On their day off from work, that was the first thing on many people’s minds at Labor Fest. It was the biggest crowd Madison Teachers Inc. president John Matthews had ever seen at the event.
"What it means right here is community involvement," Matthews said. "There are a lot of people here that come here because they support unions, and they don't have a union or didn't have a union when they were working, but they understand the need."
It’s been a busy year for Matthews and his union. The state appealed a Dane County judge’s decision that called the law unconstitutional, and Matthews said oral arguments should begin in the state Supreme Court in November or December.
Additionally, Matthews said MTI has been negotiating with a new superintendent and reaching out to the district’s 250 new teachers to convinve them to support the spirit of Labor Fest.