Pat Schneider, The Capital Times
Members of Madison Teachers, Inc. have voted overwhelmingly to recertify their collective bargaining units, according to vote totals released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.
Teachers, with 2,981 eligible union members, voted 88 percent to recertify their unit in unofficial tallies, pending a period in which objections can be filed.
Total membership and percentage support for other MTI collective bargaining units were:
- Educational assistants, 719 members, 76 percent in favor of recertification;
- Substitute teachers, 484 members, 74 percent in favor of recertification;
- Support staff, 234 members, 77 percent in favor of recertification;
- Security staff, 27 members, 81 percent in favor of recertification.
Annual recertification of public workers unions is required by Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation curbing the collective bargaining rights of public workers. The law required 51 percent of eligible workers to vote to recertify the union in balloting that ended Tuesday.
Kim Kohlhaas president of AFT-Wisconsin and an elementary school teacher in the Superior School District, pointed to an unbroken string of AFT-Wisconsin local union recertification election victories as evidence of the dedication of Wisconsin’s public school teachers and staff to the students and communities they serve.
“Since recertification elections began in 2011, every AFT-Wisconsin local union that has pursued recertification has won convincingly,” Kohlhaas said in a statement. “ With the recent attacks on public education in Wisconsin, my own district has seen many excellent teachers leave for other districts, other states, and even other professions. Through recertification, my fellow union members and I have one more tool in our toolbox to defend public education in Superior and the rest of the state.”
While other teacher unions in the state began recertification votes in the past several years, MTI did not call a vote until it had exhausted its legal challenges to Act 10 this summer with a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the law.
MTI is the lone school district in the state operating under labor contracts, with signed agreements through June 2016. A conservative legal group has sued the school district and school board, however, challenging the validity of the contracts
Filed under: Education Reform, Labor History, Organizing, Politics Tagged: | 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, American Federation of State, Barack Obama, Collective bargaining, County and Municipal Employees, Madison, Milwaukee Public Schools, Scott Walker (politician), Swing state, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Supreme Court