Aetna
AET
Real-time BATS EXCHANGE - 06/20 10:00:00 pm
189.265USD
+0.47%

Aetna : MILLBURN TEACHERS ANGRY WITH LACK OF CONTRACT

Envoyer par e-mail
06/14/2018 | 01:21 pm

MILLBURN -- Days after the teachers' union and the district failed to reach a contract agreement at a mediated meeting, teachers, secretaries and paraprofessionals voiced their anger at the board of education meeting.

"I need to be able to support my own children and when my take-home pay stays the same paycheck after paycheck for five straight years, it hurts," said Millburn High School teacher Michael Paul.

The teachers' take home or net pay, Paul said, has decreased by 8 to 10 percent.

The Millburn Education Association, said members, has been fighting for more than a year for a new contract with an increase in pay and better health benefits.

"The board has worked and continues to work tirelessly to reach a compromise between the two parties," said Phillip Choong, Millburn Board of Education member and chairperson of the board's negotiations committee.

The association is unwilling to compromise on a settlement, said board members who trace the disagreement largely to the board's decision to change health insurance providers.

The board said it will appoint a factfinder to work on the contract issue.

"The association's bargaining demands exceed the financial abilities of the district and are fiscally and operationally unreasonable," Choong said.

After meeting with its health broker in November, the board switched from School Employees Health Benefit Plan to Aetna and saved money, said board members.

Millburn Board of Education President Berylin Bosselman said she could not comment on the amount of money the district would save by switching to Aetna.

Dressed in matching teal T-shirts reading "Millburn Education Association" in dark blue letters, union members demanded a "fair and equitable contract" at the microphone.

Millburn Board of Education President Lois Infanger said progress was made during the May 29 mediator session, but was surprised the board "pulled the plug ... and decided to go with fact finding."

Infanger declined to comment on specifics in the contract in terms of salaries and benefits but has said that the union is looking for a fair and equitable contract.

"We came to the bargaining table more than a year ago, ready to bargain. Today, we remain ready and willing to bargain even while waiting for that state-appointed factfinder to be appointed," said Infanger.

Bosselman said appointing a fact finder was a "mutual decision," but said she couldn't comment on the process.

Union members also attended a board meeting in unison in March when the school board approved a preliminary budget with a proposed 2.7 percent school tax levy hike, that increased school taxes by $257 on the average township home assessed at $1.27 million.

The spending plan shows funds for teacher salaries in grades pre-K to 12 budgeted to increase 1.15 percent to $28.65 million in the 2018-19 academic year.

"Neither side is ever going to walk away completely satisfied," Bosselman said, noting both sides need to meet somewhere in the middle.

The Millburn Association of Supervisors and Administrators and the custodial staff have also been working under an expired contract since last June.

Bosselman did not have information about who is handling the supervisors and administrators union's contract negotiations or the contract negotiations for the custodial staff.

© (c) 2018 The Item of Millburn and Short Hills, North Jersey Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved., source Newspapers

Acquiremedia 2018
Envoyer par e-mail