Region 7 News

Fall 2021

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!

Dear Colleague & Local Union Leader,

Welcome to a new school year. My name is Rachel Swick. I am heading into my 25th year as a South Milwaukee Educator. I am also your Region 7 President. There is so much happening right now in the world of schools. I hope this short news letter helps you stay connected and updated on current Region 7 happenings.

I am here because I think educators do the best, most rewarding, difficult, amazing, inspiring work! I've got your back and will help in any way possible. Let me know what I can do to support you! THANK YOU for all you do for kids, your Local and communities!

Region 7 Advocacy

About 35 Local leaders and I spent some time on August 31, 2021 talking about really pressing issues that are affecting all of us. We are working hard on several fronts to ensure your work place rights and safety as we return to school this fall. Here are some actions we are taking and could really use your follow up in your Locals.

  • Handbook: Are you involved in changes that are made to your District Handbook? Has your District tried to remove your ability to grieve work place safety as a group? Check out your handbook language. We believe changing the grievance language to remove the ability to file a grievance as a group is nothing more than a way to give management even more power. It is a tactic to scare people and stop them from filing a grievance. By checking our handbooks and sharing policy changes we can try to stop this power grab. Let's work TOGETHER!
  • Covid: Did your District continue the emergency sick leave policy/pay when you are required to quarantine? Most Districts did not. This will make it SO difficult for our members that don't have sick leave banks to maintain their salary this year if they are required to quarantine. Ask your District how they are spending relief funds and why they are not using them to pay for mandatory leaves. Consider putting this on the table in a bargain.
  • Masks: Many Districts are making optional mask policies for students and teachers. There is nothing we care more about than your safety. If your District has an optional mask policy - please lead by example! Wear one anyway! Even if you are vaccinated! You are models for our students and communities. If you go to a meeting where adults are not masked, consider asking them to put one on. We can do our best to stay safe. We can influence families to do the right thing. We can get through this pandemic by working TOGETHER!
  • Safe Place For Kids: Several of our Districts are instructing educators to remove Black Lives Matter, Pride Flags, Safe Place signs and more. Educators are being told not to use the word EQUITY. We emphatically stand AGAINST THIS! If this is occurring in your District, please work with your UniServ Director to fight back. We are here for ALL students and educators. If you are an educator that has been historically marginalized and work in one of these Districts - my heart breaks for you. How can we help? I am so proud to stand along side you. We will combat this ignorance TOGETHER!
  • Our Friends at the Wisconsin Public Education Network put together a great workshop series to help people called Tools for Addressing Current Conflicts: How to Talk About Equity + more. Check out their website for more info or to register.

Meet Our UniServ Directors

We have the best staff in the state! Don't hesitate to reach out if we can support you!

Membership, Dues & Discounts

Meet Sally Stoflet! Sally is our fantastic staff person that processes membership, follows up on everything and keeps us all organized. She is your go to on membership questions!

A few reminders for this year:

  • Nothing is more important than growing our R7 membership! Did you know we have about 8,000 POTENTIAL members in Region 7? Did you know that getting even 300 new members in our Region would exponentially help us continue to serve you? I would be happy to talk about membership drives and planning with you. Please make reaching out to potential members a priority in your Local. Talk about how to make connections, start conversations and set goals for signing up new members at every Local meeting! We really need you to keep our region healthy!
  • At our R7 RA, we voted to not process special discounts for Locals because of staffing constraints. If your local wants to reward a new sign up, rather than eliminating or reducing local dues, please reward them from your Local Treasury. Have more questions about this? Ask a Director!
  • Dues for 2021-2022

Congratulations, Good Luck & Thank You to Steve Cupery

UniServ Director Steve Cupery is retiring on September 30, 2021. Steve has worked tirelessly for workers for his whole life. Our Region wont be the same without his leadership! We had a really nice event this summer to wish Steve farewell and extend our sincere gratitude for his decades of work! This Fall, we begin the search for someone to replace Steve with the hope of having a new director in December. If you are a Local that works with Steve, we'll keep you updated about who will be filling his position temporarily and how the search is going. We'll make sure there is always someone ready to support you and answer your questions!

AGAIN - Best Wishes to Steve - He will be very missed!

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Current Staff & our Retirees - Past President Debbie Martin, Associate Staff Carol Bauer and Steve Cupery.

September 21, 2021 - Join Us For An ALL Region 7 Presidents Meeting at 6:00 p.m.