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Lacey School Board, Administrators Reach Contract Agreement

The three-year deal provides for 1.99 percent raises, caps unused sick days at 100 for new hires

The Lacey Township Board of Education and the district's supervisors union have agreed to a three-year contract that provides for 1.99 percent pay increases for the next three years.

That contract agreement, reached in late May between the board and the Lacey Township Administrators and Supervisors Association, also caps sick day payouts for new hires and includes language regarding the state-mandated employee contributions to health care coverage.

The bargaining unit covers all supervisory titles in the district, from principals to directors, supervisors and department chairpersons.

The district's employees are in the midst of a four-year phase-in where they will eventually be contributing up to 35 percent of the cost of their health care insurance, said school board member Maureen Tirella, who was on the negotiating committee.

Not everyone will be happy with the contract, Tirella said.

"We feel we did the best we did for our employees given the hard economic times the district’s been in and for the taxpayers," she said."It’s tough times. Everybody’s always talking about costs. There’s all these costs as a taxpayer. My electricity has not gone down. My milk bill has not gone down."

But she said it was important to "try and provide a living wage to employees."

The contract provides for 1.99 percent raises effective July 1, 2012, July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. The contract also caps unused sick day retirement payouts at 100 days for any new hires into the district. Current employees are eligible to receive payouts for up to 160 days upon retirement, under the contract.

In 2010 school district employees accepted a salary freeze at the request of Gov. Chris Christie, and Lacey was one of the districts where that happened, Tirella said. Christie had offered to increase school funding to districts where the unions agreed to salary freezes in exchange for those freezes.

The supervisory staffers were to receive raises of 3.8 and 3.95 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2011 they were to receive 3.95 percent.

"That money is never made up to them," she said. "They never get that money back." At the same time they are making a significant contribution to their health insurance costs, she said.

All employees also had 1 percent increase in pension coverage, she said.

The employees covered by the contract had salaries ranging from about $56,000 to $135,000, according to figures available through Datauniverse.

Other items in the agreement:

  • $850 longevity bonuses in years, 4, 8 and 12, up from $800 in the previous contract, and elimination of the year 2 bonus for new administrators
  • Dental coverage, including a $2,000 orthodontic benefit
  • Prescription co-pays of $5 on generic drugs and $10 on brand-name drugs

"There’s a great amount of increased contribution that they’ve had to pay over the years," Tirelli said. "We thank them for their commitment."

GB Shore July 10, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Well, that certainly does not seem to jive with the rank and file in Lacey whose mantra is "for the kids".... :-) I'd have to say that this is one honest dude....
proud July 11, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Are you being facetious again @GB Shore? I would have no idea if the dude is honest or not. I do think that he embraces a mindset shared by way too many educators and other employees compensated by the taxpayer. I agree with the Governor that sick pay should only be paid to those who are sick. Longevity is a hidden raise. I disagree with the board member that claims the district is in hard economic times though the BOE would like you to believe that there has been zero percent tax increase for the last several years prior to hiking taxes this year, that fail to take in to account the eight million dollars that has been used to pay down old debt. The referendum on the solar project was very specific as to how the nineteen plus million dollars in bonded funds was to be spent. The so called zero percent increase was an up front tax increase. The school board and their union affiliates had best be careful, or their will be no residents left to fund their increases. Thus, I agree that the current system is unsustainable. There are many, many people out their losing their homes. Their financial hardship goes far beyond the cost of milk and electricity
GB Shore July 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM
No I am not and I am not sure why you responded the way that you have. I agree with everything you say.
proud July 12, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I was referring to the "for the kids" reference that you made G B Shore. Obviously, that is all too often, not the case. I believe that the entitlement crowd strongly resents any attempt to having their wings clipped, notwithstanding the current economic climate. There is a concerted effort by taxpayer funded unions use their collective "power" to TAKE whether it is deserved or sustainable. Further, I think the taxpayer is being shorted by officials that vote on budgets, when they have a relative (or, they themselves) is employed by the public sector. It is well known that the far too many public unions feed off each other at negotiation time. I would suggest that represents a conflict of interest. I also agree with your comments and apologize for typos. Apparently, these type of articles are viewed for approval, and can not be changed once they are submitted ?
GB Shore July 12, 2012 at 01:47 PM
We are on the same page. I have typos as well and sometimes don't double check...

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