Newark Public Schools Announces New Labor Agreement with Local 32 Union, Office and Professional Employees International Union

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[Newark, NJ – July 12, 2016] – Newark Public Schools announced that the district has reached a new labor agreement with Local 32 Union that creates a new evaluation standard through which employees will receive annual salary increases and which eliminates an automatic step-up pay scale. The goal of the new contract will be to recognize and reward high-performing employees while also providing corrective support to foster the professional growth of low performing employees.

“With the new contract, Newark Public Schools will eliminate the automatic step salary increases and implement an evaluation standard that will reward our highly effective and effective employees while providing a corrective action plan with measurable benchmarks to support the growth of low-performing employees,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “This an important milestone for the district, and I believe this evaluation standard will lead to significant improvements for our employees and students.”

Under the new contract, Local 32 members will receive one of the following annual evaluation ratings: highly effective, effective, partially effective and ineffective. Employees who receive a rating of highly effective, effective or partially effective will be eligible to move up one step on the salary scale and receive the corresponding salary increase. Employees who are rated as ineffective or receive two consecutive partially effective ratings will not move up a step on the salary guide or receive a salary increase. To assist employees in achieving a higher evaluation rating moving forward, low performers will receive the benefit of corrective support.

The new contract will provide a one-time flat nonbase payment of $3,000 to full time employees in order to cover a four-year retroactive period and salary increases for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. In addition, this agreement:

  • Eliminates longevity pay for new hires
  • Freezes longevity pay for current employees and eliminates longevity advancement
  • Eliminates 10 additional sick days to employees after reaching 25 years of service

Local 32 Union represents employees serving middle management positions including: principal fiscal analysts, principal auditors, supervising engineers, administrative secretaries, supervising clerks, heating system specialists, senior systems analysts, management information system specialists, network administrators and other professional administrative positions.

Performance-based pay ties salary and step increases to an employee’s evaluation rating rather than the traditional measurement of seniority. Newark Public Schools first negotiated performance-based pay for teachers with the Newark Teachers Union in 2012 and classified support staff with the Local 617 Union in 2015.