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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."

Stopurcrying July 08, 2012 at 02:55 PM
well said
Stopurcrying July 08, 2012 at 02:55 PM
lol nice
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:31 PM
People like you, Jerseyshore just do not get it......first of all, I had posted on here previously that your statement is not correct about making less than other districts. Lacey makes MORE than most and only lags behind a few and the average salary of our teachers compared to all the surrounding towns is about on par...so stop with the standard teacher punch line that they get paid less. It is simply is not trrue and the facts I previously presented on this we researched thru public records and data universe. Come back with a statement that is true that you have researched.
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:32 PM
See comment above...Abby...it is NOT true and I did the research...what else do you and jerseyshore have to contribute other than the untrue lies that the teachers union puts out?
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Teaching is not a part time job but the real issue here is how it is funded and gets paid for...that is the issue. The rest is noise...new economy and new times...the old way of doing things does not work anymore...that is why teachers' unions and unions in general are fighting with their lives to keep these contracts that we "negotiated" in place....they are scared and see the writing on the wall. They should stop fighting and work to put a compensation system in place that is fair to everyone.
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:37 PM
So as a former teacher, your rationale is to compare yourselves to sports figures? You taught my kids and you were a great teacher Ms/. Bowen but sorry, the way the system is now is not sustainable. At least be honest about it and don't make silly comparative scenarios.
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM
You get 2+ months of summer vacation....plus you get sick time and MORE vacation time during the year....plus you get all Holidays, teachers conventions etc....Abby, you just make yourself look sillier by the post. Most people in the private sector work 60+ hours a week and many do not get paid overtime. STOP WHINING.
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Also, Lacey teachers are NOT underpaid with any of the surrounding towns here. You are also paid more than many....so if you want to make money go teach in Newark. I would say that teaching in that environment is MUCH harder and those teachers, who deal with gang violence, weapons and hostility everyday SHOULD be paid more. Go teach there...you are a teacher ???>? Your logic is dumbfounding...this is what concerned parents are concerned with...sub-standard reasoning that is not based on fact, teaching our kids. At least my kids were able to navigate thru the BS and politics of Lacey...
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:43 PM
teachers like you who put out non-factual information and just spout the standard NJEA talking points are not objective people.....I don;t want someone like you who is unwilling to look at facts, teaching my children....thanks God they made it thru....
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:45 PM
What we blame is the system and how it is funded as well as the unrealisitic contracts that were agreed upon. You refuse to accept that the salary and benefit trendline cannot go up forever like you all would like. It is going to come to a halt when the town or state goes bankrupt...your contract will only be good to wipe your backside...and if you do not change to something more fair and equitable, then you will have plenty of paper...
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Good question for the BOW Mr. Moss...
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Regardless, if a teacher is not smart enough to partition and budget their money correctly, then maybe they are not smart enough to be teachers, IMHO....
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Right stopyourcrying...and that is why unions and public sector employees can't see their way thru...you just made all our points...unions and the people who agree to these demands should all be removed...we need a more equitable solution
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Do some research Cathy...go to Datauniverse and see the pittance they make....you are making a statement with no fact behind it...do what I did and then tell me they have low salaries,....it is just not true...
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM
You don't get it either Dale....the system is unsustainable...contracts that have expectations of an infinite upward trending line is un-sustainable. Especially salaries that are paid for by taxpayers. For unions outside of taxpayers, a company becomes un-competitive and then goes out of business. It is unions that are the issue. They expect way too much.
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
That's not the bottom line because you can always change your profession...what a simplistic view....think a bit more...maybe you don't care if your money is wasted....if not, then pay more if you are so happy to throw your money away, or just give it to me...
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Matters not....
GB Shore July 08, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Home schooling is done quite widespread in many areas of the U.S. Maybe you can tell us what "HELLOW" means.......were you home schooled?
OceanResident July 08, 2012 at 04:58 PM
It depends on the district. Not all of them offer this option (Lacey doesn't).
OceanResident July 08, 2012 at 05:13 PM
First of all, this article focuses on the administration and not the teachers. I agree that teachers should be paying more for their benefits and should not be receiving a payout for their sick days. However, to call our teachers "overpaid babysitters" and criticize their efforts is appalling. Yes, there are teachers out there that are not in it for the kids, but for the most part they are hard-working, caring people who have the best interests of our youth in mind. Most teachers I know do not work a 7 or 8 hour day. It's more like 10 to 12 hours when you consider the planning, meetings, parent phone calls, grading, etc. that goes along with the profession. This is in addition to some time put in on the weekends. Sure, they have the summer off, but that is a benefit of their chosen career, and a well-deserved one. Kids (and their parents) are different than they once were and I imagine teaching is not an easy profession like most of you think, especially with all of the focus on testing. I applaud not only Lacey's teachers, but all of the dedicated individuals out there trying to make a difference. For all of you bashing these people, shame on you. I find it hard to believe that you never had a teacher that left a lasting impact on your life.
Lucky Leo from Lakeside July 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
The problem with many people is that they want what others have and think they have an entitlement to it. Most persons who are successful have earned it through preparation and hard work. Everyone decides how they want to live and they either reap the benefits or crash & burn. It seems that many of these comments are from the latter and they feel the former owe them something. If you feel that way move to Europe....oops ...I think I hard they are in trouble. Remember...47% of the workers here pay no income tax ...God help us when it reaches 50.01%
Lucky Leo from Lakeside July 08, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Footnote: by worker I mean those wo are eligible to work. Some choose not to and have joined the ranks of those in our entitlement state.
joe smith July 09, 2012 at 08:53 AM
@GB it means the same as NOT. If you do not know what either of them mean then you are to OLD to comment on this article. BTW I am 60, and yes home schooling does just fine, I know many people doing it, BUT they got an education from the SAME teachers all the people are complaining about in this article!!!!!!!!! WITHOUT that education i would feel real sorry if they are just reading from a book and conveying it to their children.
GB Shore July 09, 2012 at 12:38 PM
@ joe smith, I was obviously being facetious, which appears to have gone over your head. I am a decade younger than you. Close the schools down? You, like most of the people who are on here defending the teachers just do not get the point of the debate, which is how teachers (and all public workers for that matter) are compensated. Everyone starts talking about how hard their job is etc.....that is NOT the point...it is how they are compensated and the contracts they feel they DESERVE that cannot be financially sustained....THAT is the point, sir.
proud July 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM
The following excerpt is from a retirement speech by Bob Chanin, general counsel for the NEA. It speaks volumes: "...And that brings me to my final, and most important point. Which is why, at least in my opinion, NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates. Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees. This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary, these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay!..."
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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