The Teacher Contract & Tax Payers


Most teachers are good and need to be paid and the pay should be reasonable.  However, the deal the BOE made is not good for taxpayers.  Teachers get raises via a step increase system just by showing up for work and / or passing additional graduate school courses. So the 2.75% increase each year for the next three is bump up on top of a raise. We are in a low inflationary period so this is a very good deal for teachers and not so great for taxpayers.  The health care costs are slowly coming to parody with the rest of the labor market and this fair. This part of the contract helps taxpayers some what. However, the plan designs are locked in for three years.  The contract does not do enough to protect taxpayers from what are likely to be health care premium increases over the next three years. The teachers still get a great defined benefit retirement plan with the taxpayers paying significantly into it. The teachers still get health care in retirement that will have to be paid for by future taxpayers. Also, we have no merit pay system in this contract and we the taxpayers are lacking in a linking pay to performance in this contract.  In West Orange average property tax bills are about $12,000 per year and average household income is about $90,000.00 per year. The teachers contract is a big driver of costs for the taxpayers and needs to be addressed in a better way.  So this contract shoulb be viewed as a bad deal for the taxpayers.  As the BOE could not tell me the average or mean salary and benefits for a teacher before the vote on the contract when I asked at the BOE meeting before the contract was voted on, I suspect cost analysis for the taxpayers was not done before the fact or it was done in an sloppy way. The BOE should have held out for a better deal. 

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john anthony prignano January 21, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Adam , Here's the latest figures; The median salary of a West Orange teacher is $82,392 for 9 years service.The state median teacher salary is $63,851 for 10 years..The median Administrator salary in West Orange is $131,716 for 13 years.. The state median Administrator salary is $119,491 for 19 years.The percentage of the West Orange school budget that is dedicated to teacher and Administrator compensation is 72%, The state average is 66%.. West Orange teacher compensation as a percentage of the budget has gone from 61% to 62% to 63% over the past 3 years. State average per pupil spending is $17,455. West Orange spends over $21,000 per pupil. Based on the $21.000 figure, West Orange commits $15,480 per pupil for teacher and Administrator compensation, about 22% more money in real dollars than the state average. Essex County is a very expensive county to live in,even by Jersey standards..Guess what, there's no county or state residency requirement. Teachers are being given raises not based on ANYTHING except, "it's that time again" , and The Rule; Give your friends money! .Source; The most recent New Jersey School Report Card.
john anthony prignano January 22, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Concerned Is there more instructional time included in this contract? the median salary for a West Orange teacher is $82,392 for 9 years of service. The state median is $63,851 for 10 years. The West Orange median salary for administrators is $131,716 for 13 years. The state median administrator salary is.119,491 for 19 years .54,000 state workers agreed to contracts that provide2.75% raises over 4 years. West Orange teachers and administrators are among the highest compensated educators in the state, and they got 4 times that. Less core - curriculum instructional time every year, horrible results, taking jobs in the private sector, talking about the come early, stay late. work on weekends stuff, but the CONTRACT calls for 14 days less instructional time at WOHS than the state average. but hey, the increase is less than 1% a year. See the state contract compared to the West Orange teachers' contract? How's that work? People who pay state taxes are broke, but people who pay property tax are living high on the hog? AND the town is losing lots of tax appeals . It's a 2% SPENDING cap, not a 2% tax cap. Check out Livingston.A 40 year old West Orange teacher with an advanced degree can make well over $175,000 in salary, longevity pay , coaching and mentoring stipends and still spend summers in Europe. . 63% of the children at the Washington School qualify for low cost or free meals . The public schools are there to enrich their employees, NOT to educate children, period. .
john anthony prignano January 22, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Concerned Do you realize how absurd and sadistic what's happening here is? What justifies ANY increase for the educators in West Orange ? Based on the HSPAS West Orange ranks 260 out of 389 schools. The SAT scores are well below the state average. Students are testing "partially proficient" at a rate of 30, 40 and 50 per cent on some standardized tests. tests. West Orange spends over $21,000 per pupil NOW. 72% of the total budget goes to educators' compensation . The state average is 66% and state average per pupil spending is $17,455. Each year the children receive less and less core - curriculum instruction and more social engineering instruction. More and more, the poorly educated are being hired to provide more bad education.. There is 9.6% unemployment, and 30% of WORKING people rely on food stamps .3,000.000 people make less than $34,400,and their take home pay is shrinking. 1.6 million New Jerseyans are living in poverty .58% of all jobs created during the "recovery" pay $13.50 an hour or less. Most of these jobs are in retail and food preparation. Star Ledger; "Foreclosures are down everywhere,except New Jersey." This is the Road to Serfdom , as described by Hayak , simply transferring money from one group to another. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely Any pretense about what and who the public schools are here for is GONE. This is the New Order, and as Al Jolson said, "You aint seen nuthin' yet" ......
john anthony prignano January 22, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Concerned To qualify for free school meals, a family of four must earn $30,000 or less.To qualify for low cost school meals, a family of four must earn $42.000 or less. Approximately 38% of West Orange students fall into one of those two categories A school needs 20% of its students in those categories to qualify for the program .The Liberty Middle School qualifies. A teacher there with an advanced degree is contractually obligated to teach no more than 750 hours a year.This teacher's compensation is well over $200 dollars an hour and there's more money on the way..And perhaps this teacher has a private sector job or two Perhaps this teacher's attendance isn't all that great,and perhaps this teacher is assigned a student teacher from time to time.. As I previously stated, we will see more and more of this; A self - styled elitist displaying affluence from head to toe doing a few hours a day of instructional time of questionable quality, while standing in front of a group of students who live in poverty. The pretense is over. Let us accept that reality and proceed from there. Hotspur, Henry the Fourth : "We shall, out of this nettle danger, pluck this flower, safety." . .
john anthony prignano January 23, 2013 at 02:42 AM
The teachers have an extremely generous benefits package.They are among the highest compensated educators in the state. What's this less than 1% stuff? If a teacher's base salary is now $100,000,and they retire at about $108,500, and their pension is based on 60% of their base pay, they will receive about $5.000 more a year for life. People like Dr. Rando and Mark Kenny will get raises of $17,000 on their base over the life of the contract- a 10k + a year pension increase. Who pays the bulk of that? For all intents and purposes, teachers will pay nothing into their benefits package. As Adam Kramer wrote, the contract does not do enough to protect taxpayers from rising health care premiums.Even with their increased contribution,they will pay far less out of pocket than anyone I know. They are "spending money" {not theirs} to protect a larger,sum of money that they won't have to pay for out of pocket that other people do. Medical costs are part of everyone's budget, no different than food and clothing..Spend $5,000 a year out of pocket, then get a plan that reduces your payout to $2,500. Do you have $2,500 more in disposable income or not? Some time ago,a letter appeared in The Chronicle with a detailed review of the teachers' health plan.It was incredibly generous .It was yet another example of School Board members displaying their steely resolve to give the teachers everything that's not nailed down. Any pretense about what and who the public schools are here for is over.


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