Former WEAC leader and longtime teachers advocate Morris Andrews dies

Mitchell Schmidt:

Andrews became executive director of WEAC, the state’s largest teachers union, in 1972. At the time, the association of 40,000 teachers had little involvement in state politics or lobbying efforts.

But that soon changed. Andrews was considered a force to be reckoned with in the statehouse halls and advocated for teachers, bus drivers, aides and other unionized staff.

When Andrews retired for health reasons in 1992, WEAC had grown to 62,000 members, a 175-person staff and a $10 million-a-year budget.

Scott Girard:

John Matthews, the head of Madison Teachers Inc. from 1968 to January 2016, worked closely with Andrews and called him “a very knowledgeable, very skillful labor leader.”

“Every teacher since 1970 owes him a debt of gratitude because of their employment being much more enjoyable and much more profitable,” Matthews said. “Their employment security was in great part a result of his work.”

On Friday, Thompson called him “by far the best executive director of any teachers’ union, any teachers movement in the United States, before or now.”

Notes and links: WEAC, Mo Andrews and John Matthews.

A 2013 interview with Mo Andrews