WEAC Admits to Losing 20,000 Members

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a fascinating interview with Wisconsin Education Association Council president Mary Bell and executive director Dan Burkhalter, in which they admit having lost 20,000 members since the passage of Act 10. Citizens of the Badger State will be surprised to learn that WEAC members have such generous fringe benefits because of… Tommy Thompson! Why didn’t they ever thank him?

Since the collective bargaining measure was enacted last year, WEAC’s membership has dropped from around 90,000 to 70,000, but the remaining membership became energized by the recall. Union leaders are hopeful that passion will continue as the union rallies around issues such as public school funding. The union is working on membership drives this summer.

“I think we will be smaller but stronger,” Bell said.

Burkhalter estimated 25% to 30% of WEAC members voted for Walker in 2010 while on Tuesday about 5% voted for the governor.

“He really united our membership,” said Burkhalter.

Bell said Walker prevailed in the recall partly because many voters don’t like recall elections and some believed recalls should only be used in cases of malfeasance. She admitted public employees were easy targets for the governor and Republican lawmakers because of generous pensions and benefits, which Bell noted were mostly a result of former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson’s qualified economic offer law that gave better benefits in return for salary concessions to public school employees several years ago.

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One thought on “WEAC Admits to Losing 20,000 Members”

  1. Of course it is always the worker’s fault! It never seems to matter how many concessions we make or the work that we do; when the economy or the state test scores or the girls badmitten team’s record is in the toilet…it’s usually blamed on the union employee. It’s a shame that we have become the favorite whipping boy of every so-called expert, politician, and talking head. Most of these “experts” have never even been in a union shop but cannot help themselves from blaming the world’s woes on the union rank and file. Stay strong brothers and sisters! Someday, somebody will finally appreciate how important unions are to America.

    Solidarity Forever!
    Mick
    Local 211, UAW

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