Increasing numbers of teachers in Wisconsin are choosing not to remain union members now that they have a choice, Fox News reported. A 2011 law — unsuccessfully opposed by unions in the state Legislature, through a gubernatorial recall election, and in the courts — has resulted in a precipitous decline in enrollment.
Until the law was passed, teachers were compelled to be members of either the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) or the smaller AFT-Wisconsin. The educational system was obligated to withdraw union dues directly from teachers' pay and pass the fees on.
Under the current law, unions need to seek annual recertification from teachers to establish that a majority still want it to represent them in collective bargaining, Fox News reported.
Since the law's passage, WEAC membership has fallen by about 33 percent from some 100,000 teachers. The AFT-Wisconsin union has seen its membership fall by more than 50 percent from 16,000 in its heyday.