July 31, 2020
Hi Everyone –

Typically the end of July and beginning of August are quiet times for educators as they recharge for the start of the school year in mid- to late-August. But, like everything else in 2020, that is far from the case this year as educators are faced with the stress of wondering what the start of the 2020-21 school year will look like in their district. For many, that anxiety is compounded by concerns over what school will look like for their children, and whether the two plans will be compatible or not. The results of the 7/9/2020 Region 3 survey regarding members Top Issues and Concerns is now posted at WEAC Region 3 under the COVID-19 Info tab, Survey Response Folder. The issues and concerns are grouped into four categories: (1) Personal Protection and Safety; (2) Students Protection and Safety; (3) Personal Rights; and (4) Work Issues. Outside of the personal rights legal issues (i.e., FMLA, ADA, etc.), most of the concerns should be directed to your school boards and administrations through the collective voice of your Local. Speaking out as individuals you are easily ignored. Whereas, expressing concerns with a united front, and demanding a dialog to address those issues, creates power that cannot easily be disregarded.

The Region 3 Executive Committee held a special meeting last week to discuss taking a position on the reopening of schools. WEAC ( WEAC Letter on Reopening Schools to Governor Evers ) and the urban locals have focused on expressing concerns at the state level. As noted above, Locals should be voicing their collective concerns locally. Therefore, the Executive Committee decided it could best support Region 3 Locals by concentrating its efforts regionally through a letter sent to every local public health department within the Region. As stated in the letter,

"Ensuring that the process for reopening schools is well thought-out is one of the most important things we can do to protect public safety and minimize disruptions to student learning. It is essential that a dialogue between local education associations and their county health departments takes place. By collaborating and implementing a transparent process, we can protect public health and implement a sustainable learning structure for the 2020-2021 school year."  (read the full letter here )

Lastly, there is something you can do right now.  Click here or dial 1-866-374-7034 to call our WI senators right now and demand that our students and educators are prioritized in the next coronavirus aid package. Even if you called them before, even if you think they are already supportive, even if you think they may not listen—make sure our demands are heard.
In Solidarity,

Dave Campshure
Region 3 Director
Tune in to WEAC Region 3’s Facebook Live Media Event, “Let’s Talk About Reopening Schools!” This event is intended to give voice to the unique concerns and challenges that educators and support staff are facing now and will face in the upcoming school year. We are calling on districts to work collaboratively with their local Education Associations to ensure educator and support staff input is at the forefront of the decision-making process when it comes to reopening our schools. Our speakers include:

  • Nathan Ugoretz, Port Washington EA Member and President of WEAC Region 3
  • Justin Delfosse, Green Bay EA President
  • JamieLynn Teska, Southern Door EA Member
  • Val Nickels, Oconto Falls EA President 
  • Noelle Mudrak, Appleton EA Member & Workload Committee Chair
  • Pam Brick, Manitowoc ESP Vice President

This event is open to the public and the media for viewing. We will have a recorded version of the full event on WEAC Region 3’s Facebook Page following the event’s conclusion. WEAC Region 3 will be available to take questions after the event.

Click here to access the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/721204365333595
NEA Organizing Resources

COVID-19 has offered new challenges along with more opportunities to create alternatives to face-to-face recruitment and engagement. To better prepare you for back-to-school membership campaigns, NEA has launched a series of webinars to highlight key organizing tactics, recruitment tools, resources and examples. By registering, you will have full access to a library of digital organizing resources.

We will not allow the current limitations on in-person gatherings to hinder our opportunity to connect with current and potential members. Now more than ever, educators must see the value of union membership and participation.
Be sure to also register now for a WEAC Membership Workshop! See available dates and times .
We're also pleased to share NEA’s new Educating Through Crisis website for additional resources to support educators responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NEA Reopening Schools Checklist

The NEA has released a reopening schools checklist to support the importance of our union being a very public and strong advocate for our members, students and communities.

The checklist is designed to support your existing advocacy efforts for our members and school community without tying your hands to things that may not be appropriate in your particular community. There’s also a draft letter for your use. We hope these documents help begin or deepen dialogue on what districts should be considering first and foremost, however, we know they do not represent the complete set of possible considerations.
In addition, we wanted to share the CDC adjusted guidance  for schools, with the NEA outline of what’s changed and what hasn’t.

Be sure to choose August 5 th  date in drop down box.
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: August 10, 2020 @ 4:00 PM
Register in advance for this meeting HERE:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
WEAC Region 3 would now like to invite members and potential members to these meetings. This is your opportunity, Region 3 members, to bring a non-member friend. Let's show them the value of union membership!

Region 3 created an ESP Connection Call to check in with one another, keep each other in the loop and plan our next steps. It was discovered that 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 Tuesday, August 18 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.
You are Invited!
Weekly Virtual Gathering
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
4:00 - 5:00 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.
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 (www.neamb.com)

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 Region3@weac.org !

New Look Coming to WEAC.org and Region Websites

WEAC will launch their new website in August, featuring a completely mobile-friendly platform and a more modern layout. Region websites are included in this change.
Region 3 has added a COVID-19 INFO tab at the top of 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.
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.