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No school in Madison, WI, as teachers strike

by Adam Russett on February 17, 2011

Governor Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin is trying to decrease the budget deficit by ending public employee unions, and teachers in Madison Wisconsin are not happy, according to the Washington Post.

Approximately 40 percent of public school teachers in the state's capital called in sick, causing schools to close.

In many states, including Wisconsin, it is illegal for public school teachers to strike, since they are seen as providing an "essential service," so teachers such as the 2,600 members in Madison have resorted to uniformly calling a "sick day."

"They're not protesting against their employers. The employer had nothing to do with this. This is trying to save public education in Wisconsin," John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., told Madison.com

The news source also spoke with the legal counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, Peter Davis, about the legality of the teachers' actions, whether it constitutes as an illegal strike.

"In general, a strike includes any concerted work stoppage by municipal employees, any concerted interruption of operation of services, or any concerted refusal to work or perform normal duties for the purpose of enforcing demands on a municipal employer," Davis told the news source. However, Davis would not give a specific answer on Wednesday's case as it may come down to a legal complaint against Madison Teachers Inc.

According to Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Business Insider, however, the Wisconsin teachers are clearly "guilty of fraud."

"Every teacher who called in sick is guilty of fraud," wrote Shedlock. "They cheated school kids out of a day of school. They cheated taxpayers who have to pay for it. They also placed tremendous burdens on many parents who were not prepared for school closing."

According to Shedlock, Governor Walker's budget proposal would save 6,000 jobs in the state.

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