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From the President:

GTEA Members-

We are getting a lot of questions regarding both Bill Whyte’s email to the bargaining unit as well as a letter from Region 8 that everyone received in the mail a few days ago. Let me explain what is going on with both.

First of all, Region 8 was the regional affiliation GTEA belonged to within WEAC. Each local (like GTEA) is affiliated with a regional body within WEAC. Region 8 used to consist of all the technical college locals within the state of Wisconsin. Region 8 is dissolving as of September 1…

As a result, GTEA as well as the locals from Blackhawk and Waukesha Technical College are being absorbed into Region 7. Region 7 consists of all of the K-12 (and now technical college) union locals around the Milwaukee region. Region 7 has a robust staff, office, and services for us. I’ve already met with the Region 7 people, and I am extremely pleased with them. I actually think we are going to make a lot more progress with Region 7 than we did with Region 8. They have more resources and more money, and that’s good for GTEA.

When we pay dues, we actually pay separate dues to four separate entities: 1. GTEA as a local 2. Region 8 (now Region 7), 3. WEAC, and 4. the NEA national organization. That’s why dues are set just above $700 a year. You receive resources and services from all four subsets of the organization.

If you like, I can break down each component of your dues and show you where the money goes and what you get for it. 2016-2017 dues are not officially set in writing, but they will be set on August 1. I expect NO significant changes in dues amounts for next year.

In terms of Bill Whyte’s email to the bargaining unit:

First of all, Bill was very unclear. All bargaining unit members received either a 1%, 1.25% or 1.3% base wage increase for 2016-2017. Dues paying GTEA members received that, as did non-dues paying bargaining unit members. Being a dues paying member did NOT leave you with less of a base wage increase than non-dues paying members. The college is not using the correct terminology (GTEA member vs bargaining unit member).

Let me be clear about something: GTEA has repeatedly requested time at Inservices to explain all of this to people face-to-face. We have not been approved. We asked yet again for a slot during this Fall’s upcoming Employee Learning Day. It was not approved. Gateway does not think that GTEA should be allowed to use any time during the workday to educate people on what is happening. This is why it is imperative that you attend the Socials we have.

It is ILLEGAL for the college to discriminate against someone because he or she pays dues to a union (federal law). Additionally, the college does NOT have a list of those who pay dues and those who do not. Therefore, they have no way of knowing who is who…

I am presently in the process of arranging some very positive things for GTEA. In short, the NEA is coming to see us in October (yes, the NATIONAL organization). I’ve been lobbying Washington, D.C. very strongly over the last several months, and they are listening. I’ll be in touch soon with details as to the dates they are coming. I know they WANT to meet with GTEA members, and they want to help us.

It is absolutely critical that we stay together right now. I understand the impact of dues… I have an aging mother and a monthly student loan payment over $1100/ month. We all have challenges. But if we give up, then we will truly be lost. That I guarantee.

Please email me directly with any questions you may have, or call me…
Suzanne G. Sublette, PhD
President Elect- Gateway Technical Educator’s Association
Twitter: @suzannesublette

A Message from Jay And Suzanne

Congratulations!!!  We’ve done it!!!

Because of all of OUR hard work and effort, we’ve successfully re-certified yet another time.

In a nutshell:

72% of the bargaining unit members voted!

97% of those votes were “Yes” votes!

– Voter participation has increased over 7% from last year!

Thanks to everyone!!!

REGION 8 UPDATE

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Concealed Carry in Tech College Classrooms?

Republican legislators sparked controversy last week when they proposed allowing concealed carry guns inside technical college and University of Wisconsin buildings and classrooms.  The bill, authored by Rep. Jesse Kremer (R – Kewaskum) and Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg), revokes an exception to the state’s concealed carry law that allows technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin to ban weapons inside campus buildings.

The new measure has been sharply criticized by  many, including three Democratic legislators who countered with a bill of their own that bans dangerous weapons from college campuses.

Sound off on the Region 8 Facebook Page

  • How do you feel about the possibility of concealed guns in your classroom?
  • Does knowing that a student might have a concealed gun change how you do your job?
  • Does this bill make you feel more or less secure?
    We will have more for you on this issue as it evolves.

 


 

Perkins Loan Program Expires; Future Unclear

The United State Senate, due in large part to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R – Tennessee), recently blocked funding for Perkins Loans, allowing the student financial aid program to expire.  The action – or inaction – means funding for the low-interest, subsidized federal student loan program dried up on September 30, 2015.  Colleges and Universities are not allowed to make new Perkins Loans to new borrowers after this date.  New borrowers may be awarded a Perkins Loan for 2015-16, but not in future years.

Some continuing students who received Perkins Loans in 2014-15 or earlier may receive future awards through September 30, 2020 under a grandfathering provision that allows them to continue a course of study.

So, what does this all mean for student borrowers?  The implications are not clear.  For now, we know that our leaders have eliminated a program that served around a half-million students annually and replaced it with … well … nothing.


 

Attorney Referral Program – Another Member Benefit

WEAC members have access to an attorney referral program that provides two free 30-minute consultation sessions per calendar year.  During the two free sessions with one of the affiliated attorneys, you may discuss any legal matter except income tax preparation.  The program is another great member benefit.  For more information click here


NEA Presidential Recommendation

President Lily Eskelsen García has officially announced NEA’s recommendation to support Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary for president of the United States.  NEA recommended Secretary Clinton because of her commitment to giving a stronger voice to public educators and working families.

The Region 8 Board of Directors opposed early recommendation of a candidate and expressed that opposition in a letter to Wisconsin’s NEA board members and President Kippers.

WEAC Region 8 members are encouraged to compare all of the candidates here and decide whom to support for themselves.

More information on the NEA recommendation procedure can be found here.

REGION 8 (WEAC) NEWS

[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

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/republicans/media/1515/0916gudex.pdf

Online form

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/republicans/tour-suggestions/

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.

Best-

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!

2015 GTEA MEETINGS

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 Johnsonj@gtc.edu or jaypjohnson@gmail.com, by the end of the day on Monday, 27 April 2015.  

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