Education

New Brunswick Charter School Teachers Rally Over Contract Issues

909e824c9f5efb30c1e3_27657437_10155529221943422_6454685745209566019_n.jpg
Demonstration outside the Greater New Brunswick Charter School on Feb. 5. Credits: NJEA
909e824c9f5efb30c1e3_27657437_10155529221943422_6454685745209566019_n.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Teachers and management of the Greater Brunswick Charter School are at an impasse over the terms of a new contract.

The charter school’s 53 educators, represented by the Brunswick Charter Education Association, have been without a contract since July 1, 2017. The school’s educators are responsible for teaching ​an estimated 400 students who attend the K-8 school on Joyce Kilmer Avenue.

For the union, the crux of the impasse boils down to disputes over the cost of living adjustments​,​ which the union contends the administration has been unwilling give.

Sign Up for E-News

“What we are asking for will not magically make our teachers rich,” said Peter Creekmore, the union’s president. “What we are asking for is a ‘cost of living’ increase for a reason. These settlements are meant to keep the value of our salaries while the cost-of-living in New Jersey rises.”

Another issue, the union argues, is that the salaries for the charter school’s teachers are much lower than the state median for K-8 teachers.

“We think teachers should be the first priority of the school, the education tapestry, and students are not being served by the high teacher turnover,” Creekmore said.

The terms of the previous contract, which is renewed every three years, are in effect until a new one is agreed upon.

Susan Jackson, who chairs the charter school’s board of trustees, said that ever since the old contract expired, there have been 10 meetings in an effort to hash out new terms, but to new avail.

“The Board’s team has offered salary raises to the union membership,” Jackson said. “But the association is demanding raises which are substantially higher than the county or state averages.”

With talks having broken down, the state government intervened as a neutral third party, as required by state law.

The first step with state-intervention is mediation, run by the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC). The first session of PERC-run mediation was on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

While negotiations carried on that evening inside the school building, members of the Brunswick Charter Education Association and other unions across Middlesex County protested outside

.“If we can’t afford to pay our staff a fair cost of living increase to retain good teachers in our school, then there’s a serious problem,” Creekmore said on a megaphone, to the cheers of protestors.

School officials such as Jackson have argued that the demands of the union are far beyond the financial capability of the school.

“Something has to give,” Jackson said.

But the union has disputed allegations by the board of trustees that the school is in any type of financial strain.

“If that is the case, and we’re not necessarily saying that it’s not, then we need to have a serious talk about allocation of funds,” Creekmore said, adding that the management ought to reorganize or restructure ​what the union contends is “high administrative costs or high consultant costs.”

Union members have alleged a disproportionate allocation of money towards administration, which union rep Ted Tympanick III called “very top heavy.”

“If you look at any analytics, they have more administrators than they necessarily need,” Tympanick said.

The next mediation session between the union, management and PERC is scheduled for March 1, according to Tympanick.

“We would love to settle there,” Tympanick said. “The truth is we’re not go​ing to​ settle and just take a bad deal​. We​ want something that’s fair. They’ve basically low-balled us.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - May 21, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

IN COURT - Sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but the NJ Turnpike Authority has gone to court for years trying to stop a pizzeria chain whose logo is suspiciously similar to our beloved Garden State Parkway sign. Sure, nobody wants drivers searching for an on-ramp to end ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 17, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

MOUNTAINSIDE - Oh, where to begin describing this 46-page lawsuit against two Mountainside cops? A detective sergeant placing his testicles on co-workers' food. And throwing poop-smeared toilet tissue at them. And defecating in someone's boots. And taunting with a dildo dubbed "Big Blue" he liked to wave in cops' faces, as he chased ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 16, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ATLANTIC CITY - Happy days are here again, as the state's once gasping gaming resort is expecting sports betting will rake in $150 million to $175 million a year in new, glorious profits - courtesy of your pals on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, ecstatic Stockton University officials believe, this recharged gambling mecca will bring in a whole new ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 15, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - This. Changes. Everything. Legal sports betting is finally taking its rightful place in New Jersey, with the U.S. Supreme Court throwing out this dumb federal ban that has lasted for more than 25 years and has cost New Jersey billions of dollars in wasted opportunity. Places like the Atlantic City casinos and the racetracks will suddenly ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 14, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - If you are a 16-year-old kid, absolutely convinced you have the maturity to make a life-long commitment, now's the time to get married. That's because state officials are poised to ban child marriage, ending the horrid practice of children as young as 16 getting hitched. NJ 101.5 reports there have been 200 such marriages ...

Rutgers Athletics Signs Dyehard Fan Supply to New Multi-Year Agreement

May 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Rutgers Athletics has selected Dyehard Fan Supply, an event and retail merchandise marketing and e-commerce company, as the official merchandising partner for the Scarlet Knights in a new multi-year agreement.Dyehard will handle game day and event merchandising for Rutgers Athletics.

“We’re excited to expand gameday merchandising options and elevate ...

Newark man given 22-year sentence for kidnapping, sexual asault of Rutgers student

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Newark man was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Rutgers University student on the school campus in New Brunswick.

Michael Knight, 40, of Newark must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.

Superior Court Judge ...

Rutgers center battles noise pollution nationwide

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Eric Zwerling got a call this week from a man was living next to a fitness center, complaining he repeatedly heard the loud thud heavy free weights and medicine balls hit the floor.

The man was recovering from having a pace maker in his chest and wondering of the impact of the noise from the gym.

“I’ve received thousands of calls,” said Zwerling, ...

Police Investigate Rabbit "Tale"

May 11, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Local cops are investigating an incident of ‘theft by deception’ involving the Plainfield Animal Hospital. 

According to the incident report filed by Officer Justin Melanson and obtained by TAPinto, residents of South Plainfield took their pet rabbit to the Park Avenue animal hospital on April 4 to be euthanized due to advanced ...

OPINION

Here's How to Help Protect Young Athletes from Injury: Let Them Play Multiple Sports

May 1, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick:

One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting ...

Golf & Canasta/Mah-Jongg/Board Game Classic on May 20th

May 13, 2018

         The Daniel Pearl Education Center (DPEC), an East Brunswick-based charitable organization that sponsors a wide range of community outreach programs, is hosting its fifth annual Golf Classic on Sunday, May 20 at the Cranbury Golf Club.
          In addition to the golf tournament, there will also be an ...