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District Employees Will Now Pay Toward Their Health Insurance

Stipulation part of new three-year agreement between the district and Board of Education.

All Wayne Education Association (WEA) staff members will pay 1.5 percent of their annual base salary towards health insurance premiums beginning this year.

The stipulation is part of the district’s new three-year agreement with the WEA.

The Board of Education ratified the new agreement at Thursday’s meeting. Four board members voted completely in favor of the agreement, two raised objections to part of it and President Donald Pavlak Jr. abstained from voting.

Pavlak said that the agreement is one that is “beneficial to both parties.”

The agreement will save the district more than $3.7 million.

Trustees Robyn Kingston and Laura Stiziano objected to the portion of the agreement regarding the salary of WEA President Sean Spiller.

Spiller will be relieved of his teaching duties but will receive a salary for his role as president, his only defined role in the district.

“I believe that this is not the right course of action for our district in our current economic climate,” Kingston said. “I firmly believe that the position of Union President should be a volunteer position and that our tax dollars should not be used in any way to fund this position.”

The approximately 1,200 employees the WEA represents will be paid $56.8 million in base salaries for the 2011-2012 school year.

The agreement changes the percentage of annual increase for salaries.

Under the previous agreement, a staff member moved up one step on the salary guide each year, at a 7.8 percent increase over a three-year period. Under the new agreement, the board has agreed to pay a 5.75 percent increase over the next three years, or less than a 2 percent average annual increase throughout the course of the agreement.

The district will receive 4.5 percent of the salary increase back through health premium reimbursements from the WEA, making the net increase to the district 1.25 percent throughout the course of the agreement. Officials estimate the district could collect $946,000 annually, based on base salaries paid, in insurance premiums.

Stipends for athletic coaches and co-curricular activities will be frozen at their current amounts for the life of the agreement. 

The agreement also gives the district the right to examine the possibility of going from a nine-period day in the middle and high schools to an eight-period day. Interim Superintendent Michael Roth said the district could save $1.5 million annually if the move is made. Officials are examining making the change for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Officials proposed the change for the upcoming school year but it was rejected.

The WEA represents approximately 1,200 employees including teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, secretaries and paraprofessionals.

LibertyBanner August 05, 2011 at 02:58 AM
A net increase of 1.25% spread over three years sounds like a good deal for taxpayers and is something I guess teachers are going to have to work with for three years. We will all have to hope this economy gets better so we all start doing a little better.
tammyasbury August 05, 2011 at 06:18 AM
After I pay monthly insurance premiums I can't afford the co-payment to go. Honestly, they got you where they want you, only solution is "Penny Health" trying to find a solution for this
Pad August 05, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Why should the taxpayers pay the WEA presidents salary? He is relieved from duties as a teacher. If the teachers want a full time rep. it should be paid from thier union dues. Again the taxpayers are paying for a union rep. that will be negotiating with the BOE. Yes, Pavlak abstained from voting, does anyone believe he would vote no? His wife is employed in the District. The healthcare percentage that they are paying is a joke. They beat the state deadline by termninating and negotiating a new contract before the deadline. If the BOE was concerned about taxpayers money they would have waited to negotiate. Its an outrage that taxpayers will pay the salary of a teacher that will perform no duties except to negotiate against the township for future raises and benefits.
mary August 05, 2011 at 06:41 PM
After watching the BOE meeting the other night and seeing the numbers, it seems that the contract with the WEA is fair to both taxpayers and teachers. As for the issue with the release time president, Ceberio and Badiner stated that the release time president comes at no cost to the district. In fact, the district earns a savings in his salary as well as a savings with court/legal issues when labor disputes arise. Do we want a good deal for taxpayers or do we want to bash the union because it is the cool thing to do? Seems like a good deal overall.
Joan Young August 05, 2011 at 10:08 PM
If anyone bothered to watch the malicious behavior of the board of education over the years. I for one am happy there will be no strained relationship with the teachers. I 'hope' the board will reflect on their past behavior and be good role models for our students.
raised in wayne August 06, 2011 at 12:28 PM
I'm with you, Pad! The healthcare percentage that they are paying IS a joke. On a 50K salary (remember-the rest of us work 12 months a year), the contribution is $62.50 per MONTH. How can this be a "good deal overall?" I pay almost $90 per WEEK. My company was happy to inform me that my contribution "only" increased by 8% this year. I also agree that it is an outrage that the taxpayers are paying the salary of the WEA president!
Pad August 07, 2011 at 02:38 PM
The WEA held a special vote that terminated the current contract and voted in the new contract. Had the old contract been in effect till the end date and a new contract settled it would have fell under the new State law ansd teachers would have had to pay more than 1.5 %. This goes to show you that the Wayne BOE & the WEA could care less about the rape of the taxpayers by this BOE. To allow the teachers to terminate a contract that hasn't expired yet and allow them a new contract to beat the states deadline borders on being criminal. There should be a full investigation into this. I am contacting the state ove this. Also, where do we save allowing a teacher from his duties to perform full time union duties? We are still paying his salary and the only ones who benefit from this is the Wayne teachers. The presentation will be all propaganda and lies by the BOE. The president shouldn't hold a position on the BOE when an immeadiate famnily member is employed by the district. After all isn't it him who stated in the press "WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE TEACHERS". This is a disgrace. Remember this for next years Budget Vote. VOTE NO!
raised in wayne August 07, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Wake up, mary! This is a good deal for the teachers and the taxpayers are the ones being bashed! You have it backwards!
Penny Lane August 07, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I graduated from the Wayne Schools not too long ago, and my experience has shown me that I had one of the best public educations around. I don't believe it was due to the curriculum, because I've learned from conversations with friends throughout college and work that North Jersey schools are pretty similar in that way. It's the quality of the individuals in the school, students and teachers alike. We have to protect the quality of the teachers that choose Wayne so graduates like me can be proud of their education. The Board members who spoke out against the union president's release time were immediately corrected in their understanding of the finances of that part of the deal, which were wrong. The contract negotiated by the board saved the town money on several fronts. In times like these, when we demand cuts to help us all make ends meet but still demand the best from our schools, I think we need to support that.
Tricia Jone August 07, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Unless the Union is paying the full salary/benefits of the Union President (which they are not) it IS costing the tax payers. The Union President will not be teaching any classes and his entire job is serving as Union President.
Potter August 07, 2011 at 08:38 PM
I agree with you Tricia! Why should the taxpayers have to pay any part of the salary for someone who is representing the union and not teaching? Like everyone else the board needs to trim their budget and cut unnecessary spending. A salary for the union rep certainly qualifies as cutting out the fat for me.
Wayne Voter August 10, 2011 at 05:47 PM
In my opinion, Joan, the malicious behavior is continuing. If you watch the televised Board meetings as I do, you will notice some very questionable behavior. Some are rude to the public who ask questions, or they don't even bother to answer or comment. I call that a serious lack of open government that warrants our attention. And certainly not an example of proper role models.
Pad August 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM
Ever wonder why they can't keep a school superintendant? It's because of this BOE. They are horrible to deal with and no one wants to work here. They blame the salary cap, but thats not really the reason. They say Sico retired 9 months into his 3 year contract. This is all B.S. He instantly found a new position right down the hill from Wayne. The one before him, instantly hired in Clifton. It is common knowledge amongst teachers outside and inside the District that it is impossible to work in Wayne with a BOE who wants to run the show. They should really just hire a puppet because thats who they want in that position. This BOE needs a complete independant investigation into their actions in several matters including this new contract deal. If the old contract was kept until it ran out taxpayers would haved save much more money under the new law. But the BOE & the WEA conspired to terminate the old contract before the Caps and the new higher amount teachers had to pay into their health benefits took effect. So for the life of the new contract the taxpayers again foot the bill.
Lynn September 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Pad, I think you should spend time in the class room and teach a class of teen agers or even a class of five year olds for one day.... you would want a million dollars for that job !!! Walk one mile in a teacher's shoe !!!!
raised in wayne September 24, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Lynn-try working as a hospital nurse...weekends, holidays, night shifts, no snow days, year-round work, NO TENURE! These are people who are in a profession for the right reason! (They also pay a lot more than 1.5% of their salary for health benefits). I used to be one, and admire those who are truly committed to helping others.
Lynn September 24, 2011 at 09:57 PM
I am FED UP with people bashing teachers !!! Who paid for your education ?? Teachers had lower pay for years and no one said anything....now that they are finally making what they are worth as professionals,Now, they are over paid ??? After years in college and many degrees later not even making 100,000 as other college grads make when they get out of college in their first year..!!! They don't even have a hour lunch break !!! Just give them a break for their profession !!!, they are the ones who are teaching your kids how to read and write PLUS HOW TO BEHAVE !!!! When was the last time you were in a high school hall way ?????
Lynn September 24, 2011 at 10:04 PM
PS How much does a nurse make ?? Then check how much a teacher earns ??? !! Big difference...........Teachers should get combat pay !!!!!!
raised in wayne September 24, 2011 at 11:37 PM
Not really, Lynn-I am sure if you compared a year-round salary to the 3/4 year that teachers work (not to mention that school is only in session 7 hours/day, during which there is a lunch period (even though it may not be an hour), the salary is reasonable. It is a shame that you feel teachers should get combat pay-maybe you should be in a different profession. I am not bashing teachers, there are good and bad, as in any profession. What does your comment, "Who paid for your education??" mean? My parents' taxes paid though high school and I paid for my nursing education.
Lynn October 06, 2011 at 11:12 AM
Fed Up, Have you ever taught a high school class ??? How can you even comment about a teacher to a nurse ?? And teachers do not get paid in the summer !!! I'm Fed up with people who don't know what they are talking about !!! PS I am not a teacher either.... I just appreciate them for what they do each day !!!

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