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Warren BOE, Teachers Reach Agreement

Dramatic end to two-year stalemate just hours after fact-finder's report emailed.

In a stunning two-step move, the and Warren Township Education Association agreed Monday to accept the recommendations of the state-appointed fact finder.

Specifics terms of the recommendation have not been released, pending notification of the WTEA membership. The report was received after noon Monday by board members, board of education President Gregory Przybylski said at the board's meeting at the middle school, and the board called a 15-minute executive session to discuss the report.

"The board of education is prepared to accept the fact finder's recommendation...and is prepared to present that as a contract offer to the teachers and the associated groups," Dr. Przybylski said after the closed session.

The response from the WTEA came quickly, when WTEA President Fran Blabolil took the microphone a few minutes later at the board meeting's pubic comment time.

"Our team has decided to accept the fact finder's report," Blabolil said amid cheers from the more than 100 teachers present at the meeting.

The teachers then moved to the middle school gym, where the specifics of the recommendation was to be presented to the membership.

Dr. Przybylski said the agreement was for a "one- plus three-year" term, extending to the end of the 2014 school year. He also said the board has been cognizant of the frustration of the staff and taxpayers through the long negotiations.

"The fact finder did, I think, a fair job evaluating both the current economic circumstances and the positions of the education asociation as well as the positions of the board of education," he said. 

The agreement brings a contract settlement at hand, after more than two years of negotiations after the expiration of the last contract June 30, 2010. The long-awaited fact finder's report was initially expected in March, but .

Speaking after the teachers had left, resident Stacy McAteer summed up the opinion of many, noting, "I can't tell you how excited we are to start the new year on a positive note."

Judy June 12, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Great news! Hopefully we can all get beyond the frustration of the past two years and continue to make this a great school district where the parents, teachers and board all work to give our children an excellent education.
BillB June 12, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I for one will not forget the atrocities the teachers brought on this fine community! I am appalled by the propaganda on teachers cars, they should have been fired! I will be enrolling my kids in Pingry this Fall semester, I advise you all do the same....no kids enrolled means no jobs for these crying, whiners to bicker about.
SarahY June 12, 2012 at 03:34 AM
BillB- too bad you don't see this mess for what it actually is. Protesting peacefully is part of our freedom of speech. It is one of the ways THE PEOPLE have been getting thiongs done in this country from the Boston Tea Party to the Civil rights marches, and beyond. The Board did everything to disrespect people who have dedicated carreers to this distrcit. And the property values in this distrcit are what they are because of the great schools that are here. So, I wish your children well at a school where you wil pay anywhere from 27K to 30K AND still have to pay the property taxes that will fund the public schools of Warren. Yeah, you're the smart one.
Alan D June 12, 2012 at 03:40 AM
A teacher puts a sign on her car, and that's an "atrocity." Sure...
Patricia Zohn June 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM
IMO - The Board has not been disrespectful. The teachers are not "whiny". And no parent's schooling choice for their children should be subject to random criticism. Times have been difficult for all and everyone has been trying to navigate those difficulties safely and in good conscience. How about we all suspend thoughts to the contrary and move forward. I await the details of the settlement and I hope that all sides spend some time and effort memorializing what about this process could have been handled better. My first thought - commit up front to some degree of open/public negotiations in the future.
MST June 12, 2012 at 07:47 PM
BillB is an idiot. "Atrocities", give me a break. These teachers have shown up every day for 2 years without a contract to continue to give our kid's a great education ! I'm sure Pingry will love having you.
BillB June 12, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Sarah- The money is secondary in my child's education. I like that you refer to your right to protest, insinuating your "American" rights. The NJ school system is the epitome of socialism, not the land of the free, home of the brave.This is now mother Russia and the NJEA is Joseph Stalin! Let's equalize the playing field, give homeowners the choice to use their tax dollars to send their kids to private schools in lieu using the public school system you tout is so "great"! I'd bet dollars to donuts you would have an empty school. By the way do you even live in town, or for that matter any of the commentators? I severely doubt it.
SarahY June 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Bill, you sound like a Christiecrat, believing everything and checking nothing. Equating the NJEA to a murderer like Stalin only shows how little you do know. Regardless of how you may feel about the way public schools are funded , that still does not negate ANYONE the right to peaceful protest, which was what you complained about in the first place. People want the best schools for their kids, but don't want to support the folks who make that happen. The teachers in this community have dedicated lifetimes to this district. Some of them have pobably been here longer than you have. And YES , this Board did disrespect with putting out half truths about the negotiations, settling with the administrators before last June so they did not have to pay into their medical, and breeching a contract by changing health insurance in the middle of a contract costing us thousands in legal fees. It's going to be a while before the bad feelings all the way around become a thing of the past. Time will heal.
Robert Savage June 13, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Gosh, I don't even know Bill B's children but feel sorry for them having such a tool for a father.
7 out June 13, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Bill is so anti socialist, I bet he will never cash his social security checks or use his government paid health insurance
BillB June 13, 2012 at 01:08 AM
7...no need for either my friend, something you'll never know about. What makes these comments semi- tolerable, is knowing none of you reside in this community. What a bunch of trolls, commenting on another towns internal workings, you my friends are employees....just that, not a "member" of this community as you think you are. Secondly, the other gratifying thought is knowing your children are receiving the same half-as**d quality education in your local town.
7 out June 13, 2012 at 09:12 AM
Zzzzzzzzz.....
LB June 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I AM a Warren resident and my children went to the Warren public schools. Our experience, with very few exceptions, was with diligent, professional, dedicated educators who deserve respect and a fair contract. One of the big selling points of this community is our school system. It's your choice to send your children to Pingry, just as it the choice of many to send their children to Warren's great public schools. And FYI, I know people who sent their children to Pingry and they were not all that pleased. Again, that's your choice and your business, but don't be so disrespectful about the quality of our education here in town.
SarahY June 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM
You are sad. And I do live in this community. Came here because the great schools were a part of it.
MJohnson June 16, 2012 at 08:07 PM
While I agree that we have excellent teachers, the main reason I moved to Warren, 13 years ago, I also believe that teachers need to realize that the private sector has been forced to deal with layoffs, cuts in salaries and benefits, and lack of job security. At one time, teachers received great benefits like traditional health insurance, tenure and pensions, because they received pitiful salaries as public workers. Nowadays, I would argue that they are paid a pretty equitable salary if you factor in that they are working 32 weeks a year. Yet, they still expect to get raises every year and traditional healthcare and pensions. I wish I could protest the fact that I haven't had a raise in years, and my benefits were cut. Actually I did, and it got me a lay off. I can't afford to have my taxes and insurance co-pays go up any higher so that teachers can continue to get traditional insurance and raises. The economy is still bad, and we are all in this together, including teachers. That being said, I do believe that hiring more public employees is proven historically to stimulate the economy, but that means more jobs, not giving raises to the current public employees.
Susan M. June 18, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I have already witnessed two contract impasses in the years my children have been in school and the way the teachers behaved at both times was unprofessional. While the signs on the cars might are not an "atrocity", they did represent a combative stance by the teachers and make for a highly unfriendly atmosphere between parents, students and teachers. That says nothing of the teachers' unwillingness to do one iota more than is stated in their contract. Elementary school bulletins boards, many times which were donated by the local PTO's, went undecorated and classroom walls were completely bare. This behavior from the same educational staff that receives grant monies from the PTO's, get a a whole week of breakfasts and lunches during teachers appreciation week, and are given a back to school luncheon in August/September. The list goes on. If the teachers want to talk about disrespect and lack of appreciation, they should first look in the mirror.
BillB June 18, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I used the signage propaganda, really as an example. What was done to the community was an atrocity. Susan you only touched on a few, but i doubt the community realizes how many combative things were done during the negotiations...yes, it was a negotiation, not WW3 against the students and parents. Did you know field trips were canceled, classroom parties were cancelled, classroom mothers were spitefully not "allowed" to attend certain events, and at the high school level teachers several refused to give letter of recommendations for college. Messing up a child's future, or not allowing children to be children and go on a field trip is malicious and yes an atrocity. The town and board have now realized what a bunch of bullies some of these people are and all about and should respond accordingly. We need CHANGE, PTO i ask you to forget about kissing the behind of these teachers and providing breakfasts and anything else that does not go directly towards the children. Spend our money on our children, where it should be. They do not appreciate how much the parents/ PTO do to make their job easier, just have them ask their counterparts in areas like Newark or Plainfield. To the BOE, i suggest having the Superintendent present 3 candidates for future employment, not one lackey that is related to the retiring principal. Put OUR people in those positions, i guarantee if you hire YOUR people they'll be loyal to the town, not the NJEA!
Alyson June 22, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Taking all of this out on our children was not only wrong, it was unprofessional. It is all very sad and I doubt will be forgotten soon. Too bad a few had to spoil things for the many... Peer pressure and bullying in adults obviously existed throughout this negotiation, thankfully the children didn't recognize it for the most part. All very bad examples for impressionable children. I am grateful to the teachers that tried to stand up to these antics and do the right thing. All of the parents and PTO recognize these individuals, as well as those who caused much unecessary grief. I do believe what comes around goes around.

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