MMSD-MTI reach tentative agreement on contract

Joint committee to examine health care changes
Union and district officials announced today a tentative teaching contract settlement for the period beginning July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2007. The contract was given preliminary approval by the Board of Education Monday night, and the union membership will vote this Thursday.
Terms of the contract include:
Base Salary Raise – .75%
Benefits – 3.32%
Total – 3.98%
Base salary raise – .90 %
Benefits – 3.07%
Total – 3.97%

Superintendent Art Rainwater said, “This is a good contract that serves the interests of both our taxpayers and teaching staff. I’m also encouraged that a joint committee comprised of union and management will conduct a thorough examination of district health care costs and discuss potential alternatives to lower insurance expenses.” Rainwater said the terms of the tentative contract would allow the contract to be re-opened if there is consensus on health care changes.
Key contract provisions include:
* Modifications in the salary schedule that will allow beginning MMSD teachers’ starting pay to increase from the current $29,324 to $30,724. (According to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, MMSD starting teacher salaries rank 126 out of 322 school districts reporting data.)
* Three separate union and management committees of ten members each at the elementary, middle and high school level will review and make recommendations by July 30, 2005 about the content and frequency of report cards.
* Memorandum of Understanding creating a Joint Committee on Health Insurance. The six-member committee (3 members assigned by both the superintendent and MTI executive director) will study health and dental insurance and make recommendations on several issues including long term disability, sick leave and retirement insurance. The 2005-07 contract could be re-opened for negotiations only related to health insurance and salary issues, and then, only by mutual consent of the parties.