Job opportunities at MTEA

MTEA Executive Director

Position Description: The MTEA is seeking an Executive Director to support its members in the fight for economic and social justice. The Executive Director is a full-time year round position that requires the ability to adjust to diverse situations associated with urban education and to work under significant pressure in a fast paced high stress environment.  MTEA represents 4600 educators in the Milwaukee Public Schools and is the largest labor union local in the state of Wisconsin. The MTEA is leading the fight to oppose privatization and to build the schools and communities our children deserve.

The Executive Director is responsible for working with the MTEA President and elected leadership in directing the implementation of the MTEA’s program and policies and managing its day-to-day operations. The Executive Director’s duties are carried out within the framework of the policies and programs established by the membership through the MTEA’s governing bodies.

The ideal candidate will have an exceptional blend of experiences, knowledge and skills, and characteristics reflecting a broad range of participation in organizing, advocacy, communications, organizational and staff management, educational policy, political action, and community engagement. A commitment to working for progressive change in K-12 education, support for public education, and member advocacy is essential. Download PDF of position posting.

Reports to: MTEA President


Provide leadership and direction in carrying out the work of the MTEA in the following areas:

  • Assist in an ongoing process of long-range planning.
  • Continue the local transformation from a service culture to an organizing culture.
  • Assist in the development of an annual budget recommendation and the administration of the adopted budget.
  • Oversee the union’s financial affairs, including fundraising and the disbursement of funds.
  • Work to coordinate numerous priorities concurrently and react to unexpected situations using a problem-solving orientation.
  • Coordinate, supervise, and delegate the work of the MTEA office to professional and support staff.
  • Set priorities for the selection and development of new employees.
  • Resolve employee issues such as performance, attendance, and productivity.
  • Participate effectively as a professional team member in policy implementation activities.
  • Manage delivery of services to members throughout the city.
  • Manage the legal program for the MTEA, working with outside counsel, providing guidance and direction when necessary.
  • Work effectively in partnership activities with diverse membership and community interests to establish and build coalitions.
  • Understand and address issues of contemporary urban education.
  • Establish and develop productive trust relationships to benefit the organization.
  • Work with a variety of labor unions including urban education locals, and state and national labor organizations, to coordinate collective activities.
  • Monitor political, economic, and social trends impacting urban education issues, and present relevant data to guide the decision-making of elected leaders and staff.
  • Communicate (written and verbal) across diverse internal and external constituencies.
  • Understand and proactively address the fiscal and financial circumstances of the organization.
  • Provide guidance and direction on present and future capital needs, including facilities and equipment.
  • Share responsibility for representing the MTEA and serving as spokesperson (internally and publicly) in the absence of and with the permission of the MTEA President.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the workings of public education in an urban setting.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines and manage multiple projects at once.
  • Previous experience with the labor movement or other advocacy organizations.
  • Proven success in organizing, advocacy, and/or social justice campaigns.
  • Previous experience with public K12 education advocacy on professional issues.
  • Previous experience writing and managing grants. Knowledge of NEA grant programs a plus.
  • Knowledge of current education, legislative, and political issues in Wisconsin.
  • Knowledge of the political and legislative process at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Experience working with a culturally diverse organization.
  • Must be available on weekends and evenings and have the ability to travel on occasion.
  • Valid driver’s license and auto.

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, additional degrees preferred in education, law, or related field.
  • Relevant additional training preferred.
  • Staff management experience required.
  • Experience in K12 education, including but not limited to professional issue advocacy, program development, and work with education support professionals is strongly desired.

Bilingual in Spanish/English preferred.

Application Information:

A complete application must include a one-page cover letter, resume, and three one-page letters of reference. Each reference must describe their direct knowledge of the work or experience of the candidate. Letters must contain the references’ contact information including name, position, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number.

Submit application to Kathy Lehsten, Director of Operations, MTEA, 5130 West Vliet Street, Milwaukee WI 53208 or e-mail to no later than 4:00 PM, July 12, 2017.

The MTEA is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Download PDF of position posting.