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Madison school district reaches tentative agreements with unions

Published On: Oct 03 2012 09:48:36 PM CDT

The Madison Metropolitan School District and employee unions have reached tentative agreements through collective bargaining.

Madison Metropolitan School District Jane Belmore said that because of the recent court ruling on Act 10, the Board of Education decided that it was in the best interest of the district to collectively bargain with its employee unions.

Belmore said the agreements will ensure a contract for all the district's employees for the 2013-2014 school year and help improve student learning for all.

Dane County Judge Juan Colas called parts of Act 10 unconstitutional Sept. 14. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has asked for a stay of that decision and, while the judge considers that request, unions are coming to the bargaining table on new contracts once unthinkable under Act 10.

The school district said the agreements maintain protections and security for district staff by: maintaining the current salary schedule; maintaining current retirement benefits; giving the district the ability to raise base wages depending on financial outlook; and limiting the ability to increase employee contributions to health insurance.

According to a news release from the district, the agreement reached with teachers gives the district flexibility to meet student needs and implement programs to close gaps in student achievement by: modifying the work preservation clause to allow for flexibility in programming to meet student learning needs; modifying the transfer process to allow the hiring process to start sooner, to support the district's efforts to diversify its workforce; gaining time for professional development and planning time; and allowing flexibility to provide evening parent conferences.

All unions will now take tentative agreements to their membership for ratification votes.

The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on all contracts on Thursday.  

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