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NTU Update - June 3, 2016

Colleagues,

 

1)    Negotiations Update – On June 2, the Negotiations Committee presented a confidential draft of our contract proposals to the NTU Executive Board for review and discussion.  The reaction to the committee's proposals by the Executive Board was overwhelmingly positive.  Our Negotiations Committee will be meeting one last time to make final edits suggested by the Executive Board before our first negotiations session with the NPS team on June 15. 

 

2)    Paycards - Colleagues, it was brought to our attention that many people have not activated their Paycards yet. If you already have direct deposit, you are fine.

 

But for everyone on the Paycard, you must activate it to ensure you will be paid today!   If you did not get a Paycard or you lost it, you need to pick up a replacement at 2 Cedar Street to have access to your paycheck!

 

3)    End of the Year/Summer Pay Update:  A few staff members had reached out to us regarding this issue, so we sent the below question to NPS:

 

“With the “paycard” and no more paper checks, will the last check of the year still be a live check?  And what about the checks staff get over the summer?”

The district’s response: “Last check of the year will be direct deposit and summer will be direct deposit.”

 

We also got some questions this morning when staff who chose the “one check” option would be getting their check.  The district informed us that they had sent out notice through Teacher Talk that check would be going out June 17. 

 

4)    Stipend Payments – According to the director of Payroll, all outstanding stipend payment will be issued as a separate check next Friday, June 10.

 

5)    Health Benefits - We continue to meet with the district, other union heads, and AETNA about the district’s intent to change health care providers from the State Employee Health Benefits Program to AETNA.  The district has agreed to arrange informational sessions where NPS employees will be able to come in and ask AETNA any questions they may have.  The district continues to say there will be no change in coverage or out of pocket costs to employees (which is a requirement under state law if the district looks to change health care plans), though we continue to have concerns about what happens to a staff member’s when their current doctor may not be in the AETNA network.  Changing doctors is a disruptive experience.

 

To answer the question we get most frequently, staff members will still have their same choice of plans, they will just be under the AETNA umbrella.  NJ Direct 10 would be AETNA Freedom 10, NJ Direct 15 would be AETNA Freedom 15, and if you used a or Horizon HMO, you would now be under AETNA’s HMO plan.

 

Attached is a document that will help you find out if your doctor is listed, and the projected impact on your current contributions to the health care plan because of these changes.  As we get more information, we will continue to get it out to you.

 

6)    Discretionary Funds - We have been getting mixed reports about the distribution of discretionary funds.  Please reach out to Mike Maillaro at mmaillaro@newarkteachersunion.com if you have not yet received your funds.

 

In addition, it is vital ensure that “unexpended amounts” are distributed in accordance with the contract as quoted below. Please direct your administrators’ attention to the underlined section below should they have an issue with the process.

 

The Newark Public Schools and the Union agree to continue the teachers’ discretionary fund. Ninety dollars ($90) per teacher shall be made available by the school district in each school year (Effective September 1, 2007). If as of April 1st of each school year there shall remain any unexpended amount in this discretionary fund, the unexpended amounts shall be redistributed according to the guidelines developed by the Office of the State District Superintendent and then be implemented in each school by the Principal in cooperation with the Union building committee.

 

Please report any violations of this process to the NTU as soon as they occur.

 

7)    Upcoming NPS Advisory Board Meetings:

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

5:30 PM

Business

Newark Public Schools
10th Floor Conference Room, 1010
2 Cedar Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

6:00 PM

Regular

Science Park High School
260 Norfolk Street
Newark, NJ 07103

 

In Solidarity,  

John  M.  Abeigon

President & Director of Organization

Newark Teachers Union

Local 481 AFT, AFL-CIO

Michael  Maillaro

Director of Research & Communication

Newark Teachers Union

Local 481 AFT, AFL-CIO

Michael R. Iovino
Secretary Treasurer

Newark Teachers Union

Local 481 AFT, AFL-CIO