gateway technical education association


gtea related items



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.


[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.

Unity, © 2014 Frontier Theme