Many School Boards Replace Union Contracts with Employee Handbooks

Wisconsin Public Radio:

School boards across Wisconsin are coming out with employee handbooks to replace union contracts after the elimination of most collective bargaining powers for teachers. Some major trends include elimination of seniority protection and just cause for teacher non renewal.
Cadott School District Administrator Joe Zydowsky says the school board has been working since spring on the employee handbook that will set the work rules for district personnel. Zydowsky says they did solicit comments from teachers and staff while writing the book, “We tried to have as much input as possible but ultimately it came down to being the responsibility of the school board.”
The finished product eliminates layoff protections based on seniority and a provision that the district provide just cause for not renewing a teacher’s contract. Zydowsky says those changes give the district flexibility in personnel matters, “Sometimes that might mean that we have to make a reduction in staff. Sometimes that might mean we need to make a change in staff and the new employment policies of our school district will make it easier for us to make those changes when they’re necessary.”