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Editor's Blog

By Bill Hurley

Social Media, Technology, Journalism, Education

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Using social media to build solidarity against Walker's attacks

In the wake of Governor Walker announcing his plans to dismantle the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public employees, many members and non-members have gone to and the WEAC Facebook page to express their outrage. The vast majority of members are joining together to fight these Draconian ideas because they fully understand that, if passed, Walker’s bill would devastate our schools and strip educators and most public employees of their basic bargaining rights. Teachers simply would no longer have any say in how children are educated. The bill essentially leaves no room for teachers, education support professionals or state employees to bargain their wages, benefits or working conditions, and leaves educators with no voice in determining approaches to teaching and learning.

Unfortunately, some comments that have been posted have been critical of WEAC. People are expressing their frustrations, and that’s fine. Clearing the air and sharing our differing opinions makes us a stronger union.

However, right now it is time to set aside our differences. The stakes are far too high, and the time is far too short. This is a time for us to use social media to galvanize each other to fight against passage of the laws that will not only severely impact our profession and our daily work and personal lives but the lives of the children in our schools. We are all in this together.

The WEAC Facebook page and are open for your input and participation. Let’s use them to inform each other, build solidarity and work together for our profession, our schools and the children of Wisconsin.

Kurt Ritchie of Edgerton succinctly stated the gravity of the situation in this comment posted to today:

My wife and I are teachers in the Edgerton School District and I fully agree that this is an attempt at destroying our union. If this is passed it will be a personal disaster for our family (loss of almost $10,000 a year), we estimate that to be about $800 a month. While Governor Walker claims that this is a modest cut, this could cost us our family home and much, much more!

In addition, his attacks on our right to collectively bargain our working conditions are nothing short of union busting tactics. If these measures go thru, we as employees will have few if any protections. While both my wife and I were born and raised in Wisconsin and have taught in the state for 15 years plus, depending on how bad this gets, we may be seriously forced to look at other employment options. While we both truly enjoy teaching and can’t imagine doing anything else, this could force us to look out of state for a better situation or possibly cause one or both of us to consider leaving the occupation altogether.

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