As changes to collective bargaining powers for public workers take effect today, the Kaukauna Area School District is poised to swing from a projected $400,000 budget shortfall next year to a $1.5 million surplus due to health care and retirement savings.Man, that Walker is a shmuck. There's more:
The Kaukauna School Board approved changes Monday to its employee handbook that require staff to cover 12.6 percent of their health insurance and to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to the state’s pension system, in accordance with the new collective bargaining law, commonly known as Act 10.
The district anticipates that elementary class size projections for next year will shrink from 26 students to 23 students. Class sizes for River View Middle School are expected to fall from 28 students to 26 students.Wait, I thought this was supposed to be bad news. It all seems so. . . counterintuitive. But how are such things possible?
Kaukauna High School classes could be reduced from 31 students to 25 students.
The new rules and updated operating budget also institute $300,000 in merit pay for staff next year, to be awarded at the school board’s discretion.
In April, the school board rejected a proposal from the Kaukauna Education Association to extend the union’s contract and incorporate pension and healthcare concessions along with a wage freeze, a move the union projected could save the district about $1.8 million next year.
If you read between the lines, you would see that the union proposal came in fairly close to the cost savings Kaukauna will realize. Of course, the key difference is that there will now be more teachers in the Kaukauna district than there would have been had the union's proposal gone through.
One thing must be noted: it took courage for the Kaukauna school board to reject the union's proposal. One of the primary reasons for the dilatory tactics that the Democrats and their union allies have adopted in Wisconsin is that it caused many other school districts to accept union proposals for work rules and compensation. School districts were uncertain about what would happen, so many felt they had to take the deal in front of them. Kaukauna held firm and its students will benefit as a result.