Newark Public Schools Announces New Labor Agreement with Local 68 International Union of Operating Engineers

Under new agreement, district’s custodians will receive increases based on effectiveness

[Newark, NJ – December 15, 2016] Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced that the district reached a new four-year labor agreement with the Local 68 International Union of Operating Engineers that implements a new annual evaluation practice and eliminates automatic step salary increases. The new contract with Local 68, which represents the district’s custodians, rewards highly effective and effective employees while providing a corrective action plan to support the growth of low-performing employees.

“The district is pleased to reach an agreement with Local 68 that creates evaluation standards for these valued employees based on performance rather than seniority,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “The collaborative spirit brought to the table by the leaders at Local 68 helped make this agreement possible. Rewarding our employees based on performance allows us to collectively create the best environment possible for our students.”

Performance-based pay ties a salary and step increase to an employee’s evaluation ratings rather than the traditional measurement of seniority. Newark Public Schools first utilized performance-based pay for teachers with the Newark Teachers Union in 2012, and classified support staff with the Local 617 Union in 2015 and Local 32 Union in 2016.

In addition to the compensation aspect, the district and union agreed on various other factors around work rules. “We are very pleased to announce this new agreement with the district’s custodians.” said NPS Chief Talent Officer Larisa Shambaugh. “The work that our facilities’ staff does to ensure our buildings are well-maintained and create a positive learning environment for students is incredibly important. Having a renewed contract hopefully serves to reinforce our commitment to the work they do.”