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Memorandums of Understanding Approved

Dear Community Members,

The Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) Board of Education and several employee groups entered into historic Memorandums of Understanding on Friday, as employee groups have agreed to significant pay and benefit reductions for next year.

Under the Governor’s proposed budget, the Sheboygan Area School District will face an estimated $13.6 million budget shortfall for the 2011-2012 school year. As stated in the Budget Repair Bill, the significant reduction in state revenue cannot and will not be passed on to our local taxpayers through an increased property tax levy.

The Board of Education met Friday afternoon to review Memorandums of Understanding with the Sheboygan Education Association (SEA), and three employee groups in the Local 1750, AFSCME:  Secretarial/Clerical Employees, Electricians/Electronics/P.C. Support Employees, and Educational Assistant Employees.

These four employee groups have made significant financial concessions which exceed the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill and will allow SASD to address approximately $6.65 million of the district’s projected $13.6 million budget shortfall. The district will also gain $4.5 million in additional savings by not replacing teachers who will be retiring, bringing the total savings to $11.1 million.

The Memorandums of Understanding for one year were approved by union groups and the Board of Education on Friday, March 11, 2011.

The four employee groups have agreed to the following concessions:
  • Salary freezes at the current rate (the right to bargain wages, as stated in the Budget Repair Bill, is waived) for the duration of the Memorandum;
  • All lane and step increases will be frozen;
  • Employees who participate in the health insurance plan will contribute 12% towards the premium. Employees who do not participate in a Health Risk Appraisal will be required to contribute 15% towards the premium;
  • Employees will be responsible for the employee portion of the Wisconsin Retirement System contribution (5.8% of salary/wage).
The SEA also agreed to two additional concessions:
  • The district will be allowed more flexibility in the assignment, transfer and placement of teachers, in cooperation with the SEA;
  • The emeritus early retirement program ends June 30, 2011.

SASD employees in these groups will be contributing 12% to their insurance premium as outlined in the Budget Repair Bill. Under the Bill, local municipalities which are self-insured, including school districts like the Sheboygan Area School District, may require employees to pay 12% of the insurance premiums. State employees may be required to pay 12.6% of their premium.

Following are several points of clarification on these agreements:
  • The district and its employee groups have worked collaboratively to meet all of the requirements of the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill, and in many ways exceed them.
  • There are no raises for any member of these groups. Every member of all four of these employees groups will see their take-home pay reduced by at least 6.2% as a result of these agreements.

It was important for us to work together with staff members to make the cuts necessitated by the state budget, instead of waiting until the Budget Repair Bill becomes law and then making cuts without employee involvement. Our employees deserve credit for taking concessions to help the district solve our financial problems.

These agreements will assist our staff in focusing on our mission of educating our students and serving the families in our community. We continue our commitment to providing quality programming and services to our students, while being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers.

I’m proud to be your superintendent and a member of the Sheboygan Area School District. For the greater community, these agreements strengthen the Sheboygan tradition of working together for the betterment of our students and community. We, together in the Sheboygan Area School District, met and exceeded the government mandated change. Thank you to staff members for your concessions and assistance in developing a budget and for truly leading the way in the 21st century.

Sincerely,
Joseph M. Sheehan, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
superintendent@sheboygan.k12.wi.us

Related documents:

posted Friday, March 11