertification, and 193 of them were successful – 97%.
  • There were 36,990 votes cast during the balloting period. Of those, 98% – or 36,283 – were YES votes.
  • If a simple majority standard would have applied to these elections, 262 of the 263 units would have been successful.

“Wisconsin education unions are alive and well, and advocating every single day for the students we serve,” said Betsy Kippers, a Wisconsin teacher serving as president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “In the local associations pursuing recertification, Wisconsin educators overwhelmingly stood strong to emphasize their collective voice. Local associations that did not recertify still exist and influence school culture – they aren’t going anywhere. Remember that recertification only affects a narrow scope of what a union does. The union exists wherever there are educators who want to work together to advance common-sense solutions in the best interest of our students and schools.”

In Milwaukee, where 99% of the teachers who voted, voted yes, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association President Bob Peterson said, “This vote shows how strongly Milwaukee educators feel about union power and collective bargaining. …

“(Governor) Walker and state legislators need to know that our union is as strong as ever. With or without a recertification vote, we represent Milwaukee educators who are fighting not only for better pay but also for better teaching and learning conditions, and for the right of every child in our city to attend a quality public school.”

In Racine, 86.1% of Racine Unified School District (RUSD) professional staff voted in favor of being represented by the Racine Education Association (REA).

“It serves as an affirmation that the REA is here to stay,” said REA President Jennifer Levie. “Our primary task is to build a strong and vibrant union that can speak to the needs of teachers, students, parents and the community. Together we can move education forward in Racine.”