Madison Teachers Strike
January 1976 Madison, WI
The 1976 teacher strike by MTI, led by its executive director, John Matthews, was called on January 4th, and schools shut their doors on the 5th. Fourteen days later, the teachers voted overwhelmingly to accept a contract offer.

Sue Bauman, then a Van Hise Middle School teacher, was head of the union's crisis committee. A couple of years after the strike, she left teaching, became an employment lawyer, and later became mayor of Madison.

The strike, along with the Hortonville, Wis., teachers strike a few years later, also provided the impetus for the state's adoption of a binding arbitration law for public entities. The law requires that both parties in a contract dispute engage in mediation or arbitration and it prohibits employees from striking.

John Matthews
Sue Bauman