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Waukesha Teachers Union Contracts Approved for 2009-10 and 2010-11 School Years

New contract freezes teachers' pay for the 2009-10 school year and gives a 1 percent wage increase this school year. Contracts expire at the end of June.

The Waukesha School Board approved ontracts with the teachers’ union for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school year on Tuesday night during an emotionally charged meeting. 

The contracts include a wage freeze for the 2009-10 school year and a 1 percent increase this school year.

have been working without a contract since July 1, 2009, so the school district will pay the teachers for the back pay, which is being covered in this school year's budget.

The contracts approved Tuesday expire in four months and include a slower rate at which teachers can advance through the salary schedule. Under previous contracts, teachers could advance on the schedule to be among those receiving the top pay within nine years. Under the approved contracts, that scheduled was slowed down to take teacher 18 years to make it from the bottom of the pay scale to the top of the pay scale.

The school board had been negotiating that provision since Oct. 22. The new contract also allows the school district to reduce some starting salaries by $8,000, said School Board member Kurt O’Bryan.

Although members of the public commented during the meeting that it appeared that the district was slamming the contracts through based on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and proposed 2011-13 executive budget, O’Bryan noted that the district had not been able to negotiate the salary structure until recently. If the school board did not approve the new pay scale before the budget repair bill took place, the school district would have to remain on the accelerated schedule because wages remain subject to collective bargaining in the governor’s budget repair bill.

“We had a short, two-year window,” O’Bryan said. “If you were going to change it, it had to be done now.”

The contracts run through the end of the school year, which means the district will be able to use the provisions Walker is giving to school districts to balance budgets despite revenue caps and decreased funding as it begins working on the 2011-12 union contracts.

“It is all changing in four months,” O’Bryan said.

In addition to the changes in salary, teachers who are eligible will receive early retirement benefits paid in full for the first three years and paid up to the rate of the third year for the remain fourth and fifth year. This will allow the teachers who were unable to retire last year with the benefits to retire, allowing for higher paid teachers to leave the district.

By having those several dozen teachers retire, the school district can hire teachers at lower salaries, providing an additional savings as the school district plans for a multi-million deficit.

“That, in addition, is going to save us a lot of money,” said Waukesha School Board Member Patricia Madden.

Those retiring after the 2011-12 school year will be receiving caps on their retirement benefits at approximately 50 percent compared to this year’s retirees. That benefit ends with teachers retiring following the 2011-12 school year and is not applicable to the following school years.

School Board Member Steve Edlund was the lone opponent of approving the teachers’ union contracts. He tried to push off the vote for two more weeks, but his proposal failed.

“There is nothing that compares to this in the private sector,” said Edlund at one point in the meeting.

Further coverage of this issue, including public comment, will be on Waukesha Patch in the next several days.

Don Casey March 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM
To all: The QEO did have a positive impact on Waukesha taxpayers. By controlling teacher expenses to +3.8% and limiting the revenue to +2.2% the taxpayer saved significant money. My town of Waukesha home went up 100% in value from 1994 to 2010. MY school taxes are 20% lower today than they were in 1994. Yes Virginia Clementine, that' 20% real dollars. I would rather have the 1994 dollars but what the heck. No Mr. Edlund, it doesn't matter that the state paid more after 1994. I clearly stated I pay 20% less. It's true; it's accurate. Why do I care where the support comes from. I PAY LESS. So do many Waukesha taxpayers. Don't complain about school taxes. Get more businesses to Waukesha like the new Walmart which is not in a TIF District and PAYS significant property taxes to the city and the school district. The Shoppes at Fox Run do not contribute tax dollars at this time. If my taxes for schools are less, the taxes for the WCTC and the county are up. Town and city taxes are up. School taxes down. Take the other taxing units to task, not the teachers, custodians, and secretaries who have done more with less. Now the govenor has removed $500 milion from public-union spending habits. How many jobs will that cost the Waukeha tax base. At the same time, he has reduced the money to Waukesha Schools by $10,00o,ooo. Wait until there are 40 kids in a 5th grade classroom. Grow business and new homes, add dollars to the school's budget. Growth= improvement and jobs.
Reagan's Disciple March 28, 2011 at 01:46 PM
We could use 8 more like Steve Edlund on the Waukesha School Board.
Reagan's Disciple March 30, 2011 at 01:07 PM
For a fiscally conservative voice on the school board, Karin Rajnicek is the correct choice. All one has to do is drive by the former mayor, and teachers union leader Larry Nelson's house and you will see the signs of all the other candidates in his yard (with a Stilling/judge sign too). Interestingly enough, all 3 of those other candidates voted in favor of shoving through the union contract a few weeks ago. Now Nelson supports them, what a surprise?!?! Karin will be a fresh voice for Waukesha, parents and the kids. She has 3 of her own in the district. Only vote for one candidate on Tuesday! Vote Rajnicek!
Paul Paikowski March 30, 2011 at 01:33 PM
That private sector that is so sweet, then go there. What kind of people educate our children who can't figure that out. If you love money, live for it, work the private sector, open your own school and run it. Many degree holders have worked 20 years in the private sector and are still paying off their loans. I see two things driving the train of insanity and they are as timeless as the Garden of Eden. GREED SELFISHNESS
Reagan's Disciple March 31, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Just so everyone reading these blogs understands...... Don Casey is the Head Negotiator & Negotiations Director for....... the Waukesha Teacher's Union. Casey supports his candidates, and in turn they rush through contracts as they did a few weeks back to take care of the teachers. The last thing Don Casey and the union want is someone like Karin who will ACTUALLY put the children first, and not just use "children first" as a catchphrase. Please use one vote for Karin Rajnicek on Tuesday!

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