Board Trustee Ava Finnerty, who was a teacher the district for more than three decades, said that “never in those years did I ever have a contract that went beyond three years.”

The Bayonne Board of Education approved a “landmark” deal that trustees say is the longest contract teachers have had in decades. But not all are elated about the agreement.

The board voted 8-1 at their regular meeting on Wednesday night approving the four-year contract. The majority of the trustees praised the new contract as an “honorable commitment” to the teachers, secretaries, guidance counselors and other employees represented under the Bayonne Teachers’ Association.

Teachers, who have been working without a contract for the current school year, will see a retroactive raise of 2.8 percent for this school year, and will see a 3.3 percent raise for each of the next three years. They approved the contract in a May 15 vote.

Important to note, however, is these percentage increases do not necessarily translate into a direct raise for an individual’s salary. The increases apply to the pool of money received by the union, which is then calculated and distributed to individuals based on their level of seniority, according to the head of the BTA, Al D’Angelo.

Board members conceded that the contract wasn’t perfect, but lauded it for its longevity, adding that it will give stability the district’s employees.

“I retired after working as a teacher for 34 years, and never in those years did I ever have a contract that went beyond three years,” said Board Trustee Ava Finnerty. “This means a great deal.”

Recently elected trustee Michael Alonso, however, blasted the deal as “unacceptable, unworkable” and “definitely not affordable.”

BBOE Trustee Michael Alonso.

“It neither meets the current needs of the taxpayers or the students, nor does it really help the school system,” he said. “There’s too many questions; too much politics. It’s too bad for Bayonne. I don’t think anything good is going to come out of this.”

Alonso, who missed the open public workshop and came to the board meeting late wearing a Make American Great Again hat, was on the negotiations committee for the deal. He argued politics had muddled the agreement, and suggested that board bylaws “were ignored and not followed.”

The rest of the board fired back and stood by the agreement.

“Is this a perfect contract? Absolutely not. Did they deserve more? Absolutely yes. But what we can afford …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News


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N.J. school board approves ‘landmark’ 4-year teachers’ contract

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