The Lack of Public Intellectuals at Community Colleges

Fear and disrespect keep faculty members from speaking out on major issues

Our public debates over educational issues like assessment, college readiness, the Common Core, online learning, student loans, corporatization, adjunctification, state funding, guns on campus, and tenure must include more faculty voices from community colleges. Those colleges are where, if you’ll forgive the cliché, the rubber meets the road. We serve students who most need financial aid, who are least likely to complete a degree, who work the most hours, who need tutoring services the most, who have the least family support, and who have suffered most from poor secondary education.” 

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My hard lessons teaching community college

The majority of my students will have a hard time "making it." Sometimes I wonder: Should they be in school at all?


"Stand up if you have ever been told that you weren't college material," the school president booms during the commencement ceremony.

It's a familiar shtick, the engaging audience-participation-enhanced introduction to the congratulatory speech he will make about our community college: the school where success begins. Where no matter what you have been told about your academic fitness, no matter whether you grew up in the ghetto or in the suburbs, no matter whether you are fresh out of high school or returning to college after raising your own children, you can make it! Cheers. Wild applause. Air horns.

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Federal Lawsuit Accuses For-Profit Schools of Fraud


LINWOOD, N.J. — It was the electronic monitor around a student's ankle that first gave Kelli J. Amaya serious doubts about the Harris School of Business.

The young man with the monitor was studying to be a pharmacy technician, and Ms. Amaya, who worked at Harris, a for-profit chain of trade schools, knew that the most widely recognized certification for pharmacy technicians excludes anyone convicted of a felony or even a low-level drug offense.

But the student received federal financial aid, and for the school to keep collecting it, he had to remain in the program and complete an internship. So Ms. Amaya said she was told to find him an internship, even if that meant deceiving the employer.

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Madland: My family's pay cuts paid for Scott Walker's 'surplus'

Governor Scott Walker's 2014 State of the State address served up a bumper crop of cherry-picked stats, a salad of statistical spam intended to stick it to Democrats who want to talk about how Wisconsin is falling behind the rest of the county. Put up enough financial indicators, and they will spin people's head around.

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William P. Jones and
Peter Rickman:
Honor King with a living wage

"What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't have enough money to buy a hamburger?" Martin Luther King Jr. asked in 1968. King is most widely remembered for his leadership in the civil rights movement, but also he insisted throughout his public life that gains toward racial equality must be accompanied by living wages for all working people.

As our nation celebrates King's life, we would do well by his legacy to embrace his powerful vision of economic justice.

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Retired MATC employees are in line for a boost after a strong performance by the Wisconsin Retirement System trust funds. 

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board reported the Core Fund, the larger of the trust funds, had a preliminary return of 13.5 percent, pushing its overall value to $86.5 billion. 

The Variable Fund ended the year with a preliminary return of 29 percent, upping its value to $7.2 billion. 

SWIB said that should mean a pay increase for annuitants in the spring, along with a reduction in contribution rates in 2015 for public employees and governments. 

See the release: 

Local 212 Launches
reMember Campaign.

I ReMembered

Local 212 will begin our reMember campaign the week of October 28th.

The reMember campaign is Local 212’s membership sign-up effort required by Act 10, Governor’s Walker’s anti-union law. We need all of YOU to sign new membership cards to keep Local 212 the strong and active union that it is.

For more than 80 years MATC’s faculty, counselors and professional staff have been represented by Local 212. We won collective bargaining rights in 1959 and since the early 1960s have negotiated contracts that ensure job security, academic freedom, faculty control of the classes, labs, clinicals, certification and  curriculum, sabbaticals, professional development, career paths for part time faculty and paraprofessionals,  and much much more. Local 212 and MATC work because of we have an organized and dedicated membership who are members of a strong and active local union.

Currently, MATC collects union dues for Local 212. The college should continue to do this through our successor contract, which begins in February 2014 and ends in February 2015. But because of Act 10, nothing is certain in these uncertain times. 

Because of this uncertainty, our attorneys have advised us to ask you to sign new membership cards authorizing Local 212 to deduct dues from your bank account in the event, and only in the event, that MATC stops doing it for us. Deductions would be monthly just as they are for your electric or phone bill.

We will be holding reMember sign-up days and informational meetings at all campuses beginning the week of October 28th. See the date for your campus below or check your on-campus mail boxes. We are also trying to establish an on-line sign-up protocol.

When you sign-up, Local 212 will provide you with a tier for your current dues. All you need to do is sign the new membership card and fill in your code.  We will also provide you with your current COPE(Committee on Political Education) so you can confirm that contribution, increase or decrease it on the card.

We are using one card, so that the financial institution handling our accounts does not charge Local 212 for two transactions. 

You will also need to provide us with your bank account number and routing number, so please bring that information to the reMember meetings at your campus.

If you forget to bring your bank information, you can still sign up. Just call or email us with the bank information later; however, if you bring your bank’s information when you sign up, it will reduce the workload for our office staff.

The information we collect is entirely confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside our organization and the financial institution we are using.

You will be notified if MATC stops collecting dues and before Local 212 has to activate the bank withdrawals.

For generations Local 212 has played a vital role at MATC and in the broader community. Your pay, benefits, professional development, rights on the job and due process, academic freedom, job security, control over curriculum and class size, the college’s funding, and more are all the result of the tireless efforts of generations of professional educators who came before us. While collective bargaining rights allowed us to institutionalize these gains more effectively, Local 212 won many of these gains before we had the legal right to engage in collective bargaining.

Local 212 will continue to represent, organize, and fight for you, MATC’s professional educators, whether or not Act 10 is restored.  To be prepared for any eventuality, we need You to join the reMember campaign now!

If you have any questions, feel free to write or call the local 212 office at 414-765-0910,ext.15 or email


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An Evening with Diane Ravitch

Author of Reign of Error:
The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and
the Danger to America's Public Schools

The event has been postponed. It will be rescheduled for a future date. Sorry for the inconvenience.


upcoming events

May 1st - May Day
March and rally against deportations and to restore the promise
of public education - 1027 S. 5th  St., 10 am.

May 5th - Cinco de Mayo
Latino Book Distribution @ Forest Home School

May 8th - Local 212 social Solidarity Party
Milwaukee Turners 1034 N 4th Street from 4-7 pm.

December 2nd - Local 212 COPE Interview
with Chris Moews, candidate for Sheriff, Milwaukee County M616 noon

AFT Scholarships announced

The Robert G. Porter scholarship is now accepting applications. It offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.

Scholarship Eligibility

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for high school students is open to graduating high school seniors.
  • Applicants must have at least one parent or legal guardian who is an AFT member.
  • The AFT member whose child or legal dependent applies for a scholarship must be a member in good standing for at least one year.
  • Children or legal dependents of AFT national, state or local union staff are not eligible for this scholarship opportunity.

For more information go to:

The Union Plus Credit Card program is one of 40 Union Plus benefits designed to meet the needs of hard-working union members like you.

  • Earn unlimited, no-hassle, 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
  • Hardship assistance grants1
  • Competitive rates

Learn more at:
or call 1-800-522-4000

Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at

Another card option is available. Credit approval required. Terms & Conditions apply. Union Plus Credit Cards Issues by Capital One, N.A. The MasterCard Brand Mark is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.

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Provider of Union Plus Benefits
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All rights reserved.

If you no longer wish to receive Union Plus commercial emails or would like to update your account settings, please use this link or respond to this email with "REMOVE" as the subject line.

The emails just keep coming to the 212 office because never before has MATC opened with facilities in such dire disarray and disorganization.

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Local 212 Executive Board Meeting
Monday, February 3, 2014
Union office @ 4:15p.m.

Local 212 General Membership Meeting
Thrusday, January 30, 2014
West Campus, Room 117 @ 4:15 p.m

Local 212 Social Solidarity Event:
Milwaukee Admirals
vs. Grand Rapids Griffins

Saturday February 1, 2014
BMO Harris Bradley Center @ 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $16 for adults and $13 for children

Featuring the UW Badger Band playing throughout the game and then a "show" on the ice afterwards.

Deadline to purchase: Wednesday, January 29th
Form more information, please call the Union office (414)765-0901
Click here for order form.

Labor Day Union Rights March 2013

More than 100 AFT Local 212 members and their families march for living wages, citizenship and union rights on Labor Day, September 2, 2013.