January 26, 2018  
Hi all,

I have a Superman phone cover on my WEAC phone. It's a facetious reference to the fact that our members call me up and ask me to "save the day." I'm not a hero.

I prefer to think of myself as an organizer - a person who leads from behind and encourages and coaches members to do the work themselves. There is no one more vested in the outcome of issues than members themselves. No one who can do a better job.

From Secrets of a Successful Organizer:
As an organizer, you can't be a superhero or a firefighter. Your role isn't to knock the door down, burst in, and rescue people; it's to build a team of activists. Guard against the impulse to put yourself at the center of everything the union is doing. As the great civil rights activist Ella Baker said, we need more movement-centered leaders, not leader-centered movements.

This attitude adjustment can be challenging, since many of us are motivated by a strong sense of injustice. You're outraged at the petty slights the supervisor dishes out. You don't want to let the problem go on a moment longer.

But a good organizer taps into that righteous anger in others, motivates people to take collective action, and gives them the experience of bringing about change together. That's how you build power at work and develop leadership.

This is particularly hard because your co-workers often expect you to be the hero. They are comfortable letting you take all the risks. But they won't learn to help themselves -- or help each other -- if you do everything for them.

So when a co-worker comes to you with a problem, instead of tying on your cape, look for ways you can help her to get the ball rolling him/herself.
For previous lessons in organizing from Secrets of a Successful Organizer , check out previous issues of " The Connection ."


--Peace
Kathy Rohde
Regional Director

What's Your Best Story? 
Sheboygan Education Association

WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen had a chance to sit down with Region 3 member and  Sheboygan Education Association President Rebecca Letter, and asked her how Sheboygan's EA has maintained their strength.  Rebecca said, "I give credit to our continued philosophy of we."  We, according to Rebecca, is the union leadership and the district administration, working together on behalf of the students in Sheboygan. She cited the history of good relationships between teachers and administration in Sheboygan, and she said that after changes in legislation in 2011, the SEA continued to do what they did well, communicate with administration on behalf of what is best for their students.  See the rest of the story here.
Find Out More About How YOU Can Join the Ranks of National Board Certified Teachers!
It's a great way to distinguish yourself as an educator AND receive extra salary!
To learn more about it, come to the Information Session
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Available in person at the WEAC Region 3 office in Green Bay, or virtually through ZOOM.

Last Chance to  Register here.

Click here for the flyer. Help spread the word!

Political Action
This is an 11.0101(10)(b)(1) communication with WEAC members
WATCH FOR!

LOCAL ASSOCIATION PRESIDENTS (via email) WILL SOON BE RECEIVING BOARD OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE FORMS 
AND REFERENDUM REQUEST FORMS.  

ALSO RE
GION 3 CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH SAMPLE CANDIDATE SCREENING QUESTIONS IF NEEDED.
Latest Updates on Proposed Teacher Licensing System Changes

The Department of Public Instruction is floating a proposal to overhaul the state's teacher licensure law, PI-34. The proposed overhaul represents two areas - licensing and teacher rights. While the licensure provisions represent a mixed bag aimed at easing the teacher shortage, provisions in the overhaul aimed at limiting teacher rights create sweeping changes to disciplinary action based on arbitrary and questionable judgments. Read more about WEAC's analysis of the proposed rules here. Read more about the proposed rules on the DPI website here.

DEADLINE: JANUARY 31, 2018
Click here to submit your comments directly to the DPI before the posted deadline. 

Member Benefits

Sharon Schmidt from WEA Member Benefits presented "Retirement 101" at the WEAC Region 3 office on Tuesday, January 23rd.
Download Your Free WRS eBook
The eBook includes FAQs you should know about your WRS pension, including:
  • The difference between the Core and Variable funds
  • Benefit payment options
  • How to read your ETF statement
  • Formula vs. Money Purchase calculations
  • What to do before you retire
  • Printable pre-retirement checklist
  • Links to helpful tools, videos, calculators, and more


Student Loan eBook
For many educators, student loans are a major part of the financial picture after graduation. The Educator's Guide to Student Loans will uncover things an educator needs to know about student loans, student debt, the federal student loan forgiveness program, and more. This eBook addresses frequently asked questions about student loans including:
  • The different types of education loans.
  • Federal versus private loans.
  • Consolidation, repayment, and special circumstances.
  • The basics of the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, qualifications, and how to apply.
  • Tips and checklists for applying for loan forgiveness.
A glossary of student loan terms, and more.


WEA
Forward Together Award
Tell us how your school project defines vision, passion and drive!

Enter the Forward Together Award TODAY to win $3,000 to boost your school passion project. Click here to enter

At WEA Trust, they recognize that some of the best ideas in Wisconsin schools too often go unnoticed and unfunded. That's why they're granting three $3,000 Forward Together Awards to fund school projects in Wisconsin. They believe educators who try new things should be supported and celebrated.

Enter by January 31, 2018!

ETF Face-to-Face Events - 2018 Schedule Updates
ETF has updated the face-to-face learning opportunities schedule to include dates through the spring of 2018. These include benefit fairs, benefit presentations and group retirement appointments scheduled in your area of the state.

View the face-to-face learning opportunities schedule for your area.
Professional Development Opportunities
Need Some Cash to Help You Get to Leadership Workshops?
The Dennis Muehl Grant can help!
This grant was created from memorial contributions following Dennis Muehl's death in October 1995. Dennis Muehl was the first Director of Bayland Teachers United, our area's first Uniserv. This grant is open to all WEAC Region 3 members and staff. $300 in grants are awarded annually.
If you are a dues paying member of WEAC Region 3, and you want to attend a grant-qualifying activity that relates to building the Union, Political Action, Public Relations, Membership Training, or the like, then please consider applying for the Dennis Muehl Grant.
These upcoming meetings are qualifying events:
WEAC Professional Issues Conference March 2-4, 2018 in Madison
WEAC Region 3 Union Skills Workshop (June 2018)
NEA RA, June 30-July 5 in Minneapolis, MN
WEAC Summer Leadership Academy, July 30-August 1, 2018 in Eau Claire

Click here for an application form and more details about the Grant.
2018 Professional Issues Conference
Registration is now open for the 2018 WEAC Professional Issues Conference, which is March 2-4 at the Concourse Hotel in  Madison. The conference will focus on the most important lever in improving our schools: building the knowledge and skills of educators. WEAC is committed to professional learning that is continuous, job-embedded, practical, and connected to student achievement. WEAC offers to our members the connections, tools, learning opportunities, and resources they need to promote meaningful and purposeful professional learning and embed it in the school day.
Schedule It!
 
Click HERE to see our Region 3 Calendar. It includes WEAC and Region 3 governance meetings, Professional Development events, and many other workshops, meetings, and events sponsored by our office.

 

  • WEA Member Benefits Financial Planner, Thursday, February 15 (and the third Thursday of every month) @ WEAC Region 3. To make an appointment contact: Brenda Echeverria 800-279-4030, ext. 3300.
WEAC Region 3
800-472-5582
rohdek@weac.org
www.region3.weac.org