PAYCHECK ISSUES: The District will be audited by the state in January 2010. One category that will be scrutinized is payroll distribution and control. The state requires that all employees pick up and sign for their checks. This includes employees with direct deposit. The Superintendent reports that numerous employees with direct deposit have not picked up or signed for their direct deposit earning statements (pay stubs) in years.
In July, 2009, the Board was required to establish Standard Operating Procedures for its business functions. In a memo dated September 29, 2009 administrators and building principals received the new guidelines for implementation of Payroll Distribution and Controls. As usual, some building administrators chose not to share this information with the staff in a timely manner.
In order to avoid any problems as the winter vacation approaches, I am urging all EOEA members to physically pick up and sign for your December pay checks and direct deposit earning statements. If the state cites the board for non-compliance in this area in January, it is possible the Board will seek to eliminate the privilege and convenience of direct deposit for all employees. Please let us know if you have any problems or concerns.
TENTATIVE AGREEMENT UPDATE: On December 16, 2009 the EOEA Negotiating team will have a second meeting with NJEA Uniserv to review the proposed salary guides. Once the team has approved the guides, they will be forwarded to the Board’s negotiating team for review and approval. Although we have no control over the Board’s time frame, we will most certainly urge them to be conscious of the fact that this entire process has been extremely long and hard on our members. Please know that we will announce the date for our General Membership Meeting as soon as the board approves the salary guides.
We know that this has been trying and appreciate your patience.
WISHING ALL OF YOU A JOYOUS HOLIDAY SEASON AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Negotiations Team met on Monday, November 23, 2009 to review salary guides, class coverage dollar amounts (Article XI) and extra compensation stipends (Article XX). Ken Wiggins, NJEA Uniserv Rep., did an excellent job of explaining the structure and complexities of the guides to the Team. At the end of the three hour meeting the Team made a few recommendations and we will meet again at a date to be determined. At our next meeting the Association will decide when a General Membership meeting will be scheduled.
Thank you for your patience and continued support.
EOEA HEALTH, SAFETY AND SECURITY COMMITTEE (HSSC) By Clarence Osborne, Chairperson
Last month’s HSSC article indicated that the Association had received information on hazardous conditions at the Board of Education building. This information which included pictures of the hazards was presented at the November HSSC meeting. The Board’s component of the HSSC said they were aware of the hazards and that a plan of action has been implemented to address these concerns. Those EOEA members who are housed at the Board can rest assured that the Association will continue to monitor this situation.
The HSSC visited Bowser School for a walk-through on November 19th. Overall the school building was in good shape. However, we did observe that some rooms/areas were too hot or too cold, several toilet flush valve covers needed to be replaced, ceiling tiles were stained, and several lights were in need of replacement bulbs and/or ballasts. A follow-up walk-through will take place on Thursday, December 10, 2009.
Following is the schedule of walk-throughs for this school year: January – Parks March – Cochran May- Carver
Each year the EOEA honors its members with “The Pride in Public Education Award”. The award is given to unselfish, dedicated members who promoted Pride in the school and/or in the community by initiating and participating in activities and projects, which generate PRIDE.
We are proud to name the recipients of the 2009 EOEA Pride in Public Education Award. The awards were presented at Mayfair Farms December 8.
Catherine A. Watson (Bowser) recipient of the 2009 Mildred Barry Garvin Prize by the New Jersey Historical Commission for helping students learn about the African American historical experience.
Hubert Ato-Bakari Chase (Glenwood Campus) for developing a project called Global Reach: African Roots where students delved into their roots and uncovered their own diversity. Students felt and demonstrated pride in their own heritage.
Irene Marousis (Tyson) for teacher in charge of LEAD. The students involved in LEAD are taught to be leaders, which help organize programs and activities in the school.
Gwendolyn M. Sutton (Campus 9) for initiating a Poetry Club. The poetry club created its first Campus 9 booklet. The booklet included a chapter of congratulatory poems to President Barack Obama. They sent that chapter to the President.
Irene Marousis (Tyson) for teacher in charge of of LEAD. The students involved in LEAD are taught to be leaders, which help organize programs and activities in the school.
Melissa A. Jones (Campus 9) started the first Earth Day activity at Campus 9 and helped raise $2500 for Breast Cancer Awareness.
18 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (observed)
ECEA PRIDE EXPO at the LIVINGSTON MALL The PRIDE Mall Expo sponsored by the ESSEX COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION will be held March 5 thru March 12, 2010. The PRIDE Expo will showcase performances, displays, demonstrations etc. by students. All registration forms must be sent directly to Donna Jenkins at Healy School or the EOEA office by January 15, 2010. See Reps for forms and details.
The PRIDE committee is sponsoring an Art contest. The theme for the contest is “Students – Family – Community”. All entries must be submitted to Donna Jenkins at Healy school or the EOEA office by February 10, 2010.
Each school is asked to submit one (1) entry per grade level. See your Rep. for details.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!! ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!
The time is always right to do what is right.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS By Amy Scott, Chairperson
Our union: EOEA must continue to cry out in the wilderness, and stand strong. Although there may be a new Governor and other elected officials taking the leadership reign in Trenton and in some of our local communities, we still have our PAC endorsed elected candidates from both parties on our side.
We must continue our fight to “defend and protect” public education and the future of the students and families that we serve by being vigilant and aggressive over the next four years while engaging in the battle against vouchers and merit pay, and giving our needed support for our rights for collective bargaining and benefits.
There is pending legislation to replace three Federal reading programs: Reading First, Early Reading, and Striving Reader and to authorize 2.35 billion in funding to improve reading and writing in grades K-12. This Senate Comprehensive Literacy Bill would represent a huge boost in federal aid to adolescent literacy. Let’s hope that it works in our favor and not against us.
Two other bills pending include: A-4140 (Oliver) that would provide members with additional protection against subcontracting; and A-4142 (Cryan) which will ensure that collective bargaining contracts and binding arbitration continues. Both of these labor bills are NJEA initiated and have been released from the Assembly Education Committee, and need to be approved this year. You should contact and urge your district Congressmen/women to post these bills for a vote on the floor this fall. For more information, go to www.njleg.state.nj.us and email or call them today. They will lobby for you and work closely with government to appoint new judges who will also support our agenda.
Also of interest is “RACE TO THE TOP” which will include student test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation process as a condition of public school funding. The NJEA opposes this and will be meeting with Commissioner Davey to discuss alternative ways to receive funding. The $4 billion available in THE RACE TO THE TOP allocation contains many stipulations, some of which are very adverse to public education as we now know it. You can review these stipulations under the DOE website.
The NJEA and the EOEA care about you and strive daily to protect employee rights, to stop layoffs, to maintain benefits, and to avoid program cutbacks. More than ever they desperately need every member to give $1 dollar per pay to NJEA-PAC and to participate in upcoming lobbying activities and in Cyber lobbying, and to communicate regularly with local, county, and state officials in support of public education. We can’t afford to wait until 2010 when a new governor and Congress take control before we began to fight.
Every day we must proceed with hope and never in despair; and let our light shine and avoid the darkness. Remember that we are indebted to the leaders of tomorrow, our students; therefore teach them well and help them find their way. We cannot allow ourselves to be thrown off track. We may have lost a battle but we have not lost the war. We remain victorious.
By Priscilla Burke, Chairperson
There are several grievances pursuing
removal of reprimands from files on
behalf of several members. All grievances not responded to at level II have been moved to Level III (Various Buildings) There was a level III hearing regarding this issue for one site. There are several other hearings pending and moved to the next level.
Several grievances are filed on behalf of teachers at a building where there is a claim that the administrators continuously display disparate treatment towards certain staff members and will consequently grant favors to others. The complaining staff members have received an onslaught of reprimands and/or recommendations for loss of increments.
Grievances have been filed against administrators who have used a concern by a parent (which was resolved) and incorporated the information into reprimands and an evaluation. (Tyson Elementary) A hearing was held at Level III and we are waiting for a response from the Board.
Several teachers are grieving losses of increments. Two hearings were held and we are waiting for two to be scheduled.
A class action grievance was filed on behalf of any teacher who was held beyond their contractual day on the last day of school (Level III). A hearing was held at Level III and we are waiting for a response.
A grievance will be filed against the administration at Tyson Elementary that is mandating that teachers wear the school uniform twice a week. (Moved to level IV)
Refusal by administration to give professional development credits to teachers who are trained at staff meeting (Cochran) Moved to Level IV.
The December issue of the NJEA Review has all the details.
Plan that well deserved vacation now, but remember; only members get the best deal!
Please contact your Assemblypersons and ask them to support
these bills A-4140 and A-4142; S-709, & A-3222.
Go to www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp
to locate and contact your legislators.
INSTRUCTION & TRAINING
By Deborah Thurmond, Chairperson
What is professional development? NJEA has developed the following definition for professional development: The term ”professional development” means a comprehensive, sustained and intensive approach to improving teachers’ and administrators’ effectiveness in raising student achievement.
If you are looking for a flexible, convenient, effective professional development experience, log onto www.njea.org. NJEA's online professional development gives members an opportunity to take an e-learning course and print out a PD certificate upon completion. Each e-learning course will provide 2 PD hours.
Here is a sample of the NJEA E-Learning courses currently available:
Character at Work - 21st Century Case Histories 1 and 2
Please don’t forget to submit your PD hours to Lorena Simmons. Teachers at E.O. Campus High, Wahlstrom, E.O. Campus 9, and Cochran should have submitted hours during the months of October and November. Costley, Warwick, and Gibson teachers are scheduled to submit PD hours in December.
If you have any questions regarding the submission of your PD hours, please contact Lorena Simmons at 973-266-5783.
By Carla Hinds, Chairperson
It has been an eventful year so far and the work of the FAST committee continues. The book clubs are really taking off! Blogs have been set up with times and dates for next meetings, along with questions from the current book selection. The 2nd meeting for the male group and the 2nd meeting for the female group will be held on Tuesday, December 1st at Glenwood Campus. The enthusiasm is so strong that each group has planned to do other activities in and around the community.
The male book club (Miles Ahead) ventured to New York City as a group and had dinner together along with attending a Broadway Show—“Brokeology.” What a wonderful thing to hear about and see—men who have committed to literary enhancement and brotherhood.
The female book club (Savvy Sisters) will be supporting our effort—“Make It! Take It!” which will be held at the Beth-El Love Christian Center, 193-195 Matthew Street in Orange. This is a creative arts workshop where adults with their children can come and design holiday items to give as gifts or to keep for themselves. This will take place on Saturday, December 12th from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Please watch out for the fliers. You may contact the EOEA office if you know people (especially parents) who would like to attend.
I trust that you will all have a wonderful holiday season. Rest, Relax and Remember how giant a task you might have, but how significant your work is to countless children. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Visit our website:
MEMBERSHIP By Kathie Osborne, Chairperson
NJEA Travel Presents the Winter-Spring-Summer 2010 cruise and tour schedule. Call Bravo Tours/NJEA Reservations!!! 800-222-7439. The December issue of the NJEA Review has all the details.
Plan that well deserved vacation now, but remember, only members get the best deal!
Good News about New Jersey's public schools
Highest Advanced Placement scores in the nation: New Jersey is first in the nation in the average Advanced Placement (AP) score for public school students this year.
Public school students outperform private school students on Advanced Placement exams: In New Jersey, public school students score higher than private school students on their AP exams.
Source: College Board
Ms. Joyce McCree, Editor Ms. Donna Jenkins, Reporter
SOCIAL By Lynn Godfrey, Chairperson
HURRY LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS AVAILABLE MLK Celebrationat NJPAC
Thursday, January 14, 2010 @ 7 p.m.
Tickets: $31 Orchestra Seats
Grammy and stellar award winning gospel sensation Smokie Norful will be performing.
Patti LaBelle Bergen Performing Arts Center- Englewood, NJ
Thursday, March 4, 2010 @ 8 p.m.