Janesville School Board to try again on teacher contracts
JANESVILLE Some Janesville School Board members believe they have found a way for their employee unions to reopen their contracts and make concessions.
The teachers union recently backed away from such a move, saying their attorneys warned them they would put their contract in jeopardy if they reopen it.
The board is hoping to get employees to pay more for their benefits in order to balance next year's budget and possibly avoid some layoffs.
The problem, from the union standpoint, is that any reopening could void the contract under the terms of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill. Union benefits and bargaining rights could be wiped out.
School board President Bill Sodemann said Monday night that several board members believe they have a way for the contract to be re-opened safely.
Sodemann said he did not want to go into details before the entire board heard the ideas.
The board will meet in closed session at 7 p.m. tonight to go over the proposal.
Teachers union President Dave Parr said he does not know what the ideas are, but several board members have asked him about the fact that the budget-repair bill cannot become law until it is published. The state is not expected to publish it until March 25.
Parr said he has forwarded that question to a union attorney and hopes to get an answer today.