Teacher Contract Details Still Being Finalized
The next step in the process is finalizing salary guides.
Now that a contract agreement has been settled, salary guides have to be developed before the Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association can have a ratification meeting.
“We won’t have a ratification meeting until we have salary guides developed and the specific contract language written that we are asking them to review and approve,” said B-REA president Steve Beatty.
On Aug. 16, the B-REA and board of education announced that they had reached a contract settlement, more than a year after the teacher contract expired in June 2011.
And so far at this point, Beatty said, they have put together a memorandum of agreement based on the recent meetings with the fact finder that finally resulted in a contract.
“It is a document that was written by the fact finder and signed by both teams, which memorializes what we have agreed to in fact,” he said. “From there, the guides are developed based on the percent settlement, and specific language is developed as is needed.”
But the timeline, Beatty said, depends on how quickly the sides can get together to work out those salary guide details.
“How quickly the aforementioned development takes place depends on both sides getting together and working out the details to mutual satisfaction and within the spirit of what we agreed to under the terms of the MOA with the fact finder,” he said.
“From our perspective, the sooner the better,” he added.
Those first drafts of the guide, Beatty said, will be ready very soon, and then the team will discuss them and ask for changes if they are needed. Much depends, he said, on when they can get all the members together.
“[We will do that] until we, and the board, approves of how the money is distributed,” he said.
For the members of the union, they have discussed the low morale of the staff in the past as they have worked for more than a year without a contract. Now, Beatty said, he believes that could change.
“I do think morale will be better,” he said. “When we left in June, we made it clear that we couldn’t have an executed settlement in place by September, even if we reached an agreement over the summer, as we have.”
A negotiations update is on the agenda for Tuesday’s board of education meeting, to be held at 8 p.m. at the Harmon V. Wade Administration Building on Newmans Lane.