We, the teachers and staff of Rocketship Transformation Prep and
Rocketship Southside Community Prep, are organizing in order to save our schools.

Message to our coworkers:

We are organizing for Rocketship students and their families, and for our Milwaukee community. When teachers thrive in their jobs, their students will also thrive.  We are organizing because the status quo at Rocketship Milwaukee is no longer acceptable.

Year after year we have lost way too many excellent teachers, support staff and leadership. They leave Rocketship because they feel unsupported and experience unacceptable levels of stress and dysfunction.  They are pushed out and fired. This has created an unprofessional workplace culture of fear with little job security.

We have set five goals for our Unionization effort: Respect, Equity, Accountability, Transparency, and Job Security. We intentionally made these goals broad in order to leave as much space as possible for the creative ideas of our coworkers. We need to hear from as many people as possible in order to determine what matters most to all of us.

Like our page to show your support for Rocketship Staff!

We Are Educators and Parents

We, the teachers and staff of Rocketship Transformation Prep and Rocketship Southside Community Prep, are a part of the communities we serve. We love Rocketship, our students, our families, and our Milwaukee community.

The following ten demands reflect the vision of  transformation that we want to see at Rocketship. 

1. We want our parents to feel welcome and empowered in our schools.
2. We want adequate staffing and resources to ensure that all students receive the education to which they are entitled, accountability for students with IEPs to ensure that their needs are being met, and fulfill Rocketship’s mission of closing the achievement gap in our lifetime.
3. We want a workplace where we feel safe, supported, and that is free from racism, sexism, and microaggressions.
4. We want to preserve the wonderful things about Rocketship that make our schools unique and special places.
5. We want staff voices to be listened to and respected. When we speak up about problems we see at our schools, we don’t want to fear retaliation.
6. Our students and parents deserve leadership that lives up to Rocketship’s core mission and works as hard for our students as we do.
7. We want a reduction in excessive staff turnover and burn-out, especially among staff from communities of color, with a greater priority placed on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
8. We want teachers and staff to be paid fairly and transparently.
9. We want clear lines of communication between leadership and staff, an end to nepotism, and equal application of work rules for all staff.
10. We want transparent pathways for career advancement, promotions, licensing, and job stability.

Students First

Teachers and support staff are at the heart of Rocketship’s misson. Students and families will be better served when staff voices are included, valued, and supported.

Job Security

We want a reduction in excessive staff turnover and burn-out, with a greater priority placed on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.


Rocketship Milwaukee has serious diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues that need to be addressed immediately. Rocketship needs to listen to its staff and prioritize the findings and recommendations from its own 2021 equity audit.

What’s an Authorization Card? 

Collecting authorization cards is how we know there’s a genuine interest in forming a Union. Once enough cards are collected, we can petition the federal goverment for a Union election. Signing a card does not mean you have joined the Union. That’s an enirely seperate process. Take a moment and watch a short video explaining the authorization card. Rocketship staff can sign an electronic authorization card here:

Rocketship Staff Can Sign a Union Authorization Card Here

How does the unionization process work?

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), you and your co-workers have certain rights when it comes to forming a union.

1. Concerned workers discuss whether they want to form a union. Oftentimes, this happens quietly so that workers can discuss without experiencing pressure from the employer. Workers who support the union fill out a Union Authorization Card.

2. Once the workers are ready, they bring their organizing campaign to the public. Employees have time to decide whether or not they want to form a Union. When a strong plurality of workers have signed Union Authorization cards, the Union files for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

3. The NLRB sets a date for an election. If 50% plus one of the workers vote “Yes” in the election, then the employer must sit down with the workers and negotiate a contract. If a majority of workers vote “no”, then the unionization effort is over with no union established.

4. If a majority of votes cast are for the union,  first contract bargaining begins immediately.

The NLRA protects workers’ right to organize.  You can’t be fired, disciplined, demoted, or penalized for engaging in any of the above mentioned activities.

What is the Bargaining Process?


First, a bargaining survey is drafted and sent out to everyone. The purpose of this is to determine which issues matter most to us collectively. The Bargaining Committee will use the survey results to draft and prioritize contract proposals.


We will nominate and vote for fellow staff members to serve as a Bargaining Committee. These people will work with an IAM Business Representative to create contract proposals and will be at the table to negotiate our first contract.


The IAM Business Representative and the Bargaining Committee meet with Rocketship’s representatives. Both sides exchange proposals and negotiate until a tentative agreement is reached.


After a tentative agreement is reached, it is presented to union members who vote on whether to accept or reject the agreement. If a majority vote in support, the contract is ratified and goes into effect. If they don’t, both sides typically restart negotiations and try to work out a solution that everyone can agree on.

Why The Machinists Union?

Power in Diversity

IAM members work in practically every industry you can think of and is one of the most diverse unions in the country. We represent librarians, lobster fisherman, art museum workers, veterinarians, flight attendants, Apple retails store workers, mechanics and machinists, and many more.

Justice on the Job

A union-negotiated contract puts rules in place that allow you to do your job without fear of retaliation or unjust treatment. If you feel those rules have been broken, you have the legal right to appeal through a grievance procedure. As a result, everyone is treated with respect.

YOU are the UNION

Every union contract is different because each group of workers has different priorities. YOU and your co-workers are the experts about your jobs – your elected bargaining committee are in the drivers seat during negotiations.

Democracy in Action

In the IAM democracy rules. Members vote on everything from the stewards who represent them at work, to the officers of their Local Lodge leadership, and up to the IAM International President. Democracy depends on active participation, and it depends on you.

IAM Members Live Better

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM)
represents roughly 600,00 workers across North America. That includes
healthcare, aerospace, air and rail transport, manufacturing, distribution center and public-sector workers – just to name a few.

Learn More

Contact Us

Anne Wiberg, she/her
IAMAW District 10 Organizer
1650 S. 38th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53215

Rocketship Contact Us

× How can I help you?