MADISON, Wis. - Madison teachers will get a small raise in their next contract, which was agreed upon this week.
The increase will be 0.25 percent, something the Madison Teachers Incorporated executive director calls embarrassingly low.
"Our members were very pleased that we have a contract. They were not pleased with the economics of the contract, the wages, but virtually everything else we preserved," MTI Executive Director John Matthews said.
Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said the board has the ability to increase salaries during the annual budgeting process.
"We're talking about the 15-16 school year contract, which is the first year of a new biennial budget from the state," Cheatham said. "There were just too many unknowns and therefore too many risks to lock the school district into a salary increase that we might, when we get there, not actually be able to afford."
Matthews said the low wages and the passage of Act 10 are turning off current and future teachers from the profession.
He said numbers are their lowest in years for enrollment in education programs at universities around the state, and that his organization has seen more resignations than retirements.
With the contract passing, the Madison school district will be the only district in the state with teachers contracted through the 2015-16 school year.