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Public Hearing: Higher Ed, Lower Debt

Wisconsin Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) have introduced the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill, which would allow Wisconsinites to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates.  The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported that it could save the average student loan payer $172 per year, while those with higher loans could save much more.  The bill will be receiving a public hearing this Wednesday, October 7, at 10:00 a.m. in room 300SE of the state Capitol.  Come pack the hearing with supporters of affordable higher education!

AFT-Wisconsin State Employee Council: Proposed civil service changes will increase corruption

The State Employees Council of AFT-Wisconsin issued the following statement today in response to proposed changes to state civil service law, and urged Wisconsinites to contact their legislators to oppose this attempt to weaken civil service:

The recent Republican proposal to reform Wisconsin’s Civil Service rules is an attempt to degrade the work of state employees, and will only serve to introduce more corruption into state government.

AFT-Wisconsin statement on the end of Scott Walker's presidential campaign

AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, issued the following statement today in response to Scott Walker's announcement that he is ending his presidential campaign:

"Today marks the end of Scott Walker's illusions that the American people want to buy what he's selling.  AFT-Wisconsin members and other working Wisconsinites have been getting the word out about the damage that Walker has done to this state...

UW merger with tech colleges a bad idea

Be sure to check out the op-ed by retired Milwaukee Area Technical College instructor and former Local 212 Executive Vice-President Charlie Dee that lays out why the secretive plan to merge the Wisconsin Technical College System and the UW Colleges would be a disaster: "The first thing a responsible committee would do is research what happened when other states tried this. It would discover that mergers in Minnesota, Georgia, Alaska, Connecticut and New Jersey have failed to produced expected savings, but instead have created myriad problems."

Higher Education Council Statement: Protect Tenure and Indefinite Status

In response to attacks by Wisconsin Republicans on academic freedom in the University of Wisconsin System, the AFT-Wisconsin Higher Education Council has drafted a statement calling on the UW System Regents and chancellors to uphold protections for academic staff and tenure-track faculty that ensure academic freedom and high quality research and education at every UW System institution.

AFT: Wisconsin universities shaken by anti-academic policies

AFT published an in-depth article today on Scott Walker's attacks on the UW System - and how AFT-Wisconsin members are fighting back:

"It's hard to miss the rumble out in Wisconsin: The battle between labor and its union-bashing foes has been loud and long. But for faculty and staff of public colleges and universities, the Wisconsin story is even worse...  'People have been demoralized, and everyone recognizes the new challenges, but it has galvanized a lot of people to become active in the union,' says [UW-Green Bay union member Jon] Shelton."

Read the full story at aft.org - and share it with family, friends, and coworkers!

Joint Statement on Gov. Scott Walker's Higher Education Attacks

I'm proud to share with you a joint statement from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of educational policy studies and sociology at UW-Madison and a member of AFT local 223, United Faculty and Academic Staff.  Randi and Sara, two committed educators and unionists, strongly condemn Scott Walker's attacks on higher education, which will slash essential state funding and threaten the bedrock of academic freedom upon which higher education depends.  Please share this statement widely and help us get the word out about the danger facing every university in the UW System, from Superior to Milwaukee.