Madison Teachers’ Solidarity Newsletter

Madison Teachers’, Inc. 65K PDF, via a kind Jeannie Bettner email:

Members of MTI’s Board of Directors and Union staff greeted the District’s newly hired teachers at New Teacher Orientation on Monday. There are 250 new members of MTI’s teacher bargaining unit.
MTI Executive Director John Matthews addressed the District’s new teachers during their Tuesday session. In doing so, Matthews provided a brief history of the Union, its reputation of negotiating outstanding Collective Bargaining Agreements which provide both employment security and economic security, and in explaining the threat to both, given Act 10, said all MTI members would need to pull together to preserve the Madison Metropolitan School District as a quality place to teach.
Matthews told the new hires that these benefits and rights, along with MTI’s action to assure due process and workplace justice, has earned MTI the reputation of being one of the best Unions in the country. To illustrate the magnitude of MTI’s accomplishments over the years, Matthews told about school board policy mandating female teachers, through the early 1970’s, having to advise their principal “immediately upon becoming pregnant”, and being obligated to resign when the pregnancy “began showing.” As a result of MTI’s accomplishments, such antiquated, degrading policies are history, he said.
Matthews also cited MTI’s precedent setting accomplishments in advancing employee rights regarding race, religion, sexual orientation, and negotiating such things as the school calendar and health insurance. Until the early 1970’s, the school calendar only accommodated Christian holidays. MTI’s litigation expanded the benefit to cover all religions.
Continue the Awareness, Continue the Protest, Wear Red for Education
Since February, 2011, MTI members have been tirelessly protesting and working to end the disastrous impact on public sector workers of Governor Scott Walker’s union busting destructive budget. The most important reasons for resistance vary from one union member to another and include: the Legislation jeopardizes children’s future and the viability of public education and other public services; its provisions are dishonest and immoral; they constitute an attack on Wisconsin’s working-class and middle-class values; they ask for no shared sacrifice from the wealthy or profitable corporations.
Payroll checks for all public employees have been substantially lessened because of Act 10, causing financial hardship for many families. Walker’s Law forces all public employees to pay 50% of retirement contributions, even though MTI and the Madison Metropolitan School District have agreed as part of one’s total compensation package dating to the early 1970’s, that the District would pay 100% of the contribution and many have increased contributions for health insurance.
MTI leaders are working with other public sector union leaders across Wisconsin to reverse this disastrous legislation.
Ready, Set, Goal Conferences
As previously reported in MTI Solidarity!, the Ready, Set Goal (RSG) memorandum has been amended, as a result of grievance mediation.
The Memorandum of Understanding between MTI and the Madison Metropolitan School District, which governs RSG Conferences has been amended to include the following parameters which apply, when determining the amount of compensation due a teacher for holding RSG Conferences during times other than scheduled school day(s)/ hours:

  • Teachers receive up to 15 minutes per student for conference preparation.
  • Teachers receive up to 30 minutes for each conference held.
  • Teachers are compensated for up to two parent “no shows” per student, at 30 minutes per scheduled conference. Teachers are not obligated to schedule a RSG conference after there have been two parent “no shows”. However, a teacher will be compensated pursuant to Section 2b (second bullet above), if the teacher thereafter holds a RSG conference for the student.
  • Compensation will continue to include traveling to/from homes of parents, or other mutually agreed upon meeting place(s), or traveling to/from school if the conferences are not at a time adjacent to the Contract day. Mileage shall be paid in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and reasonable expenses for refreshments shall be reimbursed.

The full RSG agreement is located on MTI’s website ( Questions can be directed to Assistant Director Eve Degen at MTI (257-4091 or