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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

 12:06 PM 

Senate concurs on bill allowing Milwaukee schools, teachers to reopen contract

The Senate concurred with changes the Assembly made to one of its bills that would allow Milwaukee Public Schools and the teachers union to reopen their contract on wages and benefits without impacting the rest of the deal.

SB 315 pertains to juvenile court records relating to student conduct. But an amendment was added in the Assembly to allow the district and teachers to negotiate on compensation and fringe benefits.

Without the provision, reopening the contract would then subject the teachers and the district to the guv's collective bargaining changes that were implemented last year. That would essentially void the contract that had been negotiated and agreed upon prior to Act 10 taking effect. A second law gave unions 90 days to negotiate changes on wages without triggering other provisions of the collective bargaining legislation.

The Senate signed off on the amendment via voice vote, clearing the way for the bill to head to the guv's desk.

Gov. Scott Walker earlier today slammed four teacher's unions for asking the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association to withdraw its support for the amendment. The unions wrote in a letter the change would be "detrimental to our members' best interests" and "have an adverse effect on all Wisconsin public employees" as well as giving Walker the ability to "claim victory of his policy to reign in public employee wages and benefits" ahead of the expected recall election this summer.


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