MTI members

MTI members packed the auditorium at the Doyle Administration Building in April 2018 calling for higher base wages in the 2018-19 school year. Members again advocated for a base wage increase this year, and reportedly came to an agreement with the district Tuesday for a 2.44% increase.

The Madison School District has agreed to a 2.44% cost of living base wage increase for its teachers represented by Madison Teachers Incorporated, according to an MTI Facebook post Tuesday night.

The group, which represents more than 4,000 teachers, support staff, social workers and other school staff, presented a petition with more than 4,000 signatures to the School Board Monday night supporting the wage increase. The board later met in closed session to discuss negotiations.

MMSD officials approached MTI Tuesday to tell them the board had agreed to a tentative agreement with the increase, according to the Facebook post. Both MTI and the school board will have to ratify the agreement.

MTI executive director Doug Keillor said Wednesday the organization was "relieved and very pleased with the results," and appreciated the School Board supporting the raise.

"They’ve really sent a message to their employees that they really respect and value their work,” Keillor said. “That’s a strong message.”

School Board member Nicki Vander Meulen told The Cap Times in an email she was excited about the agreement.

“I am ecstatic that MTI and the teachers union reached an agreement to grant MTI members a cost of living increase,” Vander Meulen wrote. “A school is nothing without its teachers, staff, custodians, substitute teachers, educational aides, and all workers who strive everyday to make MMSD a premiere learning organization.”

According to the Facebook post, MTI will host a ratification meeting Thursday, Sept. 19.

Keillor stressed that the agreement will help all MMSD staff.

“This agreement is largely framed as teachers, but this is something that effects all employees in the school district," he said. “Some of the folks who need this the most are our least paid employees doing some of our toughest work with some of our neediest students.”

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Scott Girard is the local k-12 education reporter at the Cap Times. A Madison native, he joined the paper in 2019 after working for six years for Unified Newspaper Group. Follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.