By Jeff Simpson
The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) recently became the last district in Wisconsin to switch from a union contract to an employee handbook.
The Madison School Board approved an employee handbook Monday that will replace the current union contract when it expires next summer.
The handbook became necessary due to Act 10, the 2011 state law that eliminated most collective bargaining for most public employees.
Madison took a while to get to this point. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards said it knows of no district other than Madison where workers still are covered by a pre-Act 10 union contract.
When the contract expires June 30, 2016, the handbook’s policies and procedures will guide interactions between the district and its roughly 6,000 employees.
While some school boards used Act 10 to dictate major changes in working conditions, cutting costs in the process, Madison took a different approach. The board instructed administrators to work collaboratively with employee representatives on the handbook’s language.
One of the biggest problems in Wisconsin today, is we weigh experts opinions/ observations equally with non experts opinions. We brought you this recently on the anti cure debilitating disease bills, when reporters would weight a doctorate degreed Professors opinion with Julainne Applings.
We see that again here, when the reporter went to non education expert Rick Esenberg from Milwaukee to get his opinion on the Madison School Districts workings:
While the board was free to take this approach, it didn’t necessarily serve taxpayers well, said conservative lawyer Rick Esenberg.
“Basically, you can have a more effective school district if you don’t have rigid work rules,” said Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.
I have two questions for Mr. Esenberg that I doubt were ever asked or that he would be able to answer:
1. What items specifically in the MMSD new handbook does not serve the taxpayers of Madison?
2. Can you give us some examples of "rigid work rules" that stand in the way of a school district being effective?
It is hard to have a public debate when there are so many column inches being devoted to pure unadulterated ignorance.
The only way that I see hand books hurting taxpayers, is the fact that you have to have School District Professionals put hundreds of hours into drawing them up, that time could have been used much more effectively elsewhere had ACT 10 not taken away so much local control.
"When evil men plot, good men must plan." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as “right-to-work”. It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. …Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone. Wherever these laws have passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are few and there are no civil rights” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.