Journal Sentinel: Nearly six years after the enactment of Act 10, the Wisconsin law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that gutted public employee unions, Muskego-Norway School Superintendent Kelly Thompson says she sees few lingering effects from the bitter political battle.
But Thompson and other school district leaders know that some of the rhetoric during that debate, and its aftermath, affected the morale of teachers.
“I think teachers didn’t feel as valued,” said Thompson, who was appointed superintendent in June 2012, one year after Act 10 took effect.
“I think as an organization it was important for us to be sensitive, to be listeners and let them know how much they are valued here,” she said. “Without them, we couldn’t do the great things we do for kids.”
Act 10, which greatly limits collective bargaining for most Wisconsin public employees, shifted power away from labor unions to district administrators, said Thompson.
But Thompson said her approach as an administrator, both before and after Act 10, is the same: to provide leadership that focuses on working with employees to accomplish the district’s goals.
“Our overall approach to employees is shared leadership,” Thompson said. “So we understand our direction, and we’re all pulling in the same direction.”