MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison School District sent out this memo Sunday evening, asking staff to report, but saying schools will be closed again Monday.
The Madison Teachers Union is advising members to remain off work Monday, to engage to political action against Gov. Walker's proposal to end collective bargaining rights for state public employees.
MTI Executive Director John Matthews says he's asking for employees to return to work Tuesday.
This is the press release from Madison Schools:
Due to substantial concerns about significant staff absences in Madison, the Madison School District is again forced to close all of our schools to students on Monday, February 21, 2011.
However, we have received assurances that staff members will return to work on Tuesday, February 22. Therefore, all Madison School District schools will be open to students on Tuesday and will resume with their regular daily schedule.
We understand that managing a fourth day off will be a significant hardship for families and do appreciate their tolerance in these unusual times. We are heartened that schools will be open on Tuesday.
Despite closing to students on Monday, all MMSD staff members are expected to report to work.
We will continue to communicate with the public on any new developments on this issue.
Part of the press release from Madison Teachers Union is below:
MTI Executive Director John Matthews announced this evening that members of all five MTI bargaining units, meeting in general session this earlier today, adopted a motion that calls for MTI members to remain off work tomorrow, Monday, February 21, and that they continue to engage in political action against Governor Walker's proposal which would decimate the protections, grievance procedures, wages and benefits set forth in their Collective Bargaining Agreements. The same would result for all public employees in Wisconsin, Matthews said. The action today calls for District employees to return to work Tuesday. Teachers from Appleton and Milwaukee will join the lobbying effort tomorrow. Matthews said that for many years, Wisconsin has been the leader in seeing the value of public sector unions. In addition to being the first state to authorize public sector unions, also born here were Social Security, Unemployment Compensation and Worker's Compensation.
Union contracts have enabled workers to concentrate on doing the best job possible for the public and have provided public employers with one source with which to work. The union speaks for all employees, as regards wages, benefits and even discipline. The contract between the union and the employer provides not only the wages and benefits, but the procedures for such things as promotion, demotion, transfer, discipline and layoff. Without these agreements, employers would be in chaos. This has certainly been the case in the Madison Metropolitan School District, he said. MTI and representatives for the District work cooperatively to resolve employment related and personal issues of employees, which issues impact their employment.
Matthews asked why Walker would attack public workers. He said that these are the people who purify our water, plow our streets, perform emergency services, keep our homes and streets safe, pick up our trash, treat our sewage, look after the welfare of those in need, teach our children, staff our schools. Public services keep our State great, he added.
Matthews concluded his statement by advising that Walker's proposal would not only destroy 45 years of cooperative labor relations between the School District and MTI, a system that daily provides the means to resolve work place issues, but would cost the average Madison teacher a loss of $5,168, and similar amounts for other District employees. MTI has negotiated payments by the District for health insurance and retirement deposits rather than wage increases, and now Governor Walker wants to force employees to pay those amounts with no consideration of the wages which were sacrificed so that the District would pay them.
Stay tuned to www.wkow.com for the latest on this developing story.