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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin Craziness

So unless you have been living under a rock lately (or not paying attention to ANY news) you probably have heard about what has been going on in Wisconsin.  Our governor is trying to pass a bill (and probably will) that will have state workers pay more into their retirement and benefits and cripple unions

This is baaaaaad for teachers.

Every day the capitol has looked like this with protestors:

My husband, who is a news reporter for Wisconsin Radio Network, has been working crazy amounts of hours at crazy times.  I really really admire single mothers after basically getting a small taste of it for the last 2 weeks.  Here is a picture that Andrew appeared in that was in the Wisconsin State Journal and Huffington Post online.

He is the one on the right side in the red sweater.  His head looks a bit elongated here because of the angle.

And here is a video I took at a protest this week.

What a crazy time we are living in and what a very exhausting couple of weeks. 

I teach in a private school and Andrew is not a public worker, so we are somewhat insulated from the direct effects of the bill, but of course we are ALL affected when education and public services are cut.

The Madison public schools were closed here for the past four days because approximately 40% of the teachers called in sick to go to the protests.

A cool thing is that supporters from all over the world phoned in orders for the local pizza place on State Street and they have been delivering tons of pizzas to the protesters at the capitol.  They pretty much stopped local business to take those orders. 


Mrs. Hahn said...

This is high stress. I'm sorry you are battling it first. I started in WI and have a lot of family and friends working over there. Like I'm said, I'm sorry.

Mrs. Art Teacher said...

I've been following this story and feel so bad for all your public employees. It's not worth much, but yesterday a ton of teachers rallied at the Oregon State Capital yesterday and the news showed that LOTS of people were wearing red support Wisconsin teachers shirts. Teachers all over the country are think of Wisconsin teachers.

Phyl said...

I've been a strong unionist since I began teaching in 1976, spent 10 years as my local president and at least another 10 in some leadership role in the union. It seems like a lot of our younger teachers (at least in my district) are pretty complacant about the concepts of collective bargaining and other basics of being a member of organized labor. The strength of the union has allowed us great protections and helped us to move forward educationally over the years. But our newer teachers lack the memory and experience of bad times in our district. I'm glad to see the Wisconsin teachers are not taking this lying down but it breaks my heart that it is happening at all. Good luck to the teachers and nurses of Wisconsin. Oh, and your husband's bald head is very cute!!

taramarie88 said...

Hi Marcia, I have been following the news closely. I am in Texas were we are also on the chopping block. They talking about cutting 100,000 teachers next year in our state. Sadly, you know who is usually the first to go...the arts. I am so scared not only for my own job but also for my childrens' education, my students, and our entire state! Phyl is right about some of the younger teachers being complacant, many of the teachers at my school don't seem too worried at all! Not me, I am freaking out and can't believe everyone has this "things will blow over" attitude. We teach our students to stand up for what is right, to fight for what we believe in and now it seems they are just lying down. Thank God Wisconsin's teachers are standing up for themselves, in a way they are standing up for all of us public servants all over the nation. I am getting my pickett signs ready. I will be at our state capitol during spring break!

Nancie Kay said...

Here in AZ (a right to work-for-less state) there is a rally planned for Saturday at the statehouse to support our colleagues in WI. We are with you in spirit & prayer...Yes, younger teachers are complacent - they don't realize that today's duty-free lunch, daily prep time, sick leave, professional leave and all those other 'working conditions' came from our efforts years ago. Our middle class will disappear even faster without unions.

Paintedpaper said...

Right behind you in Ohio. We have written many emails to our rep and he replied within 40 minutes. I am so sad to see this happen. Phyl you are so right about younger teachers being not involved. It is really scary and ugly.
In Ohio they are going after teachers, police, fire, department of transportation and jobs and family service and Dept. of Correction

Jacquelien said...

This crazy plan was even on the Dutch news!

beth said...

This is a crazy time, the Wisconsin teachers are a great inspiration.... I know NY teachers are watching closely.

Miss Kati Oetken said...

Thanks for giving us a first hand account at what's really happening. And as a new teacher, I was just learning what it was and you helped put it into perspective! Thank you

Lori- said...

The secretary to our Secretary of Labor is a family friend....and know that there is much attention in getting this situation resolved. What a mess. Phyl...right on with the union comments. I have been involved, but not many other young members ask questions and/or show faces at meetings. They do not realize what this means to our future. Our union members are wearing red on Friday to support all of you! Thoughts are with you in PA!


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