SPOTSWOOD EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
I have been enjoying my summer, and I hope you have as well. Rima and I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland soon after the school year ended. Ireland is full of beautiful landscape, ancient architecture, picturesque towns and a pub or two. We had a wonderful time.
The SEA will be meeting on September 5th in the high school cafetorium from 8-8:30 am. The PTA will be providing breakfast for us during that time. I’d like to start off our new year on a positive note by congratulating our newly tenured staff. The achievement of tenure in education, and in this district, is no small accomplishment.
This milestone should be acknowledged, and celebrated. Please help me to do this on September 5th. As well as recognizing accomplished staff members in the district, it is also important to welcome new staff members. Administration has been filling positions all summer long. Some of our new staff members are veteran
teachers, and some are entirely new to the profession. It will be important to support everyone and help them adjust to the culture of the Spotswood School District.
We are starting this school year off without a new contract. What does that mean? Every member of the SEA will remain at the same pay level that they were on last year. Many of us will see our take home pay decrease for the time being, due to the scheduled pension contribution increase and the increase in healthcare premiums. I know that this is frustrating and will be difficult for some. I ask that you please remain patient and continue to trust in the SEA negotiating team. Once the contract is settled, you can expect to see retro pay soon after.
As most of you know, we have entered into the mediation process with the Board of Ed this past June. Unfortunately, it was a very difficult task getting five groups (SEA, NJEA Rep, Spotswood BOE, BOE Lawyer, and the mediator) to agree on a date to meet. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, September 27 th at 6 pm. We will continue to fight for our rights, our benefits, and a competitive salary increase for everyone. I believe that the team that we have put together has done an outstanding job so far and will continue to do so. One item of note, the paraprofessional representative, MaryAnn Coghlan, is no longer with the district. We need a paraprofessional to replace her on the negotiations team. If you are interested, or would like to nominate someone, please see myself, Lauren Siwiak, Mike Bartlett, Jaime Mahoney, Bob Vetrecin, or Denise Dellaglio.
Finally, please wear the new “Keep Calm…” t-shirt on September 5 th . This will be the first time this year we are all together and it is a great opportunity to show our unity. Continue to enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to seeing you in September.