Wednesday, March 15, 2006

MATC Rips Off Taxpayers

Columnist Bruce Murphy is a liberal, but sometimes he can sound pretty conservative about people throwing around the taxpayer’s money like nobody worked hard to make it.

He, for example, has been quite skeptical about TIF (tax incremental financing) districts to subsidize development. He was particularly unhappy about a plan to subsidize Manpower, Inc. to move from Glendale into the center of Milwaukee’s downtown.

Now posts a story, long overdue in the Milwaukee media, about the amount of money faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College make.

Discussing a spat between MATC President Darnell Cole and faculty union president Michael Rosen, he notes that:
One thing the union has built is a pretty good level of pay. Take Rosen himself. A public records request shows he earned $118,425 last year. Not bad for an economics instructor at a two-year college.

The standard load for MATC teachers is five courses or 15 hours of teaching a week (plus preparation time and office hours). Rosen teaches an “overload” of courses during the year and also earns more by teaching in the summer. Over the years, contractual negotiations have jacked up the pay for “above load” work and for pay to part-time instructors. In essence, MATC pays the same for part-time teachers as it would for full-timers to take on more classes, which leaves no incentive to hire part-timers.

The end result is a system where the average full-time instructor earns $91,000. All those above this average are teaching above load. On average, this leaves an MATC instructor earning about $23,000 more than a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor and about $13,000 more than a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor.
Of course, the teaching load (ten courses per year) is double that at Marquette, and two and a half times a typical load at UW-Madison.

But if that is such a crushing teaching burden, why do MATC faculty seek to make more money teaching even more classes on an overload basis?

Also, the publishing expectations at MATC are essentially zero, while being substantial at Marquette and UWM, and even greater at Madison.

Then there is the fact that virtually the entire faculty at four year colleges have Ph.D. degrees, while that credential is relatively rare at MATC.

What we seem to have is the all too typical case of unionized public sector workers getting pay and benefits well above what prevails in the competitive sectors of the economy.

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