Among the changes is one that would allow the district to choose who is laid off and designated as surplus staff based on qualifications rather than seniority. That is among a slate of administrator-proposed “preliminary recommendations” the board discussed Monday night during an Instruction Work Group meeting, with a vote anticipated at the full June 29 meeting.
According to a memo from staff, a review committee of eight administrators and eight staff representatives reached consensus on three items but did not do so on a host of others, including the layoffs. MMSD chief of human resources Deirdre Hargrove-Krieghoff said they plan to continue discussing the recommendations with Madison Teachers Inc. throughout the month.
“We understand that we still have about a month to meet and continue to work through coming to some consensus,” Hargrove said. “Our team is committed to doing that.”
MTI President Andy Waity wrote in an email to interim superintendent Jane Belmore and School Board members that MTI leaders were “shocked” to see the recommendations on the agenda Monday and hadn’t received any notice that the board would be discussing the handbook changes at the meeting.
“In fact, due to the pandemic and the lack of a Superintendent, we were under the impression that all Employee Handbook review work was suspended for the time being,” Waity wrote. “Then, last week, (Director of Labor Relations) Heidi Tepp scheduled a meeting with us on May 26 to share these ideas.”
But the district and MTI meet annually to see if they can reach consensus on changes to the employee handbook, which replaced collective bargaining agreements.