Tonight the school board approved the contract that was ratified Monday night by the Green Bay Education Association. On the surface it looks as though the Green Bay School District should be commended, as should teachers in the district who voted what the union called an ultimatum.
“It was the lesser of two evils and if you look at the expression on the teachers that were here you can tell that this isn’t something that we’re happy with,” said Toni Lardinois, president, Green Bay Education Association.
In a letter to the community, Superintendent Maass points out this had to be done:
Leadership is not easy. During difficult times, a leader has to balance the welfare of staff with that of the organization or company. Under the current budget proposal, the district will face a $20 million shortfall. With the current political climate, the Board of Education met on Sunday for seven hours to create a Memorandum of Agreement, offering a two-year contract extension to our teacher’s union, the Green Bay Education Association (GBEA).
The Memorandum was passed last night by GBEA members. I know this was a difficult vote for our staff to make, but it will help the organization in its short- and long-term financial goals. These sacrifices are greatly appreciated, and we are still driven to make the district the choice workplace in the area.
So just what were some of the sacrifices made?
Similar to what Governor Walker has proposed, the union’s collective bargaining is eliminated except when it comes to wages.
But, salaries will remain frozen at the current rate except for step increases, based on length of service.
The district will no longer have to bargain with the union on setting the school calendar, allowing for cost savings when it comes to the operation of the schools.
The new contract allows the district to make staffing changes no longer based on seniority. Teachers can also be reassigned as needed and their schedules modified to meet the demands of a particular school, without previous workload restrictions and in some cases added compensation for teachers.
The changes also allows principals more flexibility in working with teachers outside the scheduled workday, for example supervising evening basketball games
The mandate on class size has also been suspended, meaning the district no longer needs union approval to add students beyond set levels. And if more students are added, additional compensation for teachers would no longer be required.
In addition full-time teachers would have to contribute 12% for heath insurance as well as dental insurance. The contract also calls for employees to pay the full employee share of pension benefits.
So what about that “Emeritus” program? It wasn’t totally eliminated, but did see changes. Most notably it became a tiered program, teachers hired after June 30, 2011 are ineligible, 45 days of service must be met & could be required within the first year.
Kudos to the Green Bay School Board for be willing to take a stand and not back down despite having to get a contract done quickly all things considered.
- Union Waste: Retiring Wisc. Teachers Given a Year’s Salary for 30 Day’s Work (chicagonow.com)
- Another Teachers Union Scam (theundergroundconservative.wordpress.com)
- “School board asked to discipline protesting teachers” and related posts (wrn.com)
- Good teacher union contracts essential (timesunion.com)