Madison – Schools were closed here for a fifth consecutive day as teachers flocked to the Capitol to protest cuts to their summer vacation time. The Wisconsin Teachers Union asserted “every teacher is entitled to at least three months off as an inalienable God-given right.” Indeed, union officials are calling for an additional month break in exchange for concessions on pensions and health care premiums. “You mess with the bull, you get the horns,” spokesperson Roger Arenson said.
“They took away free coverage for Viagra and now this. We’re going to make it as hard as possible.”
Governor Walker, meanwhile, has proposed shortening summer vacation to two months as part of his WISE UP program. Wisconsin teachers would not receive additional pay. “The Chinese study year round, sixteen hours a day,” the Governor explained. “We’re way behind and broke. We cannot afford to raise a generation of Cheeseheads.”
Negotiations are at a standstill as both sides dig in. Matthew Clay, a social studies teacher from Milwaukee, warned protesters would not back down. “We will go straight up Egypt on their ass. I got a bag of rocks to throw if shit hits the fan.”
The State Legislature is paralyzed to act as Democratic lawmakers have fled to prevent a quorum. Speaking from an undisclosed location in the Florida Keys, Minority Leader Hal Stevens said his caucus would stay away until Republicans withdrew plans to spoil teachers’ summer vacation. “We don’t want to be here. This is the will of the people.”
Tuesday, Monica McCarthy marched around the Capitol rotunda and waived a hand-made sign: “Save My Summer.” She’s been camping out here for a week. “How can they expect us to work more than nine months a year? It’s insane. Have you ever tried to backpack around the world in less than three months? I tell my kids you have to stick to your dreams. And I told the substitute teacher to keep telling them that as long as it takes.”