Madison Area Technical College has begun assigning classes to full-time professors again after the restraining order placed on the college was lifted last Thursday.

In late October, Dane County Circuit Judge Juan B. Colas placed a temporary restraining order on MATC, preventing it from assigning classes to full-time faculty.

The restraining order came after MATC’s Part-time Teacher’s Union filed an unfair labor practice lawsuit against MATC for allowing full-time professors to overload their schedules up to 40 percent of their workload before part-time professors are assigned courses.

As a response to the court order, MATC discontinued the faculty assignment process last month.

According to a statement from MATC, the judge reversed his initial ruling after a Nov. 17 hearing, effectively lifting the restraining order placed on the college’s faculty assignment practice and denying the union’s request for an injunction to halt the practice.

MATC’s Vice President for Learner Success Terry Webb said the ruling on the case means the college can employ any assignment process it sees fit.

Webb said the college recommenced the assignment process Thursday morning, as soon as Colas had delivered his decision on the case.

“I am happy this part of the lawsuit is over and the college and faculty can move on to better serve the students,” Webb said.

In an e-mail to The Badger Herald, Part-Time Teachers’ Union Vice President Bob Curry said the union was somewhat disappointed by the ruling.

Curry added circuit courts don’t really “get” labor cases and it is evident from this ruling the court did not fully understand the harm this labor practice does to part-time instructors. 

“We don’t dispute that the full-time instructors are paid fairly for their work, but it’s pretty sad that their union colludes with MATC management to get them not just turkey and gravy and potatoes…but also extra dessert, while kicking the door shut on the lowest-caste teachers from even having their customary scraps,” Curry said.

According to Webb, the case will be moved to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, a body that hears cases on unfair labor practice disputes.

He said court dates have not been set yet, but he anticipates the process will take several months.