MMSD and MTI base wage increase proposals show large disparity 

The Capital Times reported an initial exchange of proposals for base wage increases between the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), the local teachers union, with MMSD proposing a 3.5% increase and MTI asking for 8%. MTI’s proposal represents the maximum allowed by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.  

It is estimated that a 3.5% increase would cost $9.1 million, while 8% would cost $20.8 million. Next Monday, administrators will publicly release initial budget proposals for 2023–24, with preliminary and final board approvals coming in June and October, respectively.  

As the state budget will not be finalized until summer, state investments in education are uncertain. District revenue projections have also been conservative in the past, with April revenue projections last year increasing by June and October.   

Last year, MMSD gave a 3% base wage increase, below the maximum 4.7% allowed, and funded “step and lane” increases based on years of experience and certifications, which added an average of 2% for many employees. MTI, however, points to increased base wages as a strategy for keeping MMSD competitive in a tight labor market and combating district and nationwide staff shortages.