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Bay School Board OKs alterations, clarifications to employee handbooks

July 11, 2012

Whitefish Bay - The Whitefish Bay School Board approved a handful of additions and clarifications to its employee handbooks tonight.

Under previous collective bargaining agreements, the district would layoff employees it couldn't afford. Now, using employee handbooks in place of bargaining, the district non-renews teacher contracts it can't afford.

When collective bargaining was in place, a nonrenewal had a negative connotation and was associated with poor performance, though that isn't the case today, said Director of Human Resources Mark Kapocius.

The School Board approved an addition to the teacher handbook outlining grounds for nonrenewal for economic reasons, so that teachers non-renewed as a result of budget or enrollment constraints wouldn't be viewed negatively.

"We wanted to make it clear that it's for economic reasons and not performance reasons," said Kapocius.

Modifications to the district's post employment benefit plan which reduce its annual liability by $2.1 million were also added to the handbooks.

The 2011-2012 salary schedule was added to the employee handbooks to serve as a placeholder until the district enters into negotiations with employee groups in the fall, though Director of Business Services Sean Yde said he expects any salary increases to be minimal.

"If there is (an increase)," said Yde, "it will be a very small adjustment."

The School Board approved a number of minor text amendments to the handbooks, and will review them at an upcoming meeting to make further clarifications regarding the inclusion of board policies.

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