A year ago the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA) organized a “I ♥ UW” rally on February 14, 2011, touching off a series of historic protests in defense of collective bargaining rights and respect for the democratic process in this state. This year on Tuesday, February 14 the faith community, Madison teachers and the TAA will join in solidarity to send a strong message to Gov. Walker that we still ♥ Wisconsin workers and the UW System.
By ramming Wisconsin Act 10 through the legislature a year ago, Walker and Republicans legislators effectively deny public sectors workers in this state the right to organize, a basic human right as defined by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Out of a sense of moral obligation to stand on the side of justice, over four hundred faith leaders in Wisconsin signed a letter in opposition to Act 10 last year at this time,” said Rabbi Renée Bauer of the Interfaith Coalition of Worker Justice. “All major faith traditions speak about the importance of treating workers fairly so people of faith continue to work to reclaim the rights of all workers in Wisconsin.”
Over the past year, the Walker administration’s policies have continued to fail Wisconsin. Beyond attacking public employees’ collective bargaining, the administration passed an immoral budget that takes away the safety nets in our community and defunded public education at all levels.
“Quality public education should be a right for every citizen of Wisconsin. Education is a vehicle through which we can learn to critically engage with our ever-changing world and obtain the skills needed to secure employment that guarantees a family-supporting wage,” said TAA co-president Alex Hanna. “The best way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wisconsin Idea is to make sure we have a vibrant, public-funded and accessible university system.”
Marking the one-year anniversary of Gov. Walker’s assault on workers rights, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (AFT Local 3220), Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin (ICWJ) and Madison Teachers, Inc. (MTI) call on Gov. Walker and Republican lawmakers to do right by the people of Wisconsin, repeal Wisconsin Act 10 and restore funding for public education. This time we hope Walker will listen.
February 14 Solidarity Events:
8:00 to 10:00 a.m.: Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice hosts the 12th annual Faith-Labor Breakfast: “Solidarity in the Heartland”. Pastors Harrison and Jackson, leaders in Ohio’s successful campaign to overturn their state’s union busting bill will be the keynote speakers. Event will take place at First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison. Cost: $25. Join faith leaders from Ohio and Wisconsin as they march from the ICWJ breakfast to the Capitol to deliver valentines in protest to Governor Walker’s office.
12:15 p.m.: Teacher Assistants’ Association “I ♥ UW” Rally. Meet in front of the Memorial Union and march to the State Capitol. The march will join the Solidarity Sing Along in the Rotunda and speakers will address the current lapse and what we need to do to defend public education in Wisconsin.
4:15 p.m.: “Show the Love, Save Our Schools” Rally – MTI. The courageous teachers, support staff and even the students of Madison’s schools were central to last year’s demonstrations. Please join them at the corner of Mifflin and Wisconsin Avenue at 4:15 p.m. for a march, some inspirational speeches and a Solidarity Sing Along! Support our public schools and the people who dedicate their working lives to improving our communities.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2012
Alex Hanna, TAA Co-President: 608-466-0790
Rabbi Renée Bauer, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice Director: 608-320-1144
Jeff Knight, Madison Teachers, Inc. Executive Asst. for Labor Relations: 608-257-0491