What you can do now to preserve your labor rights

    Defend the UW Community

We can beat this bill, even against tough odds. We know that collective action and grassroots mobilization works. Even while Walker and his allies attempt to slam this bill through without any public scrutiny in just a few days, we know that activism on this campaign is working.

Members of the higher education community in Wisconsin are mobilizing to support the people that make our Universities work. We need you to join with thousands of students, faculty, and staff in raising our voices to protect public service workers. People are mobilizing in a huge way to fight back against a major attack on all of us and to make our voices not just heard, but listened to. This is happening on all campuses around the state, and we need you to be a part of it.

There are three critical actions that you can take to join in this massive mobilization of the higher education community in Wisconsin.

First, contact your own legislators to ask them to oppose this bill. Second, we need you to join us on two Days of Action; details are listed below. Third, call upon the Chancellor to speak out forcefully against this proposal as an irredeemable, unprecedented, extreme attack on the UW community.

Fourth, help mobilize other members of the UW community. We need everyone to contact their legislators and to join us at the Days of Action. Walker’s proposal is a direct assault on the UW community, including students, workers, parents and alumni. While the former will feel the impacts most directly and negatively, ultimately this bill hurts everyone who cares about quality public education. So we need these constituencies to mobilize.

To help mobilize the UW community, forward along emails to all faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students, with information about what is being proposed, what people can do, and with a personal “ask” for people to take action. Of course, it is up to each individual as to how they react and respond, but collective action by all of in the UW community can have a tremendous impact.

Attached, you will find a basic primer on making calls to legislators. The details for the Days of Action are below.

Tuesday (2/15) & Wednesday (2/16) Days of Action
9:30 AM Legislative Briefing & Lobby Training (301 Wisconsin Ave, Madison)
11:00 AM Rally on the Capitol Steps
1:00 PM [After the Rally] Grassroots Lobbying Visits with Legislators

    Legislator Contact Steps

1. Find Your Legislators
We need you to contact the State Representatives and State Senators that represent (a) where you live on campus and (b) your Wisconsin hometown (if other than your campus location). You can find those legislators by using this webpage:


Make sure to find the Madison office phone number and use that.

2. Prepare Your Call Rap
Before you call your legislators’ offices, prepare what you are going to say. Below, some talking points are suggested. Say what you have to in your own voice. If you have a personal story about why public service workers matter to you or if you yourself are a public service worker, tell that story beyond the talking points. Also, be prepared to provide your address to the person in the office. When calling your campus Representative and Senator, use your campus address; when calling your hometown legislators, use your home address.

We are asking legislators to oppose the bill. Don’t be angry and confrontational; respectfully ask that the legislator oppose the bill. Here are some suggested talking points in language that works:

* I want to ask Representative/Senator ______ to oppose the unprecedented bill that attacks public service workers and their unions.
* This bill is a naked power grab that has nothing to do with Wisconsin’s fiscal problems.
* This bill is a clear over-reach and goes far beyond anything reasonable for public labor relations.
* This bill is an attack on Wisconsin’s working families and is just an assault on unions.
* This bill will set off a race to the bottom in living standards for working people.
* This bill will not create a single job and instead will hurt Wisconsin’s economy.
* This bill hurts all members of the UW community and harms the quality of education for Wisconsin families.

3. Call Your Legislators
Make the call to your legislators. If possible, call in the morning on Monday and Tuesday.

4. Organize Your Friends & Family To Do the Same
One key component of organizing is to get lots of other people to do what you are doing. Call the people in your cell phone or your contact list to ask them to do what you did. Contact your friends, family, and co-workers Then, walk them through what they need to do, using the list above.

With any questions, please contact Peter Rickman at rickman.peter@gmail.com.

On Friday morning, Governor Scott Walker announced an extreme and unprecedented attack on our state’s public service workers. His naked power grab would take Wisconsin back 50 years and permanently cripple public services, especially our University System. Essentially, Scott Walker wants to do away with the protections and benefits for public service workers by gutting their ability to exercise the basic and fundamental right to union representation and collective bargaining. In particular, Walker has targeted faculty, academic staff and graduate student workers on the UW System campus. These attacks will directly impact quality, affordable public education for all Wisconsin students.

The details of Walker’s proposal are voluminous — 144 pages worth of direct assaults on collective bargaining, public sector labor relations, and public service workers. From the ban on exercising a fundamental human right to form and join unions for UW System faculty and academic staff to tripling the cost of healthcare for graduate student workers, the provisions are many, and all are equally odious. This of course is in addition to negative changes in salaries, health insurance, pensions, and working conditions. Minutia matters less than the overall thrust. There is nothing of redeeming value in this proposal, only attacks and negative consequences for all in the UW community.