SEIU Wisconsin State Council President Mike Thomas released the following statement in response to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed school voucher expansion and residency requirement withdrawal in his 2013-15 budget: “Our children depend on a quality education system that helps them excel and become productive Wisconsinites. Walker’s proposals of expanding school voucher and charter programs, funding schools based on performance, and ending residency requirements are detrimental to Wisconsin’s education system and working families. In the broken voucher program, funds designated for public schools are sucked into private and religious schools instead of being invested in our communities. Additionally, we should be investing in our schools to improve them rather than take money away from struggling schools. Finally, residency requirements provide stability in our communities where children deserve to have guidance from teachers and staff who live in their neighborhoods. SEIU members are very disappointed with Walker’s proposed education changes and believe they will not move Wisconsin forward.”
Don’t let them weaken your family’s ability to care for each other!
In 1988, Tommy Thompson became one of the first governors in the country to sign a state Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law. Five years later, Congress passed a federal FMLA.
FMLA allows an employee who meets certain criteria to take unpaid time off if they become ill, have a child, or need to care for a sick loved one. Unfortunately, the federal FMLA just doesn’t live up to Wisconsin standards.
Wisconsin’s current Family Medical Leave Act is stronger than the federal law, but it still restricts half the workforce from accessing job-protected time off. And because it’s unpaid, many people are unable to take time off to care for a loved one or recover from illness.
Part of boosting the economy is protecting the jobs we do have. Nobody should lose their job because they have cancer or their parent has Alzheimer’s.
In addition to protecting the higher standards of care that we have valued for 25 years, Wisconsin should expand family leave (like other states have) into a Family Leave Insurance Program.
“Wisconsin’s higher standards for FMLA allowed our family, and not my employer, to decide how it was best for us to transition back to working full-time after having a baby. It made me a more loyal employee and made me want to be more productive when I returned to work. I’ve worked for companies in other states without that support, and it left me burnt out and unproductive.” -Mandy M (picture above, with her family)
Sign the petition to let legislators know that we want to see Wisconsin’s FMLA expanded, not cut!