August 9, 2019
WEAC Region 3 represents public education employees in a large territory stretching from Florence to Port Washington,
and from Menominee to Washington Island.
New Holstein EA Wins Prohibited Practice Complaint

When does a grievance for unwarranted discipline morph into a prohibited practice complaint against a superintendent? When the discipline is motivated by anti-union animus and violates bargaining members rights to concerted, protected activity guaranteed by WI State Statute 111.70.
This was the case in New Holstein last fall when the union president was disciplined with a 1-day unpaid suspension, and then a subsequent 3-day unpaid suspension for communicating with bargaining unit members about the recertification election. The superintendent claimed the messages sent via email "challenged his authority" and put him "in a bad light."

In fact, there was nothing in the emails that was hostile toward the superintendent. Further, the hearing examiner found that the union president was engaged in "statutorily protected, lawful concerted activity..." and that "...the exercise of 111.70(2) Stats. rights inevitably and legitimately clashes with [the superintendent's] interest in counteracting anything that challenges his authority." (emphasis added)

In other words, when union members engage in concerted, protected activity -- when they speak up and advocate for themselves -- they are naturally going to be in conflict with the employer and that's the purpose of the state law! The statute says: YES, employees can stand together and advocate for themselves, and it is AGAINST THE LAW to interfere with their right to do so.

The superintendent's actions in the last year have created a fearful environment in the school. People are very afraid to speak out. The reason we filed a prohibited practice complaint was to squelch the superintendent's behavior and empower the employees to speak out and stand up for themselves. We won the case! The union President will be getting reimbursed for his lost wages and every bargaining unit member and every board member will be notified of the decision.

Good news, right?

Well, the District has appealed the decision of the hearing officer and the case has been given to the sole Wisconsin Employment Relations Commissioner for his review. We think it will take another 4-5 months for a decision. While we are very confident of the outcome, it is discouraging to know the discipline happened in November. It's now August. There have been, and continue to be, many months of fearful anticipation for the employees at New Holstein. We'll keep you posted!

In the meantime, FIVE New Holstein EA members attended Thursday's Solidarity Seminar - they are gearing up for the next fight!

Summer Fun
2019 Annual Family Labor Day Picnic
sponsored by The Greater Green Bay Labor Council

Monday, September 2, 2019
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
Bay Beach Shelters 1 and 2

See Flyer for info on purchasing tickets.

Provide a receipt to Region 3 for ticket purchase and be reimbursed!!!!
Professional Development
WEAC
Register Now!
In our union, we all have a part to play in building membership so we can be the strongest advocates for our students. Attend a membership workshop this summer to plan for back-to-school, professional development and collective action. Check with your region office, or sign up for a state workshop near you, and you'll be a step ahead when school starts in the fall. 
CHOOSE A WEAC WORKSHOP LOCATION  

RHINELANDER - AUGUST 13 - 10 a.m.-Noon 
DRUMMOND - AUGUST 24 - NOON-2 p.m. 
WAUSAU - AUGUST 31 - NOON-2 p.m. 

NEA Launches ESP Leadership Institute
NEA is excited to announce the launch of the NEA ESP Leadership Institute (NEA ESPLI), formerly known as NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow. NEA ESPLI is a powerful leadership development program, grounded in diversity, equity and cultural competence that brings together the overarching NEA Leadership Competencies to train Education Support Professional members to be effective leaders in their associations. ESPLI is designed and collaboratively delivered by ESP members. Find out more and apply now at nea.org/ESPLI .
Can You Help With Some Research?
A former member is working on her doctorate about teacher attrition and turnover. The study will concentrate on teachers who exit after five years but before retirement age. The intention is to assess what is driving experienced teachers from the teaching profession after five or more years into their careers. The data will add to the discourse on teacher attrition and give suggestions for further improvements and/or changes to policies that will help decrease the number of teachers who exit the profession. If you or someone you know fits this description, please contact Margie Westmoreland, Doctoral Student, Mississippi State University
Member Benefits
Live Webinars Scheduled for July/August/September
ETF is offering a series of 30-minute, live, interactive webinars designed to increase your understanding of Wisconsin Retirement System benefits. Individuals can also ask questions at the end of these sessions. Visit their webinar page to learn more about any of the following sessions.
  • Five Basic Steps to Your Retirement
  • Choosing When to Retire
  • How to Use ETF's Online Retirement Calculator
  • Preparing for Your Retirement
  • Additional Contributions
  • Retirement Annuity Options
  • WRS Employer & Employee Contribution Rates
  • WRS Retirement Benefit Calculation Method

DJ Delebreau from Luxemburg-Casco contributes to the "issues" list.
Who's got the POWER?
22 members from 10 different Locals attended Thursday's "Solidarity Seminar."
Hello all,

I'm back from a long vacation and thanks to you, I'm feeling recharged!

Yes, it's kinda hard to come back to work (you'll know it at the end of this month, right?) and I had lots of meetings on my calendar this week. It was the meetings (not the full email inbox) that got my adrenaline running and I can honestly say I'm happy to be back at work!

On Tuesday, Zone B met at a local bar for refreshments and a lot of talking. No agenda, really, just folks sharing with each other about what's going on in their schools. Says Natalie Buhl from West De Pere: " Getting together with the Zone B leaders at Narrow Bridge Brewhouse was fantastic! I learn so much from other local leaders, and I really value making personal connections with them. Having a chance to get to know one another and what our locals are working on makes us all so much stronger - together!"

On Thursday, 22 members from 10 different Locals attended Region 3's "Solidarity Seminar," and we had a great time talking about how to deal with issues at work. From the evaluations we got quite a few responses like this: "The best things about this workshop were: conversations with other districts and seeing that we all have many of the same issues."

Yes - it's good to TALK to each other! It's energizing and hopeful and FUN! Here are some upcoming opportunities to join in:

  • Zone A Meeting: Wednesday, August 21 at 4 pm at Kathy's cottage on Maiden Lake. Email here if you're interested in coming!

  • Watch for an all Leaders meeting for the Region coming up in October - ANYONE can attend! We'll have panels and other opportunities to share info and network with other Locals.

I know that meetings may not sound fun, but the chance to meet and talk with colleagues is an INVALUABLE opportunity. Don't pass it up!

Peace!
--Kathy Rohde
Uniserv Director
Region 3 WEAC