Wisconsin Local Proves Unions Thrive on Challenge
Anti-bargaining law doesn't stop AFT affiliate from working with district, community
"PEOPLE ASK ME: 'How will our union change now?' My answer is that it doesn't change at all. Our union is as strong as we want it to be. Our union is about people showing up and making their voices heard."
That's how Superior (Wis.) Federation of Teachers president Kim Kohlhaas has seen her union's role since the passage of Act 10 in March 201 1 . Introduced by Gov. Scott Walker, the act imposed sweeping restrictions on the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin's public employees.
The SFT is working with its school district to create a handbook addressing many of the same areas covered by the union's contract, which expires June 30. One reason for this cooperative relationship, she says, is that Gov. Walker's attacks on working families don't play well in a small community like Superior, where the local union plays a vital role. "It's hard to demonize us when our neighbors know who we are," Kohlhaas points out.
For this local, community …
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Publication information: Article title: Wisconsin Local Proves Unions Thrive on Challenge. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: American Teacher. Volume: 96. Issue: 5 Publication date: May/June 2012. Page number: 8. © American Federation of Teachers Feb 2009. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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