State's largest teachers unions consider merging - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

State's largest teachers unions consider merging


MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin's two largest teachers unions are talking about a merger.

The American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin branch and the Wisconsin Education Association Council say it's more useful to work together. Over the weekend WEAC voted at a special assembly to join AFT-Wisconsin in talks to merge the groups.

Both unions say they've seen a 30 percent drop in membership and blame the collective bargaining law for cutting education jobs. The law pushed by Republican Governor Scott Walker ended most collective bargaining for the majority of public workers.

WEAC says the most important reason to merge the groups is to strengthen and unify advocates of public education. Kenosha teacher Michael Orth tells the State Journal "it's about building local union power."

If approved, the earliest the merger could take effect would be fall of 2014

Four other states have seen similar union mergers.

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