Chippewa Valley teachers have signed a two-year contract with the district that will recall all , but freeze salary raises and increase healthcare premiums.
Maryanne Levine, president of the 800-member Chippewa Valley Education Association, said the concessionary contract ratified on June 8 would mean $12.6 million in savings to the district over the next two years.
"The teachers in our district along with every other employee group stepped up to the plate and made sacrifices to help us balance our budget," said George Sobah, board of education vice president. "I was pleased to see that our employees were willing to make the sacrifices needed to help the district reach its financial goals. The sacrifices made are just an example of our employees' professionalism and commitment to our students and our community."
The $12.6 million saved in the teachers' contract, combined with the concessions of other employee groups and the district's $2 million budget reduction for 2011-12, will allow the district to balance its budget, which was projected to be in a deficit of $14 million.
“I’m disappointed that my teachers are having to take concessions to keep them from moving up the steps that they were promised, but with the state giving so much less in funds, we accepted the concessions,” Levine said of the contract.
Per the contract’s terms, there will be no step increases for any of the teachers scheduled to move up in the pay scale.
“Essentially, in terms of salary, the teachers will have the same salary (for the next two years),” Levine said. “They won’t move toward their step. It takes 11 years to get to the top of the salary schedule, which moves up in a progression of steps, so anyone who was in a step will not move up.”
In addition, the teachers will pay 10 percent of their healthcare premiums.
Negotiations between the teachers union and the district have been ongoing and with severe cuts expected in the , Levine said concessions were expected.
“(Chippewa Valley teachers) are disappointed that they won’t be earning money that they had anticipated,” Levine said. “It will cause all of us to tighten up our personal budgets and make some sacrifices. We are all taking home less money next year … for the next two.”
The new contract will go into effect on Sept. 1 of this year.