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Bonuses Proposed For Oak Creek Teachers

Teachers could receive a one-time, $550 payment while negotiations between the district and union continue.

Oak Creek teachers, some of whom have not received a raise in two years, could be awarded a one-time, $550 bonus while negotiations between the school district and union continue.

The payment would be a way to increase teachers' pay without raising their base salary, Superintendent Sara Burmeister. Under state law, teachers can only negotiate for their base pay. But school boards determine supplemental wages, which can include bonuses, stipends or merit pay.

The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board will vote on the proposal Oct. 8, but board members favored the idea in a committee meeting Monday.

Teachers would hopefully "see it as us wanting to work with them, recognizing that they are valued associates, and that we have an opportunity and we can afford to do it," school board member Paul Mason said.

Teachers have to be considered in "satisfactory" standing, but that is a relatively low bar and would make most teachers eligible for the bonus, officials said. If approved in October, the bonuses would be paid out at the end of the month.

Teachers are also still eligible for an additional $550 in performance-based pay, Burmeister said.

The bonuses come after other employee groups received a 1.64 percent salary increase last year and a 3.16 percent increase this year. Talks are still ongoing between the district and teachers union.

State law limits the district to providing 1.64 percent salary increases, which in Oak Creek means the district has about $300,500 it can allocate to some 385 teachers, Burmeister said. 

Union leaders, meanwhile, have pushed for "true cost of living increases," saying other districts have found ways to provide teachers additional money outside of what is allowable under state rules.

Jeff Maton September 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Wow...the Superintendent who takes a bonus for a district that is at the lower level of area districts offers teachers a bonus.
Bikes September 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM
What a deal! $550 bonus? After taxes they get about $200. We did this one time at my place of employment and it was the last time we did it.
erich roeseler September 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM
wow 2 whole years without a raise? iv gone 6 years without a raise no bouns and i dont complane because in this day and age just having a job is blessing.
Greg September 26, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Death and taxes...what are you going to do?
OCHS Parent September 26, 2012 at 05:43 PM
For my entire company, 10 plants in North America, no cost of living raises for 5 years and we have had record profit years. What needs to be done is to find out if OC teacher are above or below the average salary for the area. Let that be the base for the union talks. 400+ teachers is $200,000 and some of the board was agreeing to it as it was being suggested. Makes you think that these things are being discussed behind closed doors and out of the public view. Agreeing to spend $200K with 30 seconds to think about it? Holy Cow! No accountability at all. What makes more sense is to give 100 teachers a $2000.00 bonus for achievement in 2011-2012 school year. EVERYONE DOES NOT GET A TROPHY. OR is $550.00 a way to get all the teachers on board with the grading policy? Make one think. Please consider taking part of that $200K and giving some of it to the Band program at the school. They have not had an increase in their budget for over 10 years. Do you realize that there are over 250 kids in the band. That is more than 1/8 the school and band is year round, not just a season. Why not take a portion of the $200K and give scholarships to students who lost their AP credit because they needed a 3.0 to have the credits accepted. Un-named student receives an 85% at OC for a B- which does not receive 3.0 grade points. That student has lost the college credit. I can name 10 schools where that would be a B and worth 3.0 grade credits.
Margaret Coonan September 26, 2012 at 08:25 PM
No raise for two years? Boo-hoo. They are a value to the community, but they sure don't have the "work with us" in their dialog. (not all of them) We can afford to do it? Why is that I wonder..
OCHS Parent September 26, 2012 at 08:49 PM
OK, quick math. It was said at the meeting that there is about 400 teachers. It says above that 385 teachers did get raises. So...15 teachers did not get a raise. Is that based on performance? Are they new? Former aids? Something is fishy. Change the name of the acticle to Board spends more than $200,000.00 because 15 teachers did not get a raise. Maybe I missed something. Is my calculator broke?
Mark Schaaf September 26, 2012 at 09:35 PM
They said in the meeting "roughly" 400 teachers....385 was just a more specific number I was given.
Danny G September 27, 2012 at 01:55 AM
The Oak Creek Public Schools are a mess. As parents, we know how things are going down hill here fast.
OCHS Parent September 27, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Please clearify. what is the total number of teachers, how many did not recieve raises and why did they not recieve raises. That is after all the first sentence. Thanks
Bikes September 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Do you realize how much money some teachers have to spend out of their own pocket to provide for supplies that use to be paid for from the budget? The $550 bonus probably does not even cover this.
Mark Schaaf September 27, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Are you talking about this one-time bonus or base salary raises? The bonuses haven't been approved yet (will be voted on Oct. 8), so I'm not sure of exact numbers, other than what was stated in the story: there are approximately 385 teachers and they have to be in satisfactory standing to get the bonus, which from what was said in the school board meeting, would eliminate only a few teachers. The base salary increase is still under negotiation between the teachers union and district. That's what I was referring to at the tail end of the story.
OCHS Parent September 27, 2012 at 01:43 PM
BIKES What an excellent and creative way to help everyone. I propose allowing teachers to submit up to $550 in classroom expenses to fit the individual needs of that room identified by the teaches. It is not the boards purpose to supplement the income of the teacher outside what the law requires and what their union has agreed to. This is could make everyone happy…..maybe.
OCHS Parent September 27, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Mark, I was asking for the number of teachers and the number of teachers that received raises. I never asked about bonuses. The article infers that part of the reason for the bonus is to help teachers that did not get a raise. What needs to be said is that there are 385 teacher total and of them, 3 or so, did not get raises because they did not meet the very low standards ( teachers words at the meeting not mine). So here is what I see. Reasons for the bonuses are help 3 or so teachers that are low performers and give money to the teachers outside of the law and what there union has done for them. They will still get a raise when talks are done and they will still get a bonus later in the year based on low standard. None of this is for the kids.
Mark Schaaf September 27, 2012 at 06:21 PM
OK - I see what you're asking. I'm not sure the number of teachers who haven't received a raise in two years. At the meeting, administrators said that a few of the teachers won't receive the BONUS based on not being in satisfactory standing.
Theresa October 27, 2012 at 03:25 PM
People in Oak Creek pay extremely high taxes we deserve better. When will some teachers stop crying about how terrible they have it and do the job they are paid to do . They do not have the sympathy of the public !!!
OCHS Parent October 28, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Our Taxes were just increased the same total dollor amount ...$200.000. see tax levy story

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