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AFT-Wisconsin newsletter: May 2016

The May 2016 issue of The Union Voice, AFT-Wisconsin's newsletter, is now available.  You can read individual articles below, or download the entire issue as a PDF file.  If you would like to suggest a story for a future issue of The Union Voice, please contact AFT-Wisconsin Communications Director Aaron Bibb.

Whitnall teachers: lowering class sizes and improving teacher retention

As the school year began, members of the Whitnall Area Federation of Teachers were discussing two disturbing trends. Class sizes had started high and were continuing to grow as the district accepted many open enrollment students. At the same time, many experienced teachers were either finding jobs elsewhere or considering leaving because of the district’s extremely slow progress in implementing a compensation plan. With many classes exceeding 30 students and as they faced the loss of highly qualified teachers, WAFT members were concerned about the impact on their working conditions and student learning conditions. (Read more)

Wisconsin Heights teacher attends White House Teacher Appreciation Day

Kathy Evert, an elementary school teacher in the Wisconsin Heights district, was one of a group of teachers from across the United States invited to participate in President Barack Obama’s celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Day at the White House. Evert, the co-president of AFT local 1917, represented the AFT at the May 3rd event honoring the national Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes. (Read more)

Higher Ed Council members lead wave of no confidence votes

A nationally unprecedented series of votes of no confidence in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents, led by AFT-Wisconsin Higher Education Council and American Association of University Professors members, has spread rapidly across the UW System. The first such resolution was passed by the UW-Madison faculty senate in late April, followed quickly by faculty senates at the River Falls, La Crosse, Green Bay, and Stout campuses, and at the 13 two-year institutions comprising the UW Colleges; by the academic staff senate at UW-Milwaukee; and by a historic, unanimous vote of the full UW-Milwaukee faculty. (Read more)