Tag Archives: news

Spring 2024 update

Promoting a Healthy Workplace Over the past year, WUU has continued to support the campus community in protecting itself against COVID and other infectious diseases, including through an effort to build Corsi-Rosenthal boxes (do-it-yourself air filtration using a box fan, high-quality furnace filters, and duct tape), as well as a lending library of inexpensive CO2 monitors.

Advocating for  Extension & Two-year Campuses We remain concerned about the future of the Division of Extension (where the number of faculty has been reduced from over 100 to under 50, through retirements and pressure to convert to academic staff positions), as well as of the two-year campuses in UW System. Five of the 13 two-year campuses have announced their closure since merging with four-year campuses in 2019. This has resulted in numerous faculty and staff layoffs, and there have been further layoffs and furloughs at other campuses.

Supporting Faculty & Staff We continue to look for ways to support campus workers and to promote academic freedom and equal access to education. In addition to supporting faculty and academic staff grievance processes, including  legal fees, we seek applications for the Beck-Elder Awards to support research and outreach projects, with a budget of up to $5000. See https://www.wuu.info/beck-elder-awards/.

Don’t Forget to Vote in the April 2 Election! In addition to the presidential primary and numerous local offices, there are two ballot measures to amend the Wisconsin Constitution. The League of Women Voters encourages voting NO on both ballot measures. See your ballot and find your polling place at https://myvote.wi.gov. If you have not already received (and returned!) an absentee ballot, consider voting at one of the in-person early voting sites.

Upcoming WUU Board Elections  We will be sending out a ballot soon for WUU board members. Please vote by May 1.

Member Meeting We are planning an online member meeting for the week of May 6, as well as an informal in-person gathering at the Memorial Union Terrace on Monday May 6, 5-6:30pm. We hope to see you at one or both!

Support for CUNA workers

Workers from CUNA Mutual in Madison (OPEIU Local 39) are preparing to go on strike tomorrow, May 19. In support of the workers, the WUU Executive Committee wrote the following letter to CEO Robert Trunzo and the CUNA Board of Directors, and will contribute $500 to the OPEIU Strike Fund.

Dear Robert Trunzo and the CUNA Mutual Group Board of Directors,

We write in support of OPEIU Local 39 and urge you to meet them at the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith. We are deeply troubled by the recent firing of Chief Steward Joe Evica and by CUNA Mutual Group/TruStage (CMFG)’s pattern of dismantling career-oriented, long term jobs for people in the Madison Community.

CMFG workers are not just fighting for a fair contract; they are fighting for good union jobs to remain in Wisconsin. Their struggle impacts all of us as workers and community members. Wages that keep up with inflation, quality and affordable healthcare for remote-out-of-state employees, a uniform pension plan, job security/protections, and pay equity reviews to ensure transparency are not luxuries. They are basic rights that all working people deserve. It is disappointing that CMFG would break the law and fire a good worker as retaliation for union activity rather than invest in Madison families.

Workers should not have to authorize an Unfair Labor Practices strike to be heard. You have a legal obligation to meet your employees at the bargaining table as equals. They have been patiently waiting for over 400 days. We urge you to settle a fair contract now.

Wisconsin University Union Executive Committee

Paid family leave

WUU enthusiastically endorses the Paid Family Leave resolution that will be considered by the UW-Madison Faculty Senate on 6 March 2023 and by the Academic Staff Assembly on 13 March.

The resolution brings important attention to a June, 2022, report from an ad hoc Working Group on Family Leave for UW-Madison Employees. That report provides a detailed summary of the many gaps and inconsistencies in current policies at UW-Madison, the value and public support for paid family leave, for recruitment competitiveness and for equity in the workplace.

The report’s strong recommendations include: “Provide for all employees to receive at least six weeks of fully paid leave after a birth, adoption, or foster placement, separate from other paid leave benefits…[and establish] a timeline for phased increases over a period of two to three bienniums to a range of 8-12 weeks of fully paid leave.”

COVID-19 Posters

WUU is proud to announce its new COVID-19 posters, which have begun being placed on bulletin boards around the UW-Madison campus.

Vintage-styled poster with earth surrounded by people holding hands with the text "Let's protect our community", "Get tested", "Use sick days", "Get boosted", "Mask up", and "Strong unions make strong communities" http://www.info

Designed by local artist Meghan Griffin, the posters are intended to encourage communal action to fight back against the pandemic and help protect the vulnerable members of our community: Mask up, get boosted, stay home when sick, and get tested.

Help spread the word by posting an image of our poster on social media: