Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wisconsin and Other States

Following is a message from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.  Please visit National Petition to sign in support of our colleagues, and wear red every Tuesday through the end of the school year.

"The NEA family has come out in force to support our members and colleagues in Wisconsin, as well as those in Idaho, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee. Other states are facing unprecedented threats as well. Although we have made inroads in making the media aware of these battles across the country, all eyes and cameras continue to be on Wisconsin. Please remember as you are asked to talk about our battles across the country and the fight in Wisconsin that we are fighting for members to be heard and for their rights. Message discipline around Wisconsin's fight will help us in all our battles. Below is a message from the communications team on the ground in Madison that we are sharing for your reference:

  • This protest is about public sector employees retaining a voice in their profession and Wisconsin's future. The proposed legislation strips away worker rights and destroys the collaborative partnerships that have been established between labor and management in Wisconsin. It's not about pay and benefits, pensions and health care.
  • What is happening right now in Wisconsin is historic. Tens of thousands of citizens - unprecedented numbers - are gathering and speaking out to show their support for the state's public servants. They want to voice support for the third grade teacher who stays late to help a student with math - for the nurses who work every day to care for patients - for the firefighters who keep us safe -- and for the snow plow drivers who plow streets through the night so their neighbors can get to work in the morning. These public workers are on the front-lines everyday to support us - and they should have a say in their profession.
  • The people of Wisconsin are asking the Governor and legislature to hear them out - and work with them to find bipartisan solutions that will address Wisconsin's challenges. Silencing the voices of public sector employees by busting up their unions is not a going to help Wisconsin move forward - and it will only divide the people of this state.
"Because we know everyone is looking for a way to lend their voice to our collective fights, here are three things you can do right now:

  • Have members sign the petition on Education Votes website: National Petition
  • "Wear Red for Ed" to support public education beginning Tuesday, February 22nd , and every Tuesday this spring
"Again, this is a national fight for working people. We're leaders in this fight. Let's get this note out widely, take action together, support each other. We're going to win this fight.

'In solidarity,

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