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Ridgewood Teacher Contract Negotiations

Ridgewood EA teachers protest

June 3,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In recent days there have been many heated arguments on social media in regards to the lack of a teacher contract.  We parents have been accused of not reacting sooner to the stalled contract negotiations.  We have placed our faith in the elected officials of the Board of Education (BOE).  The BOE officials are educated professionals who are expected to formulate opinions and make decisions regarding contract negotiations.   They have access to information which is readily available. As parents our days are filled with work, sports and other activities.  We don’t have the time to research and review this information ourselves.

The teachers think we ignore their protests.  We witness their protests but we choose to ignore them because their actions are offensive.  With every protest our indignation grows: with every field trip the teachers have elected to miss, with the Halloween parade where the chosen costume was a red shirt, with all the school events where the teachers were absent, with the recommendation letters the teachers have either refused to write or have written the bare minimum , with all the mornings we have watched the teachers stand outside the school and march in together, with every mass exodus at the end of the day and with the countless other signs we noticed.

Now they are threatening to take our clubs away from our children.  They want us to react and so we will.  We will educate ourselves so that we as parents can make a decision.  The following facts collected from public sources should help us parents better understand the issues behind the contract negotiations:


Among the top 100 schools with the highest teacher salaries, Ridgewood is listed at #17.… if this is the case, why are teachers saying they are underpaid?

The median teacher salary for Ridgewood is $78,318…If you compare this to the rest of Bergen County, we are very competitive.

There are teachers in our school system who make triple figure salaries.
It is hard to believe there are elementary school librarians earning triple figures.
It should be noted that if there is a large number of teachers in the district who have been here a long time, this will shoot the median up as in any school district.

It is being said that by not giving the teachers what they want, we will force them to retire and we will lose good teachers.  It seems that some of the teachers who are paid well are very vocal yet they are the ones pushing the median up.  It also implies that the young teachers are not as good as the older ones because if the seasoned teachers leave we will be left with poor educators.

When compared to the private sector, the teachers’ salaries are competitive.

The private sector has a 40-hour work week for 48 weeks.  Teachers work 37.5 hours 37.5 weeks a year.

The teachers are guaranteed some type of a raise.  Private sector positions have received few to no raises over the past several years.

The argument that the raises don’t cover the increase the teachers have to contribute into health care is the same across all industries.

Private sector positions are paying the same if not more into their healthcare and get fewer benefits.

Teachers have a union that they pay $840 a year to fight for them.

If the private sector employee is not in agreement with what they are receiving, they have to accept it or move on.

With all of this being said, we try to raise our children by example.  There are many good teachers in this community.  We want to support our teachers.  We all want what is fair, but the arguments that they are not treated fairly and are overworked and underpaid are no longer valid.

Many of these teachers are our friends and neighbors.  As parents we should be able to express our opinions.  The reason many people are afraid to speak up is due to the fact that we are put down and made to feel that our jobs are less important than that of a teacher’s.  Just because we entrust you with our children does not mean that you should be treated any better than the rest of us.

We try to teach our children by example. What example are you teaching them- that if I don’t get what I want, I will make sure I will use all my sick days;  that if I don’t get paid to start work until a certain time, I will stand outside until I am required to enter the building.  The fact is that we will be sending our children into the world soon. Our children will not survive in the private sector if they choose to follow the example set by their teachers.

Shame on you teachers for saying that you care about our children because if you did, you would have attended the field trips, you would have incorporated your red shirts into Halloween costumes, you would have put effort into the letters of recommendation and you would have continued to do what make you happy- teach.  Your recent actions, however, say otherwise.

To the parents- please read the information provided.  The teachers will get a contract, they will get their raises, they will contribute to their health care and we will all be back in the same situation in three years.

Know the facts and support our children.

15 thoughts on “Ridgewood Teacher Contract Negotiations

  1. Well said.

  2. Well written, thanks. Wonder if there is grounds for dismissal for REA members not fulfilling their obligations to students?

  3. Teachers in this town are nothing more than chronic complainers.

  4. So true… the teachers will get all of this, but our children will never get the year back without their teachers… So sad and they say they care.

  5. If Mr. Yannone seems like an ungrateful child in the press, try attending one of his classes.

  6. It’s time that the parents of our students come together. Show your support for the students and the BOE by attending the meeting Monday night and wearing WHITE! Regardless of how the BOE votes, teachers need to know that students and parents are tired of being bullied by their tactics! They moved the meeting to BFMS for a reason… Let’s show our support.

  7. WOW….and the Truth will set you Free! Great read, great facts! Wake up teachers and your rotten unions. Time to pay more and your fair share. That is the real need here. You Gimme, Gimme, Gimmes are wrong and this why the intelligent BOE is right. Thank you BOE for doing your jobs and not rubber stamping these unreasonable demands. The parents and students should wake up and know these facts. When these reasons are known by all, the educated will support the students and the BOE. The upcoming meeting at BF will have bus loads of teachers wearing RED. While the BOE, Tax Payers should be SEEING RED! Enough is enogh, stop kicking the unions can and caving in. All contracts are shoot high and hope to reach a middle ground. No, not any more. Thank you to all o0n the BOE for standing up for us and the students. The teachers have ruined this year for all our students and we can’t get that back. Shame on the unions more than the lemming teachers. Not to be mean but to bring up an old statement. Those who can’t do teach….I’d like to add those who can’t negotiate for themselves stand behind their cowardly oh so powerful Unions…ugh, makes me sick

  8. Well said!!

  9. Your BOE is padding numbers to make it look like the teachers are costing them more than they really are!!! Alfredo, your Business Administrator gave himself a 60% raise! He makes more than your Superintendent!!! The health benefit contributions that the teachers are paying and increasing each year, have given your BOE $3 million extra dollars to spend on this district!!! Read the fact finders report! Educate yourselves. Look into where your BOE is spending their money. It is not the teachers and it sure as hell aren’t the children!

  10. 4:53: Are you a Ridgewood resident, parent of a school age child or teacher? You miss the point of the above letter. Please read it again and note that Ridgewood students are the topic of concern. With regard to your allegations, tell them to the BOE tomorrow evening at BFMS.

  11. Are they claiming they are underpaid or just fighting the healthcare increase? Also I know many find it offensive that some make 6 figures but in reality can anybody afford to live in this town on a $100k salary?

  12. Vic Vaga… the claim is the raises they are getting do not cover the cost that they are required to contribute into their health care and that the healthcare is too high. Right now they pay a $10 co-pay. That is far lower than most of us pay. Many families have not seen raises in years, yet our healthcare continues to rise. What makes a teacher any more important than any of us. A median salary for a nurse in NJ is about the same as a teacher. $100k salary isn’t enough for any of us to live here. That is why most of the families are dual income. Teachers however are paid that much but work on average 10 week less than the average person in the private sector. If you did not like your salary or health care, would you stop attending meetings or business trips? Would you still have a job? Everyone in this community and country wide are facing the same challenges, but we fight alone. Would it be okay if our kids decided not to go to class? Lead by example. The teachers may not have a contract but they still have a job and are getting paid regardless.

  13. Agree 7.55 and they are paid very well despite the slowdown protests.its america we have to live with a little bit of this during the process of a new contract,Earth to Teachers costs go up..refer to lessons Inflation ,over regulation and changes in markets,then Pay up like the little people around one is that special..please direct protest letters to the Omama library dead letter room.

  14. Once again gossip mongering and falsehoods, spewing derisive comments. Teachers have not engaged in any slow downs, job actions or given less then required by their contracts. They have stood as a unified force requesting a fair contract. No one has missed meetings, over extended their sick time or not given 100% to their students….to say otherwise is just being untruthful. Parents have become accustomed to all of the extras the teachers provide on their own time. Getting to school early, staying late, participating in extra curricular activities is not part of the contract…it should not be taken as a requirement.

  15. at 6:39 if that is the case then why do teachers get paid to run these clubs… That then should be taken out of the contract and offered to parents. The overnight field trips that you have chosen not to go on, agreed they are not part of your contract, but then you should not receive $200 a night when parents have to take time off from work and not get paid. You are barking up the wrong tree. No one is asking you to go to school early, or stay late. If you choose to do so then that is your prerogative. You are supposed to do this because you care and want to. How can you explain the 31 RHS teachers out sick in one day?… really! You are truly living in a bubble if you think that you are not! If you think you are doing the right thing than why is the superintendent sending e-mails to do your job?

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