I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
I have been hearing and receiving much misinformation on this ongoing contract and collective bargaining issues when it comes to Cudahy School District.
Let’s first state one thing and clear the air – The Cudahy School District for the school year 2011-2012 did NOT extend contract or approve a new contract.
So if a teacher doesn’t want to belong to the union and pay union dues, they can opt out. That simple!
They did approve on March 7th 2011 a 0% retro contract for the school years 2009-2011
Now, I was given information on Agenda Item: Continuation of Current Employee Benefits
Some people have stated that Cudahy would back in a contract by NOT asking for any changes to health insurance or pensions by NOT doing a new contract and just having the teachers work without a contract. Thing is, the contract would be retroactive when it does it approved let’s say in 2013. It would also be disingenuous of the board to pull something like that and I don’t think they will.
Now, I do think that the City of Cudahy has an issue of communication no matter which part of the City Government you are talking about.
I believe that being informed on what's going on in the city and the neighborhood keeps a lot of misinformation and rumors at bay.
I asked School Superintendent Jim Heiden to clear up some of the misinformation out there and he graciously did so.
I am trying to track down information.
I was told that Cudahy had indeed approved a contract extension (before the June 30th date) for the 2011-2012 school year which was a Zero Percent contract.
Could you tell me if that is true and if it is was the contract was posted for the public prior to being approved and where it is currently posted?
I think there is much confusion out there and I want help end some of that.
Maybe I and many others don’t understand what was going to be approved here:
Agenda Item: Continuation of Current Employee Benefits
Also, any idea why the employee manual was taken down off the website?
Your information is incorrect. We approved a contract for 2009-2011 for the CEA on March 7, 2011. The terms of the contract was a zero raise, reduction in the amount of overall amount of prep time for middle school teachers and elementary teachers as well as the understanding that we would have a frozen steps and lanes for the 2011-2012 school year. The last move (the freeze) saved the District approximately $400,000. The 2009-2011 contract ended on June 30, 2011. The District agreed to a contract settlement with the CEA because it was very favorable for the District. The teachers gained the security of not having to pay their portion of the Wisconsin Retirement System if the law was truly passed on March 9th until after the contract expired. As it turned out the law was held up in court awaiting further legal review.
As we now know the law was found to be legal. The effective date of the law was June 28th or 29th. Recently we received notice from the DOA that employee paid WRS contributions will begin in Mid-August.
As for your question on the “continuation of employee benefit structures” item on the latest agenda, this has more to do with the fact that there is no contract in place for any of our groups. The contracts drove the benefit structure. I.e. sick days, vacation days, personal days, and a host of other day-to-day operations of the district. Without the board action we would not technically have had vacation, sick or personal days effective 7/1/11 for any of our employees – including our 50 or more full time employees so we needed to have something in place. While probably not necessary we felt it was important for the Board to take the action.
We are in the process of putting together an employee handbook which, when completely done, will spell out all of the benefits, processes and general work rules. In order to maintain some semblance of normalcy, I have asked the BOE to keep the general structures in place until the employee handbook section on each of the areas is completed. Once each section is completed those rules will then govern how we operate in the work place. I anticipate this being complete by the end of the calendar year.
We did not opt to extend the agreement with any of the unions to ensure maximum flexibility for the district. But in reality we know have 450+ independent contractors. Our plan will help us move forward in an orderly and seamless manner.
As for the employee handbook on the website, I will have to look. We have never had an employee handbook and therefore it wouldn't/couldn't be on the website. We are working on posting the pieces of the handbook once they are approved by the BOE. So far the BOE has approved the grievance process that the new law requires. That should be up soon.
James P. Heiden
School District of Cudahy
2915 E. Ramsey Avenue
Cudahy, WI. 53110
O (414) 294-7403
F (414) 769-2319