Skip to comments.Walker And Unions Battle Over Teachers Tenure
Posted on 06/30/2015 2:24:57 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Wisconsin unions Monday are once again attacking Republican Gov. Scott Walker, this time over a proposed budget that may result in cuts to tenure for state college professors.
With the upcoming budget session, the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee is expected to propose a plan to reform the University of Wisconsin System. While it is not yet finalized, unions warn the plan will cut $250 million in funding and will remove academic protections for professors such as teacher tenure.
This latest union battles comes at the heels of a likely announcement Walker will run for president. With his previous labor reforms, unions will likely become one of his main advisories.
Todays move by JFC Republicans to pay for Scott Walkers tax breaks for his wealthy donors by slashing public education is shameful, Eleni Schirmer, co-president of the Teaching Assistants Association, said in a statement. These cuts will devastate a UW System that has already been cut to the bone and beyond in previous years.
Richard Leson, an associate professor of art history and president of Local 3535 of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), also argues the plan will have devastating consequences.
The UW System has a long, rich tradition of encouraging research and learning free from political pressure, serving as a model for the rest of the country, Leson said in a statement. Our strong history of academic freedom through faculty tenure has protected education in the UW System from political conflict and corruption for decades, ensuring that higher learning in Wisconsin can pursue the truth wherever it might lead.
A spokesman for Joint Finance Committee, however, notes the plan is not set in stone. The spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the plan still needs to be finalized by the committee after which point it will move onto the Senate and House. The plan could be amended by lawmakers in either chamber. If it passes the legislature, it will then be up to Walker to decide whether to sign it into law but the end result may look drastically different from the original plan.
As the budget plan is written at the moment, it doesnt even remove tenure like some unions are claiming. As the committee spokesman detailed, the proposal only transfers authority on tenure to the Board of Regents which is already in charge overseeing community colleges in the state. The board could cut tenure, keep it the same or change it in other ways.
In order to create an authority, the Governors original budget proposal removed all references to tenure and shared governance state statute in order to allow for the proposed authority to create its own policies, Laurel Patrick, press secretary for Walker, told TheDCNF. This would allow the UW Board of Regents to address the issue of tenure going forward.
Though unions are blaming Walker, the proposed budget was approved by members of the committee and was not proposed by the governor. Walker, though, has become a go to target for unions because of his efforts to reform labor policy in the state during his first term.
The reforms, known as Act 10, significantly changed the collective bargaining process for most public employees within the state. It also required public unions to hold a renewal vote every couple of years to determine if workers still wanted them. Labor unions and supporters adamantly opposed the law and even tried to get Walker thrown out of office.
Republicans in the legislature went a step further in the past year when they passed a law which banned mandatory union dues as a condition of employment. Though Walker wasnt directly involved in creating the measure, unions blamed him anyways.
Its worth noting that the reforms included in Act 10 eliminated requirements for seniority and tenure in schools, Patrick continued. Many of the critics claiming these changes will cause harm are the same types of voices who said public education would be harmed because of our Act 10 reforms. Today, graduation rates are up, third grade reading scores are up, and ACT scores are second best in the country.
AFT did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
Walker and Unions at battle again.
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Well the very concept of tenure is pretty crazy.
I guess this guy Leson has not spent much time observing education in universities, even though he is a professor. Once you get away from the hard sciences and mathematics departments at universities, they are extremely politicized. They push the leftist agenda relentlessly, to the point where students who do not toe the socialist line are shunned and harassed, and may not get an education. The current socialist-heavy environment of most campuses is hardly conducive to the pursuit of truth that Leson mentioned.
True, I am only familiar with MD and CA universities, but I do not think WI universities would be any different.
A Prestident Walker could simply sign an executive order and eliminate tenure nationwide.
“Once you get away from the hard sciences and mathematics departments at universities,”
As a representative from industry I went to a university to judge robotics proposals. We selected a winner but one of the professors clasped his hands together and said, in effect, “we can’t have any losers. Let’s declare them all winners.” I said, “One group is totally clueless and doesn’t even realize they have no workable concept. So, how are you going to tell them they win but can’t have any of the limited funds to build their design?” He said, “We’ll just split the (I think $2000.)” The rest of us stared at him as nobody’s design could be built for the reduced funds. Another professor came to our rescue and we did select a winner. The problem the first guy was wrestling was the clueless group was 100% black and he thought it would be racist if they lost.
I came away disappointed at how PC engineering had become. I was also never invited back.
They need their filthy lucre or they won’t infect your kids with Marxist thought. Plus, ‘cut to the bone’ to a liberal means there’s still a ton of fat.
The ‘truth’ means Howard Zinn and not Larry Schweikart.
“...to pay for Scott Walkers tax breaks for his wealthy donors by slashing public education is shameful...
LOL! With the Dems in charge for the past decades, they’d just blatantly STEAL tax dollars through some ‘magic accounting trick’ or another to pay THEIR ‘wealthy donors.’
But THAT was OK, don’t ‘cha know!
What a bunch of jerks.
I think was is the most infuriating about tenure is the way the Republican Party has failed to capitalize on its unpopularity.
This is the simplest of arguments; “Look, who doesn’t want to live in a world where no one gets fired? Unfortunately that’s not the world our bosses, the voters, live in. Unfortunately teachers are going to have to live in our world.”
Unless this happens across the country, academic education will remain in the grip of the Socialist and Marxist...
We literally have 100,000's of professionals in the workforce that have actual real life experience that could be teachers, professors to give their students an actual education instead of anti-american indoctrination...
Here’s more whine from the threatened “teachers.” It’s all about academic freedom and free speech — don’t you know. ~~~Snort~~~
...........................Tenure protections set in law tell the rest of the country that Wisconsin is committed to upholding academic freedom and sees tenure as a crucial asset in attracting the best professionals around the world and keeping them here in Wisconsin, Andrew Austin, an associate professor and chair of Democracy and Justice Studies at UW-Green Bay, said. Why shouldn’t we be a model for the nation? The state is already losing some of its finest faculty, which means an exodus of research moneys from the state. It will lose a great deal more if tenure protections are removed or weakened. If economic and social developments are valuable things to Wisconsinites, then retention of strong tenure language is essential.
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