and employees in the Local 2485 (union) approved an agreement that the employees will contribute four percent of their wage toward the employee share of the Wisconsin Retirement System effective July 1, 2012.
Local 2485 employees include custodian/maintenance, clerical and assistant staff such as instructional and special education aides. The union also agreed to reduce long-term disability benefits from 90 percent of wages to 67 percent of wages and gained access to vision benefits.
In consideration of the concessions made by the union, the district agreed to maintain the current staffing of these groups, with the exception of clerical staff lost through attrition and potential assistant staffing changes due to fluctuating enrollment and program needs.
The overall savings to the district is expected to be $600,000 over the remainder of the collective bargaining agreement, which expires on June 30, 2013.
The Waukesha School Board approved the agreement in the form of a “memorandum of understanding” Wednesday night. Local 2485 approved the memorandum of understanding at a membership meeting March 3, according the district.
In November 2011, Wisconsin Act 65 made modifications to Wisconsin Act 10 which allows unions currently under a collective bargaining agreement to enter into a “memorandum of understanding” that reduces employer fringe benefit costs, according to the school district. Local 2485 has an existing collective bargaining agreement with the district.
School Board Member Steve Edlund praised the employees of the bargaining unit for their actions in “good faith” toward the district.
“Our employees didn’t have to do this … but they did,” Edlund said. “And these aren’t the top-paid employees of the district. I think that it says an awful lot about the character of these individuals who recognize that everybody in the state is in the same situation.”
School Board Member Joseph Como thanked the employees for cooperating with the district.
“My hat’s off to the union leadership and the members who voted in favor of this … to do what needs to be done to balance this budget in a cooperative manner, working together,” Como said. “Thank you for that cooperative approach.”