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Wis. largest teachers union plans on laying off 40% of staff members


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s largest teachers’ union plans to lay off 40% of its staff members.

Director Dan Burkhalter of the Wisconsin Education Association Council said Monday that 42 people who work for the union had received layoff notices. And he blamed it on what he called Governor Scott Walker’s “union-busting” legislation.

The law allows teachers in districts without ongoing contracts to bargain only for salaries at-or-below inflation. Employees no longer have to pay union dues, and most public unions must hold certification votes each year to stay in existence.

Burkhalter says WEAC is busy signing up members to stay with the group and voluntarily pay dues. He said the teachers’ union has made quote, “steady progress in signing up members” – and they expect even more progress once the school year begins in a couple weeks.

Burkhalter said his union’s goal is to be a “strong and viable” organization that represents the voices of public school employees throughout the state.

Local teachers’ unions in about 275 Wisconsin districts had their contracts expire at the end of June – and they’re operating under the new state law.

Contracts in about 150 other districts were extended for another year-or-two – and they’ll stay in effect until they expire.