Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Oshkosh Area School District and Oshkosh Education Association Reach Tentative Agreement on the 2012-13 Contract

Negotiators for the Oshkosh Area School District and the Oshkosh Education Association (OEA) reached a tenantive agreement today on total base wages for 2012-13.

After two meetings, both parties agreed to recommend a salary freeze to their respective groups for ratification. Base wages are the only subject that can be bargained. All other wages, benefits and working conditions are established by the Board.

John Lemberger, Chairperson of the District’s Negotiation Team, expressed appreciation for the OEA’s recognition of the District’s difficult budget problems.

“Teachers really stepped up to support the strong education system we have in this District,” said Lemberger. Kelli Saginak, also commented, “We would like to be able to continue to work together in the near future to find a way to compensate our teachers for their dedication and efforts educating our future leaders.”

The deep concessions already given did not come easily, but should be valued as our contribution to help further develop the reputation that our district is a destination location for public education. Amanda Potratz, OEA Negotiations Co-Chair, said “Our members deserve a raise for the hard work they do on behalf of students, but we understand the District’s difficult financial condition and we want to preserve quality education for students.” When benefit concessions are combined with the pay freeze, the result is less take home pay for teachers."

As part of the budget cuts proposed earlier this year, one option would have required secondary teachers to teach one extra class per day, resulting in the layoff of 37 teachers. Teachers, instead, suggested a pay freeze where equivalent savings could be realized without impacting educational programs. Lemberger stated “This settlement preserved teacher jobs and a better education delivery system.”

Negotiators from both groups were pleased that they were able to reach a voluntary settlement. With this settlement, both parties reaffirm their support of a strong public school district in the community and look forward to future collaboration in developing a fair and competitive compensation system.



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