Remember Wisconsin Act 10? It started as a budget “repair” bill, and when our governor’s followers couldn’t pull together a quorum, they changed the bill enough to pass it — oh, I’m sorry, I can’t summarize this quickly. It’s the law commonly known as the Union Buster. It’s featured along with a few other political topics on my Voter’s Voice page. That’s Voter, as in singular, as in me. One voter’s voice. Recently, a different sort of vote surfaced, one that requires voters, plural, to raise their voices.
According to Good Ole Act Ten, public sector unions like the one to which I belong must vote to recertify their associations in order to bargain what little they still can. Our local met last night to vote on whether or not to pursue the recertification process. Why not? Well, the whole process is still tied up in court and may be unnecessary if the related part of the law is found to be unconstitutional. Get it? Uh-huh. I hear you.
Meanwhile, all potential eligible possible members must be part of the recertification. To keep on as a bargaining entity, my local needs to get 51% of all the actual members AND the call-me-maybes. We set goals last night at our meeting; each member present at the meeting was to recruit and be personally responsible for three votes in addition to our own. If that happens, we will successfully get at least the 51% that we need.
The phone call vote is not easy, though. The Powers That Be designed the automated call process to make callers jump through a few hoops. If a caller hangs up one hoop shy of completion, the vote gets recorded as NO.
The Powers That Be underestimated us. Seriously, most definitely underestimated us. We are teachers! Giving complete directions is what we do! The leaders of our local made up a handout with two sides: One with written directions for the verbal linguistic word-person types, and one with a flow chart for the more visual learners.
Wait! I forgot a detail about the automated voting system. Anyone who doesn’t call at all is recorded as a NO. That’s right, folks, no vote at all counts as a vote towards the Governor’s union busters. All potential members who fail to call are counted in the negative column just as though they had thumbed their collective noses at collective bargaining.
Well, readers, I recruited two on my own and checked on a third potential voter. I do plan to quietly chat with a couple of my nonmember colleagues and ask them to do the democratic thing and be counted. Yes or no, pro or con, our nonmembers need to make their preferences known.
When it’s over, maybe I’ll jump back into the future and ask Grandma Daisy to reminisce a little. I’ll get back to you, folks.