District Calendar Reminder
REMINDER: If no snow days are used on or before, Thursday, February 11th, the Roxbury Township Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, February 16th. To review the district calendar visit http://www.roxbury.org/Page/2.
ROXBURY BOE / REA NEGOTIATIONS
There have been a lot of accusations being tossed around about the Roxbury Board of Education: we don’t care about our teachers, we don’t respect our teachers, we took way too long to respond to the REA, we were never ready to bargain and always held things up, and now we’re breaking the gag order. All not true. Because the Memorandum of Agreement was signed, there is no longer a gag order. Because of that, let us start at the beginning with the history of this negotiations process and share the true facts.
Since March 2014, representatives of the Roxbury Township Board of Education (Board) began negotiating with representatives of the Roxbury Education Association (Association) in an attempt to reach an agreement on the contract which expired on June 30, 2014. Even though this contract “expired”, everyone continues to receive their full salaries and benefits with no interruption and no reduction in salary or any benefit received. During the course of negotiations, the Board and Association’s representatives have met six times. Each negotiations session lasted at least two hours. In addition, there were two mediation sessions and several fact-finding sessions. These lasted a lot longer than 2 hours, some all night.
On October 6, 2015 the parties came to an agreement with the assistance of a fact finder, subject to the parties reaching agreement on salary guides. Although agreement was reached on the salary guides for the secretaries, the para-professionals, and building & grounds, agreement was not reached on the teacher’s salary guides.
Up to this point, the Board refrained from public comment in order to allow the negotiations process to continue unimpeded by external factors. However, recently, the inability to come to agreement on the distribution of increases on the teachers’ salary guides has left the Board with no choice but to speak out.
PROPOSED TEACHERS SALARY GUIDES (ASSOCIATION’S and BOARD’S)
The Association’s proposed teacher’s salary guide -
The Board’s proposed teacher’s salary guide -
WHY DID THE BOARD NOT ACCEPT THE ASSOCIATION’S GUIDE?
The Board remains committed to educational excellence by attracting and retaining outstanding educators and supporting a positive culture for our teachers. The Board did not accept the teacher’s guide proposed by the Association because of the disparity in salary increases among teachers, particularly teachers on the early steps of the salary guide. The salary guides proposed by the Board provide salary increases which are consistent with the overall salary increase agreed to by the parties and which provide equitable salary increases for all teachers. The guides proposed by the Board provide the following:
Why additional steps? Once you reach the top of the guide, there is no place to go. Adding one step each year provides a larger increase to those teachers at the top steps. Doing this allows for equitable increases going forward and reduces the cost of increment. Each negotiations, the cost of increment is subtracted from the agreed upon percentage increase. When the cost of increment is lower, the increase to each step’s salary can be higher.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
The Board has been trying since early December to schedule a meeting of both committees to reach a compromise on the teacher’s salary guides. After the Board read a statement at their Jan. 25th meeting, the Association’s president suggested re-engaging the fact finder rather than our two groups meeting to compromise. This would necessitate waiting until the fact finder is available.
The Board has and will continue to work with its teachers in good-faith to foster mutual and continuous respect. The Board recognizes and appreciates its teachers and in our salary guides seek to treat all teachers fairly and equitably. We strive to provide an Agreement which does not negatively impact that commitment.
During this time, teachers continue to receive their full salaries and benefits. There is no interruption and no reduction in salary or any benefit received by our teachers. The Board is seeking to put in place the increases agreed to in the fall, but these increases should apply equitably across all steps on the salary guide.
Respectfully Submitted by:
The Roxbury Board of Education
Our district is located in Morris County, approximately 36 miles west-northwest of New York City, 12.8 miles west-northwest of Morristown, New Jersey and 26 miles east of the Delaware Water Gap on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Approximately 23,000 residents in the towns of Landing, Lower Berkshire Valley, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, and Port Morris, live within the district’s 22-square mile boundary. Students who live in Mt. Arlington, and parts of Wharton and Flanders send their students to attend High School in Roxbury.
In 2014, Roxbury competed its five-year strategic plan. To view presentations and information on planning meeting outcomes, click here.
Connect With Us!
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Members of the Roxbury Township Community,
Happy New Year!
It is indeed an honor to be named the next Superintendent of Roxbury Township Public Schools. As many of you know, I was appointed as the Acting Superintendent by the Board of Education on January 4th. My contract is currently under review, and I will become your official Superintendent later this month. I would like to offer my sincere appreciation and thanks to the Board of Education for their faith and trust in me to serve as the leader of our district – one that continues to grow, achieve, and surpass expectations. I am extremely optimistic about the bright future of Roxbury Township Public Schools!
Being appointed to this position is especially precious to me because I am not new to the district. I joined the Roxbury family in 2010, beginning as the Humanities Supervisor before becoming the Assistant Superintendent for the past three and half years. In both positions I was afforded the opportunity to witness firsthand the dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm of all departments, grade levels, and buildings. Roxbury School District is truly a special place with a committed Board of Education, dedicated staff and involved community members who sincerely care about our students and work together to inspire and empower all learners and strive towards our goal of “preparing the children of today for tomorrow.”
There is no job more important than educating the next generation and no career more fulfilling. s John Dewey states, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Together we can spark curiosity, encourage stamina and determination, inspire an undefeatable spirit, and foster compassion. I look forward to building our collaborative relationship and working hard to furthering the district’s initiatives. I plan to schedule several ‘sit and chat’ meetings over the course of the next few months to meet with community members and hope you’ll come out to meet me.
While there are challenges ahead in 2016, I have no doubt that we have the strength and fortitude to overcome them. Together, we will continue to make a difference.
Yours in Education,