August 17, 2018  

What the heck is this Janus thing?

On June 27, the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court (resulting from Trump's appointment of Justice Gorsuch) struck down public sector union fair-share fees with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME. In doing so, the Court overturned the 41-year-old precedent established by Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Education in order to determine that fee arrangements violate free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize union speech on matters of public concern.
While fair share agreements in Wisconsin have been outlawed since Act 10, the Janus decision is a major blow to NEA and public sector unions at large. The decision will inevitably impact public sector unions' finances and political influence and highlights the impact of presidential appointments of Supreme Court justices to life-terms. You can read more about the impact on NEA affiliates here

So, what happened to Wisconsin's public sector unions in 2011 with the passage of Act 10 now applies to all public sector unions in the nation, with a couple of exceptions. And I'll talk more about that next week, along with some information about Right to Work (for less) legislation....

In the meantime, there was some good news out of MISSOURI last week. The voters in that state organized a referendum to repeal a Right to Work (for less) law that was signed in February 2017. Read about it here.

I hope you're squeezing the very best of summer into the next couple of weeks before school starts! Enjoy!

Kathy Rohde
Regional Director

What's Your Best Story?

Ashwaubenon's Third Degree band is 'School of Rock' come to life -- Dewey Finn and all

If a gig with seven kids and their teacher ripping into covers of "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "Free Fallin'" sounds like something straight out of "School of Rock," it's because there is a definite Dewey Finn connection.   Just ask Logan Zills, who played the character, or WEAC Region 3 member Bernie Rocheleau, who lived it.

Special Alert!

Two items to bring to your attention, both relating to requests for information from outside groups about internal statistics. For more information on either, please drop Christina Brey at WEAC an email.
Department of Workforce Development (DWD)
At least one local leader has received a request for personnel member/educator information for the purposes of a statewide survey from a contact at the DWD. Because participation in the survey is voluntary and because the DWD does not guarantee it can protect the confidentiality of the information provided, it is recommend that regions, locals, etc., do not respond to the survey or to emails.
Route Fifty
At least one labor partner received a call from this outlet on recertifications. The phone number and caller ID is suspicious, and WEAC is recommending if you are contacted for information about recerts in your local to decline.

Professional Development

QEI Closing

Please be aware that effective August 24 the QEI will be closing its operations. For members who wish to keep record of their PDPs or (for the very few) that have been tracking their successful semesters of teaching:  
  • Download and save or screen shot any documents, professional development plans, and other data. After August 24, the website will no longer be accessible.
  • Print out Semester Certification History for your records. This applies to teachers who used QEI to obtain electronically certified semesters of experience to move from the Provisional to Lifetime educator license tier. Educators who have obtained six semesters of experience at the Provisional level using the QEI's system should print off the certificate to demonstrate successful completion of the required six semesters.

Attend one of four WEAC Welcome Program Workshops in your area!
Wednesday, August 22
5-7 p.m.
Richland Center

Wednesday, August 29
5-7 p.m.
Local leaders, activists and staff can sign up to attend these free workshops to get pointers on a simple yet comprehensive approach to membership.

Whether or not you can attend one of the in-person membership workshops, commit to the Welcome Program by filling out this short form:

Learn the financial and professional benefits of National Board Certification in the comfort of your own home. Led by Wisconsin National Board Network President Sandra Michels, this webinar will outline the process of obtaining National Board Certification. Sign up here.

Political Action
This is an 11.0101(10)(b)(1) communication with WEAC members

Election 2018
State Superintendent Tony Evers will face Scott Walker in the November 6 election for Wisconsin governor. Evers handily won the eight-candidate Democratic Primary August 14. 

In an email to supporters after winning the nomination, Evers said:

"This race is a choice between 4 more years of our current governor, or a new governor focused on making decisions in the best interest of real Wisconsin families - who deserve access to good healthcare, safe roads and high quality public education."

In other Primary Election races:
  • Lieutenant Governor: Democrat Rep. Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee will be paired with Evers as the lieutenant governor candidate. Incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was uncontested in the primary.
  • State Treasurer: Businesswoman Sarah Godlewski, who was recommended by the WEAC Board, won the Democratic nomination for State Treasurer. The Republican candidate will be Travis Hartwig.
  • Secretary of State: Incumbent Doug La Follette won the Democratic nomination. Republican businessman Jay Schroeder will challenge La Follette in November.
  • U.S. Senate: Republican State Senator Leah Vukmir of Brookfield advanced to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in November.
The member comment period is open for WEAC PAC recommended candidates in the November election. Please help spread the word that members can weigh in on the recommendations through Sunday evening, August 19.
The WEAC Board of Directors will consider member input prior to taking official action. 

Find out what the WEAC members who serve on the Political Action Committee had to say about the candidates they are recommending by clicking here.
The WEAC Board of Directors will convene on Monday, August 20, to consider member input prior to taking official action on the recommendations.
Questions? Email

Educator Perks

Barnes and Noble Offers Free Educator Discounts!

There are special discounts in August, and a year-round program you can sign up for.

Application form here.

Schedule It!

Click HERE to see our Region 3 Calendar. It includes WEAC and Region 3 governance meetings, Professional Development events, and many other workshops, meetings, and events sponsored by our office.
  • WEA Member Benefits Financial Planner, the third Thursday of every month @ WEAC Region 3. To make an appointment contact: Brenda Echeverria 800-279-4030, ext. 3300.
WEAC Region 3