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."

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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