Wisconsin’s Third-Largest Teachers’ Union Decertified

by Andrew Johnson

Pro-union teachers in the Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin failed to reach the 50 percent threshold necessary to reauthorize its union. Only 37 percent of educators voted to reauthorize what was the state’s third-largest union with 2,400 members last month.

The vote is a result of public-employee union reforms signed by Governor Scott Walker in 2011, which triggered a recall election, in which he eventually prevailed in 2012. The Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill required public unions to hold an annual recertification vote.

The union no longer carries any official status in representing the district’s teachers and cannot negotiate for its members as a whole, while it still may represent individual educators. Teachers can still financially contribute to the union as well, but mandatory union dues will no longer be required.