October 9, 2020
Hello friends,

This week was yet another disappointment in hoping our state leadership would provide us with some clarity, some sense of transparency and safety. Public Schools were excluded from Evers' most recent order and that left most of us baffled. Luckily, next week is the Region 3 President's and Vice President's Meeting and it couldn't have come at a better time. We have a full agenda and one part will be highlighting our new statewide initiative to push for state and district action on ensuring the safest learning environments possible. It's also going to be a great spot to hear what's happening in other districts in Region 3. When we stay connected we share information, share strategies, and share best practices. Simply put:

When we stay connected, we win!

A great example of this happened recently. Algoma EA, who has been relatively inactive over the past few years, had a member attend a zone meeting. At that zone meeting they shared that they weren't getting their duty-free lunches. The Zone Leader connected the member to their director, and they created a plan to win back duty-free lunches for the entirety of the staff. Despite the odds being seemingly against them they were able to organize and win! And that's what we need more of!

Register for the Oct. 14th President's and Vice President's Meeting HERE.

In Solidarity,
Kristin Lytie
Region 3 Director

Now Available: Online Appointment Scheduling System

Scheduling a benefits counseling appointment with the Department of Employee Trust Funds just got easier! Using ETF’s secure online appointment scheduling system, Wisconsin Retirement System members can view available appointments and book with an ETF benefits specialist – 24/7 and in just a few clicks.

Who should use ETF’s new appointment scheduling system?
  • Non-retired members who want to discuss their options and next steps in the retirement process
  • Non-retired members who want to cancel and reschedule their appointment
Webinars Scheduled for November 2020

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 our webinar page to learn more about any of the following sessions.

  • 5 Basic Steps to Your Retirement: Thinking about retiring in the next 12 months? We’ll walk you through the process. To register, click HERE.
  • Choosing When to Retire: Did you know that when you retire can change how much money you get in retirement? We'll discuss how retiring throughout the year can change your retirement benefit as well as one of the most common questions we receive: “Should I retire in December or January?” To register, click HERE.
  • How to Use ETF’s Online Retirement Calculator: Curious about how much money you’ll get during retirement? Our most-used online tool, the retirement calculator, lets you see how much money you may get in the future. To register, click HERE.
  • Variable Fund: Does putting money in the Variable Trust Fund make sense for you? By default, your money goes in to the Core Trust Fund, but you can put some or all your money in the Variable Fund. To register, click HERE.
  • Preparing for Your Retirement: Planning to retire in the next 1-10 years? Then this webinar is for you. To register, click HERE.
2020 VIRTUAL Professional Development Institute
Saturday, November 7th
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
WEAC is pleased to announce that author and professor Dr. Anton Treuer will serve as the 2020 Professional Development Institute keynote speaker. Dr. Treuer is professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and the author of 19 books including Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask. His equity, education, and cultural work has put him on a path of service in the Midwest, the nation, and the world.

To register and view the agenda and breakout sessions, click HERE.

As we all continue to navigate through our jobs and our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we continue to communicate and work with each other to find solutions that best fit our needs. 
To ensure that your locals are provided with the support that is needed, Region 3 will be holding an All President’s and Vice President’s Meeting on October 14, at 6:00 p.m. The higher the participation, the more meaningful our gathering will be. Please put this event on your calendar and watch for upcoming communications. Please RSVP HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please keep that email.
Winter Recharge,
a day of member-led professional development, is on the horizon!

Saturday, January 30th, we will host a day of workshops and we need you to teach! Have a topic you are passionate about? Know someone that has helped others with a skill? Fill out our application to present a workshop. Last year we had Yoga, Mindfulness in our Classrooms and so much more! Fill out the form HERE.

All facilitators will be given a stipend of $200.
Member Sign Up
Easy, fast online feature supports your membership efforts

WEAC online member sign-up, Join Now, is now available to provide a convenient and fast way for educators to become members of our union.

In a series of simple screens, educators can enter their information to become a member. This feature is especially useful during one-on-one membership conversations. While the process is entirely online, it is recommended that organizers and leaders stay with educators through the sign-up process to answer any questions that might arise.
For an overview of the Join Now experience, click here.
Region 3 Special Education Networking Meeting

This Special Ed Networking call will be special as it's going to be facilitated by two members from Region 3 who have extensive experience working in Special Ed. Their expertise is sure to take the conversation in a meaningful and thought provoking way!

When: October 19, 2020 @ 4:30 PM
Register in advance for this meeting HERE:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
WEAC Members Only Hotline
This week we are launching the WEAC Members Only Hotline where educators can privately and securely report situations of concern. Each situation will be reviewed by WEAC staff attorneys and region directors to determine next steps, including whether they should be brought to the attention of the governor’s office, DHS and/or DPI.

Call 608-402-6045
Nominate a Teacher for a Kohl Fellowship

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellowship. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 13, 2020 at 5 p.m. Awards are $6,000, with an additional $6,000 grant going to the school of each selected teacher and principal.

Nominate a Teacher HERE.
You are Invited!
Weekly Virtual Gathering
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
4:30 - 5:30 pm

Please note that you need to PRE-Register for the meeting by clicking on the link above. Then an email will be sent to you with the login link.

1) Discussing the state wide plan for safe schools

We look forward to SEEING you!
It's a good idea to log in a few minutes early
to get the audio and video working on your device.
Every Wednesday between 6-7 p.m. WEAC members have access to a webinar highlighting relevant teaching and learning topics. This Wednesday's is a National Board Informational Webinar. A complete listing of the webinars and the registration link can be found HERE.
Get on the Bus with Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education (FCA4PE)!
We are inviting you to “Get on the Bus” for public school students in the Fox Cities and always encourages nonpartisan advocacy that puts our kids and our public schools at the center of every election! You can do this by clicking HERE and making your own 15-20 second #VotePublic message explaining why the upcoming election matters to our local kids. Be creative and have fun.
Region 3 has added a COVID-19 INFO tab on our webpage: https://region3.weac.org/

Clicking on that tab gives you access to a Google Drive with all kinds of updated information. We have posted a document with links and resources, recordings of virtual gatherings, an Excel version of our survey data, and more.
Absentee Voting

All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason. Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot. Voters may request their absentee ballot in writing. To request an absentee ballot on MyVote.wi.gov click here. You must provide a photo ID with your absentee ballot request, more information on photo ID can be found here.

LOOK HERE to find early voting locations and ballot drop-off locations.