MTI Achievement of Equal Rights for Women

Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF):

Among the many things MTI has accomplished for its members is the advancement of rights for females.

Early in the Union’s history was MTI’s achievement of equal pay. MTI negotiated a salary schedule which recognized that the value of the work of an elementary teacher, where almost all were female in the 1960s & 1970s, is as valuable as that of a high school teacher of advanced placement physics.

The salary schedule negotiated by MTI recognizes that the task each teacher faces is about the same and the economic reward should be as well. Given this, MTI’s negotiations did away with the School Board’s created “head of household” additive pay – which went to male teachers in those days; and MTI negotiated a salary schedule which treats all teachers equally. That salary schedule proposed by MTI in the late 1960s, while periodically improved, remains in the Collective Bargaining Agreement today. The right to equal pay for equal work was extended to those in all MTI bargaining units through negotiations.

Also, in the 1960’s and early 1970s, School Board policy stated that a female employee had to “immediately notify her supervisor upon becoming pregnant” and resign when the “pregnancy began showing.” This meant a loss of income until the individual was rehired – which did not always occur – as well as a reduction in Social Security and Wisconsin Retirement System benefits, due to the lost wages.