Category Archive: Recent News

Feb 17 2017

2017-18 School Calendar Finalized

The Joint MTI/MMSD Calendar Committee has reached agreement on the 2017-18 calendar.  The highlights are:

  • New teacher mandatory days – August 23-25

  • Staff Only/Prep days – August 28-31

  • Voluntary day – September 1

  • Labor Day holiday – September 4

  • Beginning of first semester – September 5

  • Compensatory Day – November 22 (for those doing parent-teacher conferences or related work)

  • Thanksgiving Break – November 23-24

  • Winter Break – December 22-January 2

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday – January 15

  • Beginning of second semester – January 22

  • Spring Break – March 26-30

  • Memorial Day holiday – May 28

  • End of student school year – June 8

  • High School graduations (weekend of June 8)

  • Last work day for staff – June 11

The 2017-18 calendar represents a series of compromises in a school year that contains several challenging holiday dates.  It is the product of multiple meetings and many hours of work by MTI members of the Joint Committee, which sought to represent and balance members’ interests while maneuvering through a system impacted by many factors, including State laws, DPI regulations, and BOE policies.  The above dates represent a 192 day contract for continuing teachers comprised of 176 student days; 4 staff-only (PD) days before the school year begins; 1 voluntary day before the school year begins; 6 staff-only (PD) days throughout the school year; 1 comp day; and 4 paid holidays.

The 8-day winter break represents an improvement in the District’s proposed break.  While it is not the full 10 days that many members preferred, it was the only viable option, given the above.  Other school districts in the area and around the state have 6 or 7-day breaks, with only one other district having an 8-day break.  The power of the membership resulted in this compromise, among others, on Administration’s part.  No winter break days were given up for staff-only (PD) days.  There will be some additional minutes of instruction added to the student day in order to comply with DPI regulations, but these minutes will not impact contract hours or total number of days worked (i.e. returning teachers will continue to work a  192 day contract).

The procedure for establishing the school calendar is provided in the Employee Handbook, agreed upon by both MTI and MMSD.  It is because of MTI’s continuous involvement and diligence that MTI-represented employees have a voice in the process of determining the calendar each year.  Discussions about the 2017-18 school calendar did not begin until well into the current school year, resulting in some dissatisfaction among MTI members; the parties have agreed to begin discussions for the 2018-19 school calendar immediately upon completion of the 2017-18 calendar.  This should result in better communication and more time for member feedback.

Both parties recognize that there are concerns relative to staff-only (PD) days, and the Joint Committee will continue to meet to determine how these days are used and when they should occur.  Administration prefers that staff-only (PD) days get scheduled in a 6-to-8-week rotation that aligns with the student learning cycle.  There is a preference to have all PD during paid time, rather than asking teachers to do the work outside of contract hours, when teachers would receive lesser pay.  The parties also have an on-going concern about the shortage of substitute teachers.  Having staff-only (PD) days during the contract year should diminish the need for subs by decreasing the number of “days away,” which impact student learning and create challenges for staff who are not on a “day away.”  MTI has also voiced the concern of members relative to having meaningful PD that relates directly to the individual teacher.

MTI members can impact the quality of PD in their schools by becoming members of their school-based leadership teams.  The Handbook provides that the structure of staff-only (PD) days will be determined collaboratively at the building level by the principal and the SBLT.  The time should include collaborative learning that supports and enhances the quality of teaching and is aligned to each school’s SIP goals and strategies.  MTI faculty representatives can also represent members’ interests via the collaborative problem-solving process, in which all faculty representatives and principals have been trained and which is in place in all schools.

Thank you to the members of the MTI Joint Calendar Committee for their hard work and perseverance:  Andy Waity (Crestwood), Cindy Ball (Jefferson), Andrew McCuaig (LaFollette), Amy Turkowski (Franklin), and Karen Vieth (Sherman).

Feb 07 2017

SCFL 2017-2018 Scholarship Application

The South Central Federation of Labor will be awarding four $1,000 scholarships for the 2017-18 school year.  Applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, June 30, 2017.  Click here for more information and for an application form.

Feb 07 2017

2017 Nominations for United Way Community Volunteer Awards

 

 

The United Way of Dane County is currently accepting nominations for their Community Volunteer Awards, including a category for youth volunteers.  Youth winners will be awarded up to $1,000 for the organization that they volunteer for as well as up to $1,000 towards their education.  Click here for more info. 

Jan 10 2017

Free Financial Consultations at MTI in February, March and April!

Attention MTI Members!

Steve Pike is a retired MTI teacher and current Member Benefits Consultant for WEA Member Benefits.  Steve will be onsite to meet with staff.

WHAT:  FREE 30-minute Financial Consultation

WHEN:  Appointments are available on the following dates:

You can register for a date and time by clicking on one of the links below:

Sign-up on Wednesday, February 15

Sign-up on Thursday, February 16

Sign-up on Monday, February 20MTI_Logo

Sign-up on Thursday, February 23

Sign-up on Wednesday, March 1

Sign-up on Thursday, March 2

Sign-up on Monday, March 6

Sign-up on Tuesday, March 7

Sign-up on Thursday, March 16WEAMemberBenefits

Sign-up on Monday, March 20

Sign-up on Wednesday, March 22

Sign-up on Wednesday, March 29

Sign-up on Thursday, March 30

Sign-up on Monday, April 3

Sign-up on Tuesday, April 4

Sign-up on Wednesday, April 12

WHERE:  MTI, 821 Williamson Street, Madison, WI

This is ideal if you are just getting started, have specific questions, or would like a quick check-in.  Because these are held onsite in the district, it’s a convenient way to meet with someone face-to-face to get some general help or guidance.

Steve can answer your specific questions on a wide range of financial topics such as:

  • Reasons to start a 403(b) or IRA savings account and how to enroll

  • Wisconsin Retirement System basics (Bring your WRS statement)

  • Retirement Savings strategies; Pre-tax vs. Roth, 403(b) vs. IRA

  • Investment/Account Fees

  • Budgeting

  • Tips for purchasing personal insurance

Some things to bring along to your consultation include:

  • Recent paycheck stub

  • Recent 403(b) and/or IRA account statements

  • Other financial information you would like reviewed

Spouses/Partners welcome.

Promoted by MTI!

Can’t make it to a consultation but want to talk to someone?  Sign up for a 30-minute phone consultation and speak to a Retirement and Investment Consultant. Find a time and day that’s convenient for you at www.weabenefits.com/consults.

Dec 21 2016

Free Upcoming Retirement Seminars with WEA Member Benefits – For MTI Members Only!

 

Wednesday March 15, 2017

     4:30-5:30 PM

     1 hour crash course-Saving for your future

      Click here to sign up for this seminar!

 Seminar Descriptions:

  • 1 Hour Crash Course – Saving for your future: Why saving early and often is important.

Most Wisconsin public school employees can expect their retirement income to come from three sources: WRS (the Wisconsin Retirement System pension), Social Security, and personal savings. Even though your pension benefit provides an excellent head start, today’s employees need to consider personal savings to fill their retirement savings gap.

Here’s what we will cover in this not-to-be missed session:

  • Why you need more than WRS and Social Security

  • The importance of personal savings

  • The difference between a 403(b) and an IRA

  • Pretax versus Roth options

  • Investment choices

  • Contribution limits

  • Fees

  • Easy steps to start saving for your future

Whether you are just beginning your career or are nearing the end of it, there is something for you. Join us for this crash course and get a better idea of how your pension and personal savings work to fill your retirement savings gap.

The percentage of salary replaced is tied to how many years one works in state service. The 40%-50% figure assumes that someone puts 25-30 years in the Wisconsin Retirement System.

Seminars are free to attend; however, if you choose to invest in the WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity or WEAC IRA program, fees will apply. Consider all expenses before investing.

The 403(b) retirement program is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA. The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Newport Trust Company.

 

  • Understanding WRS 101: Your State Pension Plan

WRS, the state pension plan, will be a source of retirement income for most Wisconsin public school employees like you. How much do you know about this important benefit? 

Whether you just started your career or are nearing the end of it, there is something for you.

  • Read/interpret your pension statement.

  • Calculate your WRS pension benefit.

  • Choose an appropriate annuity option.

  • Purchase forfeited service.

  • Determine whether you will have a retirement income gap.

There will be opportunities for questions during the presentation.

Dec 14 2016

Help the SCFL Develop the Wisconsin Labor History Map!

Hey MTI! Do you think it’s important to teach Labor History in our schools? If so, help the South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL) develop the Wisconsin Labor History Map!

This interactive tool, and the curriculum we develop to support it, will be an incredible resource for students, teachers, union members, and all the people of our state. The Wisconsin Labor History Map Project is dedicated to preserving the history of workers and unions in Wisconsin and demonstrating the value they bring to our communities.

Our map provides short descriptions, images and links to resources for historically significant labor sites and events within Wisconsin. Service Learning students from UW-Madison have begun creating student worksheets and teacher guides around the Map- now we need your help to move forward!

There are a bunch of ways you can help! Please email SCFL Organizer, Charity Schmidt at charity@scfl.org to find out more or to get involved!

Nov 18 2016

Verifying your Biometric Screening and HRA Status

 


Verify and View Your Bio-Metric Screening through Interra Health

Use one of the three methods listed below. 

  1. Call Interra at 414-755-4898
  2. Email: nhendrickson@interrahealth.com
  3. They can log into their Interra Health account (AKA InHealth Dashboard).  Here are some specific directions:
  • Head to www.MyInterraHealth.com and use your Participant ID (Employee B Number-numbers only), Password* and Company ID (MMSD) to log on.  
    *Please note, if you have NEVER accessed your InHealth Dashboard your password will be wellness.  If you logged on any point in the past you would have created a new permanent password at that time.  That would be the password that you would need to enter in order to successfully log-in. Requirements include a minimum of 8 characters, an upper case letter, lower case letter, symbol and number.  Should you need assistance with the password you have a couple options, all employees have an email address is on file, so you have the ability to reset your own password.  You will just need to click on the green “Forgot Your Password” link under the log-in information to begin the process.   Once the password reset pops up, simply fill in your ID, your DOB (MM/DD/YYYY) and company ID (MMSD).  Please double-check your spam folder if the new password email doesn’t arrive within a few minutes OR call our office at 414-755-4898.
  • Once on the homepage, look to your Action Items, mid-center of the page.  If there is a green check mark in the “Status” portion, your biometric results are in the system and your participation in this portion of the program has been logged.

View your current results:

  1. Click the Reports at the top or left hand side of your InHealth Dashboard homepage.
  2. Select the 2016 program year from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select Your Report Type
    1. Full Report – select the Full Report button if you wish to view a comprehensive report detailing your biometric scores.
    2. Short Report – select the Short Report button if you wish to view a short summary report of your biometric scores.

 


Verify your Online Health Risk Assessment with your Insurance Provider

  • MMSD will not have confirmation until December 15th if you have completed your online health risk assessment.  Your insurance carrier will notify MMSD that you completed your assessment..
  • Dean:  Log into the web page http://www.deancare.com/health-insurance/health-and-wellness/  

    To verify HRA completion, log back in to the WebMD Living Healthy portal and click the “Rewards” tab.  In the center of the page it should say “Hooray you have earned all your rewards.”  A screenshot of the page is below. If you do not see this, continue to scroll down and it will show what is required in order to get to full completion.

  • Unity:  Log into My Chart  https://unitymychart.com/mychart/

    A participant will show as complete if you received the “print certificate” screen after completing the HRA questionnaire.  To verify that you have completed the questionnaire, return to the online HRA questionnaire to verify.  You can also call Unity’s customer service to ask:  1-800-362-23310.

  • GHC:  Logging into GHC My chart or www.webmdhealth.com/ghcscw .   Link for directions.  Under step 4 you can see  your “completed date” and if it’s within the time frame that MMSD requires, then you will be on the HRA completion list.

  • You must have completed your assessment after August (any assessment you have taken previously will not count).  You must complete your assessment by December 14, 2016.
  • You can participate in the online health risk assessment before you complete your biometric screening.

You will be notified by a letter from MMSD if you have not met the requirements for the wellness assessment.  

Contact the MMSD Benefits Helpdesk (benefits@madison.k12.wi.us) with any questions.

Oct 11 2016

Wisconsin Labor History Society High School Essay Contest

 All Wisconquillpensin high school students (grades 9-12) are eligible to participate in a High School Essay Contest conducted annually by the Wisconsin Labor History Society. The high school students are asked to write an essay of approximately 750 words on the following theme: “Unions have been important to my family and my community because …” and up to eight cash prizes are awarded for the best. The prizes will include one $500 first-place prize, one $300 second-place prize, one $200 third-place prize, and up to five $100 prizes for honorable mention. Click here for more information.

 

Oct 11 2016

MTI & MMSD Informational Meeting on Grow Our Own-Teacher Dual Certification Program

MTI_Logodepartmentofstudentserviceslogo MTI and MMSD Department of Student Services are hosting an Information Meeting on the Grow Our Own -Teacher Dual Certification Program

The Grow Our Own- Teacher Dual Certification Program is intended for general education teachers interested in cross categorical special education certification OR cross categorical special education teachers interested in bilingual certification. Selected candidates can receive a $1,000 per 3 credit course taken each semester (fall, spring and summer).

For more information or to apply online please see the Student Services website: https://specialed.madison.k12.wi.us/ under Grow Our Own and read the Participation Agreement.

The application deadline is November 18, 2016.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Scott Zimmerman at slzimmerman@madison.k12.wi.us or by phone at 663-8486.

Sep 12 2016

Great news for MTI members! MTI is partnering with WEA Member Benefits

Great news for MTI members!MTI_Logo

Your union. Your program. Your future.

MTI is partnering with WEA Member Benefits—the premier provider of financial products and services for Wisconsin public school employees—to enhance your financial well-being.

WEAMemberBenefits

FIVE things you need to know about WEA Member Benefits:

  1. Our 403(b) is nationally recognized by Forbes magazine as a low-cost, soundly managed program.

  2. Member Benefits was created by Wisconsin educators for Wisconsin educators more than 40 years ago. No other organization can say that.

  3. Conveniently located in Madison.

  4. We operate as a trust which reinvests any profits back into programs that benefit participants. There are no shareholders so your best interest comes first.

  5. Low fees and preferred pricing for members means you save money.

TWO things you can do today!

  1. Sign up for a free 1-year subscription to Member Benefits’ your$ magazine and you could WIN $100 for your classroom. Visit weabenefits.com/mtiyourmoney.

  2. Download our e-book, “10 Money-Saving Tips New Teachers Want to Know,” for free. Visit weabenefits.com/10tips.

weamemberbenefitsmtigreatnews

TWO things to watch for:

  1. Sign up for a free* 30-min. financial consult with Member Benefits’ staff Ana Bonjour or Steve Pike. Details to come.

  2. Attend free financial educational offerings co-sponsored by MTI. Dates to be announced.

Share the benefits!

Your family members including your spouse/partner, children, parents, and parents-in-law may be eligible to participate in our programs. Ask us about eligibility.

Contact WEA Member Benefits

Retirement and Investment Services  • 1-800-279-4030

403(b) IRA Financial Planning Services

Personal Insurance Services • 1-800-279-4010

Auto Home/Renters/Condo

Umbrella Flood

Individual Long-Term Care

We can also insure your recreational vehicles!

www.weabenefits.com

Follow us on Facebook and YouTube!

*If you choose to invest in the WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity or WEAC IRA program, fees will apply.  Consider all expenses before investing.
The 403(b) retirement program is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA. The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Newport Trust Company. All investment advisory services are offered through WEA Financial Advisors, Inc. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Long-term care (LTC) insurance products are underwritten by multiple LTC insurers. Program administered by LTCi Marketing Administrators Inc. (LiMA).

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