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School Custodial/Clerical Union to Contribute to Retirement Package

Concessions made by union members will save Waukesha School District $600,000 on current contract that expires in 2013. The district, in return, agreed to save positions.

 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.”

Sarah Wonderiling March 20, 2012 at 06:01 PM
This is a win-win for the employees and the school district. This group of employees work hard and are not respected as much as they should be. That said, welcome to the real world where everybody has to pay their fair share, except of course congressmen and senators who get to "stick it to us"!
B.T. March 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Hey JON, Starting to see a pattern here.. how bout you.I've noticed in the past yr that those who respond so NEGATIVLY are the ones with the LONG criminal records. Don't you agree JoHn.
Dave Eckstrom March 22, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Let me get this straight: The employer gets to keep everyone working, so they avoid the problems of having to make do with less staff. The employees get a $600,000 cut in pay, so they get the problems of having to make do with less money. This is a win for the school district--it is not a "win-win." All of us need, no matter what we think of school district employees, have to start telling the truth about these cost savings the school districts are seeing. School workers are taking enormous hits in their pay (pay that has been virtually flat since the mid 90s in many cases) so the rest of us don't have to see mild tax increases ($64 per family per year is the number I've heard) or put up with less service for our kids in the schools. Call it whatever else you want, but if you call it a "win-win" you're not accurate.
richard warren March 26, 2012 at 03:17 AM
How is that the school teachers agree to this on their own- they did not have to. We talk about a state budget that has been facing deficits but the governor gets a raise in pay and thinks that he deserves it? I didn't know that that was what leadership is about? Interesting model for the governor to provide for us. He certainly doesn't need the increase in salary. Yet the teachers who have not gotten ahead financially are the ones who now agree to cut their salary and pay more for their benefits. I find it interesting that we have focused on public employees as the problem to our states financial "woes."
Jim March 29, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Hey Richard Warren you are either ignorant or uninformed about the pay raise that the Governor and others got last year. The state legislature cannot raise it's own pay in the current year so this raise was the doing of the last state legislature which saw fit to raise their pay as well as leave a $3.6 billion dollar deficit for the next group of guys to take care of. Yes I said it the Democrats raised their future pay knowing full well that the state didn't have the money to pay for it.

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