Education

'Unhappy' Roxbury Teachers Entering Second School Year Without New Contract

f0a79e9ce6cd6708fb5d_rox_school_logo.JPG
f0a79e9ce6cd6708fb5d_rox_school_logo.JPG

ROXBURY, NJ – The township’s teachers are returning to work for the second year without a new contract as their union continues to butt heads with the Board of Education, primarily over compensation.

The contract that expired June 30, 2014 covers about 450 Roxbury School District employees, including teachers, secretaries, para-professionals and maintenance workers, said New Jersey Education Association Field Representative John Williams. He said that, while no strike or other major job action is imminent, the workers are disgruntled.

Most teachers did not attend the Roxbury High School graduation ceremony in June, something that's not required but has customarily happened in the past. "There are things they're not doing," said Williams. "They are fulfilling all their obligations and still going above and beyond. They have not withheld any services. They have not, up to this point, denied any services to children. They continue to perform all their responsibilities. There were no work stoppages.”

Sign Up for E-News

Nevertheless, “they’re unhappy,” said Williams. “They’re very disappointed that the board has not been able to reach what we believe is a fair and equitable agreement.” He said some have been forced to find second jobs and have little time for extra-curricular activities.

Williams’ counterpart on the other side of the negotiating table, Anthony Sciarrillo, an attorney representing the school district in the contract talks, could not be reached immediately for comment Friday. Roxbury School Board President Theresa D'Agostino also did not return messages seeking comment.

Williams said the union members and school board are at odds primarily over salaries. He said legislation forced the employees to contribute significantly more to their health insurance and pensions, but their paychecks have not kept pace.

Public employees who formerly were paying less than 2 percent of their wages to help cover their medical insurance are now paying up to 35 percent, said Williams. Those at the top of the pay scale are now paying as much as $9,000 annually for that coverage, he said, adding they're also paying 7½ percent of their pension contribution, a 2 percent increase over the amount paid several years ago.

“For the last three or four years, while some employees have been getting some salary increases, those increases have been far outpaced by the increased cost of pensions and health insurance,” said Williams. “So they are actually taking home less money ... That’s something that they can’t sustain. That’s a component in this bargaining: That there has to be a change. You can’t continue the pattern of taking home less money, each year.”

Williams acknowledged school districts are constrained by state-imposed spending limits, but he said there are ways they can make ends meet without causing hardship for teachers and other union members. “We understand boards have other costs and things like that, but we feel the district has to recognize you can’t put people in a salary reduction pattern year after year,” he said. “There has to be a solution somewhere.”

So far, the union and the school board went through regular bargaining activity and, after that, met with a mediator. “That was not successful,” said Williams. A Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) factfinder subsequently determined the sides were at an impasse and has scheduled an Oct. 6 hearing.

The factfinder will write a report. Both sides have 10 days to consider the report’s recommendation. If either side rejects the proposal, the matter enters the next phase, called “super conciliation.”

But even the findings of the super conciliator are not binding on either of the parties. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roxbury

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3057e8d358e66fe83b78_t_of_r

Mon, May 21, 6:30 PM

Roxbury High School, Succasunna

12 Annual Taste of Roxbury

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_9f6a0b2f099beddf8b3d_932ce296d70b9244bd56_sepup

Tue, May 22, 6:45 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

Seeing Eye Puppies - Meet and Greet

Education Giving Back

Carousel_image_2797ba31e2f7b0e4cf4b_medici12

Mon, May 28, 11:00 AM

Lincoln-Roosevelt School, Succasunna

Roxbury Memorial Day Parade

Giving Back

Carousel_image_c7b7b59609f6bcc31370_cartwheels_in_motion_logo_1

Sat, June 2, 3:30 PM

The Little Gym of Roxbury, Ledgewood

Meet Moana and Superman!

Arts & Entertainment

Columns

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

An Open Letter from Morris County Educators

May 9, 2018

May 8, 2018

To the editor,

We are writing on behalf of the more than 1,600 public school employees working in our schools.  We are proud of the work that we do, and we are the reason that our schools celebrate notable achievements and our students’ goals and dreams are often fulfilled. 

Today marks the annual Teacher Appreciation Day, a day in which our nation takes a ...

Lacking Respect

As a parent of children who have attended Kennedy Elementary School in Succasunna starting in 2010, I am very disappointed that you chose to use Mr Eric Renfors  “No Shave November photos” to announce his resignation.

They were clearly used in poor taste. He is a humble man who participates in many community fund raisers and teaches ...

Eisenhower Middle School Announces Third Marking Period Honor Rolls

May 11, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - Eisenhower Middle School announces the students who have earned High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2017/2018 school year.

Students must have earned all A’s on their second marking period report card to qualify for high honor roll. Students must have a combination of A’s and B’s on their second marking period report card to ...

Victoria Mobilio of Roxbury Attains BA at Villanova Business School

VILLANOVA, PA - Victoria Mobilio, a Roxbury resident who attended Morris County School of Technology, will be graduating Villanova University School of Business with a BA in Finance and minors in International Business and Business Law & Corporate Governance.

She has been chosen to represent the senior class and deliver the Benediction Speech at the Villanova Business School ...

Roxbury High School Announces Third Marking Period Honor Rolls

ROXBURY, NJ -  Roxbury High School announces the students who have earned High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2017/2018 school year.

Students must have earned all grades 90 or above on their third marking period report cards to qualify for high honor roll and students must have earned all grades 80 or above on their third marking period report cards to ...

Press Releases

Calling all Singer-Songwriters - Earn Spot Opening Music Fest in June!

May 9, 2018

Fulfill your dream of performing at an established local Music Festival!  Two (2) talented local/area singer-songwriters will each be awarded a 15 minute spot to open the Groove in the Grove Indie Music Festival (the Festival)!

The Groove Acoustic Open Mic Challenge (the Challenge) will be held on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Enzo’s Pizzeria, 382 Rt 46, Budd Lake, NJ starting ...

Root for Earth Week at The Goddard School of Randolph

RANDOLPH, NJ- The Goddard School of Randolph celebrated Earth Day with a week-long Root for Earth campaign. Our goals were to encourage a love of nature and an understanding of our responsibilities to the environment.

Pre-Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Brianna, planned and coordinated the week’s activities. These activities included a nature sensory bin, tree bark art rubbings, yard waste ...