Milwaukee, WI - It was hard to not have flashbacks back to 2011, the heart of the Wisconsin Uprising, when teachers came out in force to fight back against Scott Walker’s anti-union Act 10 legislation. Hundreds of educators and their supporters came out to send, and literally bring, a message to the School Board meeting, where the board was deciding whether or not to vote to negotiate a new contract. All MPS teachers have had their wages frozen this year and rather than cower it appears educators are fighting back.
Teachers began the evening by forming a picket line in front of Central Office, while the another group of teachers held an illuminated “STAND WITH US” message.
After some energetic chanting and marching for 15 minutes the group made their way into School Board meeting, bringing the illuminated message with them.
One teacher, Gail Milbrath was able to engage Superintendent Thornton as he walked through the assembled group of teachers. She was overheard asking him about working conditions.
After about 10 minutes into the meeting the Board went into executive session and later came out several hours later and ended up voting to lift the wage freeze on teachers, but stipulated that their was no money in the district left to give teachers a wage increase. This statement falls on deaf ears of teachers however, as the Superintendent was recently granted a 3% bonus from the very same School Board now denying teachers full negotiations. We’ll see where this all heads, but teachers are certainly not going to be satisfied with this mild victory and if tonight’s teacher action is any indication, teachers in Milwaukee are organizing and they’re upset.