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District Offers Teachers Half-Percent Raise for 2011-12

Union wants to review school district's financial figures before submitting its wage increase proposal.

The Waukesha School District is prepared to offer its teachers a 0.5 percent wage increase for the 2011-12 school year, but the union is not yet prepared to give a wage proposal as it moves forward with negotiations.

The wage increases, if accepted by the union, would be paid to the teachers retroactively. After the 2011-12 contract is settled, school officials can begin work on the 2012-13 teaching contracts.

The settling of the past school year’s contracts were delayed because of changes in the state’s Act 10 collective bargaining law that limits public unions from negotiations except for wages. The school district’s last contract expired in June 2011. Teachers had wages frozen for the 2009-10 school year and received a 1 percent wage increase in 2010-11.

Under the new state law, collective bargaining is also limited to one-year contracts.

While the meeting initially was scheduled for last week, it was postponed until Monday because a Dane County judge declared the law was unconstitutional.

“We do believe that Act 10 is valid and has application here in Waukesha County,” said Gary Ruesch, the attorney for the School Board.

The Education Association of Waukesha still wants to review district financial figures before making its proposal for a wage increase.

“The primary goal of the EAW in these negotiations is to maintain economic security for the educators in the School District of Waukesha,” said Cathy Atkinson, union president. “Our teachers have gone over a year without any increase in earnings, which has resulted in lost earning power that could have been used to stimulate the economy. This has also taken a toll on career earnings of all educators.”

The bargaining groups will next meet in mid-November. The time between meetings will allow the district and the unions “to see how the dust settles” with ongoing litigation, said Ruesch.

Keith Best September 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Teacher UNIONS will be "for the children" when children pay union dues.
John September 25, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I just don't understand how a union, who's wages are paid by the taxpayer, has any right to review the books and try and dictate what their employer pays them. If ya want the job, this is the pay. Otherwise, go find another job. I am so sick of state employee unions, who's wages are paid by the taxpayer, dictating anything pertaining to what we, the taxpayer pay them. In my opinion, unions are a huge part of what is wrong in this country. Do you actually think that UAW didn't cause the need for a GM bailout?
Sarah Millard (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 02:27 PM
@John - anyone has the right to review the school district's financials. It's a government entity and should be subject to open records.
Louise September 25, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Isn't 2011 already over?
Johnny Paycheck September 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Everybody else with a job is making less than they were 5 or 8 years ago. Count yourself lucky to get anything at all.
B. Guenther September 25, 2012 at 08:49 PM
This is funny. Next to this article is a headline that reads "ACT Scores Decrease Slightly at Waukesha High Schools". And these teachers are asking for a raise?
Waukesha Common Sense September 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Haha, that is pretty good Militant. I was gonna say, I enjoyed reading the union president with this economic savy one liner - “Our teachers have gone over a year without any increase in earnings, which has resulted in lost earning power that could have been used to stimulate the economy." Why not give them 10% or 20% raises, private business profit would sky rocket no doubt.
B. Guenther September 26, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Yes because I am sure that the raise for several hundred teachers would have staved off the economic downturn here in Waukesha. I wonder if people think about how their comments will lokk to the rest of us before they say them.
Melvin Strommen October 02, 2012 at 05:29 PM
A teacher's retirement and insurance costs the taxpayers as much as $35,000 per year. That is tax-free money! Money they don't have to come up with to fund their retirement. After I pay my taxes, I don't have the money to fund my own IRA or buy insurance, yet I just paid for theirs. Why does the State pay their premiums, and not others? Are we all not equal citizens? Why is that contribution not taxable income to them...it is money in their pocket. Any money paid for the benefit of an employee should be taxable income.

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