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MEA and Board of Ed Reach Settlement

Tentative agreement must go to vote with the teachers, but BOE thinks it is a good compromise.

After 16 months, the Board of Education and the teachers union have reached a tentative settlement on the – on their first night of having a fact finder from the state visit.

The fact-finding session occurred Tuesday night and the teachers rallied outside beforehand.

According to Mark Zucker, who is the chairman of the Millburn Board of Education’s negotiations team, the board and the union have signed a memorandum of agreement in which they “compromised on the language issue, provided a salary increase in line with what was provided to the non-aligned employees and to the MASA staff members, and provided a one time non-pensionable payment to compensate the MEA members for increased out of pocket health care expenses incurred during the period July 1, 2011 until April 1, 2012.”

At Monday’s school board meeting, in a discussion about the one-time payment  for MASA and non-aligned employees, it was mentiond that payment was approximately $1,750 per person.

said that as a result of this agreement, the membership will not need to provide receipts to prove their excess out-of-pocket expenses in order to be reimbursed but will instead receive an additional sum of money.

Lois Infanger, president of the MEA, said the two sides reached a settlement late on Tuesday night but the details still need to be presented to and voted on by the rest of the union members. Infanger said she could not discuss the matter until the ratification vote takes place.

Zucker, however said, “because we have not yet reached an agreement with respect to the salary guide, the cannot yet bring the document to the membership for ratification. We have not brought the proposed contract to the rest of the Board.”

The negotiations were handled by Zucker, board president Michael Birnberg and board member Sam Levy.

“We believe that this agreement represents a fair and equitable resolution to the problem and hope that the teachers will see likewise,” Zucker said. “We all recognize that the past few months have been stressful for the teachers, the Board, and (most importantly) for the students.”

Recently Infanger said that while the negotiations have been stressful for the teachers, they have still and kept the students’ best interests at heart.

The negotiations were long and drawn out, Infanger has said, because the BOE changed the t without negotiating and they left the the table. The two sides reached and early impasse and a mediator was brought in but unable to help the two sides reach an agreement -- that's when the state sent in a fact-finder

Millburn Schools Superintendent James Crisfield called the settlement “good news.”

Wendy May 08, 2012 at 12:26 AM
It is not the teachers. it is the UNIONS making things worse. We all know.
M OKeef May 08, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Also, grateful to MB teachers ...but ?? about this comment. The 2% increase is usually in ADDITION to the step increases, so Jaime why assume it is different this time? And the UNION decides how to allocate the increase across the steps, not BOE. Does a teacher max out on the steps after 12 years? Or has the union not spread the allocation evenly over the steps? The contributions for medical insurance are a result of a change in state law, not BOE. And the costs of insurance increasing, well welcome to the real world.Most taxpayers have been forced to make large contributions for health coverage decades ago so have little sympathy for this argument. In the past, teachers have been held harmless from premium increases, but the free ride is over.. The taxpayers have been very generous in supporting our teachers. They have excellent pay and benefits. Try looking on the positives. I hope all are able to put the recent negativity behind them and move forward positively.
Jamie M May 11, 2012 at 06:20 PM
The 2% increase IS THE only increase and it ALL applies to the common pool of money. Your assumption is wrong. As for the guide, the BOE as well as the union work out the allocations. Not just the union. As for the medical, again your comment is typical of the degrading attitude towards the teachers. Going into the profession, they knew that they were never going to "get rich". In the "Real World". as you put it, people get raises AND bonuses for their efforts. I'd like to see ANY executive accept performing well and then being told they will NEVER get any real salary increase for the rest of their career. The trade off was always understood to be good health benefits. That is gone now. Also teachers pay almost 9% of their gross salary to their pension fund, up 2% in addition to the 35% they must pay for their medical. Unlike YOU, they will NEVER be able to absord these ever increasing costs because there is no real advancement as well as a ceiling on salary. Your sarcastic comment about a "free ride" being over is exactly my point. These people are not your landscaper or your housepainter. They are , next to the parents/grandparents, the most infulential adult in our children's lives. Hurtful and dismissive comments makes their already difficult job nearly impossible. The children mimmick the attitudes of their parents and take it into the school.
M OKeef May 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Jaime, "not a teacher": how do you know so much about the details about this offer if you are not a teacher ? I don't believe there will no longer be step increases for seniority and additional education (Masters, PhD) in addition to the 2% annual increase. Teachers were getting $10,000 bumps for additional education, that's no longer going to be the case? Also NO not every employee gets bonuses, many only get their salary and possibly an annual raise. In past few years, not everyone has gotten a raise. Some are unemployed. Private employers have been passing big benefit cost increases along to employees for decades. And news flash, most employees no longer have any defined, guaranteed pension AT ALL. Non civil union employees have to save what they can from their after tax income and invest those savings and hope there is enough appreciation in value by the time they want to retire. Many have little savings. They would love to contribute 9% and have a pension when they want to retire.
Jamie M May 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM
M OKeef, accuse me of lying about my trade if you wish, I dont care. I have worked in the private sector for 28 years & have made an excellent living. I also pay my "fair shair" of taxes. Much to your dismay I am not a teacher, I could not do the job. It takes a special person to handle all that that job requires. Furthermore, I could not do it while knowing the distain people like yourself have for teachers. I know that each year, if I produce, I will be rewarded. I also know that if my medical insurance goes up, I can cover it. Teachers have no such hopes. A productive, veteran teacher knows there is no financial "reward" for their efforts. No hope of "promotion". As for pensions, companies MATCH employee 401K contributions &higher salaries make it easier to put money away. Teachers don't get that benefit. Yes there are private sector woes and I have had to , over the years, let some staff go, But it is a risk reward proposition. When private sector income was rising by double digits no one was concerned teacher salaries rose a mere 3%. Also, do your research and see that there have been thousands of teachers let go do to the economy. I also note you sidestepped the issue of your degrading attitude toward teachers. I also find it interesting that you are so worried about the meager increases your taxes provide teachers, but you have no problem sending 17% of your property taxes to subsidize Newark. That the real monster in the closet.

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