Update: The MMSD Board of Education will begin bargaining with the staff unions. Victory #1, step #1. The clock is ticking.
The Dane County Board approved new union contracts last week (YEAH and thanks to the Sups!); other local government units can do the same, including MMSD.
The Board of Education will be considering ” Negotiations strategy concerning successor Collective Bargaining Agreements for MMSD Bargaining Units, pursuant to Wis. Stat. §§19.82(1) and 19.85(1)(e)” at a closed meeting 5:00 Monday.
If you support Collective Bargaining and want our school staff to continue to enjoy those rights and protections, YOU NEED to contact the Board before Monday. The easiest way is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is my letter:
Members of the Board of Education
I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the recent decision in MTI v. Walker to reengage in collective bargaining with the unions representing district staff as soon as possible, and to seek speedy conclusions to these negotiations prior to any ruling on the request for a stay.
I realize that negotiating and approving contracts with a short and uncertain timeline is far from ideal. However, I believe that for all involved — students, staff, administrators, the Board and the community — this would be preferable to the lengthy and difficult handbook process.
New contracts would give the district stability and avoid prolonging the inevitable conflicts involved in setting terms of employment (whether by contract or handbooks). This past year and half has been a difficult one for the district, our community and public education in our state. The year ahead holds many challenges, with a Superintendent search; continued work on achievement and achievement gaps; new mandates on standards, assessments, response to intervention and more; and familiar financial pressures. With contracts settled, the administration, staff, Board and community will be better positioned to give due attention to these important matters and are more likely to reach the understandings that will help move things forward for the students.
Please make the effort to settle contracts now and lay the groundwork for success in the future.
Thomas J. Mertz
MTI and AFSCME are also asking people to show up at the open 6:00 meeting, wearing Red for Public Ed (or AFSCME Green).
Thomas J. Mertz