GLEN ROCK, NJ — The Glen Rock Board of Education reached a memorandum of agreement Monday, Nov. 5 with the Glen Rock Education Association (GREA), according to GREA lead negotiator Lisa Tomaselli, although details were not immediately divulged to the public.
This occurred one week after a peaceful rally was held outside Glen Rock High School, which included dozens of teachers and community members who rallied for better wages and a contract — something the district’s teaching staff has been working without for five months.
The district’s 276-member teaching staff had been working without a contract since an impasse between the association and the Board of Education impeded a deal in June when the GREA's three-year contract had expired. While the board was “close” to a settlement in late August, according to negotiations chairwoman Sharon Scarpelli, the association asked that certain information be verified and fact-finding be conducted by a Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC)-appointed mediator.
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Members of the GREA told the press in a statement last weekend that the time and energy district teachers put into their jobs do not equate to what they believe they’re worth. GREA President Carlo Santaniello accentuated this point during last Tuesday night’s board meeting when at least 100 protesters (a number of them teachers) formed a standing-room-only-crowd at the back of the high school cafeteria.
Santaniello said the district is currently ranked 130th in average teachers’ salaries for New Jersey, despite the Glen Rock district being ranked No. 2 in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine and receiving Blue Ribbon status by the state — an accolade bestowed to districts exhibiting overall academic excellence.
Currently, salaries for full-time Glen Rock teachers start at $50,044 and ranges to roughly $108,204 depending upon factors such as various steps and education level.
Santaniello said the district has lost more than two dozen teachers in recent years who have left the district for higher salaries in other school districts. Half the teaching staff, he told the board last week, has second jobs.