Janesville school board offers contract changes - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Janesville school board offers contract changes

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By Julia Fello - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Before Gov. Scott Walker's revised repair law takes effect next week, many teachers unions and school districts are working together to revise their bargaining agreements, including the Janesville School District.

After about two and a half hours of negotiations Tuesday, the board voted to suggest the unions modify their contracts with teachers, custodial, and clerical staff.

The board asked for concessions because of a $3 million cut in aid.

School board president Bill Sodemann says the teachers currently have contracts through 2013.

On Tuesday night, the board agreed on suggesting teachers start paying 5.8 percent of their pension, which is in the governor's budget repair law.

The average Janesville teacher makes $50,000 a year.  The extra pension contribution would cost each teacher about $2,900.

"It's people taking a cut or more layoffs and we think we found a way so unions don't feel caught before the bill becomes law," said Sodemann.

Sodemann says they will have the revised plan for each of the unions by Wednesday morning, where they can then vote on it. The unions will vote on this, according to their time frame. Each union will need a majority vote to pass the revised agreement.

He says the alternative could be much worse.  If they don't come to an agreement, the district would have had to cut at least 100 positions.

Sodemann says the total deficit the Janesville School District is facing is about $13.4 million deficit if the teachers agree to the proposed changes it would save many jobs.

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