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MATC Board Passes Compensation Changes to Part-Time Faculty

The Milwaukee Area Technical College board of directors passed changes to new part-time faculty pay, paid hours outside of the classroom, and the “class & step” system used for salaries and raises on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

“Some of the folks in that room did not understand some of the basics and yet they went ahead and made a very, very big decision,” says American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 212 Executive Vice-President Kevin Mulvenna.

Read more about this proposal and the expected impact on students and faculty.
Based on an ongoing compensation study from 2015, new part time faculty are not assured an annual salary increase. Faculty will still be eligible for increases, but will not receive a specific amount every year, according to board chairperson Mark Foley. This removes the current “class & step” system. MATC will also pay new hires for 84 hours of work outside the classroom instead of 102, but at a higher hourly rate. For some faculty, this could mean a pay increase, but for others it could mean a decrease.

Preparing for classes, grading papers and office hours all count towards paid hours. MATC English instructor Susan Nusser says that it takes more than 1.25 hours a week outside of the classroom to grade over 60 students papers. “I would challenge them to come and spend a few days to shadow a faculty member here, […] to understand what we do,” says Nusser.

Nationally, part-time faculty are facing lower pay and support, according to AFT Local 212 President Lisa Conley. “There is a wave of action and dissent coming across the country and […] it’s coming to the doorstep of MATC,” says Conley.

Both part-time and full-time faculty members gathered outside the board room prior to the meeting, chanting “only fools use Scott Walker’s tools,” and frequently yelled, “boo” when Mulvnenna recited the compensation study recommendations.

Another faculty member says, “it’s a huge slap in the face.”

The recommendation included additional changes and the goal was to pay faculty for time spent inside the classroom, maintain appropriate number of office hours for all faculty, along with preparation work and office training.

This article by Erin Berge appeared in Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express December 18th, 2019.