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Jersey City Education Association 1600 John F Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City NJ 07305 201.435.6600 February 2012 Fifth Edition


Jersey City Education Association 1600 John F Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City New Jersey 07305 Phone 201.435.6600 Fax 201.435.1111

www.jcea.org Office Staff Marilyn Molina-Douglas Marisol Cifuentes Jasmine Rubert

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Christie’s personal vendetta against the NJEA and his proposed reforms will radically change public education and not for the better.

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TENURE CHANGES SHOULD AWAIT OUTCOME OF EVALUATION PILOT In testimony before the Senate Education Committee, Education Law Center urged legislators to put off changes to New Jersey’s tenure law until the State’s teacher evaluation pilot program is completed. The testimony, delivered by Stan Karp, ELC’s Director of Secondary Reform, addressed Senate Bill 1455, known as the TEACHNJ Act and sponsored by Senator Teresa Ruiz. Under S1455, new teachers and principals would not be eligible for tenure unless they receive a rating of “effective” or “highly effective” for three consecutive years based on a new “evaluation rubric” approved by the Commissioner of Education. Two years of poor ratings would cause them to lose tenure. The NJ Department of Education is currently conducting a program in which 11 school districts are piloting a new teacher evaluation process that bases 50% of a teacher’s rating on student test scores. The DOE recently announced that the pilot will continue through the 2012-13 school year. However, under S1455, districts would be required to adopt the new system by December 31 2012, before the pilot is completed and evaluated. Karp emphasized that because the pilot program is supposed to assess the feasibility and reliability of using the Department’s “student growth” scores to evaluate teacher performance, adoption of S1455 is especially “premature.“ The bill would attach “significant consequences” to the new teacher evaluation system before the pilot is even completed. “S1455 would do more than put the cart before the horse,” said Karp. “It would preempt the public discussion and review of the results of the pilot that must take place if new evaluation guidelines are to have the credibility they need to succeed.” ELC also identified several other major problems with the proposed bill, including the unknown costs to local districts and schools of implementing new student tests and teacher evaluation systems. While the proposed bill would require the State to provide funds to implement the new evaluation system, it has not identified what those costs are. ELC is urging legislators to hold off on changes to the current teacher evaluation and tenure laws until the results of the pilot can be publicly vetted by all stakeholders. ELC is also calling for a renewed effort “to build consensus for a transparent, credible evaluation with broad public and professional support. Completing the current pilot, rather than adopting new legislative mandates, is the next, best step towards that goal.”

MARCH Calendar • • • •

7th Executive Board Meeting 14th Directors’ Meeting 23rd Priscilla Queen of the Desert 29th Board of Education Meeting PS #11 6:00 PM

APRIL Calendar • • • •

3rd Executive Board Meeting 4th Directors’ Meeting 6th Good Friday School Closed 9th – 13th JCEA Hours 9:00 AM – 4 PM

17th Board of Education Election

• • • •

23rd High School Open House 6:30 – 8 PM 24th Elementary Schools Open House 6:30 – 8:00 PM 25th Middle Schools Open House 6:30 – 8:00 PM 26th Board of Education Meeting Monthly and Reorganization


Dear Colleagues, We are well into our school year and the closing months of the third year of our contract. We’re now in the beginning process of preparing for a new contract. We will begin negotiating by next November. To say it’s going to be a challenge is an understatement, especially with a governor overseeing almost every contract that is settled. And with the impending new superintendent, still unknown, it will make the challenge more difficult. Most districts are working without new contracts. Those that are signing new contracts are facing frozen or first year agreements. These agreements are all affected by the 2% cap that Senator Sweeney and Governor Christie passed two years ago. In the new legislation there is also the health benefit requirement that teachers with new contracts must pay a percentage of their premiums, not the 1.5% of their salary (see chart on next page). It was our intent to avoid this requirement by getting a four year contract. In achieving this goal we avoided the newly imposed percentage legislation. Although the third and fourth years of our contract were not the financial gains of the first two years, we achieved our goal of avoiding the huge increase in health benefits cost to our members. We still have the highest BA salary in the state. With our raise of 4.5% this year and 3.8% next year, we’re still way above the settlements coming in. Under the health benefits change, we would be paying 8.75% of our health premium ($20,000 for family coverage) which would be $1,750 and the following year we would be looking at a cost of $3,500. These numbers are also contingent on the health premium cost to remain at $20,000. Most estimates are predicting a coverage increase of 10% per year. You do the math. There are districts now attempting to create two tier salary guides which means new teachers will be hired on different guides, lowering either starting salaries or reducing the maximum. Take Kearny’s recently settled 3 year contract: first year only increment and people on max $500; second year, 1.25% raise effective January 1, 2013; then third year, 1.75% effective January 1, 2014. In effect, this is a 2.5% raise plus increment over 3 years. In Hoboken, a 2 year contract was just settled. First year, everyone is frozen at their step and maximum. The second year there is a 3% raise. Our fellow take-over districts, Newark and Paterson, have been working without a new contract for two years. In reality, that means they are working on the same salaries as three years ago. That’s the climate that this governor has created and will continue to do so. In addition, his commitment to END Tenure is now on the table and if passed will destroy public education as we know it today. It removes due process. This, I predict if passed, will destroy the urban districts. The turn-over will accelerate and the attractiveness of working with children who have the greatest needs will be affected the most. We presently have a problem retaining teachers without the new laws. In Jersey City, we have lost over 2,000 teachers in the past nine years. This figure is exclusive of retirees. I predict this new regulation will exacerbate the situation even further. I don’t envy the young teachers or the aspiring teachers to be. Also on the busy agenda is the forthcoming Board of Education election. We have to be prepared to mobilize our membership and their families to support our candidates. This new Board will probably pick the new superintendent and will also vote on our new contract next year. With 2,900 JCEA members and their families, we should be successful. Our candidates for the board will be chosen only if they are on record as against the continued expansion of charter schools, vouchers and the elimination of tenure. They also will have to display a philosophy of support for teachers. I never thought I would see the day when a former Mayor would be tacking signs on telephone poles and handing out applications to children at various schools and recruiting students to his new charter school that he will run. In closing, we have a great deal on our plate, but if we don’t wake up and realize the horses are out of the barn, it will be too late! Read our news flashes given to you by JCEA, NJEA, and NEA. Make sure you’ve given us your personal E-mail address. We are up to 1,800 and we are still short 1,200. Attend Board meetings and if you can, wear your JCEA shirt. Ron Greco and I have been at all Board meetings. In most cases we have taken issues with the Board. Stay abreast of the issues and call, write, email or text your representative to keep the pressure on them. If you don’t, who will? Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay united! Tom Favia


Premium Sharing BASE SALARY

P.L. 2011 c.78 YEAR 1 PERCENTAGE

YEAR 2 PERCENTAGE

YEAR 3 PERCENTAGE

YEAR 4 PERCENTAGE

FAMILY COVERAGE Under $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 $40,000 $45,000 $50,000 $55,000 $60,000 $65,000 $70,000 $75,000 $80,000 $85,000 $90,000 $95,000 $100,000 $105,000 $110,000 -

$25,000 $29,999 $34,999 $39,999 $44,999 $49,999 $54,999 $59,999 $64,999 $69,999 $74,999 $79,999 $84,999 $89,999 $94,999 $99,999 $104,999 $109,999 Over

0.75% 1.00% 1.25% 1.50% 1.75% 2.25% 3.00% 3.50% 4.25% 4.75% 5.50% 5.75% 6.00% 6.50% 7.00% 7.25% 8.00% 8.00% 8.75%

1.50% 2.00% 2.50% 3.00% 3.50% 4.50% 6.00% 7.00% 8.50% 9.50% 11.00% 11.50% 12.00% 13.00% 14.00% 14.50% 16.00% 16.00% 17.50%

2.25% 3.00% 3.75% 4.50% 5.25% 6.75% 9.00% 10.50% 12.75% 14.25% 16.50% 17.25% 18.00% 19.50% 21.00% 21.75% 24.00% 24.00% 26.25%

3.00% 4.00% 5.00% 6.00% 7.00% 9.00% 12.00% 14.00% 17.00% 19.00% 22.00% 23.00% 24.00% 26.00% 28.00% 29.00% 32.00% 32.00% 35.00%

MEMBER/PARTNER & PARENT/CHILD(REN) COVERAGE Under $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 $40,000 $45,000 $50,000 $55,000 $60,000 $65,000 $70,000 $75,000 $80,000 $85,000 $90,000 $95,000 $100,000 -

$25,000 $29,999 $34,999 $39,999 $44,999 $49,999 $54,999 $59,999 $64,999 $69,999 $74,999 $79,999 $84,999 $89,999 $94,999 $99,999 Over

0.88% 1.13% 1.50% 1.75% 2.00% 2.50% 3.75% 4.25% 5.25% 5.75% 6.50% 6.75% 7.00% 7.50% 7.50% 7.50% 8.75%

1.75% 2.25% 3.00% 3.50% 4.00% 5.00% 7.50% 8.50% 10.50% 11.50% 13.00% 13.50% 14.00% 15.00% 15.00% 15.00% 17.50%

2.63% 3.38% 4.50% 5.25% 6.00% 7.50% 11.25% 12.75% 15.75% 17.25% 19.50% 20.25% 21.00% 22.50% 22.50% 22.50% 26.25%

3.50% 4.50% 6.00% 7.00% 8.00% 10.00% 15.00% 17.00% 21.00% 23.00% 26.00% 27.00% 28.00% 30.00% 30.00% 30.00% 35.00%

$20,000 $24,999 $29,999 $34,999 $39,999 $44,999 $49,999 $54,999 $59,999 $64,999 $69,999 $74,999 $79,999 $84,999 $89,999 $94,999 Over

1.13% 1.38% 1.88% 2.50% 2.75% 3.00% 3.50% 5.00% 5.75% 6.75% 7.25% 8.00% 8.25% 8.50% 8.50% 8.50% 8.75%

2.25% 2.75% 3.75% 5.00% 5.50% 6.00% 7.00% 10.00% 11.50% 13.50% 14.50% 16.00% 16.50% 17.00% 17.00% 17.00% 17.50%

3.38% 4.13% 5.63% 7.50% 8.25% 9.00% 10.50% 15.00% 17.25% 20.25% 21.75% 24.00% 24.75% 25.50% 25.50% 25.50% 26.25%

4.50% 5.50% 7.50% 10.00% 11.00% 12.00% 14.00% 20.00% 23.00% 27.00% 29.00% 32.00% 33.00% 34.00% 34.00% 34.00% 35.00%

SINGLE COVERAGE Under $20,000 $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 $40,000 $45,000 $50,000 $55,000 $60,000 $65,000 $70,000 $75,000 $80,000 $85,000 $90,000 $95,000 -

Payment of percentage of premium will go into effect upon expiration of collective bargaining agreement, or June 28, 2011, if no current collective bargaining agreement is in effect. New employees, after premium sharing above commences, will have no phase-in period. Payment cannot be less than 1.5% of base.


*Goldi’s back, from South East Asia, with some ideas from Kim Jong-un in North Korea. Now you know why computers are banned after 2:15; they’ll be removed next, that’s how you run a successful dictatorial organization. *Ronnie Baby…Rookie Ronnie…Ronnie Baby…Rookie Ronnie…einy meiny miny mo, well… I just don’t know….. your classmate from high school called me Ronnie Baby for years, so let’s stick ti k with ith that th t one!! See S you on the 29th at the board meeting, where we always meet! *This SIG has really gone to their head! Over at CAREBEAR High School the coaches were fired without their knowledge, made to re-interview after the spring season starts, and then are DEMOTED and FIRED AGAIN in late March as the season is in progress. Imagine walking onto the field, to hear from the athletes “Hey, coach, I think that new person is the coach!” ONLY at this place does this happen. Strike Three, you’re definitely outta your league this time! *Preschool Quality Assessment...Pearson Consultants…Product Review…Standard Solutions…American Standard Toilets…That’s where you file their paperwork, with the Tidy Bowl Man. *What’s with the boy-toy down “there?” Is that a school or a brothel, Chief R*#@%$&*s? *Shout out to School No. 25! Highest attendance @ February BOE mtg…Vinnie’s Pizza Party on the way! This month’s mtg is scheduled for Thursday, March 29, at School No. 11, 6 p.m. *To the gentleman I heard from…I’m working on that decoder “key” for you! Looking forward to my visit to your school. On February 19, School 15 lost an anchor; a rock; a mother, aunt, grandmother and mentor to the children, in the passing of Mary L. Jarrott. She was a fixture in School 15 for so many years, and will be sorely missed. Our condolences, prayers and best wishes go out to her family. May you rest in peace and God Bless you, Mary.

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I am addressing the 15 athletic grievances filed from staff around the district, for positions at Lincoln High School. Never has such an egregious assault been carried out on the athletic coaches in this city. DO NOT sign anything from Standard Solutions, Pearson, etc… The district and JCEA have clear language on pages 11-13 of the contract regarding evaluations. DO NOT sign walk through forms. You are to ONLY be evaluated by supervisors. We are addressing this with the affected department. There are Eight (8) after school sessions, September through June. Four (4) of the eight (8) sessions were the professional development days. Outside of those four, your principal may schedule up to four (4) more faculty meetings or professional development sessions. So, four were already mandated district wide, so that leaves four left. Do not exceed eight after school sessions. Any questions, call. Prep Period is 45 minutes uninterrupted, teacher directed time. NO workshops, NO meetings, NO P.D. just teacher directed time. It’s that simple, prep period is YOUR time. Lunch Period is 45 minutes uninterrupted time. NO workshops, NO meetings, NO P.D. LUNCH is LUNCH! I don’t know how else to explain it to the folks who take their lunch but want to impose on others lunch time. This is in no way intended to offend anyone, but if the shoe fits…… Let’s remember, you receive directives from administrators and supervisors in a professional, respectful manner. However, you DO NOT receive them, or take orders from any wannabe big shot in the Lunar ECLIPSE program. They are administrators in training, don’t put up with nonsense from them. They should be carrying out their regular assignment during the day, not hanging out in the office working on their Solar ECLIPSE. Once they graduate from the Winter Solstice/ECLIPSE, they have license to bully, intimidate, harass, etc… Evaluation procedure is the same. Pre conference and starting the next day, you must be evaluated within 20 school days. After evaluation takes place, it must be returned to you, with a post conference within 10 school days. Do not sign more than one pre conference form. Only one person in the room to evaluate you. There are no team evaluations. ONLY LINCOLN, SNYDER AND 41 pilot the new evaluations. JCEA does not recognize team walk throughs or informal evaluations or visits. Do not sign suggestion forms, enrichment forms, etc… There are no forms that we recognize. Forms are district and JCEA approved. Do not sign forms from supervisors that they invented without district/union approval. No staff member is to be reprimanded in a corridor, over the p.a. system, in a classroom or office. This is a violation of your rights. Do not respond to supervisors (or the administrator in the forest) who are screaming and engaging in obscene, abusive, unprofessional behavior. Notify your building rep immediately and this office. Sign in time is 8:00. Late is late. You are not docked pay, nor fractions of your day. 8:20, 8:45, 9:08, 9:53, 10:37… Late is late. On the sixth late you are docked ½ day pay. After that, it starts over again. If you call in late, the administrators may not tell you to stay home. This is illegal. Report to work. Saturday workshops are spreading like wildfire… the greater the number of folks who participate in these sessions, the more it will become expected and part of your work week. Just a warning! If you have any concerns, questions, etc… feel free to give me a call @ 201 435 6600. Spring is in the air; let’s hope it stays and we get through March without any traces of winter returning. It’s that time of the year; we’re all stretched to the limit, running a bit short on patience, looking toward June, so hang in there, we’re in the home stretch! Stay alert, well rested, on your toes, healthy, happy, and stay away from that cottage!


Actors Act A tors Shakespeare Company at New Jersey City University Pr Presents essen nts ts

MACBETH

Photo Credit Boyle Image (c)

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March 2012  

know your contract, tenure changes, march madness

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