Brown Deer School Board puts off last minute decision on teachers' contract
Charles Benson reports.Photo: Video by tmj4.com
BROWN DEER - Some unions were hoping to beat the deadline for the state's new collective bargaining law and get a new deal done. But it didn't exactly work out that way.
The Brown Deer School Board called for an emergency meeting Tuesday night to see if it could reach a last minute deal with the teachers union. TODAYSTMJ4 was the only TV station there when the board surprised teacher and taxpayers with its decision.
Our camera was barely up and running when the meeting abruptly ended, catching everyone off guard.
"I think the biggest disappointment is that they did not allow the people to talk," said former board member Mike Christopulos.
Dozens of Brown Deer taxpayers worried the board was going to rush through a teachers’ contract before the new collective bargaining law kicked in at midnight.
"What kind of deal could you strike that would be so good for us the taxpayers that you had to make tonight?" questioned Brown Deer homeowner Greg Eggold.
Teachers thought they had a deal that would save the district $1.5 million and freeze their pay.
Teachers here already pay part of their health benefits, but the union had agreed under the new contract to pay the 5.8% in pension and 12.6% in health benefits which is what the new law requires.
When asked if the teachers union was trying to rush a deal to beat the deadline, Lisa Albers with the Brown Deer Education Association said: "I think rushing sounds a little bit harsh. The whole thing was we would work together and come to a common agreement."
But the board adjourned saying it needed more time.
"We intend to make sure that we look at the governor's repair bill, said board president Gary Williams, "whatever we proposed will be consistent with the governor's repair bill."