We know all too well the many changes that have occurred since Scott Walker became Governor and, aided by big corporate money, anti-worker lobbyists and a right-wing legislature, destroyed Wisconsin’s public sector collective bargaining and what it has produced for workers and their families. Many MTI members worked tirelessly on the protests, elections, recalls, recounts and numerous forms of organizing when the troubles began almost two years ago.
Where do we go from here? While the fall elections are behind us, we must gear up for the next round; the spring of 2013. We need to rebalance the State Supreme Court, and we need to again make our voices heard by electing employee – friendly Board of Education (BOE) members. Three seats are up for election this spring: Seat 4, currently held by BOE president James Howard; Seat 3, currently held by Beth Moss (who has indicated that she will not run for re-election); and Seat 5, currently held by Maya Cole.
MTI members need to remain attentive, educated, and ready to act on all matters that affect their jobs and well-being. It was only a short time ago that the District began work on an employee handbook that DID NOT include any input from their own employees; fortunately, MTI got an opportunity, due to Judge Juan Colas finding Act 10 unconstitutional in several parts, to call for an additional year of collective bargaining, and the employee handbook has been shelved for now. With immediate and strong support, MTI members gave Board members a quick reminder that District staff demands a voice in the work they do and how they do it.
There are many forces within the District, the current Governor’s office, and other political and big corporations that will continue in their attempts to weaken the worker’s voice. MTI encourages members to attend Board of Education meetings to keep a watchful eye on what they’re doing and the direction they’re going. The Board meets in its various subcommittees almost every Monday night. Unlike the past, current Board committees discuss issues and make decisions by the time they meet as a full Board at the end of each month. Anyone may register to speak at any Board meeting, and Board members are listening to MTI members. Information on all Board meetings can be found easily – Google “mmsd boe” or go to the MTI website and scroll down the right hand column to “other links” and choose “MMSD BOE Info. Station”. Meetings will also be posted in each week’s MTI Solidarity! newsletter. Protect yourself by staying current, attending BOE meetings, and sharing information with your union brothers and sisters.