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Just scrolled across the screen from the local TV station: Madison (Wisconsin) schools will be closed Wednesday due to massive sick-out.

Madison teachers dial into an automated system to report absences, and apparently so many of them called in sick for tomorrow in protest of Governor Scott Walker's union-busting bill that the school district has decided not to hold any classes.

The bill, disguised as a budget fix, is a power grab by the governor and a union-busting stab in the back for almost all public employees in Wisconsin.

Well, at least some of the victims aren't going to stand for it.

More  here at Madison.com. I encourage everyone to follow this. This isn't Egypt. This is happening right here in America.

I will add when I learn more.

This is big. Tea Party stooge Walker has bitten off a lot more than he can chew, and he'll pay the price in one year which is the soonest he can be recalled.

Updated by Giles Goat Boy at Wed Feb 16, 2011, 12:58:11 AM

I should mention that Wednesday's anti-Walker, pro-workers-rights rally near the state capitol will be even bigger than today's. If you are in or near Madison, come to the square and show your support. Protests will continue all day and into the evening.

Updated by Giles Goat Boy at Wed Feb 16, 2011, 01:03:50 AM

Email from the school district:

"Due to substantial concerns of excessive staff absences, the Madison School District is forced to close all of our schools to students on Wednesday, February 16, 2011...We regret having to make this decision, but with the significant percentage of staff members reporting absences for Wednesday we can not assure the safety of all students."

At the time the email was sent, 40% of Madison's teachers had already called in sick.

"It is expected that this number will continue to increase through Wednesday morning,..At this ratio we have serious concerns about our ability to maintain safe and secure school environments."

Updated by Giles Goat Boy at Wed Feb 16, 2011, 01:18:37 AM

Lots of good background on the bill and its potential damage at www.weac.org,

Current and former Green Bay Packers oppose the bill:

For Immediate Release

February 15, 2011

STATEMENT BY CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE SUPERBOWL CHAMPION GREEN BAY PACKERS ON

GOVERNOR WALKER’S ATTACKS ON PUBLIC WORKERS

We know that it is team work on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great.  As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.  

It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run.  They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families.  But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.

The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class.   When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards.  Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s.  It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.

These public workers are Wisconsin’s champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights.

This statement was issued by the following current and former Green Bay Packers:

Curtis Fuller
Chris Jackie
Charles Jordan
Bob Long
Steve Okoniewski
Brady Poppinga
Jason Spitz

Originally posted to Giles Goat Boy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:53 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Badger State progressives, and Progressive Hippie.

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