Janesville teachers to hold rally Monday night

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Monday, February 14, 2011
— Janesville School District unionized employees plan to rally at 5 p.m. today in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

Janesville Education Association President Dave Parr said Sunday that details were still being worked out with the school district, but he expected to have the rally at Craig High School, 401 S. Randall Ave.

The rally and candlelight vigil will be outdoors if possible, Parr said.

Parr said he hoped the district's AFSCME-represented workers would join with teachers at the rally.

Parr said rally-goers would be encouraged to contact their representatives in the state Legislature or to go to Madison to voice their displeasure with Walker's proposals.

Parr said the message is: "Get up there any way you can, and you have to make a difference. This is where we have to be heard."

Similar rallies are being planned around the state, Parr said.

Teachers statewide are being asked to visit their legislators Tuesday in Madison. Parr said local teachers would join that effort after work Tuesday.

According to the website of WEAC, the largest state teachers union association, bus rides to Madison are being organized from points around the state. A rally on Madison's Capitol Square is planned for noon Tuesday, and vigils will be held Tuesday and Wednesday on the Capitol Square from about 3 to 7 p.m.

Walker's bill would wipe out laws that establish most of the rights of public-sector workers to bargain collectively. Teachers would be allowed to bargain for wages only and only under a cap linked to the Consumer Price Index. Teachers would lose their seniority rights, Parr said.

Parr said he has heard from the WEAC council that contracts now in force, such as the one that Janesville approved last September, would remain in force under Walker's proposal.

Parr said, however, that nothing is certain. The Legislature could amend the bill, he noted.

Even if the contract remains in force, Parr said, Janesville teachers could lose their rights when their contract runs out June 30, 2013.

District spokeswoman Sheryl Miller said she expects the JEA will apply today to use Craig, just as any other group that wants to use school facilities.

Miller did not know if the JEA would be charged. She said that depends on where the rally is held. Groups are typically charged to cover use of district custodial or maintenance staff or utilities such as heat or electricity.

Last updated: 4:19 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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