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A New Energy And Commitment Bond Local Officers

Participants at the 1997 local officers meeting in Appleton said they could feel a new level of energy, enthusiasm, and solidarity building in the organization.

Members engaged in lively dialogue during the Local Officers Meeting. Among them were Jo Trask, president of the Germantown Education Association. The GEA is engaged in job actions to protest the school board's unwillingness to bargain beyond the QEO. "Our membership has come alive," Trask said.

More than 200 officers of local associations from throughout the state discussed organizational goals, philosophies and strategies September 27 at the Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton. They engaged in a wide variety of discussions, including how to repeal school district revenue caps and the Qualified Economic Offer law. They reviewed statewide bargaining goals and explored ways in which WEAC, the UniServs and local associations can all work better together to accomplish goals.

"We have a focus and a dialogue going on about the revenue caps and the QEO that we didn't have one year ago," said Bob West, WEAC's director of collective bargaining. While WEAC members never lose sight of the past, they keep their feet in the present and their eyes on the future, he said.

Don Krahn, WEAC's deputy executive director, said WEAC has become "a well-integrated organization that prepares rather than reacts" and is "unafraid to do things differently." He credited local leaders for strengthening WEAC. "You and your members are WEAC and are WEAC's greatest asset," he said. "It takes leadership to make things happen."

John Stocks, WEAC's director of government relations, credited members for their growing involvement in legislative activity. He said he wants to continue to build on that activity and develop an increasingly vigorous offensive strategy in the Legislature. "Over the next year we should rattle the organizational culture in WEAC," he said.

Major activities, he said, will focus on repealing the QEO, electing pro-education candidates in 1998, completing passage of the WEAC Legislative Agenda, improving public schools in Milwaukee, and defining what exactly needs to be done to "Build on the Best" -- making Wisconsin's excellent public education system even better by raising standards and expectations.

About 210 local officers discussed a wide variety of topics at their annual meeting in Appleton.

Photos by Bill Hurley

Posted September 30, 1997

 

Education News