Janesville School District reaches tentative contract agreement with teachers

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Nick Crow
August 23, 2015

JANESVILLE — The Janesville School Board will vote on a tentative contract agreement with two of its employee union groups Tuesday.

The school board voted to go into negotiations with the labor groups for 2015-16 after a closed meeting last Monday.

Superintendent Karen Schulte released a statement Saturday regarding the tentative agreement.

"The Janesville Education Association (JEA) and the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) Region 6 have reached a tentative agreement with the School District of Janesville regarding a teacher base wage adjustment for the 2015-16 school year," Schulte said in the statement.

"The tentative agreement will be considered by the full Board of Education at its August 25 meeting and will be submitted to the JEA membership for ratification during the week of August 24, 2015."

JEA President Dave Groth said he is aware of "approximately" what action the board may take Tuesday but declined to comment until action is taken.

The board is scheduled to go into a closed session meeting to discuss the matter at 5 p.m. The regular meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Approval of an agreement is listed as an action item on the board agenda.

The board could also consider approving "other compensation matters regarding district employees" during the regular meeting, according to the board agenda.

Last June, the school board voted unanimously to give teachers a 1.46 percent base wage increase after the first meeting between the two groups.

That agreement ended June 30.

The raise was the maximum amount teachers could receive under Act 10 guidelines.

Act 10 removed the ability for unions to negotiate for anything but base wage increases based on the Consumer Price Index. It also allows a district to impose an offer on base wage if a mediator declares an impasse.

Two years ago, the JEA and district were forced into mediation after months of negotiations failed to lead to an agreement on a teacher contract. The school board eventually offered a 0.75 percent base wage increase for teachers after an agreement wasn't reached by the deadline with a mediator.

Last year, the board also gave all non-bargaining employees a 1.46 percent increase to their supplemental pay. Teachers received their 1.46 percent increase through a combination of base wage and supplemental pay increases.

Supplemental pay, which involves wages earned in addition to base pay, was previously determined using a system taking years of experience and education credit hours into account.

School officials have said that supplemental pay would be based on a rewards-based performance evaluation for teachers beginning this year. It is unclear if that system is part of current negotiations.

In other agenda items, the board will:

— Meet new Marshall Middle School assistant principal Mike Matteson.

— Consider a one-year contract extension for Schulte.

— Receive a Janesville International Education Program update.

— Decide whether to broadcast all board committee meetings.

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