Kenosha School Board Agrees to Void Collective Bargaining Agreement in Settlement

MacIver News Service | June 6, 2014

[Kenosha, Wisc…] The Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) school board voted on Thursday night to void its collective bargaining agreement with the Kenosha Education Association (KEA) after being sued for illegally implementing the agreement last November.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit shortly after the KUSD school board voted to ratify a new agreement that gave teachers $1.65 million in “bonus” pay, changed the amount of hours in a work day, and required automatic dues deductions for the union.

Under Act 10, it is illegal to collectively bargain for anything more than wage increases, which cannot be greater than inflation.

WILL filed the lawsuit on behalf of Kristi Lacroix, a local taxpayer and public school teacher.

“I argued from day one that taxpayer money was being spent illegally to support collective bargaining agreements negotiated behind closed doors between the unions and school district,” Lacroix said in a statement. “This activity is prohibited under Act 10 and I am glad to see taxpayer rights prevail.”

Rick Esenberg, President of WILL, said it was wrong of KUSD to negotiate with the unions.

“We’re pleased that the Kenosha Schools have recognized that they made an error in negotiating with their unions and implementing collective bargaining agreements that so clearly violated Act 10,” Esenberg said in statement.

While the KUSD school board has agreed to nullify the agreement, the lawsuit has not been dropped against KEA and the other unions. The district must also pay WILL’s legal fees for the lawsuit.