Retire the Union

Wisconsin’s biggest teacher union is discontinuing its annual convention. That blessed three-day school week we used to savor once each fall is history.

Evidently the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) concluded if teachers are free to choose whether to join the union, the union must choose between spending money on its annual gabfest or on more direct efforts to recapture its role as the 800-pound gorilla of Wisconsin politics.

WEAC president Mary Bell backhandedly admitted as much in announcing the possibility of laying- off union staff in response to declining membership dues. She denied this would result from ending mandatory dues being automatically withheld from her members’ paychecks. Instead she suggested teacher retirements would shrink the membership.

There’s no doubt the next few years will bring many retirements but that was going to happen anyway. Countless baby-boomers are getting ready to call it quits and there’s no reason teaching should be different from any other line of work.

According to WisPolitics, Bell said the union is waiting to see whether large numbers of retirees are replaced or their positions left vacant, depleting membership. Ironically, the Governor’s collective bargaining reforms requiring teachers to pay for part of their pensions and benefits will make it more affordable for school districts to replace retirees.

Whether the replacements will feel a need to pay no-longer-compulsory union dues is another matter. WisPolitics quoted Bell saying rather than give up and go away, WEAC is “stronger, we are louder and we are more united than ever.”

Louder, yes.


About Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

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