Unionization Pays Off for Community-College Instructors

Being represented by a union appears to pay big financial dividends for full-time instructors at community colleges, a new study concludes.

Depending on the size, location, and public-financing sources of their institution, unionized full-time instructors earn from about 5 to 50 percent more in pay and benefits than do their nonunionized peers at similar community colleges, says a paper summarizing the study’s results.

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Abele Diminishes Milwaukee County’s Representation on MATC Board

Appoints Mequon manufacturer instead
of Milwaukee nominees

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele once again sided with suburban conservatives, this time when making appointments to the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) board of directors.

In March, Abele passed over his fellow Milwaukee Democrat Sandy Pasch and other Milwaukeeans and appointed Mequon-based manufacturer Mary Isbister to the MATC board, a move that has his critics crying foul.

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Click image to view pdf:

This Is What Wisconsin's 2.5% Budget Cut Looks Like

By John Conley

Irecently learned that when the semester ends in May, nearly half of my immediate co-workers, maybe more, will be out of a job. Of course, adjuncts like me are often "out of a job," since our contracts go only from semester to semester. But because I’m an adjunct in the University of Wisconsin system — the one that’s made headlines thanks to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed $300-million budget cuts over the next two years — this time it feels different.

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Right to Work

PT faculty Recertification vote

Local 212 part-time faculty members organize for Adjunct Faculty Week and their union recertification vote.

On a frigid Saturday morning more than 50 MATC part-time faculty members met to plan for adjunct faculty week and begin organizing for the Local 212 recertification vote later this semester.

The attendees discussed how important it was to keep a part-time faculty bargaining unit at MATC. One long-time part-time faculty member recalled that before Local 212 organized the part-time faculty in 1994 MATC's adjuncts were only paid a paltry $14 an hour with no compensation for prep time or office hours. Since organizing a part-time bargaining unit, Local 212 won language that tied part-time faculty pay to full-time pay, making MATC one of the only, if not the only, college in the country to do so, and created a career path for adjuncts that guarantees that 50% of all new full-time tenure track positions will go to part-time faculty.

All of the participants agreed to talk to their colleagues about voting yes in the recertification election and many are planning to attend the Provost's part-time faculty forum on Tuesday, February 24th , Local 212's contribution to adjunct faculty day in the C auditorium.

Part Time Faculty Union Recertification

At rural schools, young teachers eyeing the exits

Financial future doesn't appear promising in Act 10's aftermath

She loves her work.

She is highly regarded by her colleagues.

"She is one of the best,"

Administrator Penny Boileau said. But she is also considering leaving the profession.

"With the tight revenue limits enacted in Wisconsin since the state began sharply curtailing public school funding in 2012, the district has cut costs largely by reducing the benefits and opportunities for salary increases for staff.

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Teacher of the year
responds to Scott Walker,
her former classmate

While campaigning for President In Iowa, Governor Walker claimed that the Wisconsin’s 2010 Teacher of the Year had been laid off due to union rules. Nothing could be further from the truth as Wisconsin’s actual 2010 Teacher of the Year and former class mate of Scott Walker, Claudia Klein Felske, writes in an letter to the Governor.

She writes: Dear Governor Walker:

I was both surprised and bewildered last week when I saw a news clip of you stumping in Iowa about Megan Sampson, whom you called “The [2010] Outstanding Teacher of the Year in my State.” This was baffling to me since in 2010, I was named Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year (Maureen Look-Ainsworth, Middle School Teacher of the Year; Peggy Wuenstel, Special Services Teacher of the Year; and Michael Brinnen, Elementary Teacher of the Year). In a most humbling ceremony, we were each surprised at our respective schools by State Superintendent Tony Evers and later honored at the State Capital as the Wisconsin Teachers of the Year.

Click here to read the whole letter.

Chile Universities will be Tuition Free

Obama’s Free Community College Proposal Could be Transformative:

Too many people don’t realize that the average community college student is …a 29-year-old woman who attends school part time while working to support herself, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. She very well might be supporting her kids, too, since nearly one-third of community college students are parents.

And America’s prospective students often can’t afford tuition. Even though community college is cheap compared to many private institutions, its cost is a major barrier for low-wage workers who need an education to seek better jobs. More than two-thirds of adult students who drop out of college likely do so because they don’t have the money to continue, according to data from the Apollo Research Institute.

Our current financial aid programs aren’t big enough to meet the need, and they’re constantly threatened by budget cuts.

Obama’s proposal offers tuition-free community college for students who attend at least half time, keep their average above 2.5 and make steady progress toward a degree.

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Community Colleges Change Lives

“Community colleges accept more than just everyone’s application. Community colleges welcome all students and support them in their pursuit to improve their lives with education. There’s a reason no other academic institution is more accepting.”

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Fact Sheet on President Obama’s proposal to make two-year colleges free:

Nearly a century ago, a movement that made high school widely available helped lead to rapid growth in the education and skills training of Americans, driving decades of economic growth and prosperity. America thrived in the 20th century in large part because we had the most educated workforce in the world.  But other nations have matched or exceeded the secret to our success. Today, more than ever, Americans need more knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing global economy without having to take on decades of debt before they even embark on their career. 

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tom hanks

Tom Hanks Says Community College Made Him Who
He Is Today

Famed actor and director Tom Hanks penned an op-ed reflecting on his time in community college, crediting it as the "place [that] made me what I am today."

Hanks writes in the New York Times on Wednesday that he applied to some prestigious schools knowing full-well they wouldn't accept a student like him with low SAT scores. He decided to go to Chabot College, a community college that accepted everyone and was free.

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Milwaukee Area Technical College

On Campus: What do you teach?

Robin Mosleth: I am a registered nurse, and I have taught nursing courses since 1980. I have worked at MATC in the School of Health Sciences for 11 years. Previously, I worked in both clinical and management positions, and I have taught elsewhere at both two- and four- year institutions. I specialize in mental health, community nursing, and management and leadership.

I mainly teach courses in those areas now, but I've also taught students at the very begin- ning of their program. Currently, I teach stu- dents who are typically in their fourth and fi- nal semester in clinical and theory courses in which they transition into practicing as entry- level nurses. This 16-week semester prepares them to take their licensing exam. I find it exciting and very rewarding to see how far students come in 16 weeks.

Click here to read more.

The American Federation of Teachers Local 212/MATC issued the following statement in response to President Obama's proposal to make public two- year higher education free for students who work hard and are making progress towards a degree.

All Wisconsin students deserve a high-quality, affordable and accessible higher education. Our 21st-century economy needs an educated workforce armed with the skills needed to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. Providing free community college for hardworking students will expand educational opportunity, strengthen our workforce, grow the Wisconsin economy and expand investment in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) which has been hard hit by austerity budgets at the state level.

Click here to view press release (pdf)

Local 212 Milwaukee Latino Bilingual Book Campaign

On Sunday, January 4th, the  American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 212/MATC, the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals (WFNHP), and Voces de la Frontera distributed hundreds of new bilingual books to the children of the families who attend Saint Hyacinth Church and Saint Vincent DePaul Parish on Milwaukee’s southside.

Following each church’s mass celebrating Three Kings Day, the children assembled at the front of the church and were read a story in English and Spanish by County Board Chair Marina Dimitrievic and Milwaukee School Board Director Tatiana Joseph. They were joined by Alderman Jose Perez, County Board member Peggy West and AFT 212’s Luz Sosa in giving each child a gift wrapped, bilingual book.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera Executive Director said, “We are proud to be part of the Three Kings book distribution.  It elevates the importance and love of reading by putting books in the hands of children and sharing storytelling.  For 16 million children living in poverty only one in three has a book in the home.”

Michael Rosen, President of AFT Local 212, the union spearheading the book distribution, explained that :” Investing in early childhood education is the best investment any community can make. Milwaukee’s minority student achievement gap is unacceptable. This campaign is designed to address it by promoting the love of reading. Children who love to read succeed academically.”   

This is the third year that the Milwaukee Latino First Book Project has distributed books.

First Books, a national non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging literacy and a love of reading, is the Milwaukee Latino First Book Books Project national partner. 



upcoming events

Executive Board Meetings - Spring 2015:

Monday, April 20th
4:15 p.m., Union Office

Monday, May 4th
4:15 p.m., Union Office

General Membership Meetings - Spring 2015:

Thursday, April 23rd
Noon, Mequon, Room A131

Wednesday, May 13th
4:15 p.m., Downtown, Rm S120

The James Shay Stear Swinford video:

AFT Scholarships announced

The Robert G. Porter scholarship is now accepting applications. It offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.

Scholarship Eligibility

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for high school students is open to graduating high school seniors.
  • Applicants must have at least one parent or legal guardian who is an AFT member.
  • The AFT member whose child or legal dependent applies for a scholarship must be a member in good standing for at least one year.
  • Children or legal dependents of AFT national, state or local union staff are not eligible for this scholarship opportunity.

For more information go to:

The Union Plus Credit Card program is one of 40 Union Plus benefits designed to meet the needs of hard-working union members like you.

  • Earn unlimited, no-hassle, 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
  • Hardship assistance grants1
  • Competitive rates

Learn more at: UnionCardApply.com
or call 1-800-522-4000

Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at UnionPlus.org/Assistance.

Another card option is available. Credit approval required. Terms & Conditions apply. Union Plus Credit Cards Issues by Capital One, N.A. The MasterCard Brand Mark is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.

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