Our union members were going in. Some people stopped responding to our chat after the first day. They needed their paycheck, or they didn’t want to ruffle feathers, whatever their reason, they turned their back on us. This was happening everywhere. Since this wasn’t an official strike, people did not see the problem with going in. The problem is it completely undermined our action! Our leverage decreased with the growing amount of people who went in. Second, Mayor Lightfoot loves to play hardball, even when she is spouting nonsense. This was wearing down the leadership team, and it was very clear in the tenor of their webinars with us that they were getting exhausted. Still, as one colleague of mine put it, they are not allowed to be more exhausted than those of us who have to go into these buildings every day!
CPS put out a counter proposal that had some arbitrary guidelines in place– they’d pass out more KN95 masks. They’d rely on school safety committees (an unpaid volunteer position that some schools don’t even have set up!) to determine whether a class or school should flip remote. This agreement was by and large a farce. The House of Delegates, however, voted to suspend our work action that very night while waiting for membership to vote on the agreement. In exhaustion and with a strong tone of defeat, everyone from Jesse Sharkey to Stacy Davis Gates to Jen Johnson heavily encouraged us to vote yes on the agreement. “It’s not what we deserve, but it’s better than what we had,” was the message.
We were back in the schools the next day, students were back the day after that, and the agreement barely passed with a 55% approval rating. I consider this agreement to be a huge embarrassment for the union. I can’t name a single colleague or friend who voted for it. I believe it is going to be a big struggle to bring our members in for our next action, knowing how played we all felt.
When we walked into our buildings, we were greeted with a little more hand sanitizer and a few more masks. Student attendance has been abysmal, because parents are making the right decision to keep their students safe, when the people in power chose to forget them.
* “I consider this agreement to be a huge embarrassment for the union. I can’t name a single colleague or friend who voted for it. I believe it is going to be a big struggle to bring our members in for our next action, knowing how played we all felt.”
Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.
When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?