gateway technical education association


gtea related items


[from the desk of Jason Gerber]


Dear Colleagues-

As you may be aware, in addition to being GTEA’s Treasurer, I am also your local representative to Region 8 and Region 8 Treasurer.

Part of my duties this year include serving on a state-wide committee convened to address the potential merger of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the University of Wisconsin 2-Year Colleges.  I’ve just been informed of an important development all of us should be aware of.

The Senate Economic Development Committee (SEDC)- the legislative wing considering a possible merger of WTCS and UW Colleges- has been and will be meeting with invited guests at various locations around the state of Wisconsin.  A meeting schedule is attached to this email.

Unfortunately, the SEDC has not scheduled a Listening Session close to us in the Racine, Kenosha, or Walworth county area.  However, a form is attached to this email that can be used to request that the SEDC come to another location not currently on the schedule.

WEAC/Region 8’s official position on a possible merger is negative.  If enacted, a merger of would impact all of us, as well as, the communities we serve.  While parallel in some regard, WTCS and UW-Colleges truly have distinctive missions within state higher education.  A system clash of this magnitude would require massive realignment of curriculum, faculty and staff positions, and college resources across the state.  Such a merger carries with it the potential for loss of local, county-centered, board-led control of WTCS as the UW-Colleges are entirely state-run.

WEAC/Region 8 and GTEA believe that we must have open, transparent and in-depth talks with our legislative officials regarding what might be possibility for the largest higher education re-alignment in Wisconsin history.  Such an event should not be taken lightly.  It is vital that students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community members be informed and have a voice in these ongoing discussions.

Please take a moment to look at the attached SEDC meeting schedule as well as the online form for suggesting other possible locations for future Listening Tour stops.  The link below may also be used to bring your opinion on the the merger to their attention.

Press Release

Online form

I will keep you appraised of things, and will pass along more information on this and other Region 8/WEAC state-level issues as it is made available.


Jason Gerber

A Message from President-Elect Suzanne Sublette

Greetings Colleagues!

I hope this message finds you in good spirits and excited about the new academic year.  We’ve all made it through the first week of the semester, and Gateway is starting to buzz with activity.  GTEA is no exception as we have several new and ongoing initiatives.  This email is rather long because there is much to report!

Jay Johnson continues as President for his second year of a two-year term, and I have assumed the President Elect position.  Jay and I will be working together closely as the year progresses.  Check your campus mailboxes next week as Jay will be sending you a special message.

First, please take a minute to familiarize yourself with GTEA’s 2015-2016 elected Leadership:

President: Jay Johnson

President-Elect: Suzanne Sublette

Treasurer: Jason Gerber

Secretary: Nicole Gusjafson Binger

Membership Coordinator: Miriam Perales-Handley


Elkhorn/Burlington Senior Rep: Ken Haling

Racine/iMET Senior Rep: Peter Pham

Kenosha/Horizon/Lakeview Senior Rep: Allen Pearson

Elkhorn/Burlington Rep: Deborah Hankel

Racine/iMET Reps: Raquel Palacios, Rosalva Santana, Mike Duprey

Kenosha/Horizon/Lakeview Rep: Dean Greve

Please do not hesitate to approach any of us in Leadership if you have questions or concerns.

Secondly, take note of all that is New and Noteworthy!


Jason Gerber, Treasurer of GTEA, was elected Treasurer of Region 8!  In addition to those duties, Jason is our WEAC liaison and is presently working with our state-wide colleagues to craft a response regarding the potential merger of WTCS and UW Colleges.


Our long-time WEAC/Region 8 Director, Leigh Barker, retired in June after decades of service.  Although we will miss her dearly, we are excited to now be working with Andy Lyons, the new Region 8 Director.


Suzanne Sublette, President Elect, received a Fellowship from the NEA’s Emerging Leader’s Academy.  Only 20 NEA members were awarded this fellowship after a nation-wide search, and she serves as the only representative from Wisconsin in this year’s cadre.  She took part in a week-long training session in July at NEA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  In November, Suzanne will join the other Fellowship recipients for a whole week of Union organizing and communication-improvement activities at the University of Central Florida and Seminole College in Orlando.


Employee Learning Day Break-Out Session!  For the first time in several years, GTEA will host its own Break-Out Session.  Hosted by GTEA President Jay Johnson and Secretary Nicole Gusjafson Binger, we will discuss the role of GTEA now and moving forward.  Bring your questions and concerns.


Wednesday, September 23:  GTEA Member and Non-Member Social- 4:00 PM-7:00 PM- Casa Capri in Kenosha.  We will meet for food, drinks, and information-sharing directly after the Employee Learning Day activities conclude.  All members of the bargaining unit are encouraged to attend.  I will send out an email requesting your RSVP toward the end of next week so we can have a headcount.


October 1: GTEA Membership Drive.  Between May 1, 2015 and September 1, 2015, GTEA Membership grew by almost 10%.  This high rate of growth, occurring over the summer months and unsolicited by GTEA, was unprecedented since the advent of Act 10.  GTEA has decided to build on that momentum and hold a Membership Drive. 


There’s much more to come, so please attend the upcoming Social on Employee Learning Day to learn more.  And don’t forget to be on the look-out for Jay Johnson’s message to you next week!


calewdarHere are the dates selected for our GTEA COR meetings this semester:

Friday, September 25:  6:30-8:30 PM.

Friday, October 23:  6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, November 20:  6:30-8:30 PM

We’ll meet at iMET, and dinner will be served.  The first meeting will focus heavily on the Membership Drive.

Suzanne will send a Google Invite out next week for the Sept 25 meeting.

We’re RECERTIFIED! Now roll-up your sleeves…

P7020169[from Jay]

First, congratulations to us all on a very successful recertification election! We sent a resoundingly strong message by voting 194-6 in favor of recertification. Thank you for your efforts! –97% of those who voted said “YES!” to a collective voice and strong workers’ rights!

As we all know, our work does not stop there, however! We have our base wage bargaining upcoming (date to be set) and we continue to advocate for positive changes in all aspects of our work environment.

Specifically, it is the time to nominate members for GTEA officers and representatives for the 2015-2016 academic year. Below, you will find our annual list of positions that require an election.

As we all know, our union is our voice–and our union works best when we’re all doing our part and being heard. I have personally been motivated and inspired by the efforts of many of our members to ensure our Recertification Election was a success. I am also reminded why I choose to give my time: for the benefit of my colleagues, our students, and our community.

I encourage all of you to think of serving in some way. One of these ways can be through being an officer or representative for GTEA.

Positions may be self-nominated or you may nominate someone else. Please submit nominations to: Jay Johnson or, by the end of the day on Monday, 27 April 2015.  


GTC is proposing further changes to your health insurance plan.  Your union, GTEA, wants to be a player and offer input and suggestions, based on the needs of our members.  To do that, we need to start by obtaining more information. As a union,  we need to move on this NOW – decisions will be made yet this spring.

The Council of Reps are forming a group that will take on this task, and   Jason Gerber (one of the COR members) has volunteered to spearhead this.

The PURPOSE of the COR’s first  meeting will be to obtain info and suggestions from our former rep from the WEA Insurance Trust, Eugene Dunk, about your current plan, and the consequences on usage and rates of various plan design changes.   Then we will determine next steps.

ARE YOU INTERESTED in giving feedback?  Willing?

Please involve yourself in this process in some way. Members can begin by talking to a GTEA COR member.

Members may also actively participate in the process.

A small group of GTEA leaders are meeting THIS WEDNESDAY, April 1, 12:00 -1:30 p.m. to learn more about your options for your GTC health insurance plan.


We are meeting on the Racine Campus, Lincoln Building, Room 208.


Jason, Raquel, Fawn and Mike DuPrey are attending.  The rest of you are still welcome to come if you are able.


If anyone would like to join via phone, please let me know ASAP so we can get it set up.



[from Jay Johnson, GTEA President]

Dear Colleagues-
We are sending this email to you because we believe yesterday’s email sent by John Frost was misleading regarding the role of GTEA in determining yearly wage increases for Gateway’s bargaining unit employees. After fielding several emails from members of our unit, we believe it is best to address our response to the entire campus community so we can all be on the same page.

Under Act 10, GTEA (and all public sector unions in the state of Wisconsin) are prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining negotiations on wage-related issues except as they pertain to a basic increase in yearly cost of living adjustments.  Each year, GTEA approaches the bargaining table with the legal authority to negotiate a cost of living increase.  This year, the maximum CPI adjustment will be 1.62%.  Last year, the maximum CPI adjustment was 1.46%.

In no way does GTEA have the legal authority to negotiate for (or reject) other salary-related increases potentially offered to members of the bargaining unit.  In other words, a CPI-based cost of living adjustment is legally distinct from any other type of salary increase, such as:

  • Merit pay
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Performance Pay
  • Supplemental Pay
  • Pay Schedules
  • Automatic Pay Progression (“Steps”)

These continue to be salary-related measures that Gateway may elect to provide its employees irrespective of the negotiated cost of living increase.

Last spring’s recertification of GTEA in no way limited compensation increases to the CPI limit of 1.46% for Gateway employees who voted for GESP and GTEA recertification for 2014-15.  Any attempt to suggest otherwise is an improper attempt to influence the outcome of an election that maintains our collective rights as employees.  Gateway was FREE to unilaterally pay other compensation beyond the negotiated “base wage” CPI increase of 1.46%.  The same holds true for this upcoming academic year.

It is critically important to understand the difference between “base wage increases” (GTEA-negotiated cost of living adjustments) and other types of salary increases (non-negotiated wage issues).  There is no legal limit to supplement/other pay beyond the “base wage” limits, and there is no legal preclusion of providing such supplemental/other pay to employees belonging to a certified union.   If GTEA is not certified, there would be NO base wage negotiations, and Gateway could establish whatever pay it wanted to, including a 0% increase to some employees.

In recent weeks, we have heard from several members of our bargaining unit–GTEA members and non-members alike–that there is a great deal of confusion on the “merit pay” issue.  We have received multiple reports from members of our bargaining unit of HR alleging to them that GTEA rejected merit pay, which is untrue and non-consequential.  GTEA and Gateway Technical College do not possess the legal authority to engage in negotiations regarding merit pay or any other non-base wage salary increases.   Such non-base wage salary increases remain at the sole discretion of Gateway Technical College to provide – or not provide – at will.

Here is a link to language legally outlining the issues discussed.


If you have any outstanding questions or concerns regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to ask questions of your local campus representatives or GTEA President Jay Johnson.

Thank You,
Jay Johnson
GTEA President © 2014 Frontier Theme