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Brogan, Lenhard to Negotiate Teacher Contracts

Members of the teachers union have claimed they've been treated with a 'lack of respect' during the contentious negotiation period, which began well over a year ago.

Leaders of the Ridgewood Education Association (REA) will continue contract negotiations with a slightly different pair of board counterparts.

The Ridgewood school board elected to keep as one of two negotiators for the contract talks, while bringing aboard former BOE president Michele Lenhard.

One half of the previous negotiating team, Bob Hutton, .

An eight-year member of the board, Hutton had that would be easier on taxpayers, stating salaries and benefits to teaches were the single largest taxpayer expense and needed to be controlled in the era of the "new normal".

Negotiations have at times been contentious since they began over a year-and-a-half ago. The last fact-finding session was held on May 17. A gulf still remains between the two parties despite months of mediation, sources said.

The previous teacher contract expired last summer and the school board made the "hard" decision to not budget any salary increase for teachers in the 2011-2012 school year. 

Many teachers began showing their upset by not staying with kids to help after school and later.

In March they staged a public protest claiming they've been shown a and subsequently questioned the decision to fund a new science curriculum, among others.

The tension hit an all-time high in April with in a letter a decade ago for speaking out against teacher salaries and benefits during previous negotiations.

A 2 percent salary increase was , though teachers say it's been largely offset by new state laws that require they pay a greater percentage of their income into healthcare costs.

The school board also settled on Vince Loncto and Jim Morgan to head the finance committee.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Fan of Ridgewood May 23, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Arent the teachers who are not helping kids after school even though they are still getting paid an act of disrespect?
jp1 May 23, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Too bad for the teachers.
JAFO May 23, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Come on Bill, you know sh!t rolls downhill. Board doesn't respect teachers, teachers don't respect students, etc, etc.
CPA May 24, 2012 at 01:14 PM
My kids are receiving help during the school day. They can spend their lunch periods in a teachers class for additional help. Are your children unable to get help during their lunch periods? I am sure that if asked the teachers will be willing to make arrangments. Kids should advocate for themselves. I do believe the teachers in the middle school and high school are willing to help the kids, your kids just have to ask.
Michael May 25, 2012 at 04:45 PM
It depends on the teacher. My kids arrive before some teachers (730am) and leave after some (310pm). We know who's who when it comes to the good ones and the posers.

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