According to a Madison Teachers Inc. press release and NBC15, a tentative agreement has been reached between the Madison Metropolitan School District and MTI on the July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011 teacher bargaining unit contract. MTI members will vote on the terms October 15 and the Board of Education is tentatively scheduled to consider the settlement on October 19.
The base salary increase is 1%, the total package 3.93%. There appears to be some tinkering and savings, but no major changes in health insurance provisions. This is about what would have happened if the QEO was still in force.
Provisions to enable 4 year-old kindergarten are included.
The key players — Dan Nerad and John Matthews — had somewhat different spins:
Superintendent Daniel Nerad said, “I am very pleased that we have reached this tentative agreement after an extensive period of bargaining. We have addressed a significant number of contract language related items. A key example lies in the area of elementary planning time. Of greatest significance to the District is an agreement over language that would allow for the implementation of a four-year-old kindergarten program.” “Also, in working with MTI we have been able to provide a salary increase, in part, as a result of reductions in health care costs. I appreciate working with John Matthews in accomplishing these insurance savings. I look forward to presenting this tentative agreement to the Board of Education in the near future.”
John Matthews said, “But the economic provisions do not adequately reward those who have made the Madison schools among the best in the country. With the State usurping local control as regards to school funding, this is a matter that the State must fix; there is nothing local school boards can do, given the State’s heavy hand. The State must realize that their funding formula for education is inadequate, and that it is causing the dissolution of the great education once available to Wisconsin children. That must be fixed and it is up to the Governor and the Legislators to do it.”
One thing I like about John Matthews is that he always can be counted on to focus attention on growing need for our state government to enact comprehensive school funding reform. An agitator after my own heart.
As one who follows these things, I have to note that the press release includes MTI and MMSD contact info, but is only posted on the MTI site (not the MMSD, as of 4:30 PM, 9-25-09).
Thomas J. Mertz