Monday, December 14, 2009
The general public is also invited to support our cause.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Dear Editor: I teach an ESL (English as a second language) course offered by Madison Area Technical College twice a week at the Lussier Community Education Center. Students in ESL levels one through five may enroll at any time, with more than 25 students enrolled this semester.
Normally, between 15 and 20 attend, ranging from those who cannot read any language to those who test at level four. Students are not required to purchase a text. Instead, the instructor develops curriculum materials for each student performance level from a range of resources.
For example, for last Tuesday’s class, I assembled a grocery bag of food items for teaching food vocabulary to the pre-literate/level one group, wrote three pages of dialogs for the level twos, and prepared two reading/writing projects for the level threes/fours. Luckily, I kept the class on schedule (no new students showed up to register) and we got everything done.
Does this sound like a challenging course to teach? It is. And yet Madison College entrusts this class to me, a member of the part-time faculty, someone who earns far less than half the pay of a full-time faculty member for a course of equal length.
Unlike many others, I do not have to support myself on a part-time instructor’s pay. Still, I feel exploited and undervalued as I follow the contentious negotiations between Madison College and the Part-Time Teachers Union. College President Barhorst has said I’m “not serious” about my work. And the college board wants to make an already-huge salary discrepancy between full-time and part-time faculty even bigger.
Perhaps college board members are simply out of touch with what part-time teachers deal with, gladly and professionally, every day. Maybe that’s why they persist in a business strategy that demoralizes and causes financial hardship to so many.
Sue made clear what all part-timers feel - that the administration has little respect for the work that we do. More letters like this sharing personal stories will be the key to ensuring that the public understands what part-time instructors do for our community.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I wanted to update you on the work that is being done with the implementation of the new college logo. As you can imagine, it is a significant project with many components. I will lead the conversion project but will be working very closely with Tech Services, Divisional Business Analysts and all other college work units so we can have a successful implementation. We are still assessing scope and will not have our formal timeline completed until after the first of the year. We know you have many questions, so here is what we can share at this point:It seems like the MATC Administration is spending a lot of resources on what amounts to a nickname change. The obvious question here is why? Couldn't those resources be better spent on programs that will help students? We should all take the time to contact the administration to let them know our frustration over the time and money spent on this frivolous change.
1. Yes, it is okay to start using the logo. Logo style and usage guides are being developed and will be posted to the web for downloading and use by January 1st. If you have an immediate need please let me know and we can get an art ready logo to you.
2. We have a tentative goal of introducing the logo on level one and level two of the converted to new logo by January 1st. The deeper levels of the web will be changed out by the content managers when time and resources permit. Our goal would be to have MATC references removed from the Web site by the start of the Fall semester.
3. Tech Services is working on a plan for the conversion to madisoncollege.edu. In the interim please list realworldsmart.com as the college web address in any printed or web materials. This address will always redirect to our homepage and will be our transition address until our new address is ready for use.
4. We are currently working on a transition plan for employee and student emails. This is a critical part of the conversion and Tech Services is researching available alternatives. Since our email address will be changing sometime in the next six months you will want to limit your supplies of any new materials that list email addresses. As we work out the details we can be more specific on timing of the change so you can plan appropriately.
5. New letterhead, envelopes will be available after the first of the year and letterhead templates will be available on line. We will order business cards for Lead ship Council once we have our new email address confirmed.
6. We will be meeting with all work units on the transition. We will train you on the use of the new logo and help you develop a workable transition plan for your area. We will try and make the conversion as easy as possible and will share the unit conversion schedule once it is completed.
7. We are currently developing a FAQ for the website and a fact sheet for you to share with internal and external stakeholders. This fact sheet can be shared with community members, advisory groups and other groups and will help explain the process and rationale.
We will keep you posted on our progress. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Please share this information with your staff. Thanks! Diane
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
*1.) Gwen Torkelson is quoted as saying that 77% of the part-time faculty have a seniority level of three years or more. This is categorically untrue. [We] have the raw employee data from the past school year that lists the seniority level of each teacher who was assigned a course. This data was provided to us by the college's payroll department. The breakout is as follows:One of our main messages all along has been that we want to improve part-time instructor retention. This would save in both training & recruiting costs and provide a better education from more experienced teachers.
0 to 6 semesters seniority- about 63%
7 to 13 semesters seniority- about 15%
14 to 20 semesters seniority- about 7 %
21 + semesters of seniority- about 15%
*2.) [The Clarion] was provided with "data" that was incorporated into your chart on page 4, and it was presented in such a way as to make the result grossly misleading. The averaging salary for a newly hired full time instructor between 2006 and 2009 was $70,070, plus benefits worth $37,357 per year. That instructor, if teaching a full load will spend 500 hours in the classroom. The part time hourly figures you were given apply only to classroom hours. We are not paid for any work outside the classroom, even though it is expected and necessary (preparing for lecture, grading, etc.). The full time compensation model assumes that over an hour is spent outside the classroom for every hour spent inside the classroom. Only 15 hours of their work week, maximum, is actually spent in the classroom.We spend just as much time preparing outside of class as full time instructors, so why aren't we compensated as such?
In addition, bear in mind that the starting salary average has been increasing , even the $70,070 figure is significantly lower than the average 2009 starting salary.
If you take that $70,070 and divide it by the number of hours the full time teacher spends actually physically present in the classroom, the hourly rate is $140.14/hr. With benefits, it is $214.85/hr. If part time faculty members were paid for time spent outside the classroom, then your comparison might be valid. Perhaps another way to look at it, if you want to use your numbers, is that full time faculty are paid for 2-3 hours of work for every hour spent in class, while part time faculty are only paid 1 hour for every hour spent in class.
*Note: Retort data complied by P/t Union President Mike Kent.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We want to make this a group effort - so the more, the merrier.
Monday, November 23, 2009
One of the interviewees mentioned that one of the most difficult issues for the program is fear of teacher retention. The monetary cost of training coupled with the time needed to properly train on the job should be familiar issues for the MATC administration. Apparently they don't mind, though, because part-time instructor turnover continues to hover around the 40% mark - an unacceptable level if we are keeping the best interest of our students and community in mind.
That begs the question: Is the MATC administration really doing what is best for the community?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This will be a collaborative effort with many contributors from various union committees. We had hoped to add another dimension to our public face and social networking was the obvious next step. Please leave any feedback on the Twitter functionality either here or as retweets so that we can work out any bugs.
Thanks in advance.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- Students who continue to teach us as we impart our skills to them.
- Colleagues who support, inform, and challenge us.
- A community that values our efforts to make a positive impact on the local economy.
- The P/t Union bargaining team & committees who have worked so hard this year to bring equity and fairness to part-time instructors.
The holiday season can be a busy time, but we still have to keep up the good fight. Don't forget to contact the MATC Board to voice your concern over part-time faculty inequality.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
But inevitably, the public has pushed back against some of decisions leaders are making at MATC, now known as Madison College.
As the college struggles to manage an 11 percent increase in enrollment this fall, it has had to make some tough cuts.
That includes quietly eliminating some adult continuing education courses, which are non-credit, skills based courses. Sometimes considered hobby courses, administrators say they need to make room for programs that will help people get jobs.
The P/t Union also had a voice at the November Board Meeting.
If administrators hope to convince the public to fund a major facilities expansion, they need to make sure not to alienate the people they count on for support, said Mike Kent, president of MATC's part-time teachers' union.
For instance, many of the people who take the continuing education courses are seniors - the same people who pay attention to community issues and vote in local elections.
"The college needs to be sensitive to the needs of all the different stakeholders in the community," Kent said. "The folks taking these courses are definitely a group the college needs to be sensitive to. People who are paying property taxes. People who are going to be voting in every election."
The college is also butting heads with Kent's group, which argues that the pay gap between part-time and full-time teachers is too large.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Otherwise, continue to inundate the administration with email:
- President, Bettsey Barhorst - BBarhorst@matcmadison.edu
- Vice President, Roger Price - RWPrice@matcmadison.edu
- Vice President, Terrance Webb - TSWebb@matcmadison.edu
- Asst. to the Board, Ellen Hustad - EHustad@matcmadison.edu
Or snail mail:
MATC Board of Directors c/o
Madison Area Technical College
3550 Anderson Street
Madison, WI 53704
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
AFT's Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) initiative is a national campaign to reverse the crisis in instructional staffing at our nation's colleges and universities. Through organizing, legislative advocacy and collective bargaining, FACE is designed to achieve two goals simultaneously:Achieving full equity in compensation for contingent faculty members; and
Ensuring that 75 percent of undergraduate classes are taught by full-time tenure and tenure track faculty and that qualified contingent faculty have the opportunity to move into such positions as they become available.
The campaign goals are designed to be phased in over time to ensure that there is no job loss for contingent faculty currently working at a college or university. For more information about the FACE campaign, read our Call to Action.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
But, part-time instructors also have the foresight to realize that they are teaching their future colleagues. They have a vested interest in ensuring quality education and training because they may well depend on their students in some capacity in the professional world. Is this purely due to self interest? Of course not. What is good for the students is good for the long-term stability of their industry and the community.
A strong, well trained work force is a hallmark of the new economy - for jobs that cannot be outsourced, jobs that bolster local markets. Part-time instructors know what they are imparting to the next generation of laborers, entrepreneurs, and thinkers will have a lasting effect. So, help us help you.
Support MATC P/t Union!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
"If part-time faculty are really being exploited, they should quit," you might say. They do. Over 30 percent of the 1,200 part-time faculty leave the school every year. More than 60 percent of the part-time faculty have less than three years of seniority with the school. Good, extremely well-qualified teachers leave the school every semester.
"Well, even if they are quitting, they are easily replaceable in this area." Not really. The dystopian ethic of treating skilled, conscientious professionals as human commodities notwithstanding, it takes more than an advanced degree to teach academic classes in the technical colleges. Instructors must obtain Wisconsin Technical College System certification, which requires the completion of more than 300 uncompensated hours of coursework, and the fulfillment of certain industry
experience and expertise requirements.
The big picture here is that taking car of teachers is best for students and best for our region.
The status quo must change. A 40 percent graduation rate is not healthy for the region. A 30 percent annual turnover rate for part-time faculty is toxic to the quality of education. MATC's administration needs to spend less time and energy on changing the name of the college or planning building acquisitions and more time dealing with the real crisis affecting the institution right now. You can't build on a rotting foundation, and the deliberate disregard of these issues is like fiddling while Rome burns.Well said, Mike.
Obama's American Graduation Initiative is aimed at helping people like Gary Ramthun go back to school.
After 35 years of working in manufacturing, Ramthun lost his job last December.
"I looked for work and decided I would try my luck at going back to school and starting my own business," said Ramthun.
Now he is a full-time student at Madison College, trying to get certified to
perform home inspections.
"My biggest reason for coming back was the opportunity to get the education to be able to move back into the workforce without taking four years out of my life," said Ramthun. "And at my age, four more years is going to make it that much harder to get a job."
The American Graduation Initiative would give $12 billion in federal funds to community colleges across the country. Madison College officials say a grant like this
would be the first of its kind.
Gary is exactly the type of student that part-time instructors are instrumental in helping. He is most likely taught by several p/t faculty currently in the field. He is gaining critical knowledge and perspective on an industry (home inspection~real estate) that has been in the midst of a difficult recession and dramatic policy changes. Part-time instructors see these changes real-time.
Help us help students like Gary. It's good for students and good for the Madison area economy.
*also, note the comments in the link above*
Friday, October 23, 2009
“This isn’t something that can’t be done,” Curry said. “Now we’re just looking for some creative leadership within management. If you’re going to give full-time teachers $800 raise, give us the same, and not just a percentage. Two percent of dirt is dust.”Good work Bob! Our cause is becoming more obvious to the public every day. Keep up with the comments on all online content so we can keep this story at the top of the heap for as long as possible.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have. - Lee Iacocca
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This was submitted as a comment, but works well as a stand-alone post. This is one part-time instructor who intends to be heard.
I am a part time instructor for MATC. I attended the protest. While our turn out was small, the part time instructors are 1,400 strong. Some could not attend because they receive such low pay from MATC that they have to work additional jobs. First of all, Jon Anderson skews the facts. The part time union is mindful of the economy. We are not asking for a raise. In fact, we have requested to freeze wages. We are asking for job security, for the security of the ACE program, for the wage gap between full time and part time instructors to cease, and for respect from administration. I invite Channel 27 News to take a tour of the Part Time Faculty Office room 216 at the Truax campus. Visit the overcrowded closet that is called an office where approximately 1,400 part time faculty are allowed to squat at one of the 13 desks(only 11 of which have working computers). We have to purchase our own software. Not only are we required to have advanced degrees, but we are required to take additional courses from the Wisconsin College Technical College System. It is unpaid training. The President of MATC hasn’t taken all of the required certification classes.
Without the additional training, I spend 25-35 hours a week on a part time job that I love: teaching. If I’m lucky, I’ll receive $10,000 this year. I do not have any health benefits. I just received BadgerCare. I’m poor enough to receive food stamps, but I don’t ask for them. We are as qualified as full time staff. We stand in solidarity with our full time faculty. We pick up classes at the last foreseeable moment with an overflow of students (approximately 14% increase in enrollment this semester). We rearrange other jobs around so we can continue to do what we love: teaching. In our current request, we are asking for consideration in regard to scheduling of classes.MATC loves to put students first. In fact, if it weren’t for part time teachers who pick up at least 35% of the current teaching load, our students wouldn’t’ be able to take the classes they do. If MATC wants to focus on the needs of students, they must take a long, hard look at the way they treat part time instructors. MATC needs to stop being a revolving door for qualified instructors, over 30% of whom leave MATC for other opportunities. If MATC cares so much about the education of its students, it will do what it can to retain the qualified professional educators they employ. It costs thousands of dollars to train part time employees each semester. It costs students even more. Dr. Bettsey Barhorst has called part time instructors “dabblers” and implied that we are, in some unknown manner, baseball players who are not qualified enough to play in the “major leagues.” Put students first. Treat part time instructors with the appropriate respect we deserve. The benefits are immeasurable.
"We're not asking for any wage increase in this upcoming school year and we're not asking for benefits. What we're really asking for starting in 2011 that the college agree to lock in whatever the gap is right there an not let it get any bigger," says Part-Time Teachers Union Rep Mike Kent.The MATC Administration gave their side of the story.
MATC's attorney Jon Anderson says they are working on resolving contract disputes.
Anderson says their part-time workers have salaries competitive to other Wisconsin technical colleges.
He says the school has to be sensitive to the condition of the economy and to taxpayers.
Again, we need to drive home that we not asking for a pay increase for next year. We, too, are sensitive to the condition of the economy and taxpayers. Also, we should not be compared to other technical colleges as our point of reference is the steady gap in compensation with full-time faculty at Madison Area Technical College.
Please go to WKOW's site and comment on this issue. We must ensure that the public knows that we are not trying to rip-off taxpayers during a recession and that our issues lie with the steadily growing wage gap.
Make sure to visit the site and leave comments. More comments = more exposure.
The union has been wrangling for higher wages with the MATC District Board, citing the widening pay gap between full- and part-time faculty.
To further call attention to the cause, the union also hopes to purchase air time, produce print ads, and buy billboard space, according to an article in The Cap Times. There's even an MATC part-time faculty blog dedicated to the issue.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We hope to update often. If you have any ideas for video content or an existing video you would like to upload, leave a comment with contact information.
Thanks for your support!
We appreciate your support. We think the more people know about the situation the better the chances that we'll be able to change the attitudes of the current leadership. We have the advantage of having the truth on our side. The more we can spread the word, the better. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
-Part-time Teachers' Union President Mike Kent
Also, letters to the MATC Board of Trustees can be sent to:
If you choose to send an email to the board, please cc the p/t union as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.MATC District Boardc/o Ellen Hustad3550 Anderson St.Madison, WI 53704or e-mailed to email@example.com
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It's good stuff. Too often, I feel that labor unions don't put contract negotiation in a wider-societal context. While I could go on and on about solidarity, and mutual aid in detail, I'd rather simply say: I want to live in a world where part-time teachers at the MATC are treated fairly and receive reasonable pay. That would be a nice world, yes?Fair is fair. Thanks for your support!
Overall, the effort seems positive and well-supported, but it seems the (well-paid) MATC administration really wants to maintain the status quo. This situation is not limited to MATC by any means, which I must stress; this is a national situation, affecting all higher learning institutions. Mostly, this is facilitated by the degree-farm mentality that allows universities to accept more grad students and grant more degrees than there could possibly be jobs: all to keep balanced budgets by using grad students as cheap labour.Well said, Carl! This is something else to keep in mind: we are not just fighting for us. We are fighting to set a precedent that may affect p/t teachers down the road both at MATC and other institutions. The future of our colleagues is ours to shape.
By my estimation, part-time teachers do the same work as full-time teachers, just on a smaller scale, so why shouldn’t they be paid at a level commensurate with what full-time teachers are making? It’s good to see the part time teaching staff at MATC standing up for themselves, and I hope they’re able to get some resolution to their situation.Again, this outpouring of support is outstanding. Thank you!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Remember - we fully support the current and future compensation levels of Full-time Faculty. We simply want our own wages to keep pace.
This wave of good press is exactly what we need. Bob Curry displayed the heart of the issue with this zinger:
After discovering a growing gap between the pay of part-time and full-time instructors at Madison Area Technical College, the college’s Part-time Teachers’ Union began bargaining to address the salary discrepancy.
“We looked at the trends for the part-timers at MATC and the trends for the full-timers at MATC, and what we found is that over at least the past 10 years, the gap in compensation is getting wider and wider on a per-course basis,” said Mike Kent, president of the MATC Part-time Teachers’ Union.
“You go to school, earn your degrees, bring valuable real-world experience into the classroom, keep up with your certification and you can make more money as a fry cook,” Curry said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald.Take Bob's line as an example. We need to continually comment and email ALL print and online media sources. The more noise we make and feathers we ruffle the more press we get.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Making less money for doing the same job as someone else sucks, I’ve been there, which is why I am happy to publicize the part-time faculty’s cause. The image in this post conveys the essence of the problem.We couldn't agree more, Jim. Thank you for your support!
Recently, though, President Barhorst has decided to take the already unfair situation and make it demeaning and condescending as well. She informed the Union that “… if part-time faculty were serious about a career in teaching, that they should apply for a full-time position, here or someplace else.” She suggested also “…for part-time faculty, teaching was just some extra thing they do in their lives.” Hobby Teaching Professionals!? Do you suppose that these people went to obtain an extra six to ten years of expensive university training beyond high school for a HOBBY? Wouldn’t stamp collecting have been cheaper and with fewer headaches! And, can anyone imagine that these people, many of whom have PhDs in their field, aren’t already applying for the scant number of full-time tenured positions offered across the country?Well said, indeed!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Information received from four-year colleges and universities tell us our transferring students do better than students who entered those institutions as freshman. ICC students have the advantage of faculty with master’s and doctorate degrees, rather than having teaching assistants teach classes. Our small size allows faculty to know students as individuals, not as Social Security numbers.Seems as though 11 years has changed our president's feelings toward community and technical college teachers. Wait, do part-time faculty have the same qualifications as full-time faculty? Of course. Well, then something must have changed in the general perception of how advantageous it is to have master's and doctoral level faculty teaching students...
The third obvious difference is that in the majority of cultures other than our own, there is very high respect for faculty and education in general. Teachers have high pay and high status.So, high pay and status set us apart from our European counterparts. How then, is it proper to pay part-time faculty significantly less than full time? We share the same qualifications and upkeep requirements.
Perhaps it is Bettsey's perspective that has changed. MATC is a fine institution with VERY well qualified full- and part-time faculty. As she has said in the past, it is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. Let's keep it that way.
Fair pay for all faculty. This is the only way to ensure equality.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Above is a visualization of the total compensation per course at 500 contact hours per year (i.e. 5 three-credit courses per semester). As can clearly be seen, the wage gap has been steadily increasing for over a decade and shows no sign of stopping.
The Part-time Teachers' Union is only asking that this gap remain the same. In other words, we would like the same dollar amount increase as the full-time faculty, not a percentage. To this end, we have even offered to suspend any wage increases until 2011 due to the current economic climate. Has the administration budged? What do you think?
According to the union's figures, the average part-time teacher at MATC, who receives no benefits, will earn about $2,600 per three-credit course during the 2009-10 school year. A full-time faculty member, meanwhile, gets an average of nearly $13,400 in total compensation (pay plus benefits).This level of disparity will only increase as raises continue to be given on a percentage basis.
It is obvious from the above statement that the MATC administration is balancing its budget through the part-time faculty.
MATC generally employs about 450 full-time faculty and some 1,200 part-timers in a given year, with more than a third of all classes being taught by part-time teachers.
"Part-time and full-time teachers need the same education requirements, the same certification requirements, the same in-the-field requirements to be able to teach," says Kent, who has taught everything from employment and business law to labor relations, ethics and college success. "So everything is the same between the groups -- except the pay."
*if you comment on the cap. times website, we can keep this story at the top of their news feed, so get on it*