Teachers Unions Focus on Community

Here’s another great byproduct of Act 10.

But the influence of unions has diminished in Madison. WEAC spent about $2.3 million on lobbying in the two legislative sessions leading up to the passage of Act 10. But by 2013-14 the union spent just $175,540, and so far has spent $93,481 in 2015-16.

Union leaders say they instead are focusing on local communities. The associations also invest in training and other support services for members.

“We offer professional development for things like license renewal, classroom management or teacher effectiveness,” said Cathey, who also is a Wisconsin representative on the National Education Association’s board and was in Washington, D.C., last week. “In the past it was more about politics, but now it’s more community oriented.We want to talk about our schools and share who we are with the community.”

Despite drops in membership numbers, Cathey said GBEA is more active than before Act 10.

For a lot of union members, they are getting better services from their unions. The unions have to provide better services for their members in order to justify their existence.