"Today's practice. We're trying to give them every chance to settle this."
But Dave Parr, President of Janesville's teacher's union, says the teachers have given enough chances, explaining now, they're taking action, by working only the eight hours they're contractually obligated to work.
"We're gonna be there from 7:45 to 3:45 and we're gonna stay there and do the things we need to do for that day. But, afterwards, that's our time, time we normally donate; we won't be donating it today," continues Parr.
Parr says he hopes “Work the Contract Day” helps resolve a dispute over money the teachers have not received from their current contract, after, he claims, unexpectedly low health care costs cut the teachers' compensations by more than half the agreed percentage.
"They've said, 'We don't owe you anything, even though we signed a contract that says 4.3 percent, even though that contract is really coming in under two percent, we're not gonna meet our part of the bargain and give you that 4.3 percent.'”
"I'm not sure what they hope to gain, but they're certainly within their rights to do it," responds Janesville School Board President, Nancy Sonntag, who explains the district gave teachers the opportunity to potentially modify their second year salaries, but they chose a different option.
"The teachers did not want to leave the salary schedule open for the second year; they wanted to set the salary schedule for the second year at the time we settled the contract."
Sonntag also explains total savings from the current contract won't be known until after it expires June 30.
Contract talks are scheduled to begin May 19.