SCFL Candidate Endorsements

SCFL Candidate Endorsements

i Mar 11th No Comments by

Dane County

Fitchburg City Council
• City Council District 1, Seat 1: Dorothy Krause (I)
• City Council District 1, Seat 2: Michael Childers
• City Council District 2, Seat 4: Patrick Stern (I)

Madison Mayor: Paul Soglin (I)

Madison Common Council
• Common Council District 1: Matt Brink
• Common Council District 2: Ledell Zellers (I)
• Common Council District 3: Amanda M.-M. Hall
• Common Council District 4: Michael Verveer (I)
• Common Council District 5: Shiva Bidar-Sielaff (I)
• Common Council District 6: Marsha Rummel (I)
• Common Council District 7: Steve King (I)
• Common Council District 8: Zach Wood
• Common Council District 9: Paul Skidmore (I)
• Common Council District 11: Chris Schmidt (I)
• Common Council District 12: Larry Palm (I)
• Common Council District 14: John R. Strasser (I)
• Common Council District 17: Joe Clausius (I)
• Common Council District 18: Rebecca Kemble
• Common Council District 19: Mark Clear (I)
• Common Council District 20: Matt Phair (I)

Stoughton City Council
• District 2: Michael Engelberger (I)
• District 3: Regina Hirsch (I)

Sun Prairie City Council
• City Council District 2: Bill Connors
• City Council District 2 (1 year term): Diane McGinnis
• City Council District 3: Michael Jacobs
• City Council District 4: Al Guyant (I)

Verona City Council
• City Council District 1: Elizabeth Doyle (I)
• City Council District 2: Dale Yurs (I)
• City Council District 3: Luke Diaz (I)
• City Council District 4: Heather Reekie (I)

Madison Municipal School Board
• Seat 1: AnnaMarie Moffit

Middleton Cross Plains School Board
• Area IV: Todd Smith
• Area V: Ann Bauer (I)

Monona Grove School Board (3 at-large seats)
• Keri Robbins
• Jeff Simpson (I)
• Jenifer Smith

Oregon School Board
• Area I: Marilyn S. McDole

Stoughton School Board (3 at-large seats)
• Alison Sorg

Sun Prairie School Board (3 at-large seats)
• Marta Hansen
• Mike Krachey (I)
• Marilyn Ruffin

Wisconsin Heights School Board (3 at-large seats)
• James Schroeder

• Madison Metropolitan School District Building Referendum (Vote Yes)

Columbia & Dodge County

Fall River School Board (2 at-large seats)
• Jason Freedman
• Phyllis Foulkes
• Sue Johnsrud

Dodge County

Beaver Dam Common Council
• District 3: John S. Abfall

Juneau City Council
• District 3: Ron Drezdon (I)

Mayville City Council
• District 5: Robert Boelk Jr. (I)

Horicon School Board
• Town of Burnett, 2 Year Term: Nathan Hodgson
• Town of Hubbard/Town of Oak Grove: James Ketchem (I)

Lomira School Board (2 available seats)
• Zone 3: Stephen D. Jones (I)

• Mayville School District Question 1, Building Referendum (Vote Yes)
• Randolph School District Building Referendum (Vote Yes)

Green County

Monroe City Council
• District 8: Dustan Beutel

Monticello Village Board (3 at-large seats)
• Trustee: Greg Bettin

Monroe School Board (3 at-large seats)
• Nicole Saugstad

Jefferson County

Fort Atkinson City Council (At-large seat)
• Mason T. Becker

Jefferson City Council (At-large seat)
• Peg M. Beyer

Cambridge School Board (2 at-large seats)
• Margaret Sullivan (I)
• Tomas E. Wright

Fort Atkinson School Board (2 at-large seats)
• At-Large: Cynthia Harrington-Ficenec
• At-Large: Kim Patrick

Jefferson School Board
• Area IV: Terri Wenkman (I)

Lake Mills School Board (2 at-large seats)
• Donna D. Thomas (I)
• Rachel Roglitz-Davies

Whitewater School Board (2 at-large seats)
• Kelly Davis

Marquette County

Westfield School Board
• Representing Coloma, Colburn, Richfield, Richford: Oscar Miller
• Representing Crystal Lake, Newton: Karen Alexander

• Montello School District: Vote Yes

Richland County

Richland Center City Council
• District 2: Lisa Miller
• District 3: Marsha Machotka (I)
• District 4, 2-year term: Bill Kloehn

Sauk County

Reedsburg School Board
• Beth Voigt

• Sauk County Referendum on Weston School District: Vote Yes

Union Members and Community Allies United Against So-Called “Right to Work”

i Mar 2nd No Comments by

We are not alone in this fight. Our allies in the community, from small businesses to contractors to faith leaders, have stood with us as we oppose this dangerous and unnecessary legislation and the undemocratic process that’s being used to fast-track it through the Legislature.

Over the past week, workers and friends of workers have packed the Capitol hearing rooms, the rotunda, and the sidewalk outside. We have had conversations with our neighbors, we have testified to our legislators, and we have made our voices heard in overwhelming numbers.

This week, join our coalition as we stand up for all workers. Make your voice heard at a committee hearing, at a rally, or on the phone.

Testify at the Assembly Committee on Labor Hearing
Monday, March 2
Until 8 PM
Capitol, Room 417 North (GAR Hall)

Phone Banking Against RTW
Monday, March 2, Until 7 PM
Tuesday, March 3, 12 PM – 6 PM
Wednesday, March 4, 12 PM – 6 PM
Thursday, March 5, 10 AM – 11:30 AM
Madison Labor Temple, Room 212 (1602 S. Park St.)

Capitol Rally and Assembly Floor Session
Thursday, March 5
12 Noon
State Street side of the Capitol Building
Following the rally, please stay to pack the gallery during the Assembly Floor Session beginning at 1 PM.

The struggle for workers’ rights has been a centuries-long battle. No matter the outcome of the Assembly’s vote, we must always be vigilant and ready to raise our voices, organize our fellow workers & community, and act against those who seek to push us down.

$5 Million for Co-op Development in Madison

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Click here to see GEO Article

Say No to Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Click below to see a short, 2 minute video

No to Fast Track & No to Trans-Pacific Partnership

FREE 1 year subscription to “In These Times”

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Why Right-to-Work is Wrong for Wisconsin

i Dec 17th No Comments by

Next legislative session elected leaders in Wisconsin should come together to focus on jobs and the economy. We don’t need another divisive attack on workers’ rights. It is time to put aside the partisan politics and get to work on fixing our economy.

So called right-to-work (RTW) legislation would be a distraction from the real issues impacting Wisconsin families. Often called right to work for less, these bills are designed to crush the very soul of unions by crippling solidarity among working people.

The case against RTW rests on fundamental principles of economics and fairness. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau show that workers in RTW states have lower wages, higher rates of poverty, less access to health care and poorer education for children. The average full-time, full-year worker in RTW states makes about $1,500 less than a similar worker in a non-RTW state.

This has implications for everyone. Despite rhetoric about the wealthy being job creators, we know jobs are actually created by middle class demand for goods and services. When wages are depressed by RTW laws, consumer demand goes down, taking employment opportunities with it.

RTW legislation is part of a national attack on the American Dream and democracy funded by power hungry CEOs and influential corporate interests. It allows for the government to interfere in the relationship between a private employer and its employees.

While supporters claim that RTW laws promote job growth, studies show a different picture. Oklahoma adopted a RTW law 10 years ago after supporters claimed it would stimulate employment. According to the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, the number of new companies coming into the state has instead decreased by one-third since RTW was enacted. Closer to home in Indiana, where Gov. Daniels signed RTW legislation last February, officials have yet to identify a single company that relocated to that state because of RTW. In fact, Indiana continues to lose jobs to free bargaining states like Ohio, Illinois and California.

Let’s get the facts straight. No worker is ever forced to join a union. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled long ago that no one can be forced to join a union or pay fees not directly related to the cost of bargaining a contract. RTW laws encourage people to get something for free that others pay for – it’s called freeloading. These measures give workers the unjust opportunity to reap the benefits of collective bargaining grievance procedures, apprenticeship training programs, affordable health care, a good wage – without contributing their fair share to the cost of negotiation. This is unfair and un-American.

RTW simply redistributes income from workers to owners. At a time when corporations are enjoying record profits while workers’ wages remain flat, right-to-work is exactly the wrong way to go. The middle class has lost ground economically and income inequality is greater now than at any time since the 1920s. If we want a thriving economy we need to strengthen workers’ ability to collectively bargain, not weaken it.

Now more than ever, Wisconsinites across the political spectrum need to be unified in our efforts to create good jobs and restore prosperity for all. The RTW road is a dead-end for Wisconsin’s working families. (from AFL-CIO)

(December 2014 Union Labor News)

Nichols Looks to Workers

i Dec 17th No Comments by

John Nichols is journalistic superstar who regularly shares his progressive ideas on the Ed Schultz show and with Sly Sylvester on local talk radio. He has been staple in the Cap Times and the Nation magazine and is a prolific author. But John is a star who ordinary Wisconsinites are likely to meet just going about their daily business.

It was no surprise, therefore, when Union Labor News caught up with him recently in a coffee shop near the square finding him in impromptu discussions with all sorts of folks who had ducked in for a cup of coffee only to end up in an animated conversation with Nichols.

One thing Nichols emphasizes in conversation is the importance of unions and workers’ rights. Probably no journalist has defended workers more vigorously than him. ULN asked him how he viewed the recent election, especially as it relates to workers.

The Election
Asked whether Scott Walker won the governor’s election or Mary Burke lost it, he froze, paused 15 seconds, and finally concluded that Walker had won it.

“The election was very much about Scott Walker,” he said. “It was a referendum on him in many ways.” Walker had a lot going for him: money, his friends’ money, and an “incredibly intense schedule” that kept him circulating regularly around the state, especially in some rural areas and small towns that never saw Burke. “His last rally was on a farm,” added Nichols.

“He is a very disciplined political player,” Nichols said. But he could have been beaten, “I have little doubt of that.”

He said that Democrats needed to do better in some areas of western and northern Wisconsin which are “progressive/populist but not necessarily Democratic.” Burke needed to “articulate a clear strategy for making rural, small town Wisconsin work and survive.” Such a strategy would have focused much more militantly against school vouchers. “While vouchers may be damaging to urban schools,” he said, “they’re absolutely devastating to rural schools.”

Nichols compared Walker to Tommy Thompson, but not favorably. In Walker’s three elections he amassed voting totals of 52%, 53%, and 52%. Thompson’s numbers for his first three elections for governor also started at 52% (in 1986), but escalated to 58% then 67%.

Getting 52% in a Republican “wave” election, as Walker did, didn’t impress Nichols and it doesn’t bode well for Walker’s presidential aspirations. He is a “politically weak player,” according to Nichols.

Nichols believes the Wisconsin media have been very complacent in their coverage of the governor, especially when it comes to corruption, but he doesn’t believe it all started with Walker. “The change in Wisconsin has been profound and is deeply troubling” reflecting a “casual comfort level with corruption” that was unknown in Wisconsin until recent years.

Nichols cited previous movements in the wrong direction: Thompson for bringing in big outside money for the first time, the caucus scandals from a decade ago which tainted both parties, and most recently, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos for his “shocking statement” about the Milwaukee Bucks essentially disqualifying themselves from state help because their owner supported Democrats.

Nichols expects the national press to be much harder on Walker on corruption and other issues if he runs for president.

John Nichols defends workers during a 2011 rally at the State Capitol in Madison

John Nichols defends workers during a 2011 rally at the State Capitol in Madison

What’s next for workers?
There has been a “very organized effort to diminish unions,” Nichols said. He cited Michigan and Indiana as very much in the same mold as Wisconsin. In those two states they’ve already passed “right-to-work” legislation, decimating the unions there.

Could that happen in Wisconsin? “It’s very possible,” said Nichols. “The notion that this issue is not going to arise in Wisconsin is foolish.” He then quoted Walker’s exact words when asked about it several years ago: “I wouldn’t necessarily propose it.”

“He never for a second said that he wouldn’t sign it,” Nichols said. The governor wouldn’t have to propose it. An increasingly anti-worker State Legislature would do that. All he would have to do is sign it.

According to Nichols, Walker’s national ambitions might be the only thin barrier that keeps Wisconsin from becoming a right to work state as Walker weighs whether he should concentrate more on winning the Republican primary or make himself more electable in the general election.

But a governor so supportive of corporate power is likely to find other areas to attack workers: no increase in minimum wage, more “free trade,” an attack on prevailing wage, weaker public services and schools, more privatization.
Yet Nichols sees many things that unions are doing right in this difficult climate. He has seen “young people more excited about unions” and “more people (who) understand the value of unions.”

I’ve seen trade union activists and allies get into tough battles and step up,” he said. He believes that Tammy Baldwin’s senatorial win just two years ago was “a victory for an enlightened labor movement.”

What’s next for John Nichols?
When asked how many books he had written, he didn’t have an answer and started counting on his fingers. When he had run out of digits, he announced, “Twelve.”

His 2012 book, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is the definitive book on our outraged reaction to the governor’s assault on workers.

In the book, he had this advice for unions, “The combination of street heat and electoral action, though difficult to achieve, seems to make the most sense. The two can and should go hand in hand; in fact I think the combination of the two is far more powerful than the sum of the parts.”

He said his next book will be a history of the Republican Party. “The party has abandoned a lot of what was good about it,” he said, suggesting that it had drifted into economic extremism. “The current Republican Party is a radical deviation from what the party once was.”

Then he began talking about book number 14. When he said, “We really blew globalization,” the coffee cups had long since gone dry and it was time to go.

(December 2014 Union Labor News)

Campus Workers Rally

i Dec 17th No Comments by

“The University has money for building expansion, more deans, new facilities–but not workers.”

That’s the message about 150 workers from four union locals brought on a Halloween march to the UW Chancellor’s office.

What brought them to this point?

A typical Wisconsin state employee has had a 22% wage cut in the past six years.

More than 400 UW classified staff do not make the City of Madison living wage, and over 900 make under $15 an hour.

Graduate students’ fees have increased 98% since 2003 and health care costs have almost tripled in the past three years. As a result, graduate student workers’ take home pay has decreased 14.4% in the last decade.

A UW-Madison graduate student worker at the minimum appointment level makes $9,830. The poverty threshold is $11,490.

The average student worker at UW-Madison would have to work more than 37 hours per week at the current wages to pay for the cost of tuition.

On average, an adjunct teaching the same number of courses as a tenure track professor makes less than $20,000 per year.

Barb Peters, President of AFSCME 171, said that campus workers are slipping out of the middle class.

It’s time to invest in workers on campus.

The rally was sponsored by the TAA (AFT 3220), AFSCME 171, UFAS (AFT 223) and the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC).

(December 2014 Union Labor News)