Tuesday, April 10, 2012
It seems many districts are waiting for reports from fact finders, as negotiations drag on.
As teacher contract negotiations continue for both the Warren Township School District and Watchung Hills Regional, here's a summary of what's happening in other districts: Washington Township, in Gloucester County, has been mired in negotiations for more than two years, and teachers there instituted a "work to rule" limit on hours about six months ago (similar to actions taken by Watchung Hills teachers last month). According to an April 6 article in the Washington Township Times, teachers have ended the effort because it accomplished its goal of highlighting "the extensive amount of extra volunteer time teachers put into their jobs that goes unnoticed," Camy Kobylinski, the township's education association president, said. Like the …
Thursday, March 22, 2012
We've heard lots from teachers, board members and students—now we want to hear from parents.
While several parents have expressed their opinions at recent Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education meetings, it's fair to say we've heard from more students, teachers and board members than parents regarding the ongoing contract negotiations. So now we'd like to ask for your input—what do you think the board should do to reach an agreement with the teachers association? Would you encourage the board members to stand firm and hold the line by sticking to their last offer, or would you encourage members to accept the education association's latest offer? Or are you unsure of what to do or which side you support? Take our poll (and please—let's leave this one to only parents in the district), and add your comments in the space below.
Students expected to be dressed in black Friday to express frustration over stalled talks.
Like a fresh uprising in the Arab Spring, students at Watchung Hills Regional are using a Facebook page to coordinate two protest events to impress school and teacher association representatives of their frustration over the impasse in teacher contract negotiations. "I have been annoyed for far too long at the extent of what the school had been doing to students via the budget, protests, and other related stories that just in the end was just dumped onto the students," WHRHS student Gabe Waldman said. Out of that annoyance, on Tuesday he launched "Protest the BoE Day" page on Facebook to rally students to two separate events aimed at demonstrating their disappointment and frustration at what some call "the situation" at the school. Much of…
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Friday meeting called to discuss negotiations.
The Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education will meet at 12:30 p.m. Friday in a closed session to discuss negotiations, with possible action taken after, according to a notice posted on the school's website. The meeting will be held in the conference room next to Superintendent Frances Stromsland's office. The meeting may indicate a possible coming together of the board and the Watchung Hills Regional Education Association over the stalemated contract talks. Teachers are currently working under the terms of a contract that expired at the end of June 2011. "We are extremely happy to hear that the board is meeting tomorrow to discuss negotiations," Michele Lettington, co-chief negotiator for WHREA, said Thursday. "We are hopefully …
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Both sides agree to withhold comments until after report.
Representatives of the Warren Township Education Association and the Board of Education met with the state-appointed fact finder Thomas D. Hartigan Dec. 7, who will report his conclusions within 45 days. As part of the meeting, the representatives agreed not to discuss the state of negotiations, or particulars of the meeting, until after Hartigan's report has been issued. The groups reached an impass in contract negoatiations in the spring, with the union requesting salary increases the board says it cannot provide because of the recently-imposed 2 percent tax levy cap. The WTEA says the cap applies to the tax levy and could allow for the requested increase. At Monday night's Board of Education meeting, Board President Gregory Przybylski …