Our Work Continues

The needs of workers, unions, and worker organizations are greater than ever as our community continues to operate in these challenging times. Some workers lack appropriate PPE, others struggle to enforce the federal laws intended to assist workers, while workers and their unions /organizations are confronting how to effectively use collective action during times of social distancing. Our society continues to suffer from police brutality, injustice, and economic inequality. As the new director of the School for Workers, I want to remind everyone fighting to improve working conditions and working for a more just society and economy that the School for Workers is here as a resource, an ally, and a source of high quality worker education.

Throughout the summer, as workers have struggled with the challenges of health and safety, the School For Workers has been honored to stand with workers to obtain appropriate protections, paid sick time, and family medical leave. We urge workers and their unions to continue to contact us for assistance at schoolforworkers@dcs.wisc.edu. And even as workers are dealing with the concerns of COVID-19, society continues to suffer from the impact of systemic racism and violence against people of color. We at the School for Workers are horrified by the continued brutality against our Black sisters and brothers, including right here in Wisconsin. Black Americans are unjustly dying, economically struggling, and they are demanding change. The School For Workers will continue to support this struggle.

It has been a trying summer for everyone, and the School for Workers is responding by continuing to provide top quality programming, research and service. This includes a renewed focus on health and safety, providing support to unions and community organizations in their work, engaging in research and scholarship to support workers’ rights, and offering timely and relevant programming in worker education. Faculty and staff have worked swiftly and diligently to move our programming online and are offering our fall programming in various online formats. The on-line formatting goes well beyond our summer webinar series, including self-paced courses with a variety of activities and formats. Each course includes a tutorial to ensure that all program participants can navigate the necessary world of online programming. Our fall lineup includes union leadership, workers’ compensation, productions standards, and two bargaining courses. In addition, as always, the school is also working to provide courses and training tailored to the specific needs of local unions and particular jobsites. This now includes designing online programming designed for particular unions and workers, whether a two-hour informational webinar, or a more in-depth program in which participants can acquire needed skills at their own pace. It is the sincere hope of the School for Workers that this current crisis has provided opportunity to reach more workers, unions and their allies, as we can offer affordable programming available from just about anywhere! As always please reach out to us or contact faculty directly. For detailed information regarding our programming and services click here.

Be well.

Alexia Kulwiec

School for Workers Director and Associate Professor