Bill Franks & Mike Pyne
Madison, WI: Statement from AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, on Scott Walker’s announcement of his presidential campaign:
Governor Scott Walker’s proposed 2015-17 budget for the state of Wisconsin, introduced earlier this year, was jam-packed with shameful attacks on working Wisconsinites. Since then, Republican majorities on the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) have been finding ways to make a bad budget even worse. Now that the JFC has wrapped up budget deliberations, its budget proposal will be taken up by the state Senate and Assembly, then head to Governor Walker’s desk for his signature. Here's what AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas had to say:
I'm proud to share with you a joint statement from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of educational policy studies and sociology at UW-Madison and a member of AFT local 223, United Faculty and Academic Staff. Randi and Sara, two committed educators and unionists, strongly condemn Scott Walker's attacks on higher education, which will slash essential state funding and threaten the bedrock of academic freedom upon which higher education depends. Please share this statement widely and help us get the word out about the danger facing every university in the UW System, from Superior to Milwaukee.
Madison, WI: Responding to the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee’s expected vote to slash $250 million in UW System funding and remove legislative protections for academic freedom and shared governance, union members in the UW System condemned the funding cuts and called on System and campus administrations to protect academic freedom. “Today’s move by JFC Republicans to pay for Scott Walker’s tax breaks for his wealthy donors by slashing public education is shameful,” said Eleni Schirmer, a UW-Madison graduate student and co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association, AFT local 3220.
That's the provocative title of an article by Washington Post education reporter Valerie Strauss, who provides a comprehensive overview of the relentless assault on public education in Wisconsin.
By Jill Hynum
The Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants (WCOA) held its 24th Annual Conference on May 18. The WCOA consists of statewide and regional organizations representing retirees in the Wisconsin Retirement System, and may include active as well as retired participants in the system. The Coalition is committed to achieve the most effective and efficient operation of the Wisconsin Retirement System, free from political interference with policy and investment decisions.
Update on WRS
Matt Stohr, Administrator of the Division of Retirement Services at the Department of Employee Trust Funds, gave us an update on the WRS. His presentation should be available soon on either the ETF or WCOA website. Some statistics: