September 2011
August 31, 2011

Members, staff assist in Wisconsin recall

Source: NYSUT United

Dozens of NYSUT in-service and retired members and staffers worked alongside their union colleagues this summer in Wisconsin on recall elections.

The effort successfully unseated two Republican state legislators who had voted to strip workers of their collective bargaining rights and thwarted a challenge to three Democrats who were among 14 Wisconsin state senators who left the state in an attempt to prevent passage of the anti-union measure.

Though Democrats were unable to tip the Senate, the majority margin has now narrowed to 17-16 from 19-14 and is viewed as a significant victory.

"Recall elections are extremely difficult to win; only two had succeeded in the state in the last 80 years," according to The New York Times.

The recalls were mounted after Gov. Scott Walker waged a campaign to drastically restrict workers' rights, saying they were needed to help Wisconsin close a $3.6 billion budget deficit.

Thousands of public service union workers descended on the state Capitol to protest, awakening the power of voice and collective action. Unions then got to work organizing recall efforts.