Heartland Institute Reacts to Wisconsin Teacher Unions’ Votes to Disband

Published December 14, 2011

Two teacher unions in Racine County, given the first chance to vote to recertify under new state rules promoted by Gov. Scott Walker, have voted to disband. Yorkville School District teachers voted earlier this fall to decertify, with the former union president saying of the American Federation of Teachers: “We never had to use their services” in 30 years. The vote to disband the teacher union in the North Cape district won last week by one vote.

The following statements by education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms have allowed teachers the chance to actually speak their minds rather than let unions masquerade as their proxies. In this case, the teachers say they don’t really want a union representing them. Teachers should have this freedom not just in Wisconsin, but in every state. Unfortunately, most unions work to squash teachers like this who would happily dismiss them.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, School Reform News
[email protected]

“The de-certification of two unions in Wisconsin is an indicator that teachers are re-thinking their union mind-set.

“While unions have offered political protection from competition, clout, and increased bargaining power, these benefits cost teachers respect for their calling. Teacher unions turned a profession into a jobs program. Perhaps teachers want their craft to be a respected profession, where the teacher, not the DOE, NEA, and state and district bureaucrats dictate their job descriptions.”

Bruno Behrend
Director, Center for Transforming Education
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.