STEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times | selbow@madison.com | Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:00 am
Union-busting laws prompt WEAC to cut 40 percent of workforce

Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, speaks on the steps of the state Capitol building during protests in February against legislation curbing union workers’ rights.

The statewide teachers union has issued pink slips to 42 of its employees as a result of union-busting policies enacted by Republicans this year.

The Wisconsin Education Association Council, a heavy hitter in Democratic campaign funding, announced that the layoffs constitute 40 percent of its employees. It did not provide details on who lost their jobs.

“Obviously, WEAC is affected by Gov. Walker’s union-busting legislation, and our organization is responding on many fronts,” said the union’s executive director, Dan Burkhalter, in a press release. “Layoffs and budget cuts are a reaction to the legislative action that was taken.”

The controversial legislation sharply curtailed collective bargaining rights for nearly all public workers, including the state’s teachers. It also ended the practice of mandatory union dues, which promises to dry up funds used for lobbying and campaign financing.

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