Category: Recent News

Jan 12 2018

Free Financial Consultations in January and February!

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 60-minute Financial Consultation

WHEN:  January 16, 17, 18, 29, 30 or February 15, 19, 20 and 22 (register by clicking the links below)

WHERE:  33 Nob Hill Road, 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, 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
  • 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
  • WRS statement
  • Other financial information you would like reviewed

Spouses/partners welcome.

Sign up here for your January consultation 

Sign up here for your February consultation

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

Free Financial Seminars also available!  Click here for more information about upcoming seminar dates and topics.

Nov 29 2017

The Shoes in Boots Project – Not an Urban Legend

Do you know a 2nd grade girl who is deserving of a new pair of boots or shoes?  Many, many years ago, a second-grade little girl was asked by her teacher to come to the front of the classroom and write a word on the blackboard.  Although she was more than able to satisfy the academic request, the little girl was reluctant to come forward. Still, she complied.  As the little girl finished writing and placed the chalk back into the tray, she could feel the teacher’s eyes fixed on her feet. “Won’t you please remove your boots [galoshes]?” the teacher asked. (The teacher recognized that it was late spring and not raining outside.) Now, the eyes of everyone in the classroom were fixed on her feet.  (Click here to continue the story).

Nov 22 2017

Recertification Results 2017

Great news! Shortly after 2:00 pm today, the WERC posted the recertification results on their webpage.  All MTI bargaining units have successfully recertified in large numbers!  Nearly 80% of all eligible voters cast ballots in the recertification election, including 86% of the teacher unit, 69% of the ESEA unit, and 63% of the USO unit. Of those who voted, 99% voted to recertify.  

In order to recertify, each unit needed 51% of all eligible voters to cast a ballot in favor of recertification. Each MTI bargaining unit beat that requirement, with the MTI Teacher unit leading the way with 85% of all eligible voters casting a ballot to recertify.  

The large turnout is a testament to the hard work of over 100 MTI member organizers who have reached out and engaged their colleagues in conversations about their Union over the past month.

The turnout is also a testament to the 3,430 MTI-represented employees who recognize that our public schools and our professions will be better served if we continue to Stand Together”.

See the results below:                                                                                                                                           


2017 Final Vote Total Eligible Final % Votes Yes Votes No of Total % Yes of Voters % Yes
ESEA 628 908 69.2% 620 8 68.28% 98.73%
MTI 2450 2860 85.7% 2424 26 84.76% 98.94%
USO 388 613 63.3% 386 2 62.97% 99.48%
Total 3466 4381 79.11% 3430 36 78.29% 98.96%

Nov 09 2017

Labor History Contests with Cash Prizes for Students

Tomorrow’s future workers are today’s middle and high school students and they are missing out on a vital part of their education – the story of labor and how unions have helped to build a nation!

Since its founding in 1981, the Wisconsin Labor History Society has made it a key mission to urge the teaching of workers and labor history in our state schools.  This year, as in the past, they are offering great cash prizes to middle, high school and college students to encourage their study of labor history:

  • Labor History Essay Contest for high school students (Grades 9 -12).  Prizes from $500 to $100 go to up to eight students each year for essays of 750 words.  Submissions must be postmarked by February 15, 2018.  Click here for more information.
  • National History Day for middle and high school students (Grades 6 – 12).  A total of $1,000 in prizes go to students throughout the state each year for exhibits of various types that have a labor theme.  Click here for more information.
  • Zeidler Academic Awards for college students for best papers on Wisconsin labor history by undergraduates ($500) and graduate students ($1,000).  Submissions must be postmarked by January 8, 2018.  Click here for more information.

Generous contributions from individuals, local labor unions and area councils make these prizes possible.  The contests offer a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends to urge their students to participate and to relate their own histories about worklife to the young people.

For further information visit or email


Oct 25 2017

New Professional Support Series

MTI CENTRS is hosting a series of evenings to welcome and support teachers in their first 3 years in MMSD. These events are open to members and non-members.  BONUS- attend 3 or more and get a $25 reward! Limited to 35 participants ( in years 1-3 in MMSD).


4:15-6:00. Wed. Nov. 8. Snacks provided. At the WEAC/MTI Building (33 Nob Hill Road)

NEXT MEETING: WED. Nov.  8-Your Handbook, Your Rights, Your Voice.


WED. Jan. 10 , WED. Feb.7  , WED. Mar. 7 , WED. April  11

MTI-CENTRS sponsored series for New Educators


Oct 20 2017

Biometric Screenings and Health Risk Assessments – Due by November 30

click for mmsd assessment info.

The District’s health insurance carriers are conducting biometric screenings and health risk assessments (HRAs) for MMSD employees who carry health insurance paid for by the District.  Participation is voluntary; however, those who do not complete both requirements by November 30 will incur an additional 7% health insurance premium charge.  This 7% premium charge for not participating will be in addition to the 1.25% or 3.00% premium charge for all MTI-represented employees.  This premium increase goes into effect January 1, 2018

All employees should have received an e-mail from the District regarding this initiative.  Biometric screenings at MMSD work sites started in September and are ongoing throughout the fall.   The results must be obtained by November 30, with all paperwork properly submitted no later than December 7 in order to avoid the additional premium charge. 

To schedule an appointment at an MMSD work site and to obtain instructions for completing the appropriate HRA questionnaire, you must visit the Wellness Assessment link on the MMSD Employee Wellness website:  From here you will need to access the Interra Health portal to schedule an appointment or submit your bio-screening results. 

If you do not schedule a screening at an MMSD site, you can obtain your test results at your medical provider’s office and submit them directly to Interra HealthNOTE: if you do this, the results must be obtained by November 30 and submitted on the Interra Health form downloaded from the MMSD Employee Wellness webpage.  

The HRA is a questionnaire provided by your specific insurance carrier.  Instructions for accessing the GHC or Dean HRA are available at the employee wellness website.   

Contact the MMSD Benefits Office (663-5930) with any questions about this process, and contact MTI if you have difficulty getting your questions answered.

NOTE: This initiative does not apply to employees or retirees who already pay 100% of their health insurance premium out of pocket.



Oct 04 2017

East Madison Community Center 21st Annual Bowl-A-Thon

Consider supporting East Madison Community Center’s Youth Minority Academic Proficiency Program by participating in the 21st Annual Bowl-A Thon!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

12:00 – 3:00pm

Dream Lanes – 13 Atlas Court, Madison, WI 53714

Complete your registration form and return to East Madison Community Center by Friday, October 20th!

Forms and more information are available here or by visiting

Sep 20 2017

Union Gift Idea: 2018 Railroad Workers Labor History Calendar

Have any former or current railroad workers in your family? The cross-craft solidarity group Railroad Workers United (RWU) has produced a beautiful Rail Workers Labor History Calendar for 2018. Each month of the calendar has a different photo from rail labor history, depicting a strike, picket, rally or other activity over the course of the last century-and-a-half of struggle. More than 150 dates of historic significance to railroad workers and their unions are included throughout the year. Order online at

Sep 08 2017

Standing Up to Support Our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters

As public school employees, we are advocates for all of our students and their families. Our advocacy extends beyond the school walls and it is imperative that we actively participate in efforts to defend our immigrant students and all undocumented people from the ongoing injustices directed at them through unjust legislation and policy.

Last Tuesday, President Trump announced the elimination of DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provides renewable permits for nearly 800,000 DREAMers who live, study, and work in the United States – a program that provides opportunities to many of our students and their family members. Instead of offering an immigration process that allows a path to citizenship for DREAMers, Trump continues his crusade against immigrant families. You can show your support with the following:

In addition to these events, each of us can also support our students and families on a personal level as they deal with the uncertainty created by the elimination of DACA. In many cases the public school is the primary place that provides safety, stability and trustworthy information, and we are the professionals who provide guidance and support.    


Andrew Waity
MTI President

Douglas Keillor
MTI Executive Director

Jun 15 2017

Public Schools Under Assault in Wisconsin – Again

Dear friends of Wisconsin public schools,

The Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection announced at the last minute that it will take up two bills that would limit local control of school referenda at noon tomorrow, Thurs. June 15. The committee chair Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) is also the author of the two bills.

SB-191 Bonding Resolution Consideration – this bill would prohibit a school board in a unified district from voting on a resolution to exceed a school district’s revenue limit at a school board meeting that is not a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, and would prohibit voting in a common or union high school (UHS) district on a resolution to exceed a school district’s revenue limit at a school district special meeting. The bill would further provide that the electors of common and UHS districts may vote upon an initial resolution to raise money through a bond issue only at the annual meeting.

SB-195 School Referenda – This bill would eliminate recurring operating referenda to raise revenue authority on a permanent basis. It would also limit multi-year non-recurring operating referenda to 5 years. Finally, and possibly most troubling, the bill eliminates referendum-approved revenue authority from a school district’s base budget that was approved in any previous recurring referendum five years after the effective date of the bill.

As if the last-minute announcement doesn’t make public testimony difficult enough, the hearing will likely overlap with the already-scheduled public hearing of the Assembly Education Committee that starts at 10am – that has THE SAME BILLS on the agenda (plus one more):

Assembly Bill 282, relating to: restricting consideration of resolutions to issue bonds by common and union high school districts and prohibiting voting on a resolution to exceed the revenue limit of a school district at a special meeting. 

This bill, authored by state Rep. David Murphy (R-Greenville), would prohibit a school board in a unified district from voting on a resolution to exceed a school district’s revenue limit at a school board meeting that is not a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, and would prohibit voting in a common or union high school (UHS) district on a resolution to exceed a school district’s revenue limit at a school district special meeting. The bill would further provide that the electors of common and UHS districts may vote upon an initial resolution to raise money through a bond issue only at the school district’s annual meeting.

Assembly Bill 268, relating to: restricting school board referendums to exceed revenue limit applicable to a school district.

This bill, authored by state Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), would eliminate recurring  referendums to exceed revenue  limits and would limit the duration of successful non-recurring (temporary) operating referendums to 5 years, creating an automatic “cliff effect” when those referendums expire. The bill would also convert all previously approved recurring (permanent) operating expense referendums to non-recurring (temporary) operating referendums with a duration of 5 years, which would create a similar “cliff effect.” The five-year clock would begin ticking in the year the bill, if enacted as a new law, is published.

Assembly Bill 269, relating to: restricting the scheduling of school district referendums to exceed revenue limits

This bill, authored by state Rep. Michael Schraa  (R-Oshkosh) would require, with certain exceptions (e.g., in cases of fire or natural disaster) that all referendum votes must be held on the dates of Spring and Fall General Elections. (The Spring election is held annually on the first Tuesday in April. The Fall General election occurs in even-numbered years on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.) This would limit school boards to only two opportunities in an even-numbered year and only one opportunity in an odd-numbered year.

If you plan to testify in person, you can fill out a form to register in favor or opposition to the bills even if you don’t plan to speak. You can also submit testimony in writing if you cannot attend in person.  

Thanks to our friends at WASB (which opposes all three bills) for the updates:

Speak up for local control of local schools! Your voice matters!

Heather DuBois Bourenane • (608) 572-1696 •
facebook: www.facebook/WisconsinNetwork • twitter: @WiscEdNetwork

The Wisconsin Public Education Network is a project of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools.