Posted on

Ridgewood High Schools Academic Decline

Ridgewood High School class of 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to the NJ Department of Education since 2008 Ridgewood High School’s ranking has declined from number 7 over all to number 36 . In the same 10 year period the Ridgewood school budget has nearly doubled to a whopping $110,000,000.

Continue reading Ridgewood High Schools Academic Decline

Posted on

Ridgewood BOE letter to update the Ridgewood Public School community on the status of REA-Board contract negotiations

September 5, 2018

Dear Ridgewood Public School Community,

The Ridgewood Board of Education (“Board”) and the Ridgewood Education Association (“Association”) have been unable to agree on the terms of a successor agreement to the 3-year contract, which expired on June 30, 2018. The Association represents the teachers and secretaries employed in the Ridgewood Public School District.

Continue reading Ridgewood BOE letter to update the Ridgewood Public School community on the status of REA-Board contract negotiations

Posted on

Reader says Teacher constant complaining is tiring

Ridgewood EA teachers protest

Anyone teaching in the Ridgewood School System should be thankful that they are earning above average salaries in addition to the benefits and pension all NJ teachers receive. The whining is getting old. If you don’t like the arrangement, find another job. Teaching is a very difficult job and I could not be a teacher. I don’t begrudge them their packages but the constant complaining is tiring. As the above poster said, “You just had the summer off.” You should be refreshed. Try having 2 or 3 weeks off a year as your only respite from the daily grind!

Posted on

Ridgewood Education Association Supports Student Walkout

Ridgewood Education Association , Suports Student Walkout ,

March 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood

Ridgewood NJ, Adults using children to further their political aims  .The Ridgewood Education Association shared an event : NEA & AFT Wear Orange to Support Women’s March & 17 Min. Walkout . March 14th – the Women’s March has announced a National School Walkout in which school communities will walk out of their schools for 17 minutes to honor the lives lost in Parkland. NEA will join with AFT in encouraging educators throughout the country to wear orange on this day.

Nice to see a $105,000,000 school budget put to good use .

Posted on

Ridgewood Education Association and Board of Education Face off in New Contract Negotiations

REA Members come out to greet our Board of Ed
September 4th 2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Students return to school on Tuesday and as the new school year begins the Ridgewood Education Association members are still working without a contract. The Ridgewood Education Association is looking for the public’s support to settle their contract dispute with the school board which up till now has been tepid at best.

The Ridgewood Education Association is asking the public to please support their members by demanding that the Board settles the contract. They want to make sure Dr. Fishbein knows that their contract is the number one priority. They are also asking residents to place a sign on your lawn to support the Ridgewood Education Association.

Readers agree that a contract settlement is needed but consider REA demands unreasonable  , “Isn’t it obvious the NJEA is forcing the REA to make unreasonable demands and negotiate in bad faith with our volunteer BOE? Settle now.”

Many blog readers also do not share the REA’s enthusiasm ,”The REA thinks that just because Ridgewood schools have a “tradition of excellence”, that they are somehow excellent. That takes hard work. This current bunch of teachers seems to care more about their annual wage increases and health care benefits than they do about excellence for our school system. Shameless greed given a BOE budget already north of $100 million even though the population of Ridgewood is little changed since we did have top rated schools in the 1980s and 90s.”

Some REA supporters think the union should take stronger action , “maybe coaches need to through in the towel . Take away extra curricular activities and you’ll see how fast parents put signs up on their lawn.”

This Tuesday September 6th, the first day of school for students, the Ridgewood Education Association will hold a rally at 4:00pm at the Ed Center. The rally is an attempt to pressure the BOE to give in .That evening there will be a negotiation session and union is looking to let the Board know that 434 days is too long to work without a contract. The REA is also asking residents to come and support your teachers and secretaries by wearing red.

Posted on

Reader says , I think the reality of what has transpired with our healthcare system has not yet dawned on the Ridgewood Education Association

Ridgewood EA teachers protest

..the REA believes it a political move that they should now pay for their healthcare, and that the “social contract” always was that teachers would be low payed but have job security and free healthcare. I think the reality of what has transpired with our healthcare system has not yet dawned on the REA. Many people can not pay for their own healthcare let alone shoulder the burdens of theirs, increased taxes, etc.

…most people are now taking home less money than they did six years ago. No one is getting more than a 1 – 1.5% increase a year and everyone’s health care premiums are skyrocketing. And in the private sector, a lot of those premiums are paying for high deductible policies (my family policy is costing me $5200/year and only kicks in after the $3000 out of pocket). Again, everyone is bringing home less which means we can’t afford to pay more taxes. Sad, but true.

My employer switched to a high deductible health plan this year. I still pay $1000/ mth in premiums (employee share) plus now I have a $5k deductible.

So, my son sprained his ankle and now I get a $1000 bill from Valley because I haven’t hit my deductible yet. (That’s with the insurer negotiated rates). All doctor visits other than preventive care are out of pocket until the deductible is hit.

Thank you Obama for accelerating this for happening to me because our employer is trying to avoid the Cadillac tax.

Teachers, get real with your minimal co-pays.


Posted on

Ridgewood Education Association held a rally outside the Board of Education building



RIDGEWOOD – Amidst driving rain, members of the Ridgewood Education Association (REA) held a rally outside the village’s education building Wednesday afternoon, hoping to encourage REA President Mike Yannone as he re-entered negotiations with the Ridgewood Board of Education (BOE) and a state-appointed fact-finder.

“This is unbelievable,” Yannone said as he watched the teachers marching around in the downpour. “I didn’t think anybody would be here.”

However, upon further reflection, Yannone noted that the “frustration level of the teachers of this town is really high,” and that a “little rain isn’t going to stop them from coming out.”

The members of the REA, marching around shouting “settle now,” say they feel they have not received a fair contract offer from the BOE, as the proposal does not address their concerns about healthcare contributions.

“We’re still dealing with the same proposal they gave us 11 months ago,” Yannone said, adding that in negotiations, “Two sides have to be willing to come in here and compromise.

“Both sides have to be willing to give to get,” he continued. “We’ve had that approach all the way through.”

Posted on

Michael Yannone President, Ridgewood Education Association : A “fair” settlement is when both sides give to get


Contract discussions continue


Contract discussions continue

To The Editor,

Last week the Ridgewood Board of Education used this space to comment on the status of negotiations with the Ridgewood Education Association. In their statement they stated that they recently presented to us “a new and comprehensive proposal”. The village should know that this was not the case.

The major issue before us is health care contributions that is no secret every time both sides meet that is all we talk about. Almost 200 teachers came to last Monday’s BOE meeting because of this issue with 20 of them speaking personally and passionately on this topic. The board’s “new and comprehensive” proposal on this issue has not changed in 11 months, they have offered nothing new. Their continued solution is to provide teachers with a level of health care that would be the worst of any district in the state. The only savings found in this plan are on the Board’s end any savings for teachers quickly evaporate once the plan is used. They would do nothing to lower the crushing costs of contribution levels.

Again we heard about 2 percent caps on their budget. The district has money in its $101 million budget, they just prioritize its use elsewhere: additional administrators, paid speakers and consultants, fancy furniture, and yes ebooks for elementary aged children who don’t have Chromebooks just to name a few. At Monday’s meeting they announced that they were allocating $970,000 for technology in next year’s budget. But there is no money to settle this contract?

What I found most interesting in the Board’s statement was the use of quotation marks around the word fair as if this is a foreign concept that has no place in the discussion. Good faith negotiations require compromise. A “fair” settlement is when both sides give to get. The REA understands this and has been willing to give in other areas of the contract. We have repeatedly pitched creative concepts to reach a middle ground and have been rebuffed at every step with no counter proposal offered. Their statement reads as if they have actually engaged in back and forth negotiations, when in fact they have yet to offer anything new and substantial for our team to consider. Successful negotiations can not be one sided, and right now the REA feels like we are simply talking to ourselves.

It should come as no surprise that we find ourselves in this impasse as this Board has stated publicly that they are against the rights of teachers to collectively bargain. The Ridgewood Board of Education doesn’t want “fair”, they want it all.

Michael Yannone

President, Ridgewood Education Association

Posted on

Ridgewood Board of Education Continuing contract negotiations with the Ridgewood Education Association Update


September 11, 2015 Dear Parent or Guardian:

In July, the Ridgewood Board of Education (RBOE) announced that contract negotiations with the Ridgewood Education Association (REA), which began in February 2015, were moving from official mediation through the NJ Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to the fact-finding stage, also through PERC.
Our first fact-finding session will be held on September 16, 2015. During this time, the teachers and secretaries continue to receive their full salaries and benefits and work under the terms, conditions and protections of the expired contract that began on July 1, 2012, and ended on June 30, 2015. It is important to remember that our teachers and secretaries are working within the contractually specified hours listed below and that drop-off and pick-up times at our schools must be followed:
 Elementary schools: 8 a.m.-3:35 p.m. PLEASE DO NOT DROP YOUR CHILD OFF PRIOR TO 8:35 A.M. AND PICK UP AT 3 P.M.
 Middle schools: 7:45 a.m.-3:20 p.m. PLEASE DO NOT DROP YOUR CHILD OFF PRIOR TO 7:45 A.M. AND PICK UP AT 2:55 P.M.
 Ridgewood High School: 7:40 a.m.-3:15 p.m. DROP OFF AND PICK UP WILL BE THE SAME
In addition, please understand that during this stage in the negotiations, teachers may decline to do some activities that fall outside of the contract. For example, they may decline to chaperone overnight/after school field trips, decline to participate or volunteer in activities that they had in the past, or may adhere to the 7.5 hour daily contract hours by arriving and leaving on time each school day. If any such actions occur that result in changes or cancellation of certain activities, school principals and other administrators will explain the reason why.
Many parents have offered to volunteer and take over these responsibilities. Some activities can be sponsored or supervised by parents, while others can’t for various insurance and personal liability reasons. Please see your principal for guidance. While changes to activities may be an unfortunate reality during this period, it is important to stress that the RBOE and REA are working towards an agreement that satisfies both parties. Throughout the State of New Jersey, negotiations are taking place between teacher associations and Boards of Education.
The vast majority of contract negotiations, almost 80 percent, are not completed prior to the expiration of the preceding contract. Finally, if the fact-finder is unsuccessful in mediating an agreement, both parties will present their “case,” and a written report will be prepared that will be made public 10 days after they receive his non-binding findings. Thank you in advance for your understanding as the RBOE and REA work through this process and complete the negotiations in the shortest time possible.
Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools