Teachers’ Union Reverses Course, Plans Massive Protest Tuesday

MacIver News Service | June 13, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] Just four days after the Wisconsin Education Association Council – the state’s teachers’ union – told Madison reporters that they wouldn’t be organizing large protests in the summer, WEAC took to its website to call teachers to the State Capitol.

“Join us as the people of Wisconsin rally against Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature that has now called for an “extraordinary session” on Tuesday,” reads a plea on the union’s website.

On June 9, WEAC President Mary Bell announced that the union had no plans to protest in Madison in the coming weeks. Instead, teachers would be given the opportunity to enjoy a normal summer. For many, Bell suggested, this would include instructing students in summer school and using their free time to take graduate classwork.

Just four days later, WEAC has apparently decided that their teachers’ time was better spent marching in Madison. The group’s website includes a call for a rally to showcase educators’ disgust at the upcoming extraordinary session in the Assembly and Senate. The entry calls on teachers to “protest a budget that guts public schools, strips workers of their rights and erodes our state’s quality of life.”

When Bell made her statement last week, she did allow for exception if  “different things get entered into the budget or the budget as it is gets passed,” However, in the last week no significant change to the status of education or labor law have been made to the two-year spending plan.,

Yet, teachers are now being called on to return to Madison as they had back in February to voice their concerns and lend their opposition to the upcoming state budget.

The latest protest will begin Tuesday at 11 am, and run into a rally at 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol Square.