MTI negotiations may hinge on Judge Colas' stay decision - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

MTI negotiations may hinge on Judge Colas' stay decision

MADISON (WKOW) -- As one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that caused Dane County Judge Juan Colas to overturn Act 10, Madison Teachers Inc. wasted no time asking the Madison Metropolitan School District to negotiate an extension to its current contract that expires in June of 2013.

The MMSD board agreed on Monday night.

"They're our people, they're our employees and we have to work with them," said MMSD Board Vice-Chair Marj Passman. "We have to do our best to make it a comfortable atmosphere to them." 

MTI is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, but executives at WEAC say they are letting local members decide whether they want to go back to the bargaining table.

"We know Janesville is talking, we know today Racine is having handbook meetings, so that will come up in their talks.  So, around the state, everybody is making their decisions based on what their current situation is," said WEAC Board Vice-President. 

Since Judge Colas' ruling, the City of Madison and Dane County are the only local governmental units in Wisconsin that have reached agreements with public unions on contract extensions.

But unlike the city and county, school board members don't expect a new agreement to be hammered out in the next few days. 

"You have to also realize that the county and the city have maybe seven points in their contract, we have like 140 as it was pointed out to me in the board meeting yesterday, so, there's a lot to work on here," said Passman.

Judge Colas could reach a decision by early next week to stay his own ruling until the appeals process is over.

If that happens, MMSD will likely run out of time.

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