The last day of September is the deadline for Wisconsin teachers' unions to recertify under new state laws, and a number of chapters have announced their intention to stay active.
Due to a law passed earlier in the year by the state legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker, public employee bargaining rights through unions are now limited to pay increases. New requirements were also set for union certification, meaning many of Wisconsin's hundreds of teachers unions may not continue operations during the new school year. However, more than 100 groups have notified the state that they will seek recertification.
The state isn't discouraging teachers from rejoining or enrolling in unions, but rather began charging fees and mandating annual majority member votes for the certification process to be approved.
"It's really put the power back in the hands of the workers again, allowing them to vote on participation in a union again," said Cullen Werwie, a spokesperson for the Walker administration, according to the Associated Press.
Thousands of teachers are expected to be members of the potentially recertified groups, and the number of unions filing to continue operations may increase after all are accounted for during the beginning of October.