If you want a good measure of how deeply the collective bargaining bill in Wisconsin has disrupted public sector unions, there is no better example than the Wisconsins Education Association Council (WEAC).
Last month WEAC announced that it was laying off 40% of its staff. With little over which to collectively bargain, and with dues no longer withheld from paychecks, the need for and sustainability of a union bureaucracy could not be justified.
Now WEAC is being boycotted by National Staff Organization (NSO), a union representing educational union employees.
Isn’t that great, education union employees have their own union? Is there a union for employees of education union employee unions?
Because the Wisconsin Education Association Council is breaching staff contracts and destroying any working relationship with its employees, NSO President Chuck Agerstrand is cautioning all NSO members against applying for staff vacancies.
“WEAC management is taking a page out of Gov. Walker’s playbook and making up new employment rules not in the USU contract. They should be looking to the 42 employees they laid off to fill vacancies before they go outside the state,” said Agerstrand.
WEAC recently sent out a job posting for a staff position in the Racine UniServ office. WEAC’s new employment rule—which violates the WEAC/USU contract—says an employee must have successfully passed a year’s probation in the job he/she wants to bump into or the employee has no recall rights. The USU is challenging the management’s position.
Agerstrand is encouraging support for our NSO members. “I’m asking NSO members to show support for our Wisconsin USU brothers and sisters by refraining from applying for any position in Wisconsin until our colleagues have their position restored.”
On Aug. 15, 40 percent of WEAC’s employees received layoff notices—four days after the staff was made aware of impending layoffs. WEAC’s Executive Director Dan Burkhalter blamed Walker’s budget cuts for the layoffs.
I’ve been search for a better metaphor, but “feeding on each other” was the best I could come up with. Any suggestions?