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Teachers Expected to Speak Out at BOE Meeting

They came out in droves at the April 24 meeting.

At the April 24 board of education meeting, hundreds of teachers and parents attended to speak out against the state of the negotiations between the and the board of education.

Those who got up to speak told of the , and the ways in which they help their students both in and out of the classroom. Parents thanked the teachers for all they have done.

Several said they would be coming to the next meeting, to be held Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Harmon V. Wade Administration Building on Newmans Lane, to continue voicing their thoughts on the negotiations.

So, we want to know, who is planning to come to the meeting? What do you think should be said at the meeting tonight?

BRRES May 08, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I'm sure the teachers will be there, but I, as a resident of BR will be there. I think more parents should attend to support the teachers. They spend more time with our children daily than we as parents do. The BOE needs to know that we support the teachers and that they need to settle with the teachers.
Mr. Had Enough May 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM
It would be nice if both sides would wake up, smell the coffee and settle this. Unfortunately, no one really wants to fix this mess because no one is acting in the best interest of our children or our community. Common business sense needs to be employed here, something which is clearly lacking because otherwise this would have been settled. It all seems to point to money so why not start with administrators, Anyone making a six figure salary can afford a pay freeze for the next 1-2 years. That would show good faith to the teachers. Give the teachers increases based upon salary scale since merit doesn't work. If it is truly about cost of living and respect, then this should fly. Say you make less than 50K per year, you get 8% increase over 4 years, if you make up to 80K, you get 4%, if you make up to 100K, 2%; more than that....NOTHING!. Other than that, I don't see a problem with teachers working more hours and paying a little more for benefits, corporate America does. As for the BREA - i strongly suggest you think long and hard about what you are asking for, it doesn't matter what other districts are getting, worry about yourself right now. Make prudent decisions for the good of the teachers, your students and the residents of this community.
BwaterDad May 08, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I am pretty sure the top administrators already took a pay freeze in 2010. The teachers (and the principals and supervisors) did not.
teachB-R May 08, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I'm pretty sure the top administrators are getting 3% raises individually on salaries already above the salary cap set by Christie. The negotiations are strictly for the teachers. As teachers can only point to what the administrators are getting in hopes of not moving too far backwards, they cannot negotiate the administration salaries as well. The teachers (BREA) have given up a lot already and are willing to accept more time at the high school. The Board of Ed has not budged on anything or provided any compensation for what has already been lost. Instead, the BOE voted to illegally impose changes to the Health, Dental, and Prescription plans. Fellow community members, I implore you to come out to the Board Meeting and ask the questions of the board as to how much money is being saved by these changes, how much money has been wasted on lawyers, and why are they providing HUGE raises to the top administrators then telling the BREA there is no money. If there is no money in the budget to run this school, why doesn't the Board of Ed ask for the full 2% property tax increase allowable by state law to fund what is said to be not there? I would rather lose $200 in property taxes knowing that my school will continue to be a reward school, then lose $20000 in property value because people want to avoid this school district. WHAT IS REALLY BEING SAVED HERE!!
Mr. Had Enough May 08, 2012 at 08:28 PM
teachB-R, this is exactly why you need business people in to work this out. It is a matter of reviewing the budget and making prudent decisions for the BEST INTEREST OF ALL THE CHILDREN. There are a lot of issues to consider when reviewing a budget and its not as easy as going to ask for a tax levy. Administrator salaries are in the budget, surely making between 170k and 210k, they can pass on increases or take a pay cut to free up funds. I mean, who is paying them that kind of money in this economy, they want more than $200k in a school district, go find it...best of luck. Given the current state of the economy, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask them to take a pay freeze or cut. What else can be trimmed from the budget with the least impact to free up funds. You are going to have to work harder to earn less than you want, that is a fact of life and no matter where you go or what you do, that is not going to change for now. It's not the question of what you have given up, new world, game changed, you need to change with it. At the same time, we all know two income families is a reality for teachers but, for those that don't have that second income, they work second jobs. Try going to a local restaurant and getting served by one of your kids teachers....you want to talk about awkward....it is a reality. I'd rather see you get a few bucks more in your paycheck so you can focus on your students. Not worrying getting to your next job on time.
ARC May 08, 2012 at 08:43 PM
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I can't think of anything better than for community members who see the value of our talented BRRSD staff to attend the meeting tonight. Wear red, speak out, make your presence known, and show teachers you are behind them!
Susie-Q May 08, 2012 at 09:35 PM
To BwaterDad: In 2010 the teachers gave back 1.5% of their salaries for benefits. I believe that the "pay freeze" the top administrators took was more than given back to them in the recent raise they were given, a year before their contract was due for renewal. Please keep your facts straight and realize that there is so much more going on behind the scence then the board would like you to know. Please come to the BOE meeting tonight and ask them the questions directly so you can get the real facts.
bridgewater mom May 08, 2012 at 10:18 PM
The BOE is trying to negotiate. Just because the teachers are not getting everything they want doesn't mean that the BOE is not negotiating. I do support teachers - but EVERYONE has had to experience cutting back until this economy improves.
Susie-Q May 09, 2012 at 12:26 AM
In truth bridgewater mom you are wrong the BOE of education is not willing to negotiate. They would rather spend $160 per hour on an attorney to negotiate than to negotiate in good faith with a win win model
Bridgewater parent May 09, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Those of you saying to stick to the facts should practice what you preach. Anyone that says that the BOE is not willing to negotiate is not speaking factually. They have sat through the tedious negotiations right along side the BREA. They have offered raises. We can all agree that a settlement should come sooner rather than later. BUT, this requires compromise on BOTH sides. Why should the BOE suddenly cave to whatever the BREA demands? This is not disrespecting teachers, this is looking at the big picture of the budget, the economy, etc. There are plenty of people telling the BOE to have a 0% tax increase and 0% raises! They are trying to be fair to the taxpayers and the staff. And, let's remember that the BREA wasn't willing to consider asking HS teachers to teach a 6th period (out of a 9 period day). There are two sides to this.
Mr. Had Enough May 09, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Well said Bridgewater parent. BTW, do we know who is negotiating on behalf of the B-REA? I know of 2 HS teachers doing the negotiations.

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