Parsippany Teachers to Rally at Board of Education Meeting

Dr. Frank A. Calabria Education Center

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Education Association (PTHEA) members will gather to demonstrate at the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education Building on Thursday, September 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. prior to BOE closed session meeting.

About 150 PTHEA members will attend the open meeting at 7:00 p.m., wearing black Association shirts.

The teachers will march, carrying signs, on the sidewalks adjacent to BOE office building to make the Board of Education, at its regularly scheduled meeting, aware that the professional staff expects fair compensation.

“In response to a private and internal memorandum to fellow PTHEA members, the Parsippany Board of Education has published on its web site a “response to a PTHEA statement concerning job actions.” Although the PTHEA were not ready to take the contract negotiations public, thy feel they must respond. Whether or not one would identify the Board’s proposals as “fair” or “generous” (as they do), the basic and incontrovertible fact is that their offer would result in yet another year of reduced take-home pay. They cannot deny this; it is simple math. Their statement does correctly note that one of their offers would actually allow slightly more take-home pay, but only if we accepted a health care plan that required greater out-of-pocket costs. In other words, it offers a slight increase in take-home pay, but necessitates that we quickly give that money (and more) away to doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. It is another offer to work for less money masquerading as generosity,” stated PTHEA members in a press release.

“These offers came after eight months negotiations, during which time the PTHEA accepted numerous concessions, moved away from its original proposals, and told the Board it would accept any deal that led to even a small increase in take-home pay. During this time they didn’t protest, hold rallies, or make statements. They presented evidence that such a deal was both affordable and practical and were given indications that agreement was close. And then, at the 11th hour, just as their old contract expired, the Board came back with the offers noted above. And that is why the 750 members of the PTHEA across all 14 schools feel they have no choice, and have overwhelmingly decided that they can no longer volunteer their free time for activities that go beyond contracted responsibilities. The teachers are not willing to divert time from their own families for voluntary and/or uncompensated work as long as they continue to realize less real income year after year. During this time, teachers will continue to discharge their duties fully and completely, according to the contract with the Board of Education. They will perform all the functions required of them during class, duty, and contracted meeting times. The professional dedication that parents and students have come to expect from the Parsippany education professionals will remain unchanged, and the level of instruction, coaching, counseling, and care that Parsippany schools are known for will not be curtailed.”