March 6, 2020

Member Teachers Are Celebrated!
Fox Cities Chamber has announced the 2020 Shining Star Awards Recipients! These Excellence in Education Awards were presented at the Red Lion Hotel in Appleton on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Congratulations to:

Jenny Hollis
Excellence in Early Childhood Education
Fox Valley Technical College

Jason Fridley
Inclusive Excellence in Education
Horace Mann Middle School, Neenah

Cyndi Pavelski
Excellence in Career & Technical Education
Appleton North Nigh School

Teri Fechter
Educator of the Year Finalist
Richmond Elementary, Appleton

Paul Larson
Educator of the Year Finalist
Freedom High School
Kohl Teacher Fellowship Recipients Announced
The Kohl Teacher Fellowship program recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin, USA. Our goal is to support teachers in the pursuit of their unrealized goals for their classrooms or professional development. The 100 Herb Kohl Fellowship recipients and the 100 schools of those teachers will each receive a $6,000 grant and will be recognized at a spring banquet.
Region 3 Member Winners:

Jordan Hoeppner
Cedar Grove-Belgium School District

Mary Anne Rodgers
Cedar Grove-Belgium School District

David Friend
Kiel School District

Greg Verhagen
Little Chute School District

Karl Nienhuis
Sheboygan School District
Region 3 Member Winners:
Joan Brylski | Pulaski High School

Ned Dorff | Aldo Leopold Community School

Nicky VanLaanen | Ashwaubenon High School

The 10-Minute Meeting
You have an opportunity to keep members in the loop AND respect their time by holding 10-minute meetings! It's also a great time to get feedback from people in the building. 

Get out there and BE VISIBLE!
For more details about how the 10-minute meeting works, click   here .
For previous 10-minute meeting topics:
January : Retirement

The MARCH 10-Minute Meeting topic:
How to Read Your WRS Statement
Very soon you will be receiving an annual statement from the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) that reports your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings. No matter where you are in your career, it's important to review that information for accuracy. 

Click on the  image   to sign up to receive an e-book, "20 WRS FAQs" from WEA Member Benefits. 

Click    here    to learn more about your retirement pension. Did you know that WRS is the 9th largest public pension fund in the US and the 25th largest public/private pension fund in the world?

The Department of Employee Trust Funds has a great website full of useful information, including  videos and webinars    that are grouped according to your length of service (early-, mid-, and late-career employees).

Live Webinars Scheduled for March 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 their  webinar page   to learn more.
Teacher Contract Renewal / Non-Renewal for 2020-21
Wisconsin State Statute 118.22 governs the renewal and NON-renewal of full-time teacher contracts
This important deadline is approaching: 
For teacher contracts that a District does NOT want to renew for the 2020-21 school year, the school board must notify with a preliminary notice of non-renewal on OR before Friday,  May 1st, 2020 .  This timeline applies regardless of the reason for non-renewal, e.g., performance, economic reasons, declining enrollment, etc.  
A preliminary notice of non-renewal must be voted on and issued by the school board (not an administrator).

Many teachers have already been given some kind of indication that the District is thinking about non-renewal. These teachers may be on a plan of improvement. For teachers under this scrutiny,  the preliminary notice of non-renewal may come well before the deadline of May 1st.

Once preliminary notice of non-renewal is given to an educator, they only have five calendar days to request a hearing before the school board.
  • Union members who are fearful of a non-renewal should contact the Region 3 office as soon as possible
  • Union leaders and building reps who are working with teachers who may be in danger of non-renewal should contact the Region 3 office as soon as possible
Please do not wait until the preliminary notice has already been issued!

Other important deadlines:
May 15th: all teachers should receive a continuing contract for 2020-21.
June 15th: all teachers must sign and return 2020-21 contracts.

NEW MEMBERS in February:
10 !

The WEAC Region 3 RA  is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, 2020 at the Rock Garden Banquet & Conference Center in Green Bay.

Delegates to the RA will be electing the following positions to the WR3 Executive Committee: President, Vice President, ESP Member-at-Large, and Zone Leaders, in addition to passing a budget for 2020-21.

The meeting will feature a panel discussion - - members will tell success stories in issue organizing and membership recruitment!

Watch for more info and nomination forms in the coming weeks.
Hi all,

I am registered to attend the Labor Notes Conference in Chicago April 17-19 and I'm excited to see what's in store for us there! It made me think to again take a look at "Secrets of a Successful Organizer," a really great Labor Notes book.

Lesson #1 is all about moving from thinking to doing - when it's bad enough, you'll want to quit complaining and start acting to get things changed. From page 1:

"You're reading this. That means you're interested in organizing where you work. You want to fix problems you see around you. Maybe something unfair has happened to you, or to someone you work with, and you want to do something about it.

For us, that's organizing. For the boss, that's trouble. People who try to do something -- especially when they bring others together to do something collectively -- are often labeled "troublemakers."

But we suggest you wear the work with pride. From Mother Jones to Martin Luther King, Jr., the best organizers have been reviled as troublemakers, because they were bringing people together and building strength in numbers that threatened the power of the few."

Here's a story about some workers in a meatpacking plant who got tired of harassment from their boss, and decided to do something about it!

If there's something bad going on at YOUR workplace, is it time to get working on it? Have you had enough? Do you want to stop living with it?

Kathy Rohde
WR3 Regional Director