Monday, June 25, 2012
Contract covers 2011 through 2014 school years.
Monday, June 25, 2012
The Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education released the following statement Monday afternoon on the terms of the recent settlement with the school's education association. "The Watchung Hills Regional High School Board of Education approved a collective bargaining agreement on June 18, 2012 with the Watchung Hills Regional Education Association (WHREA). The WHREA represents teachers, secretaries, aides and technicians, custodial and maintenance workers, bus drivers and coaches and co-curricular advisors. The agreement is effective from July 1, 2011, and continues through June 30, 2014. This agreement establishes salaries and benefits for all represented employees in each of the three school years. The agreement, ratified last week by …
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Future teachers Kathryn Holz and Carlyn Vautin will receive scholarships at Tuesday's awards presentation.
Graduating seniors Kathryn Holz and Carlyn Vautin, are the recipients of the Class of 2012 Watchung Hills Regional Education Association Scholarship for Future Educators. They were chosen because of their strong academic records, their commitment to extra-curricular activities and community service, said selection committee co-chair, guidance counselor Joseph Toye. They know that they want to be teachers, and, for the seventh year in a row, members of the Watchung Hills Regional Education Association are helping them achieve that ambition. At the Class of 2012 Awards Assembly set for June 21st, the future teachers, Holz of Warren and Vautin of Stirling, will each be awarded an $800 scholarship to help with college expenses next year. The …
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Watchung Hills Regional Education Association members and school board will weigh-in on terms next.
The agreement reached by negotiators for the Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education and the school's education association setting contract terms for the 2011-14 school years is pending approval by the WHREA membership and a vote by the school board. The settlement follows more than a year of intensive—and at times, acrimonious—negotiations, which began before the expiration of the last contract on June 30, 2011. The talks were complicated by 2011's benefits reform by the state, and led to the institution of "work to rule" hours by teachers, limiting after-school access for students. "We hope to have a ratification vote soon, although there are some procedural matters before that can happen," WHREA President Sean DiGiovanna said. Among…
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Board issues statement; agreement subject to WHREA membership vote.
The Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education issued the following statement this afternoon: "After more than one year of negotiations regarding contract renewals, the Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education (Board) and the Watchung Hills Regional Education Association (WHREA) have mutually reached a Memorandum of Agreement. "The agreement is between the board and the three bargaining units of the WHREA; (1)Teachers, (2)Secretaries, Aides and Technicians and (3)Custodians, Maintenance and Bus Drivers and is effective through the 2013-2014 school year. "This agreement requires ratification by the membership of the WHREA and the Board and is expected to take place soon. Details of thesettlement will not be released until such time." …
Friday, April 27, 2012
Watchung Hills Regional board discusses negotiations in special meeting.
Neither school officials or Watchung Hills Regional Education Association representatives will provide specifics, but both sides say a new procedure for the talks is being initiated that may help. After a special meeting Thursday afternoon in the conference room of the board offices, members of the WHRHS Board of Education stressed negotiators are continuing to work with the state-appointed mediator and reiterated their desire to have an agreement before the end of the school year. "That way, when the students come to school in the fall, we can all focus on educating the students, which is the reason we're all here," Board President Robert Horowitz said. Talks to reach a contract to replace the one that expired June 30, 2011, have been …
Friday, March 23, 2012
Stage first of two planned protests to keep focus on how they're impacted in ongoing labor battle.
The 20 or so students who gathered at the flagpole in front of Watchung Hills Regional's front doors, milled about and waved to friends before classes Friday. The students, mostly dressed in black, were staging a protest, albeit a quiet one, to make sure negotiators for the board of education and the teachers association know how the current impasse is affecting them. But the students weren't unrealistic about the effect of their protest: when asked what they thought it would accomplish, most quickly said "nothing." They then quickly began to list the problems the teachers' "work to rule" hours was causing, one girl said she hasn't been able to make up a test this week; another said she always meets with her teacher to stay ahead in her …
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, March 20, 2012
WHREA president told to limit comments on request to add holiday, and a response to board member's comments.
A frustrated Sean DiGiovanna, president of the Watchung Hills Regional Education Association, and about 30 teachers and students walked out the school's Board of Education meeting Monday night, after he was told not to address a query posed by the board's student representatives because they were not "action items" on the agenda. The student representatives had asked the board to consider returning April 9 to a day off as originally scheduled, but changed in December in anticipation of the possible need for snow days. Believing the threat of snow passed, the students asked the board to consider the move—which Dr. DiGiovanna said the WHREA had also requested when he began to speak during the meeting's initial allotment of time for public …