I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Monday, November 12, 2012

Newark Teacher Contract Vote on Wednesday, 11/14

The controversial Newark teachers contract vote is this Wednesday, November 14. Sandy pushed back the vote to this late date; now the teachers will have to decide whether to ratify a contract that features a whole lot of private money in exchange for accepting a merit pay system.

I really don't have much to add to my last post on the subject. The private funds make this an unusual situation, so, as much as I have worried about this being a precedent for the rest of the state, I think it will be hard for any other district to make the case that their teachers should follow suit.

Tom Moran can call the teachers opposed to this contract liars all day, but that doesn't change the facts: merit pay doesn't work, and the Newark teacher evaluation system is far too unreliable to distribute the bonuses fairly. In addition, there are some real concerns from the deal's critics about back pay, step guides, hours, work conditions, and many other factors.

I will say one additional thing: rumors have been circulating that the district needed to have a ratified contract in hand so they could apply for a district-level Race To the Top grant. That's a very bad reason to approve a contract if teachers don't like its provisions. Jersey City's teachers just said no to an unfair proposal that was being rushed through to meet the RTTT deadline; the small amount of money up for grabs wasn't going to be used in the classroom or to help settle their contract anyway.

Newark's teachers will do what's best for them and their students. They are more than capable of weighing the pros and cons of this deal and acting accordingly. The facts have been laid out by both sides; let's see what they decide later this week.


Anonymous said...

I feel like the storm took the wind out of everyone's sails. We were fired up prior to the original voting date. Now it feels like many have forgotten about it all, as we are struggling to regain our footing after the storm. I fear that very few will turn out to vote on Wednesday, and this will pass. If it is to pass because an overwhelming percentage of our members come to vote, and they pass it, so be it. But if very few people vote, and it passes, we will never know if it was truly what the membership wanted.

giuseppe said...

In my opinion, I think the Newark teachers should reject this contract, it's a bad deal.
This is off topic: Good news, Marie Corfield is contesting the results of the election because of all the late votes that need to be counted and the confusion caused by hurricane Sandy. The election results thus far are very close and so Marie should not and is not conceding because there may still be many votes out there for her. Fingers crossed.

Brian Hohmann said...

Here's why NTU members should vote no on Wednesday: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113029868/Why-We-Need-to-Vote-No.

Anonymous said...

Love the sribd memo. It was very clear! hope it doesnt pass