Teachers union caught off guard by MMSD reopening plan

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MADISON, Wis. – When MMSD announced its phased reopening plan Wednesday morning the teachers’ union was not ready.  The new plan lays out details to start bringing students, educators and support staff back to the classroom starting March 9th.

A spokesperson for Madison Teacher’s Inc. says they were unaware of the timing of the announcement and there was miscommunication with the district over when the news would be made public.

“The decision to do this caught everyone off guard,” MTI Spokesperson Ed Sadlowski said Thursday.

Madison Teachers Inc. leaders have been working with the district on a plan to reopen.  Sadlowski says the district has not met many items on MTI’s list of expectations for teachers to come back to schools, including voluntary returns and hazard pay.

“There’s been no ability to discuss (hazard pay) at this point,” he says. “There’s a lot of concern still, appropriate concern,” Sadlowski said about teachers coming back.  “We continue to raise the fact that were in a pandemic and schools are not set up to prevent infection,” Sadlowski says.

News 3 Now has asked MMSD for comment.  MMSD Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins said on Wednesday that Madison Teacher’s Inc. was consulted in its decision to return to a phased in-person learning model and was not concerned about opposition.