MPS’ statement on approval of new contract

Last night the school board approved a new, four-year contract with teachers. Below is the text of Milwaukee Public Schools statement, released this morning.

And here’s a link to the piece that ran on Nov. 22, after teachers voted to accept the unusually long deal.

“The Milwaukee Board of School Directors has approved a new, four-year contract with the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2009, and runs through June 30, 2013. The work agreement covers more than 5,600 teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools.

“There are health care changes in the new contract, including employee premium contributions. The district expects to save an estimated $45 million to $50 million over the next two years of the agreement. Additionally, teachers will see a limit on the number of transfers to and from schools, and a reallocation of banking time days as full-day professional development. The tentative contract provides no pay increase in the first year. In the second year, teachers receive a 3% increase in a lump sum, and years three and four have pay increases of 2.5% and 3%, respectively.

“‘With the approval of the MTEA contract by the Board, the MPS Administration now turns its attention to contract negotiations with the remaining MPS unions, and a goal of having new contracts in place by the beginning of new year. Completing those labor agreements will get us into a better position going into our deliberations on a budget for the next fiscal year,’ said Superintendent Gregory E. Thornton. ‘The partnership we have with the MTEA allowed us to take an immense step forward. Changes to health care coverage will be a significant topic in negotiations with the 12 remaining unions.

“The same night the Board approved the teachers’ contract, it approved benefit changes for 90 employees at Central Office, effective April 2011. The employees are cabinet members, exempt employees, and management-level staff of the Office of Board Governance. The vendor and plan changes are expected to result in a savings to the district of approximately $150,000 annually. In recommending the changes, Superintendent Thornton stated, ‘We want to lead by example’.”

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