January 22, 2010

REA approves proposed teachers' contract

The Racine Unified School District and the Racine Education Association announced today that they have reached a tentative contract agreement. What that means is that the membership of the REA voted in favor of the proposed contract on Thursday: actually, 97% of the teachers present voted for the agreement. The Board of Education will consider ratification on Monday, Jan. 25, during its regularly scheduled meeting.
The board and REA issued the following press release:

Tentative Agreement is a Significant Achievement
The recently negotiated tentative agreement between the Racine Unified School District and the Racine Education Association is the culmination of more than 11 months of work. This work entailed approximately 300 hours of intensive, straightforward discussions involving 20 educational professionals. These discussions focused on issues of school reform, improvement of student learning and the refinement of instructional practices in Racine. The labor agreement reflects the connection between student learning, teachers’ working conditions, compensation and effectiveness.

Teacher Professionalism
The tentative agreement includes new language that supports teachers in their role as professionals dedicated to improving learning for all students. A mastery system, based on data, will be created to improve teaching and learning as well as encourage teacher leadership in collaborative school improvement efforts. The new agreement provides for uniform elementary teacher preparation time that can be used for teacher use of data and collaboration in improvement of teaching and learning. Collaborative team teaching and inclusive practices for all students are strongly supported in the new agreement. Refinements have been made to the evaluation process in support of advancing teaching skills.

Teaching and Learning
The 2009-2010 and the 2010-2011 calendars were designed to use instructional time more effectively, recognize the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an educational role model, incorporate two snow days within the calendar and provide time for parent teacher conferences in the spring. The parties provided additional support for students with disabilities by addressing issues such as the structure of class enrollments and team teaching arrangements. Improvements have been made to the labor agreement to better address specific student learning and behavior needs.

Fair Settlement
The agreement provides increased compensation of 1.4% and 1.5% for the 2009-2010 and 2010-11 school years, respectively. The increase in compensation is within the 2009-10 budget approved by the School Board in July. The change in compensation is comparable and competitive with the Kenosha Unified School District, the Madison Metropolitan School District, and other nearby districts. Overall, Racine’s teacher salaries remain slightly below comparable school districts, but beginning salaries are competitive to attract highly qualified teacher candidates.

Health Insurance Adjustments
The new agreement addresses the rapidly increasing costs of health insurance and other benefits. A Benefit Study Committee has been established to analyze proposed cost saving measures and consider alternative benefits. A District medical clinic will be established for employees and their families to seek medical care as well as information on wellness programs. Co-payments will be increased for doctor office visits, however, the co-payments will be waived for services received at the District clinic.

This labor agreement could not have been achieved without cooperation from many professionals committed to improving the education of all children in Racine. As the professionals who negotiated this labor agreement, we are proud to be part of the Racine Unified School District and believe this agreement will improve learning for our children.


  1. The Translator1/22/2010 2:27 PM

    I have no issue with the contract except for two things. They still have Cadillac health insurance at rent a wreck prices, and now tax dollars will be used to set up a health clinic funded by the tax payers for only teachers and familes. Sounds like Congress health insurance. Paid by tax dollars, but only for the few. This is a huge issue, and watch for the referendum to pay for it.

  2. So here I am in the "real world" where unemployment continues to increase, pay rates are frozen, and health care costs increase. I'd approve that contract, too!

  3. This called pay for non-performance.

  4. If it relates to Teachers, Firefighters or cops, you morons are never satisfied. Jam it haters!!

  5. One more time... the "Cadillac" health care they have was a trade-off over wages, back when the contracts were settled by the QEO. The money out of tax payers pockets would have been the same. The teachers chose to negotiate that money into their health care, not take it in cold hard cash.

    Now, because other companies have ditched their health coverage, you want to take away something that the teachers invested in over the years.

    Yep, a raise is unusual. I agree, but it is half of what the QEO would have provided if it was still around. The teachers wanted that to go too.

    In years when the economy was grand, the private sector received much bigger raises than the teachers due to the limits of the QEO. Get over this gripe.

    You want to cut some money? Look at the (ASC) Administrative Service Center, formerly called Central Office. There is a lot of overpaid dead wood there.

  6. I have no problem with cops, fire fighters and getting a raise. Pay attention, it's always the politicians that say "If we cut taxes we lose cops, fire fighters and teachers". Sorry but the economy is in the toilet and people are still loosing their jobs and homes. EVERYBODY needs to suck it up including the teachers. The teachers should thank God they have a job.

  7. This has nothing to do with picking on police, firefighters or teachers. In preschool you learn the concepts we are talking about. There is no way to keep giving raises to the teachers. We have a downright scary economy. They are living in a fantasy and we are having to pay for it.

    This similar smoke and mirrors trick is what caused the huge financial meltdown. Face facts we cannot fudge the numbers and pretend the money is there. I am not saying they do not deserve it. I am not saying I don't respect the job they do.

    It is so frustrating for this financial scene to be ignored. The health insurance was bargained, yes. But now we need to face reality and provide what we can pay for. If teachers are not happy with pay cuts or paying more toward insurance in this economy then let one of the thousands out of work take their spot.

    I am interested in this mastery learning. This would hurt far less if we were getting well educated students from Unified.

  8. Another victory for the crybaby whining teachers! I wish I only paid $17/month for insurance, had 4+ months off, got a 1.4% raise, and had no goals or performance metrics to adhere to. Great job if you can find one. The only thing preventing me from becoming a teacher is I have a conscience that won't let me steal from the public.

  9. Go spend a day with any teacher in the trenches - I bet you will change your bogus opinion.

  10. 10:16 - That's all the teacher's do is spend a day. They obviously are not teaching with the result scores RUSD is receiving.