Antiunion Law Impacts Chemistry Personnel | March 21, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 12 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 12 | p. 30 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 21, 2011

Antiunion Law Impacts Chemistry Personnel

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Wisconsin, Ohio, protests, union, teaching assistants

Numerous union staff members in University of Wisconsin chemistry departments say they will be heavily affected by a new law that strips public employee unions of collective bargaining power, among other provisions. The legislation was signed on March 11 by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). “I find this very personally distressing. I’ve heard a lot of vilifying comments about teachers the last few weeks,” says Brian Esselman, a chemistry teaching assistant at the Madison campus and a former high school chemistry teacher. Using social media, the Madison graduate student teaching assistants’ union played a big role in mobilizing the campus against the law, Esselman says. “Facebook, Twitter, and phone calls got a couple thousand people to the Capitol in a matter of an hour” when the union heard about the move. The new law “is really a travesty,” says Madison campus chemistry professor Robert J. Hamers. The legislation “strips away 50 years of cooperation between the government and the state workers.”

 
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