UW No Confidence Votes Were Really About Agitating for Union Membership

Heh. You didn’t think it was about the students or Wisconsin, did you?

United Faculty and Academic Staff (UFAS) circulated the resolution of no confidence in UW System leaders that was overwhelmingly endorsed by the campus faculty senate earlier this month, setting off a series of union-led actions across the state.

Chad Alan Goldberg, the UW-Madison sociology professor who drafted the resolution and helped marshal forces in support, is president of UFAS, Local 223 of the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin.

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But UFAS leaders say the votes, and the media attention they received, were important because they got people talking. And they hope the attention convinces more faculty and academic staff to join the union.

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Beyond fostering public discourse on public higher education, UFAS leaders say the energy around the no confidence votes translates into increased membership, which has hovered around 100 for years, they say.