Only a fool would think that the sick out that closed down Madison schools for five days in February was anything but an illegal, union-coordinated, illegal strike.
But there are a lot of fools in Madison, aren't there?
Now there is proof that the sickout was a premeditated, union-authorized job action -- a phone tree of teachers calling other teachers to close down the schools. This kind of activity is prohibited by the union's own contract and illegal in WI Statute Chapter 111.84(2)(e):
It is unfair practice for an employee individually or in concert with others: To engage in, induce or encourage any employees to engage in a strike, or a concerted refusal to work or perform their usual duties as employees.
The problem, of course, is finding an impartial prosecutor -- but that would require a level of professionalism sorely lacking in the Doyle-appointed incumbent.
Crusading advocacy journalist Vicki McKenna received this e-mail Friday evening. I share it with you:
Sent: Fri 4/8/2011 7:04 PM
To: McKenna, Vicki
Subject: Madison teachers coordinating sick out
My name is Matt [redacted]. (I prefer you not use my name on the air.) I live in Madison. Someone left a voicemail in error on my home phone back in February during the Madison school "sick out". At the time I didn't pay much attention to the message, but I didn't delete it. I just went back to listen to it today. Based on the names mentioned in the voicemail, it sounds like a teacher at Falk Elementary accidentally called my number and left a message that was intended for another teacher at Falk. She talks about calling other teachers, meeting at Falk at 7:30, and then meeting MTI on MLK Blvd for a rally at 9:00.
She says that "MTI recommends calling in sick again." Based on the names she mentions, I looked up the staff at Falk and found all of the names:
Amy Covey (she is the one who left the message)
James W. Wilson (This is who she was calling. I looked up his phone number and found it is one digit off from mine, so it makes sense she accidentally called me instead.)
Mathew E. Thompson
I realize that if they had doctors' excuses, there may not be much that can be or will be done to them, but isn't coordinating their absences like this
illegal? I was going to send a note to a couple of school board members asking them about it, but I'm not sure this is the best thing to do.
Here is the audio:>