2019 MTEA Meet & Confer Platform

PREAMBLE

The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association is proud to represent public education workers across this city and in numerous job classifications. To attract and retain the best educators for our students, the dignity of our labor must be recognized, and our experience, commitment and professional judgment must be valued.

The Milwaukee Public Schools must be responsive to the priorities of parents and families, students, and educators. Wisconsin’s elected leaders must fully fund and defend our public schools from the billionaires’ privatization agenda that leaves our students and our communities behind.

Public education workers take our responsibility to meet the needs of all our students seriously and MTEA is committed to defending public schools, the only schools that welcome and serve every child, the only schools that have the capacity, commitment and legal obligation to teach every child. MTEA members will unceasingly advocate for the learning conditions that our students deserve.

CLASS SIZE & CASELOAD CAPS

Every well-intentioned district effort on behalf of our students is undermined by ever increasing and untenable class sizes and caseloads. Class sizes and caseloads must be small enough for every child to be reached.

We demand class size caps be developed for every grade and caps be developed for every caseload.

FULL TIME SPECIALISTS & ROBUST PROGRAM OFFERINGS FOR ALL STUDENTS

Our students have a right to full time art, music, library and physical education specialists. Student engagement is a key factor in academic success and students that experience robust art, music, physical education, and library programs attend school more often, are more engaged in their school community and in their own academic success. Further, middle and high school students have been stripped of essential program offerings including industrial arts, technology, business, orchestra, chorus, science labs and more.

We demand full time specialists in all elementary schools and expanded program offerings in all middle schools and high schools.

ONE JOB SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR MPS WORKERS

Thousands of MPS Educational Assistants and ESPs earn wages below the poverty level. A combination of low pay and too few hours leaves employees with no choice but to work second, third and fourth jobs to support their families with significant cost to our health, our family life and professional growth.

Because our students deserve the highest quality staff, MPS must invest in MPS workers in every job class to attract and retain top level talent for all job classifications.

Our MPS workforce will perform best when the district has a career-supporting compensation system, when all workers know that their families can be supported, and that they are being fairly compensated, free from bias.

We demand family sustaining wages and hours with permanent salary schedules for ALL job classifications. These schedules must include steps and lanes that reflect both experience and relevant education/training that is attained.

We demand 40 hours be offered to employees who desire to work 40 hours weekly.

We demand that all salary schedules are adjusted equivalent to COLA. If MPS workers don’t keep up with inflation, they are falling behind.

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL

When MPS cut healthcare benefits after Act 10, our lowest paid employees were disproportionately punished. These reckless cuts hurt people of color, women and older employees most of all.

We demand that healthcare costs be held in check with no increased costs to premiums, co-pays or out-of-pocket costs and no decrease in benefits.

SUBSTITUTE TEACHER HEALTHCARE

Healthcare is a human right. There are at least 139 substitute teachers without MPS provided health insurance that work full-time, at least 30 hours per week in our schools. To ensure stability and meaningful learning in every classroom every day, MPS must attract and retain the substitute teachers our students deserve.

We demand healthcare benefits for all full-time substitute teachers. 

TIME

Teachers’ work goes well beyond the eight-hour day.

Teachers are salaried, trusted professionals who take their responsibilities to their students seriously. Restoring teacher autonomy over non-student contact time will yield considerable gains in district morale. Restoration of teacher autonomy has no budget impact.

We demand a restoration of the pre-Act 10 work day, work week, and work year for all MTEA members in our represented bargaining units.

SCHOOL CALENDAR

MTEA calls on Administration to engage in an annual meet and confer process where MTEA and MPS Administration collaborate to produce a calendar for the upcoming school year. For the 2020-2021 school year initial meet and confer sessions would begin in August 2019 with an agreed upon calendar going to the school board in fall 2019

SCHOOL DEMOCRACY & SHARED LEADERSHIP

Students are best served by schools dedicated to school democracy and shared leadership. 

We demand parents, staff and students be meaningfully involved in selecting and hiring their principals

We demand that the Administration enforce and support the school governance council’s role in collaboratively creating school budgets.  

A DIGNIFIED RETIREMENT

We demand a return to the retirement formula prior to Act 10 including: age 55, 15 years of service, 812 sick hours and supplemental pension.

We demand full restoration of retirement benefits for all employees hired after 2013.

EQUITY FOR ALL MPS WORKERS

For Milwaukee Public Schools to truly respect the dignity of every worker, all district employment policies must be examined through an equity lens. Workers in every single job classification should be brought up to the highest standard of treatment that other workers in the district receive.

We demand district policies that provide equal treatment to all MPS workers. This includes attendance policies, discipline and due process, pay during school closures, etc. 

SAFETY, CLIMATE & CULTURE FOR LEARNING

Students and educators must be safe in their classrooms and schools. Principals serve as the instructional leaders in schools and must ensure safety and a culture for learning in every school. 

We demand that Educators at all schools be given paid time to develop collaborative safety and discipline plans with Principals and the Building Committee by September 30th.

We demand that consistent with the Handbook, monthly Building Committee agendas include a standing agenda item to check in on implementation of safety and discipline school plans.

We demand a paraprofessional in every classroom for at least half of each school day.

We demand additional school safety assistants in areas of need.

We demand consistent enforcement of all MPS Policies.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

Students’ untreated mental health needs are significant obstacles to their successes, and directly impact their abilities to learn and develop positive relationships. Identification and support in a responsive, preventative and proactive manner is essential to the success of MPS.

We demand full time social workers, full time school counselors, full time nurses and full-time school psychologists in every school.

NUTRITION

We demand student breakfasts and lunches comprised of whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, fruits with minimal added sugar, prepared on site in real kitchens.

PRIVATE CHARTER ACCOUNTABILITY

Require charter school operators authorized by the district to prove compliance with non-poaching policy, equal access, transparency, and due process rights for all parents and students.

SUNSET DISTINGUISHED PAY

MTEA calls on Administration to fulfill promises made to employees in the Educator Effectiveness system of evaluation since 2015 consisting of a one time $750 bonus for a distinguished evaluation and a $1500 base building increase for teachers who earn distinguished in two consecutive evaluation cycles.  MTEA calls for a fair sunset to this merit pay practice.

To download a pdf of the Meet & Confer Platform, click here: 2019 Meet & Confer Platform.