Teachers union to school board: Negotiate or face lawsuit
JANESVILLE – The union representing Janesville public school teachers is threatening to sue if the school board does not agree to contract negotiations by 5 p.m. Thursday.
The school district, meanwhile, told teachers today that they must sign individual contracts and a separate “standards of professional conduct” by April 17 or face termination.
It’s not clear what the terms of the contracts will be. The school board is scheduled to approve the contract language by April 9, according to a statement the district released Wednesday.
The developments come after the board’s Tuesday-night meeting, which included a closed-door session to discuss matters related to contract negotiations. They also come one day after an appeals court refused to block a Dane County judge’s ruling that Act 10 is unconstitutional, pending appeal.
Union officials contend that the Dane County ruling applies to the entire state and means that old rules of collective bargaining are now in force.
It was not known what happened at the board’s closed meeting Wednesday night. Officials did not immediately return phone calls.
The Gazette has obtained a copy of the letter the Janesville Education Association sent to the school board and administration Wednesday. The letter states in part: “We fully expect that you will negotiate with us, not only because you are legally required to do so but because the future of Janesville’s students will best be served if we sit down together to work out important future terms of employment. We hope that you ask not only what you ‘can’ do, but also what you ‘should’ do.”
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