Newark, NJ (PRWEB) October 18, 2012
Newark Public Schools (NPS) and the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) have reached a tentative agreement for a contract that prioritizes student achievement, promotes teachers’ professional growth and financially rewards teachers based on experience and performance. The current contract expired on July 1, 2010. The new agreement will be in effect until June 30, 2015.
The agreement will allow NPS to make dramatic improvements in attracting, evaluating, rewarding and retaining great teachers. The tentative contract, announced today during a signing ceremony, was negotiated by a team headed by Joseph Del Grosso, president of the NTU/AFT, and Cami Anderson, Superintendent of NPS. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Chris Cerf, state education commissioner, also played critical roles in the negotiations. The agreement includes a new universal salary scale that values experience and performance and makes Newark teachers among the highest paid in the country.
“We believe this proposed agreement respects teachers as professionals and is good for the students and families who are the heart of Newark’s public schools,” said NTU President Del Grosso. “The negotiation was a collaborative process with Superintendent Anderson and her team that resulted in an outcome designed to improve teaching and learning in all Newark’s schools.”
The TEACH NJ bill recently passed by the state Legislature created an evaluation frame. Together, the district and NTU built upon that frame to include ongoing development and supports for teachers and a role for educators in the evaluation process. The goal is to develop and implement a system that is rigorous, transparent and fair, and that gives both administrators and teachers accurate information on teacher performance and ongoing feedback that enhances teacher performance and rewards teacher quality.
“I applaud Joe and his team for their leadership and their tireless efforts on behalf of our great teachers and students in the district,” said Superintendent Anderson. “It was never an either/or negotiation. The focus has been and remains on ensuring that we have an outstanding educator in every classroom – and this agreement goes a long way toward helping us create the conditions for that success.”
The agreement adds 100 million dollars of new money into teacher compensation; approximately half of which will be funded through NPS resources and the balance in philanthropic resources. This includes rewards and incentive payments which will be led by the Foundation for Newark's Future.
The major provisions of the agreement include:
Other notables include a streamlined hiring process with vacancies posted online, incentives for early notification of retirements so hiring can be accelerated, a donated sick leave bank for staff facing serious medical conditions, and greater flexibility regarding school schedules.