PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: In less than a month we will face one of the most profound choices that will have a lasting impact upon our profession. That choice will be electing the President of the United States. If you are a public school employee, the choice is clear. We must elect a president who understands and supports what we do as professionals. President Obama supports educators and views education as an economic imperative. He has called for the hiring of at least 100,000 new teachers to make sure that our people are skilled and able to succeed. He has offered states relief from federal mandates, providing them targeted flexibility to use local solutions to improve schools and strengthen accountability.
President Obama believes in providing every child a complete education. He knows that educators are a crucial part of building and sustaining educational transformation and fully supports collective bargaining rights. When Congress was pushing to extend the controversial D.C. school voucher program, President Obama stated, “private school vouchers are NOT an effective way to improve student achievement”. In addition, the President has secured key reforms for federal student loans so that the country invests in students, not banks, and he has capped loan payments to relieve 1.6 million students by this year.
His commitment to making college affordable has resulted in the expansion of Pell Grants to help nearly 4 million students. These students have the same economic challenges as our students in East Orange. Teachers often shy away from politics, but if you look at the changes that have had the most impact upon students, education employees, especially in urban school districts, these changes have all been political in nature.
It seems that as soon as we reach the bar, the bar is changed. It seems as though we are always put in a defensive stance. We must always justify not only our existence, but also our children’s right to exist and thrive.
I urge you to visit, NJEA.org, and NEA.org for a true picture and comparison of the candidates and their positions on public education. We must make the right choice for our students and our profession.
IN MEMORIAM: It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of another one of our beloved members, Ms. Kumesia Williams, Teacher of the Handicapped at Garvin school. Funeral services have already been held.
I am happy to report that the Board’s maintenance committee provided the HSSC an extensive document that reflected the East Orange School District 2012 Summer Maintenance Issues. Approximately 65% of the items were completed on the list.
Some examples of the issues addressed were:
EOCHS – unclog floor drains, replacement of fan motor in AC unit, repair, clean, lubricate, replace belts on AC unit, repair shower heads
STEM – painting, repair/replace door locks, repair ballasts, install new thermostats, repair cracked toilet
Costley – repair/replace burned out compressor and condenser fan, replace air filters and fan belts
Healy – repair/upgrade ventilation system, replace lights, repair/replace door lock, replace panic bar
Truth – replace damage ceiling tile frames, reattach handrails, paint, repair/replace burned out compressor and condenser fan motor
Banneker – replace damaged faucet, repair leak in wall.
Bowser – painting, repair roof, repair broken panic bar, install new lavatory faucet, install new toilet diaphragm
Service building – replace sump pump, install hose bib
Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 11, 2012.
P.R.I.D.E. By Donna Jenkins, Chairperson
October Halloween Safety–
Reinforce Halloween safety rules and practices with students. Halloween safety bags are available for Elementary students. Please acknowledge bags are compliments of EOEA. See your Rep for bags.
Breast Cancer Awareness-
Each year the EOEA honors up to ten of its members who have promoted pride in the school and/or in the community by initiating or participating in activities and projects, which have promoted PRIDE.
This is the time to be recognized for some of the many great things you do. Self-nominations are also encouraged. Submit an application with a summation of the activity and/or project with all nominations.
Submit your application to the EOEA office or Donna Jenkins at Healy School. Awards will be presented at the EOEA Rep council meeting in December. Nominations must be received by October 30.
November Bring your parent(s) to school day.
Members are encouraged to collaborate with the parent liaison, and/or the PTA/PTO, to invite parents to school to pick up their child’s report card. There is a $100.00 allotment for light refreshments to be served to parents. EOEA must be acknowledged on programs and the sign-in sheet must be submitted for a refund. No refunds will be given for purchases made at SAM’S CLUB or WALMART. Only original receipts should be sent to the EOEA office or Donna Jenkins at Healy School by November 30.
14 ECEA PR & R “Dealing with Difficult People” Workshop
GRIEVANCE REPORT By Priscilla Burke, Chairperson
A series of Grievances have gone to Arbitration and we are awaiting scheduling:
A Hearing was held at Level III regarding:
Violation of the Complaint Procedure
Loss of Increment
Missed Prep Compensation
The member bought a witness to the hearing (parent). Tthe concern of the Association was that as soon as the member began to assert her rights via the contract, she became a target and was harassed through memos and verbal reprimands in front of peers, parents and students. The member had satisfactory evaluations until she had an initial confrontation with the administrator. (CTS Elementary) Sent to Arbitration.
Grievances are filed revolving around the Personal Day language, although the language is clear and unambiguous. The Association is proceeding to legally resolve the issues regarding Personal Day leaves. Sent to Arbitration.
A Hearing was held regarding the Board’s violation of the agreement between the EOEA and the EOBOE Grievance procedure (Article II). The Association grieved that the Board did not schedule or respond in a timely manner to grievances. We are waiting for a response. Moved to Level IV. Sent to Arbitration.
A Grievance was filed at Level III that compensation for extended day and an extra team meeting/ school service period has been given to different rates for the same extra compensation. (Article V-D and Article XI) (Tyson 6-12). A Hearing was held, and a review of schedules and/or members who may have been impacted is taking place. A second meeting will be necessary to review findings. (CT 6-12)
A Grievance will be filed on behalf of a member where a supervisor refused to allow the member the opportunity to resolve a complaint informally as per the Complaint Procedure (Article XVI-A,B,C, and D1,2) Moved to Level III. EOCHS. A Hearing was held and a decision is forthcoming.
A Grievance was filed on behalf of several teachers who are alleged to have circulated a”target list” involved in an incident regarding a student threat. The teachers want the letters of reprimand removed from their files. (Costley) A Hearing was held and a decision is forthcoming.
An incident where regulations regarding an incident involving a DYFS investigation were violated is being grieved on behalf of certain staff members. The Association is requesting that any memos and/or reprimands be removed from their files. There is also a request to have an e-mail rescinded that characterized the incident and the staff member’s behavior inaccurately. (FSA)
A Hearing was held and a resolution which includes an apology to the members in a new e-mail to be sent to the original recipients. (FSA)
A teacher who was thought to have violated the personal day language before a holiday was found to have been in compliance with the contract and will be reimbursed for previously docked days.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS By Kennette Bailey/ Lynn Roberts, Co-Chairpersons
It is important to register to vote before October 16th which is the last day to submit a vote by mail application. East Orange City Clerk’s Office will accept voter registration applications for any New Jersey resident. Be sure to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, and encourage others to vote. Take someone to the polls.
Bill #S2087, sponsored by Senator Ruiz, chairperson of the Education Committee, would set up pilot programs that extend the school day and add days to the school year in up to 25 school districts. Corporations who received tax credits for their support would fund the program. Like others, this program would target urban schools.
Another assault on public schools has come in the form of virtual schools. Five virtual schools will open this year. This is yet another move to take funds from public education and privatize.
We are looking for people to join us on the Government Relations committee. Please contact the EOEA office if you would like to join the committee.
Important Dates: October 16, 2012 - Last Day to Register to Vote
October 30, 2012 - Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not Postmarked)
November 5, 2012 - In person vote by mail ballot application (until 3 p.m.)
November 6, 2012-Election Day
Welcome to the new NJEA Political Action Guide. This guide updates the time-honored Legislative Program Guide that NJEA has published every winter for many years. The old guide provided members with a legislative “year in review” as well as a list of bills supported and opposed by the Association.
INSTRUCTION & TRAINING
By Deborah Thurmond, Chairperson
The EOEA PD workshop “Learning & Thriving in a Diverse Classroom” scheduled for Tuesday, October 23, 2012 has been rescheduled for Thursday, December 13, 2012 at the EOEA Office from 4:00pm-6:00pm. Free parking is available in the rear of the building. This workshop will provide participants with bridge-building skills to support and value diversity effectively within groups and to enable students from different backgrounds and perspectives to work in harmony toward shared academic goals. Please contact the EOEA office if you would like to attend this workshop.
The NJEA Teacher’s Convention will be held on November 8th and 9th, 2012. Attendance at the NJEA Convention affords members an opportunity to accrue professional development (PD) hours. Professional learning programs sponsored by NJEA are aimed at improving educational practices.
NJEA will provide members who attend workshops, seminars, and other eligible professional development (PD) experiences with a PD certificate. In order to receive the certificate, members must be present for the entire PD activity and complete the evaluation form attached to the certificate.
Members may retain a confidential electronic transcript through the Members Only section of www.njea.orgfor certain NJEA statewide PD activities including the NJEA Convention. Once entered, the transcript information is retained for seven years.
All professional learning activities must be aligned with your individual professional development plan (PDP) in order to be eligible for accrual toward the 100-hour requirement. Please remember to keep a record of your PD hours and modify your PDP as needed. If you need assistance with your PDP, contact the EOEA office.
By Carla Hinds, Chairperson
The FAST program continues to thrive! The “Savvy Sisters” Book Club met on September 25th. We would like to thank Principal Davis at Carver School for allowing us to meet at her building this year. Our first meeting allowed us to determine our agenda for the year, including choice of books. Our first book is a sequel to one we read last year by Bernice McFadden, “Sugar.” The title is “This Bitter Earth.” We also decided to design a T-shirt for our club members. We are really excited by the participation and we look forward to a great year! If you are interested in joining us, please contact the EOEA office for further details.
We are grateful that our NJEA FAST grant was approved for this school year. There are many activities planned including those that were designed by members from various schools. If you attended the planning meeting in June, please contact me for details of our grant.
We are looking for members to join our committee. You do not have to be a building representative or EOEA member. Just be committed to improving and enhancing lives of the community and our schools will warrant you a position on “Team: Great Public Schools.” The community needs to know that we care, even beyond the classroom. Why not join us?
SOCIAL By Dion L. Patterson, Chairperson WE JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH…Join us again for “HAPPY HOUR” at McLoone’s Boathouse on October 19th, 2012 (4pm to 6:30pm). I am excited to see what Part II will bring our way. Also, please don’t forget to “Save the Date” for our Annual Retirement Dinner Celebration on June 13, 2013. Best Wishes for the month of October.
Date: Friday, October 19th, 2012
Time: 4:00pm - 6:30pm
Place: McLoone's Boathouse
9 Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ
West Orange, NJ, 07052
WE’RE BACK AT IT AGAIN!!!
Join in the festivities as we let our hair down for the 2nd time.
MEMBERSHIP By Kathie Osborne, Chairperson
NJEA MEMBERSHIP CARDS have begun to arrive at your home addresses. Please be on the lookout for your card and do not discard. Immediately removing it from the envelope and placing it with other important cards is the best way of not losing it.
If by the later part of October you have not received your new membership card, this may indicate that NJEA has a "bad" address on file. Logging onto www.njea.org you can check your member profile. Your home email address or membership pin and the last 4 digits of your social security number will allow you access. Members are allowed to update their personal information.
The restaurant for the month may be an old favorite for some, "Cryans Beef Ale House" located at 24 First St., So. Orange, NJ . 973-763-7114. Cryans is a local pub/restaurant that offers reasonably priced top grade steak dinners along with other favorites. Salad, soup and ice cream stations are included with all entrees. Several TVs are available in the bar area for sports viewing.
The EOEA INFORMER is the official publication of the
East Orange Education Association
576 Central Avenue, East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone # 973-672-7331 Fax # 973-672-1194
Ms. Jacqueline Greadington, President
Mr. Clarence Osborne, Vice President
Ms. Patricia Landon, Treasurer
Ms. Deborah Thurmond, Secretary
Ms. Joyce McCree, Editor Ms. Donna Jenkins, Reporter