NTU Update - October 21, 2016 - Negotiations Update

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Brothers & Sisters:

I am cautiously optimistic in reporting out the results of Wednesday’s NTU Executive Board Meeting.  As we are all anxious to hear about the contract, I’ll get to that first:

The Negotiation Team (Michael Iovino, Carmen Lopez-Wolf, Ronnie Carney, John Cunha, Nancy Gianni, and Michael Maillaro) reported to the board that there was enough favorable movement at Wednesday’s negotiation session to schedule another meeting on November 9th.  Certain deal breaker proposals were taken off the table and favorable proposals temporarily agreed upon.  Salary and benefits were also discussed. While the ground rules prohibit me from releasing details, suffice it to say that I and the Executive Board unanimously agreed with the negotiation teams’ recommendation to continue working with the NPS towards a contract settlement. 

Regarding the Respect the Contract Initiative Phase I the Negotiations Team felt that RTC Phase I has made a positive impact and that we should continue to apply pressure as outlined in the RTC Phase I Principles on our website http://newark.nj.aft.org/respect-contract/respect-contract-phase-i-toolkit.  The current climate at the negotiations table does not warrant moving to Phase II.  Both I and the Executive Board also agreed with that recommendation.

Executive Board members reported out that RTC Phase I has been mostly successful in those buildings where there are both an E Board Member and a Building Rep. Other locations where there is a strong Building Rep and school committee also reported successful use of the Principles.

Some examples:

·         Schools reported that pre-sign in volunteerism has ceased completely.

·         Teachers at one school so successfully used the provided Arbitrators Award that their administration printed out grades for all the students and delivered them to the staff.

·         High schools reported that there is no volunteerism that is going on at their sites that is not being compensated.

·         Veteran teachers are “redirecting” younger teachers they see doing “scab duty” [for younger employees, “scab duty” is doing the job of another employee who has been terminated or laid off].

Rest assured that as your president it is my responsibility to do whatever it takes to get us a fair and equitable contract. But, I must also prepare for a worst case scenario.  With this negotiations team and the support they are receiving from the Executive Board and from you the members, I remain hopeful and optimistic that there will be a settlement. 

In Solidarity,


John M Abeigon

President & Director of Organization

Newark Teachers Union, Local 481, AFT, AFL-CIO