Teacher Contract Negotiations Approved at Board of Education Meeting

Board member, Douglas Layne, provided the details of the agreement.

At the Oct. 18, Board of Education(BOE) meeting, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the teacher contract agreement between the BOE and the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Educaiton Association (SPFEA).

Board member, Douglas Layne, provided the public with an outline of the major aspects of the labor agreement. 

  • The contract is a three year contract beginning July 1, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2015.
  • It calls for a 2 percent raise each year of the contract term. 
  • Contract lengthens school day for teachers of the High School, making their days the same as elementary and middle school teachers. However, this makes no change in the school day for students.
  • All coaches and extra-curricular activity supervisors will receive a 2 percent increase of their stipend in the second year of their contract.
  • All salaries will move to direct deposit
  • Lastly, the amount for tuition reimbursement will be raised from $123,000 to $126,000.

Resident of Fanwood, Michael Lewis, asked if the contract made any changes to medical or insurance benefits, which Mr. Layne replied no.

However, Superintendent Dr. Margaret Hayes, added that there was a change, but it was due to a change implemented by the state and was not part of the BOE and SPFEA's agreements specifically.  

SP mom October 20, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Bravo!! If only!
Tired October 20, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Does one who is an actual member of the Union recuse him or herself? I didn't see you comment on that "homeoewner/parent/taxpayer" maybe you should have added "educator or spouse of such" to your name. While all this recusing is going on why not have actual people that can negotiate and not have to leave it up to 2/3's of the board to negotiate? How about some rules and guidelines implemented that deny candidates from being on the BOE if you or anyone in your family are receiving income from taxpayer funded Education? Focus on a good education? If we don't have that down already we're in real trouble. Silly me I thought the focus has been on air conditioning units and construction projects.
SP homeowner/taxpayer/parent October 20, 2012 at 04:41 PM
I am not an educator, nor am i related to one! Have you been inside a school lately? It is oppressively hot in sept and June Would you spend 6+ hours a day in that setting? Facilities need to b maintained, most projects get pushed until they r emergent and wind up costing more $. Serving on the BOE is a commitment over and above a person's everyday responsibilities of work and home. I am grateful we have residents willing to serve. These people are intelligent, caring and committed and I applaud them!
Tired October 20, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Obviously you're a very young person. Your sense of entitlement is disgusting. I guess I'm officially "old" since I am in my mid 40's. I can now say "back in my day..." I DID sit in classrooms like that for the entire time of my compulsory education. I know plenty of SPF citizens ready and willing to serve. The fact that this takes extra time is a non arguement. Anything you do that matters in life takes extra time. From volunteering at church, coaching little league, soccer, or football, to being involved in various civic and fraternal organizations, all of which I have done or currently do. So please save your time investment argurement. Isn't it odd you have no comment on the guidelines I mentioned we should look into concerning spouses of teachers and actual teacher union members not being on the BOE? Just a quick scan shows at least 3 members including the president who fit this category, i'm sure I'm missing a few. Wouldn't it be best if the president of the Board could be involved in contract negotiations? Seems like a no brainer to me.
SP homeowner/taxpayer/parent October 20, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Nothing obvious here. And when you assume........ Where are you getting "my sense of entitlement"??? Your first comment came thru .... It is gone now, very smart! If you don't like the fact that BOE members can have spouses who r educators, take it up with your congressman
SP homeowner/taxpayer/parent October 20, 2012 at 07:05 PM
And no, the pres may not b the person on the board with the best negotiating skills
SP mom October 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
At Tired- if you know so many people ready willing and able to serve - where are they?? Once again, there were NO NEW CANDIDATES running this year! It's terrible, and I wish it was the 1st time, but not even close! Do you not think that some of these people would like to retire from this non-paying ridiculously time consuming job? But they won't, b/c there is no one to fill there shoes. Your arguments on all counts are groundless. I happen to know SP h/t/p, and s/he is so far from the things you describe I laughed out loud. And as for guidelines for BOE members - all serve on several committees, none serve on all, so having some w/education connections not only does not recuse them from all actions (only negotiations), but it is an asset when it comes to contributing to real issues that exist in the schools. Will you be running next year to fix all these "problems"?
Jenni October 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
SP mom, Lots of Halloween sales going on this weekend I think you need to go buy a cape since you are the 'DEFENDER of the BOE', regardless of the situation. The community does appreciate all of its volunteers, but some of these points do seem like conflicts of interest. Anyone else reading see the attached link http://scotchplains.patch.com/articles/board-of-education-candidates-answer-questions-provided-pta-and-public-at-forum
SP homeowner/taxpayer/parent October 20, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Yes. So. Transparency and honesty. What is your point?
Tired October 20, 2012 at 09:25 PM
unfortunately the past 60 days I've dealt a new employer, family loss, and private affairs. I had no idea when the filing deadline for the candidates were due to the change in election day. MAYBE if it was widely publiced instead of people having to search it out and investigate (ya know like it's hidden) when to run, might just bring a lot more interest. Let's face it, like all public union drones these people don't want competion, they want their own little fiefdom.
Tired October 20, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Well what do you know, suddenly my comments are "pending approval". Nice I guess you work for the patch too. Someone want to tell me what that's about??
Tired October 20, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Well SP mom, teacher, boe member.....please let's have those BOE members that want to leave stand up so we can see how many seats we need to fill.
SP homeowner/taxpayer/parent October 20, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Publicized? Where would you like it-- As a commercial During a football game? In this regard you need to b pro active. Being part of the community means attending meetings where this information is disseminated. As the BOE manages to stay within the state mandated cap of property increase allowance, the budget is no longer put to a vote, eliminating a costly, unnecessary election with low voter turn out in April. The board member slate will b part of the general election in November without political party affiliation.
SP mom October 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Yes, I am a longtime teacher, though not in Scotch Plains-Fanwood, and not a BOE member - though I serve on other boards. AND?? I have a very solid understanding of the workings of the school system, as well as the fair funding formula (see article referred to above by my fan, Jenni. Your issues? I still don't see you or anyone else lining up to get their name on the ballot.
Tired October 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I'd love to see the Patch publicise it, right? Why not? Keeping new cadidates unaware is a way to keep the feifdoms. I watch TV34 Silly me, I thought that was the reason to have a community channel? You know to watch meetings when you're unable to attend. Yes no party affiliation necessary, it's apparent.
Tired October 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
thanks for taking me off the "approval need list" for posting comments MOM and H/T/P BOE member, glad to see you acted quickly
Jenni October 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Maybe our children/students would not have to sacrifice so much if our BOE supported the Fair School Funding plan. If not, pretty soon a lot of us are gonna need to move to the Abbott districts since its becoming difficult to continue to live here. If the state keeps throwing money at a program and no improvements have been seen -why do we allow the state to keep repeating the same mistake with our money?
SP mom October 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM
yes, you caught me. I work for the Patch, the BOE, SP-F school district, and the state! I am one busy gal! If you've been paying any attention - comments have been "pending" on patch for a few weeks now (mine included).
Tired October 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Obviously at Chez mom and H/T/P the dollars are flowing and life is grand. Screw seniors and lifelong residents! Pay more every year of get moving is their motto
Tired October 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Oh so you're a spouse of a BOE member
Tired October 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Of course you went to private air conditioned schools , How did I not see that?
I pay attention October 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Maybe if you pay attention you will find that the 2 you are complaining about voted no on the last teacher contract, ensuring its defeat. http://scotchplains.patch.com/articles/board-of-education-votes-down-teachers-contract-memorandum As far as the filing being a big secret, here's another couple articles on filing and the budget. Tired- the second link below has you as the last comment complaining about the presentations being a sham. I went to the presentation at my child's school and the boe presenters also discussed the filing date then. This was on top of the times they mentioned it at the meetings in April and May. If you watch TV34 you must be watching thee council meetings, not the boe meetings. http://scotchplains.patch.com/articles/want-to-run-for-board-of-education-file-now-c77928b3 http://scotchplains.patch.com/articles/boe-passes-school-budget-higher-taxes-for-spf-residents
Nicole Bitette (Editor) October 21, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Hi Tired, Can you tell me what article your comments are pending approval on? Right now, I see nothing in our comment moderation area? I'd like to look into it. Best, Nicole.
Tired October 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Thank you for paying attention but you know one vote does not a career make. You validated what I stated earlier concerning the unknown deadline. The Patch article is dated June 1 which happened to be a Friday so considering the County office is closed on Sat and Sun, that gave a candidate 3 days to get on the ballot. If it was announced at BOE meetings I never heard it. Even if it was, I should attend every meeting to hear when to run? You think that's blanketing the community with the pertinent information?
Tired October 21, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Nicole It was the 2 comments I made at 5:25 and 5:27. Sorry I flagged by you accidentally when trying to reply. Currently a comment I made at 9:58 is pending while other have gone right through.
Michael Lewis October 21, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Just a couple of things here: 1) I am in the camp that says that this is a realistic settlement. 2) There actually WAS a brief discussion at this meeting concerning the parameters under which BOE members sit on negotiating committees and vote (it should also be recalled that ANOTHER reason why the defeated MOU did not pass was that Mr. McFall abstained - the actual vote was 4-4-1...the three BOE negotiating members were obliged to vote in favor). 3) The actual discussion regarding the change in voting took place in February - see the link in the letter - : http://scotchplains.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-fanwood-resident-urges-boe-to-keep-school-board-elections-in-april The details had to be sorted out because, with the move, filing petitions had to be routed through the County Clerk, but I can vouch for the fact that most of the information was out there by April; I cannot vouch for when the www.spfk12.org website was updated but had been promised that it would be in sufficient time to have allowed people to file in a timely manner - definitely up there now: http://www.spfk12.org/2324108171334523/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=56382 Finally - and I say this a lot - if you have a grievance, come to the meetings or run - it keeps everyone honest and it is what makes our system of governance work.
I pay attention October 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Hear what you want. You've been proven wrong a few different times by a few different people. You're a person who likes to throw out insults and then trivialize the responses to your complaints and insults. You know lots of people who are ready and willing to serve but they all missed the 2 months of discussions, TV34 meetings, and the Patch announcements and coverage. Do all the people you know live in the same whinefest bubble as you? Poor boy.
Tired October 21, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I like that you think I've been proven wrong. Some statements are my opinions. Some are observations. You don't agree with me so I am wrong. You may not like my style but sometimes things need to be aired without feelings being considered. This is a forum for free exchanges not just those that agree with you.
Tired October 21, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Anyone seeking more info on the fair funding issue http://fairschoolfunding.com/
Tired October 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Mr Lewis I grant that if this was on the fore front of every one's mind sure you can make calls and search for the filing dates. My problem is it is not widely publicised, I'm sure you would agree. The BOE makes decisions on issues that effect apporoximately 70% of each property owners tax bill. I find it unacceptable to continually have a BOE that has no other plan but to increase citizens taxes every year. The cap is a forced issue not something this or any other BOE would ever come up with on the own. Like federal govenment spending, BOE's (not just ours) are not concerned with the economy and issues of hardship effecting the citizens of the community. It is inconceivable to me that at no time ever is there a game plan to hold the school budget steady with no increase. Please tell us, has any member ever recommended this? The BOE members live in this town, have they not seen their taxes more then double over the last 10 years? Can we expect the BOE to ever consider the taxpayer in the future?


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