Janesville School Board ratifies new teacher contract

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Nick Crow
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

JANESVILLE—Last year, the Janesville Education Association and Janesville School District were forced into mediation after months of negotiations failed to lead to an agreement on a teacher contract.

This year, both sides came to terms after their first meeting.

The Janesville School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to give teachers a 1.46 percent base wage increase.

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

The law removes the ability for unions to negotiate for anything but base wage increases based on the Consumer Price Index, which increased by 1.46 percent this year, said Steve Sperry, director of administrative and human services.

“I think we both learned what the process really was,” said Dave Parr, teachers union president. “Last year was the first year without a contract and I think we both learned a lot.”

Last year, the school board offered a 0.75 percent base wage increase for teachers after an agreement wasn't reached by the deadline with a mediator.

The new agreement applies to all regular full-time, regular part-time and limited-term certified teaching personnel employed by the district. It also includes guidance counselors, librarians/media specialists, speech and language clinicians and psychologists.

The agreement excludes substitute teachers, coordinators, interns, graduate residents, supervisors and administrators.

The measure was approved by 99 percent of union members, Superintendent Karen Schulte told the board.

“I would like to thank the board for their vote,” Schulte said.

The board also agreed Tuesday to give all employees district-wide a 1.46 percent increase to their supplemental pay.

This means both teachers and non-bargaining employees will receive a 1.46 percent increase to their supplemental pay.

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

Beginning next year, supplemental pay for teachers will be based on a rewards-based performance evaluation, Sperry said.

“We're in kind of a transition,” Sperry said. “One thing is for sure: People are not going to go down in their salary.”

Until the new system is in place, supplemental pay will be determined on a case-by-case basis, Sperry said.

“We no longer have a salary schedule anymore,” Sperry said. “We are working towards a salary structure that will be put into place in 2015.”

There won't be a blanket policy on supplemental pay until the educator effectiveness evaluation system is in place, Sperry said.

“There will always be some sort of supplemental pay whether it's called that or not,” Parr said. “Currently, there is no salary structure. Once the district presents us with the new structure, I am confident people will understand it.”

The base pay contract for teachers is a one-year deal. It extends from July, 1 2014, to June 30, 2015, Sperry said.

The agreement increases the base wage for an authorized teaching position requiring a Master of Arts degree by $594.16 from $40,695.95 to $41,290.11.

For a position not requiring a master's degree, base wages for a teacher would increase $520.27 from $35,635.28 to $36,155.55.

Base wages are calculated using the lowest degree of education required for a position.

“I'm grateful to move forward,” Parr said. “This is a great district to be in … and I see great things in the future.”

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