Those workers will also be required to contribute more to their healthcare and pensions. Governor Scott Walker Says it will help close the state's budget gap. There are 419 school districts in the state, all dealing with the Budget Repair Bill separately.
The Kaukauna School District says before the Budget Repair Bill they were in a $400,000 deficit, now they have a $1.5 million surplus. With the extra money they say they will be able to reduce class sizes, bring back laid-off teachers and hire new teachers.
Kaukauna teachers received a 58 page handbook from the district today. It outlines new rules that, for the first time, are not negotiated with the union.
"The changes are not that big," said Todd Arnoldussen, Kaukauna School District board president.
Some of the changes include teachers working 40 hours a week in the schools instead of the 37.5. Changes where also made to holiday pay, personal time, firing policies and merit pay.
"It all adds up to lower class sizes, the ability for merit pay in the budget, pay for performance, and we're able to run from a negative balance to a positive balance," Arnoldussen said.
"You might save money, but you are losing the ability to have a say in how your kids are educated," said Patrick Meyer, union representative.
The Kaukauna Teachers Union says it tried to negotiate a contract with the board back in march. The union claims that deal would have saved the district $1.6 million but the board refused.
"It's particularly upsetting for us, because now they are going out into the community and claiming they are saving that amount and they could have done this back in March," Meyer said.
Meyer says this is simply the districts opportunity to take control away from the union. The district agrees. They say with this power, and "the tools" from the budget repair bill they have made Kaukauna a better school district.
"We have extremely talented teachers, staff, we do a wonderful job of educating our kids, but we were running out of money," Arnoldussen said. "Now we aren't anymore."
A lot of school districts across the state were rushing to sign contract extensions before yesterday's deadline. Districts in our area include Green Bay, Oshkosh and Appleton.
Caroline Rowland reports.