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NTU Update - Sept 6, 2019

This week’s update is all about Payroll and Compensation. The first pay check of the year is out, and the phone has not stopped ringing at the NTU office.

If you have not received your salary increment, “cost of living” increase, coaching stipend or longevity, fill out the district’s Employee Inquiry Form:

http://newark.nj.aft.org/files/employeeinquiryform_2016.pdf

1)       Credit where credit is due: Before we start, we do think it is important to thank Superintendent Roger León and the NBOE staff. This is by far the fastest we have ever seen staff get their salary increases, increments, cost of living increases, and longevities after a contract has been ratified. This contract was approved by the NTU Membership only last Monday and by the Newark Board last Tuesday.   Since payroll closes on Tuesdays, that gave the NBOE less than a week to make these adjustments, so kudos to them for getting the payroll changes done quickly and for the most part accurately.

2)      How many days was I paid for? Full time 10-month staff were paid for 9 days in today’s check. Yes, the top of your paycheck says you were paid for 8/27/2019 - 8/30/2019. FULL TIME STAFF ARE PAID TO THE DAY, so your check is for nine days.

3)      How to I calculate what I was supposed to be paid today? Our pay schedule covers the entire year including holidays. While a 10-month employee may only work 188 days, our pay is spread out across ALL the days on the calendar and that can vary dramatically from year to year. Last year, our pay was spread across 212 days. This year, our pay is spread out across 215 days.

To calculate your daily income, take your annual salary and divide it by 215.

To calculate your gross paycheck, take the daily income and multiply it by the number of days covered (9 for this check, 10 for most checks).

4) What does it mean in my Employee Self Service salary progression where it says “Cost of Living Adjustment”?

The district tends to refer to any salary increase that does not come as a result of a step increment, longevity or changing of salary guides as a “Cost of Living Adjustment.”   This so-called “cost of living adjustment” by the NBOE is not to be confused with state or federal Cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) pertaining to Social Security. These are two different things.   To be clear, this "cost of living" is negotiated contractually just like all other salary increases.

For example, a staff member at step 19 is already at the top of the salary guide.  They would not get a step increment, BUT as the value of Step 19 increases from year to year, that change would be listed in your ESS as a Cost of Living Adjustment.

This also happens for staff who normally move up their step in February.  If the value of their current step increases because of the contract from year to year, they would see a small “cost of living adjustment” in September before moving up their full step in February.

5)      Earned MA and PhD salary guides – Yesterday, the NBOE sent out an email updating staff on the Earned MA and PhD guides. They said the updates to these guides may take some time, and staff may not see these increases until December 2019 at the latest. We have reached out to NBOE and told them that this needs to be a priority. There are a lot of moving parts here, BUT these are issues that have lingered for a long time. Staff should not have to wait any longer than necessary to see their salary corrections. NBOE has confirmed that all staff that gets their paperwork in will be paid retroactively back to the beginning of the school year. 

6)      What does that mean for staff who was owed retro because of the Mastriani settlement (staff who began and finished their degree programs between Oct 2012 and November 2018)?

When the district mentioned “retro” in their update yesterday, this caused some confusion. The district is sending out a separate letter to staff who completed the “retro survey” earlier this year to update them when those payments will be coming out. These are separate but connected situations.

7)      What about the Highly Effective Bonuses?

The Superintendent had sent out notice this week that staff on the universal guide who had a highly effective evaluation would receive their bonuses today. If you believe you were entitled to a bonus and did not receive anything, use the Employee Inquiry Form linked above.

8)      I lost my step because of a partially effective evaluation in 2017-2018, and got an effective/highly effective in 2018-2019, when will I get my improvement stipend?

We spoke to the Superintendent about this earlier this week, and we hope to have an update soon.