Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

MATC Changes Coming?

MATC, Political, Taxes, Education

Change is coming to MATC courtesy of the Wisconsin Legislature and Governor Walker, and it seems that there are some at MATC who don’t see this as being advantageous to their situation.

Michael Rosen, MATC economics instructor, and president of the union representing teachers at MATC, had this to say about the bill that has just become law:  “This was an unethical power grab by the Republicans who do not understand Milwaukee, our students or the urban community.”

The change that is on the way involves the choosing of members of the MATC board.  Before this, the members of that board were selected by a group of more than 20 K-12 school board representatives.  With this change, those selections will become the province of the Milwaukee County Executive and the county board chairs in Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington counties and is thought to be more responsive to the needs of employers throughout that area.  There will be some voter accountability where little existed before.

The new law would reshape the MATC board to consist of one school administrator, one elected official, two at-large members and five people appointed to represent for-profit businesses or nonprofit medical facilities.  At least two of these five would come from manufacturing.  It will take some time for this change to be completed since six of the current nine board members are allowed to serve out their terms before this new approach is used to fill their seats.

I have to wonder if the threat that some see in this change has to do with the quality of students being graduated and with the course content as much as it might have to do with the fear that the union will lose some of its clout in the process.  There have been ample reports about the compensation received by some of the MATC instructors.  The idea that an instructor of beauticians would be paid some $125,000 per year for his or her teaching duties seems a bit of a stretch to be kind.  The hours actually involving teaching in some cases have also been something less than what most of us would deem ‘full time’.

The reaction to this change might well be more that of people who have had it all their way realizing that their gravy train is coming to an end and that people who live and work in the real world might have different points of view than those who have historically been selected.

Shortly after this bill was passed, but before it was signed, the former District Board Appointment Committee met and reappointed MATC District Board members, among who is a labor union liaison, all of whom will now have terms ending on June 30, 2015.

Maybe we’ll see some semblance of reality emerge at MATC as the result of this new law.  Maybe things like the embezzlement that went on for years will not occur again.  Maybe crash efforts to pass wage agreements will not take as little as a week or two any longer.

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