During the second public comment portion of the Board Of Education (BOE) meeting, Stacy Feszchak – the head negotiator for the Roselle Park Education Association (RPEA) – approached the microphone and formally stated, “I would like to advise the Board that RPEA today voted to ratify the proposed contract.”
With that public notice, negotiations came to a close with the only matter left being a review and vote by the Board to approve the RPEA Agreement for the next three years. There were no specifics provided by either party at the meeting regarding salary increase or other terms.
Later in the meeting, BOE member Troy Gerten, who was part of the BOE Negotiating Committee, remarked, “I want to thank Ms. Feszchak for coming to us [and] delivering some good news there. I want to acknowledge the work of the RPEA committee that we spent many summer evenings with these past few months.”
Mr. Gerten also thanked the other members of the BOE Negotiating Committee – Rodric Bowman and Jeof Vita – for their contributions as well.
This marks a significant improvement over previous contract negotiations, especially the 2012-15 RPEA contract which, at times, was publicly contentious and was not agreed on until April of 2013.
Although not the total picture of the RPEA Agreement, since there are additional factors such as contributions and other terms, salary increase is always something of note. For the 2009-2012 RPEA Agreement, the teaching staff had an incremental salary increase of 3.6% for the 2009-10 school year, a 3.9% increase for the 2010-11 school year, and 4.2% for the final year of that contract. The 2012-15 contract had a 2% salary increase every year of that contract, which ended in June of this year. The salary guide for this agreement will be made public once the agreement is approved by the BOE.
This agreement will be from July of 2015 through June of 2018. It is expected that all current salaries and rates will be retroactively reimbursed to reflect any agreed upon terms.
Mr. Gerten stated that the Board will review the agreement and schedule to have it voted on at the October 20th BOE meeting.