May 22, 2020
The Region 3 office will be closed Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day

WEAC Region 3 represents public education employees in a large territory stretching from Florence to Port Washington, and from Menominee to Washington Island.
Hello all,

There's a lot in this newsletter! You'll meet our new uniserv director, Erin Karsten, hear about our Region wide ESP call, and learn about the new Region wide Special Education call we are putting together!

The upcoming budget shortfall has been weighing heavily on my mind, as I'm sure it has been for many of you as well.

Public education budgets depend on sales and income tax to function. It doesn't take an economist to know we are going to be facing serious cuts down the road due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Predictions are forecasting a 35% cut to federal education budgets.

we can act NOW.

We can stand up for kids NOW and demand that the Heroes Act get passed which would bring in more desperately needed funds. What can you do to help ensure adequate funding?

  1. Sign the pledge to protect public education here.
  2. Work within your district to pass a resolution that states you all stand together to fully fund public education.
  3. Call your uniserv director to learn more!

--Kristin Lytie
Regional Director
Welcome to Region 3 our New Director Erin Karsten!
My name is Erin Karsten and it was here in my hometown of Green Bay, WI where I first became drawn to the labor movement. My first job was at a restaurant kitchen inside of the Brown County N.E.W. Zoo where I made a whopping $7.25/hour. The zoo was open 365 days of the year, meaning my coworkers and I made just $7.25/hour on Christmas Day since the zoo would not pay us time and one-half on holidays. During the summers, the kitchen was sweltering hot, sometimes close to 100 degrees, but the zoo would not buy us fans. We’d walk around the zoo and see that the goats had fans, but this was a luxury the zoo couldn’t afford for their own employees. So, my coworkers and I started a petition to improve our working conditions. The very next day, I was pulled into my boss’s office. My boss told me that she was doing everything within her power to get me fired. The intimidation continued until, at one point, I thought I would be framed for doing something illegal. Under severe intimidation, I resigned. I couldn’t file for unemployment where my situation might’ve been investigated because I was already working a second job. I couldn’t file a complaint with the WERC because I would be in Washington, DC for college by the time I would’ve received a hearing. In that moment, I felt powerless. But that experience made me realize that solidarity amongst workers is the best form of protection-not laws and certainly not employers. If I had had a Union, my story would’ve been different. There’s a quote by an author named Jean-Paul Sartre that goes: “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” For me, I found freedom in the labor movement. I know that the workers that I represent will not have to go through what I experienced in a non-Union job.

I went on to graduate from American University with a degree in International Relations with a focus on Political Economy. In Washington, DC, I worked with UniteHere Local 23 and the Trade and Labor Affairs Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. Upon graduating, I moved to La Crosse, WI, where I worked as a Union Organizer for SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and represented a variety of workers including CNAs, housekeepers, food service workers, and paramedics. I am beyond excited to be back in Green Bay and to begin working with the proud Union members of WEAC Region 3. 
Region 3 Special Education Networking Meeting

During our weekly Region 3 zoom meetings, it became apparent that what is happening in one district with Special Ed varies wildly from district to district. It was decided that these educators could benefit greatly by strategizing, sharing best practices and asking each other questions. So, let's do it!
When: June 4, 2020 @ 4:00 PM
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
We'll be discussing how to make the membership ask virtually, how to use various online platforms to your advantage, and engage your fellow members!
1 - 5 pm Virtually

Region 3 has created an ESP Connection Call to check in with one another, keep each other in the loop and plan our next steps. This zoom meeting was organized by Sue Smits, long time ESP activist and advocate, because she recognized the need for this conversation to take place. Now more than ever ESP staff need to be in contact with each other to discuss what their districts are doing, best practices and how to implement them in their own district. The global pandemic has revealed that schools are the social safety nets for many of our communities and that those safety nets work because you do.
Please join us on Thursday
May 28 th  at 4 pm via zoom to participate in this important conversation.  
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
When We Vote, We Win!

If we've learned anything from the April election, it's to be prepared. Request your mail-in ballot for the fall elections now !  
Region 3 Locals are Having Virtual Membership Meetings!
Some Locals are getting together to have virtual coffee or happy hour - just to say Hi!

Some Locals are conducting their annual Membership meeting online.

If your platform doesn't have the capacity you need, or you'd like some assistance, Region 3 Directors Dave, Kristin, and Kathy can help facilitate with Region 3's Zoom and Ring Central resources. Contact us for more info.
Join Early at No Extra Cost
When you become a member of your local association, WEAC and NEA,
by completing an early enrollment membership form, you pay nothing
until September 1 and immediately receive:

  • $1 million in coverage under the Educator Employment Liability (EEL) insurance to protect you if a student or parent sues you during the course of employment

  • Discounts and savings through NEA Member Benefits (

At the start of the school year, you will enjoy the full benefits of membership

  • Representation through your local and region in employment disputes

  • Eligibility for assistance through the WEAC Legal Services Program in matters related to your employment

  • Access to the Attorney Referral Program that provides for two, free half-hour consultations with a participating attorney every year

by contacting !

You are Invited!
Weekly Virtual Gathering
Wednesday, May 27, 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.
We are doing our best to Zoombomb-proof our meeting!

1) Latest updates on school closings.
2) Time for sharing! What's going on in your area?

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.
Region 3 has added a COVID-19 INFO tab at the top of our webpage:

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.

2020 WEAC Representative Assembly - Saturday, May 23 - Via Zoom Video Conference Call

T he 2020 WEAC Rep Assembly is being held via Zoom conference call on Saturday, May 23. The Zoom meeting will start at 10:00 a.m. Registration is now closed but the agenda and Standing Rules, along with other information, can be found at .
If you have a question about other meetings, check WEAC's webpage:
WEAC is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members and the students they serve and will continue to provide resources and support as they become available. 

Self-Care For Educators

Teaching from home and staying physically isolated from others can add to the stress of this pandemic. See WEAC resources to help .