The Board voted to approve the Contract Ratification at their May 1 mtg. Retroactive raises will be paid in a separate check on July 5 according to Joe Rossi’s May 22 email. This contradicted earlier information from the Superintendent’s office but it is permissible. Please do not call Payroll and ask when or how much your retro is. We provided that information below. If you need help, please contact your Building Rep, a member of the Negotiations Committee, or an Officer of the Association. Retroactive step movement will also transpire this summer so that you are credited with your correct step in the new work year. (Example: You were on step 13 in 2017-18 and frozen at that step in 2018-19. You are retroactively moved to step 14 for 2018-19 and paid that salary amount as retroactive pay on July 5. You will be moved to step 15 for 2019-20.)
Contract Ratification Results by School and Total: 2019 Ratification Vote
Click on links to download documents as PDF:
Questions about any of the information above? Call the VEA office at 856-696-9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All members are eligible to vote on these changes. Voting on Thursday, April 18
See your Building Reps. for the times/places to vote in your building.
You must sign-in before you cast a ballot. The number of signatures must match the number of votes cast for your building or the votes will be invalidated.
Ballots must be returned to the VEA Office no later than 4:30 on Thursday, April 18. Counting will proceed immediately thereafter and results will be reported on this website as soon as the votes are tallied.
Any member may come to the office to observe or help count ballots.
We were under contract from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2018. We are now frozen under the terms of the expired agreement until a new contract is agreed to by the Board and Association.
Negotiations began in late fall of 2017 for a successor agreement. Here is a summary:
Rally Thursday, 2/28!
HELP GET A FAIR SETTLEMENT BY COMING AFTER SCHOOL TO LANDIS AND JOIN THE RALLY. WEAR RED. Our first session of Fact-Finding is confirmed for 2/28 at 10 am. We will be there all day and likely into the evening. Please come show that the VEA is 980 families strong, not just the leadership. We’re inside working for you and your family.
What is Fact-Finding?
Fact-finding is the 3rd of 4 possible steps in the negotiations process. If #1, direct bargaining with the Board and #2, mediation by a state-appointed neutral, fails (as ours did), then law mandates that we enter into
Fact-Finding. A different state-appointed, neutral labor negotiations expert was selected by the Association and Board from a list provided by P.E.R.C. (N.J. Public Employment Relations Commission). The Fact-Finder will first make another attempt at mediating an agreement between Us and the Board. If that fails, then another date is scheduled for a hearing. Negotiations are over. At the hearing We (with the help of our NJEA experts from Uniserv and Research) and the Board (through their attorney representatives) present our proposals with research and facts in support of them. The Fact-Finder takes them, may ask clarifying questions, and then reviews them. After analysis, the Fact-Finder issues a report with a recommended settlement. Both sides have time to consider the recommended settlement. The recommendation is not binding; one or both sides can reject it or both can accept. After 10 days, the Fact-Finder’s report can be released to the public.
Rally Thursday, 2/28!
A little drizzle couldn’t stop a few hundred determined professionals, warmed up with hot chocolate and donuts, who took to the sidewalks of Landis Avenue on a chilly Friday evening to educate the Community on how the Board’s illegally high class sizes, Pre-School waiting list, inadequate E.S.L. and Special Ed. staffing, and misplaced spending priorities hurt Vineland’s kids. From the supportive responses it’s safe to say that most Vinelanders agree – enough is enough! Fund our schools! Vineland students and staff deserve better!
After more than 5 hours (5:30-10:45pm), mediation was unsuccessful. The Board would not agree to compromise on reasonable terms put forth by either us or the State-appointed mediator. The mediator recommended moving to FACT-FINDING. This is a multi-step process that will last many months.
Thank you to the 767 members who signed the health insurance petition and the 30 who showed up at the VEA office to make signs for mediation!
More information is posted on the members only Contract Information page (log in using your NJEA credentials) and a general membership meeting will be scheduled in the future. Your support is needed.
22ND RALLY and Mediation cancelled by Board!
The Board’s attorney is ill and was unable to represent them yesterday. The Mediator’s next open date is in January. We asked for an expedited date earlier, possibly on a Friday in November. We will let you know. Thanks to all of those who made plans to attend and for the late cancellation notice. I didn’t get the call until 6th period and couldn’t begin making calls, emails, and texts until after my last class. No problem – we just have more time to prepare and make the next rally bigger yet! See you there! Thanks to the 30 members who volunteered their time to make signs – lots of signs. Sincerely, Lou Russo 10/23/18
July 25: The Negotiations Committee began mediation at 11:30am and continued until 7:45pm on July 25. The state-appointed mediator spent the majority of the time with the Board. He gave them two weeks to respond to his proposal. NEXT MEETING SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 22. By that time, we will know if we have a settlement or if we will move to the next step in the negotiations process: Fact Finding. Fact-finding is a detailed compilation of evidence from both sides, evaluated by the state-appointed Fact Finder, who makes a recommendation for settlement. The Fact Finder’s report can become public knowledge.
In short, the Board wants you to give more time each day, via shortened lunch and prep. periods, while asking you to pay more premium sharing for inferior health insurance, and offering a salary increase over 1% less than the county average and not enough for step movement. The team won’t settle for this. What are you willing to do about it?
December 13, January 16 (cancelled by Board), February 22, March 27, May 1 and 22, June 13 and 28. Some progress has been made; some editorial language items tentatively agreed upon. However we are still wide apart on economic items of salary, teaching time, and health insurance. After the Board’s (much) less than county average salary offer on June 28, the V.E.A. opted to file for state mediation. The Board wants us to simply take less than average, while working more time each day and making significant changes (increased costs to us) to health insurance. We filed for mediation with the NJ Public Employment Relations Commission after the June 28 meeting. We have had to file for mediation the last three contracts. The first mediation is scheduled for July 25 at noon. It is disappointing that the elected Board and their hired negotiating team are unable to negotiate in good faith with their largest employee union and have to be forced to settle by the State. But that’s what happens when the wrong people are elected. Only Cedric Holmes remained at the table for the entire meeting. The others left and wouldn’t even face us to give us a last chance to negotiate directly. #lack of respect?
Now are needed members willing to participate in the process – we are organizing “Action Teams” at each worksite to communicate and organize our members in building unity among us, then gaining community support. This is important and critical work that impacts the time, health insurance and financial well-being of every member and their family. Please participate. Contact us at the VEA office at 696-9200 or email Vice-President Regina Merkel at email@example.com.
September 2017: Interested in Negotiations or playing a part? Take the time now to attend Negotiations and salary guide workshops and get involved in the Association to learn the process at the CCCEA Region I overnight, NJEA Summer and/or Winter Leadership conferences, the Jim George Collective Bargaining Summit, or contact me (Lou Russo) for more information. Any member may apply to serve on the Negotiations Committee. Anyone interested should send a written letter of interest by regular mail to the Executive Committee care of the VEA office or via email to Kathy Serrano at VEAKSerrano@gmail.com. Your Building Representatives should be speaking with you in one on one meetings to help determine bargaining priorities. If you have ideas or needs, please forward them to us via mail or email.