Unionizing Pays Big Dividend for Professors at Regional Public Universities

Full-time instructors at regional public universities earn an average of about $21,000, or nearly 25 percent, more in pay and benefits annually if they belong to a union, concludes a groundbreaking new study of compensation at such institutions.

The location and size of the employer also makes a big difference. Those in larger suburban public universities, the highest-paying category of institutions studied, earned an average of nearly $17,000, or 20 percent, more in pay and benefits annually than those at midsize rural institutions, the lowest-paying category.

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MATC program helps children of incarcerated parents finish high school

Nineteen-year-old Bree Anna Wallace attended three different high schools before she finished her junior year. Then she dropped out.

Her father has been in and out of prison her whole life. Her mother died last year.

"I was trying to be on my own, but no one can do anything by themselves," said Wallace, who has found a second family through the Right Path program at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

The program aims to help young adults whose parents have spent time in prison or on probation to break the cycle of poverty and criminality. The program covers tuition and course materials for students in GED prep classes or adult high school, as well as providing stipends to help them cover daily living expenses. (Full-time students get about $200 per month.) Right Path is funded by the MATC Foundation and the Creative Corrections Education Foundation, which was created three years ago by a retired federal Bureau of Prisons employee from Wisconsin.

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Hostile takeover of
MATC challenged

On Thursday the Milwaukee County Committee on Intergovernmental Relations passed a resolution in support of Assembly Bill 551 and Senate Bill 397 that would restore the MATC district board’s composition to that of every other Wisconsin technical college and add city of Milwaukee representatives to the MATC board appointment committee.

The vote was five to one. Supervisors Gerri Broderick (3rd), Eddie Cullen (15tht), Marina Dimitrijevic (4thh) Jason Haas (14th), and Peggy West (12th) voted for the resolution. Supervisor Deanne Alexander (18thh) voted against the resolution. Supervisor Supreme Omokunde Moore who drafted the resolution was also at the meeting.

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Study finds unions improve teacher quality

For years, a lot of money, time, and energy have gone into a national campaign to discredit teachers unions by saying they protect bad teachers and do nothing to add value to our system of public education. Whole organizations have been created to advance this campaign, and prominent individuals have staked their national reputations on the belief that unions are not good for education.

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Kohler strike is a fight to save Wisconsin’s middle class

The 2,100 members of UAW Local 833 are in a struggle to preserve our community's middle class. With spouses, children and retirees, our numbers are at least three times that or more. We are your friends, neighbors, customers, fellow citizens and taxpayers. Our kids go to school with your kids. Our families need the same things as yours.

Since 1934, the working folks of UAW 833 have fought for and won wages, benefits and working conditions that have elevated the entire community. We took our hits in tough times, just like you, and, like all fair-minded people, we expect to share in times of corporate prosperity. But that's not happening. Not for us. And not for you.

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Chris Larson

AFT Local 212 endorses
Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

Local 212’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) has endorsed Senator Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. The primary election is February 16, 2016.The election is April 5th.

Local 212 sent questionnaires to Larson and the incumbent, County Executive Chris Abele, and invited both to be interviewed.   Larson returned his questionnaire and was interviewed by Local 212 members on October 26th.  Abele did not return the questionnaire and ignored our interview invitation.

COPE enthusiastically endorses Senator Larson because he:

  • Is committed to appointing residents of Milwaukee County to the MATC Board; Abele consistently voted for Ozaukee County applicants over qualified Milwaukeeans.
  • Supports raising the minimum wage which helps our students; Abele vetoed the Milwaukee County Living Wage Ordinance which hurts our students and low-wage workers.
  • Voted in Madison to increase MATC’s funding; Abele financed candidates who voted to cut MATC’s funding.
  • Opposes privatization; Abele has attempted to privatize County functions.

Abele, heir to a huge fortune, is running commercials on television and mailed three very slick and expensive, color brochures claiming he cannot be bought.

Abele is trying to buy this election with his Daddy’s money!  He’s writing checks to organizations all over town, including one to the MATC Promise.

Our votes are not for sale. We judge people by what they do, not how much money they have. Chris Abele’s record would make Scott Walker proud:

  • Attacks county unions, nurses and bus drivers
  • Promotes privatization of MPS
  • Works with Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce to take over the MATC board
  • Sticks Milwaukee County taxpayers with the bill for the Bucks arena
  • Vetoes needed investment in Milwaukee parks and transit system

Chris Larson fought Walker's attacks on technical colleges and unions.

He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

He is not chauffeured around town in a limousine designed for Hollywood celebrities

Chris Larson cares about MATC, its students and the people of this county.

And that's what counts.

Vote Chris Larson for County Executive
on February 16th and April 5th!

The Rise and Fall of
For-Profit Colleges

For-profit colleges have capitalized on our desire to make education more inclusive. Students at for-profit schools are able to borrow huge sums of money because the government does not take creditworthiness into account when making most student loans. The goal is noble: everyone should be able to go to college. The result, though, is that too many people end up with debts they cannot repay. Seen this way, the students at for-profit schools look a lot like the homeowners during the housing bubble. In both cases, powerful ideological forces pushed people to borrow (“Homeownership is the path to wealth”; “Education is the key to the future”). In both cases, credit was cheap and easy to come by. And in both cases the people pushing the loans (mortgage brokers and for-profit schools) didn’t have to worry about whether those loans were reasonable, since they got paid regardless.

If we really want more people to go to college we should put more money into community colleges and public universities, which have been starved of funding in recent years. We should also rethink our assumption that college is always the right answer, regardless of cost. Politicians love to invoke education as the solution to our economic ills. But they’re often papering over the fact that our economy just isn’t creating enough good jobs for ordinary Americans. The notion that college will transform your job prospects is, in many cases, an illusion, and for a while for-profit schools turned it into a very lucrative one. 

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Student Debt Rising Again:

Students who took out student loans and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2014 had an average debt load of $28,950, up 2 percent from the year before and 56 percent more than their peers from 10 years earlier, the Institute for College Access and Success says in a report released today.

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Senator Chris Larson opposes changes to the WRS!

With a shrinking middle class, we need to be building on what we know works to ensure prosperity among our hard working Wisconsin neighbors. Making risky changes to the WRS is exactly the opposite of what Wisconsin ought to be doing.

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Senator Chris Larson opposes merger of tech and UW colleges

Several Milwaukee legislators have announced their opposition to the latest Republican proposal to merge the state's technical colleges including MATC with the University of Wisconsin's two-year junior colleges.

State Senator Chris Larson who represents the Oak Creek campus issued the following statement that questions the impact of merging two successful higher education systems with different missions, different student bodies and different funding sources.

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Milwaukee Area Technical College’s education professionals voted overwhelmingly, once again, to
recertify their union, American Federation of Teachers, Local 212.

98 % of the Full-time faculty, counselors and accountants who voted, voted “Yes” for Local 212 representation.

99.5 % of the Professional staff, full and part-time, who voted, voted “Yes” for Local 212 representation.

98 % of Part-time faculty who voted, voted “Yes” for Local 212 representation.

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