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WI Education Unions Lose Certification with Non-Votes Counted as 'No' Votes Under Act 10

Mary Bell, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council during anti-Act 10 protestsThe fix is in: Gov. Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Act is forcing the collapse of unionism in Wisconsin.  

To finish out 2013, eight Wisconsin education unions lost their ability to collectively bargain when, seeking recertification, non-votes were counted as “no” votes under the governor’s hallmark anti-union legislation, also known as Act 10.

Workers were able to vote between November 29th and December 19th and less than 51 percent did. Some of the non-votes may have in fact represented “no” votes, but the votes of those participating indicate landslide support, according to the Lacrosse Tribune:

Of the eight local unions that failed to recertify, on average, only 44 percent of union members cast a vote. In all but one instance, more than 90 percent of those who did cast a vote voted in favor of recertification. In Cochrane-Fountain City, that number was 80 percent.

The affected education unions include teachers from the Melrose-Mindoro, La Farge and North Crawford school districts; support staff from the Arcadia and Cochrane-Fountain City School Districts; educational assistants and food service personnel from Holmen; and teacher assistants from La Crosse.  

John Havlicek, a Spanish teacher at Central High and president of the La Crosse teachers union, said the recertification process is part of a “political agenda to dismantle unions.” He told the Lacrosse Tribune that, “Ninety percent of the teachers in La Crosse want to be in the union.”

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