June 5, 2020
MEMBERSHIP EDITION, Vol. 4, #10

WEAC
A message from WEAC President Ron "Duff" Martin: 

In the tragic aftermath of the George Floyd murder at the hands of police officers in Minnesota, our communities are hurting and many of our students are confused, conflicted and angry. I have the same feelings myself as we sort through the events that still surround us. 

I want you to know that WEAC is, as always, absolutely committed to doing our part to advance racial justice and develop solutions to stop violence against black, indigenous and people of color by police. Given the current circumstances, I assure you our union will organize and mobilize with renewed vigor. Look for our union to lead on new opportunities that advance our shared vision moving forward, including our Leaders for Just Schools program in July.

WEAC Statement: Organize, Mobilize for Racial Justice

“The Wisconsin Education Association Council acknowledges the deep divides that exist in our state and nation. In Wisconsin, our union is increasing our support to be sure educators in public schools have what they need to drive efforts to recognize and end racism in all forms and in all institutions. From bridging the shameful achievement gaps that exist in Wisconsin schools, to fostering economic justice in our poorest communities, to recreating government and police institutions that respect people of color – this is our time as educators to advance this critical priority.”
“WEAC members across Wisconsin are already bonding together to make a difference. We have members in every community and in every school in our state who stand ready. For our students, we will increase efforts to teach racial justice. For our communities, we will increase partnerships to achieve our shared vision. And we will organize to elect policy makers who won’t turn away from a complete overhaul of our institutions, starting with the defeat in November of Donald Trump, who has abdicated his responsibilities as President of the United States.”

RESOURCES for EDUCATORS

March for Racial Justice

As Union members and educators, it is vital that we take a stand against systemic racism in our country, in our communities, and in our schools. We are a group of proud union teachers and support staff who will be joining the March for Racial Justice in Green Bay, WI this Sunday. We will meet as a group in front of Titletown Brewery at 10:40am before we join up with the rest of the marchers at Leicht Memorial Park. Please make sure to wear a mask and wear your marching shoes!

RSVP by clicking “Going” to our Facebook Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2645788065525588/
Thank you to those who joined WEAC Region 3's video chat for ESPs on Thursday, May 28. It's been a valuable tool in keeping our support staff in touch with one another. Our June 23rd Membership Drive Training will also include a conversation about how locals can merge ESP and Education to create stronger unions! The next Region 3 ESP zoom will be Tuesday, July 7th at 4pm. RSVP Here!
Join
 WEAC Retired!
Sign up NOW! With retired membership you stay in the loop and can maintain benefits like NEA life insurance.
 
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!

How can we have 10-minute meetings during the pandemic? Now is probably the BEST time to reach out to your members! Facebook live, Google hangouts, Zoom...
For more details about how the 10-minute meeting works, click   here .
For previous 10-minute meeting topics:
January : Retirement


The June 10-Minute Meeting topic:
What does back to school look like?
Locals have been using zoom and google meet to continue building meetings online. This is a valuable opportunity to find out how members feel about going back to school in the fall, what precautions districts are taking and areas of concern we can work together to address!
EVERY WEDNESDAY, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Next VIRTUAL Meeting is June 10th at 4:30 p.m.
Make Your Local Stronger!
Our membership Drive Training is going to reflect the times we live in. We'll be meeting virtually and discussing how to utilize online platforms to reach out to new teachers and potential members.We will also be discussing how to merge your local with ESP staff and why you should do it.

As always we encourage you to bring a team because you can't do this work alone!
Teacher Contract Renewal / Non-Renewal for 2020-21
Wisconsin State Statute 118.22 governs the renewal and NON-renewal of full-time teacher contracts

DEADLINES WILL NOT CHANGE BECAUSE OF SCHOOL CLOSINGS!
 
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.

WELCOME
NEW MEMBERS in MAY:
SIX!
Many of these came from
the Early Enrollment program. Contact us to find out how to make this work for your local!

Wow what a week it's been. Like most of you, I struggle with feeling like I'm never doing enough. I run myself into the ground and then turn around and try to tell teachers to make self-care a priority, lol. I try to remember asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, bringing more people in to work on a problem makes it easier. You share the work and the expertise everyone brings-it's our greatest resource.

With that in mind, I'd urge you to think about doing an end-of-year survey to your members (or everyone) to find out how this year went for people, what they're concerned about, and what they believe the union (meaning all of us) should work on in the upcoming year. I believe the value of the union is that it's a space to speak honestly about your profession without fear of retribution.

The power of the survey is not so much in the data you collect, but in how you pull people together to discuss the results. From there we can identify issues, make plans and truly grow something great. If you are interested in this and want to create one for your own local, please feel free to email me! Or better yet, come talk to me at the March for Racial Justice at Leicht Memorial Park on Sunday- I'll be there!


Solidarity,
Kristin Lytie
Uniserv Director