Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Budget and contract "news" is premature...and incorrect.

The other blog in town is erroneously reporting “BOE announces no raises for teachers and secretaries…” following the misleading report in Friday’s Ridgewood News that stated, “District administration has slated no raises for staff…” Let me just clarify something right now – the Board’s negotiations with the REA (teachers’ union) have not even started yet! The budget has not been created yet! This is an example of bad reporting that spreads through electronic media and takes on a life of its own.

Here are some facts:

The BOE’s negotiations with the Ridgewood Education Association will begin this month. The Board has been meeting in closed session to prepare, as has been announced in our public meeting notifications. There will be a process, obviously, and there will be proposals. But that negotiation, and the content of those proposals, will be confidential. They must be. Those are ground rules that the Board and the REA agree to. I know it can be hard for Ridgewood residents to not know, and to wonder what’s happening behind those closed doors, especially since the outcome of the negotiations will have such a direct impact on our community. But the negotiation process has to be confidential so that the parties can have direct and frank conversation with each other. “Negotiating in public” is not productive.

Believe me, when there is something to announce about the contract, we will announce it. But as of now, we haven’t even had our first meeting! Don’t you think it’s a little premature to “announce” contract terms? Please resist the urge to get riled up…my best advice would be to attend BOE meetings in-person or watch online so you can hear exactly what is said yourself. Any questions, feel free to email me or post them here.

A little bit later today I will clarify the budget discussion from last Monday night, which is where the phantom “freeze” reports originated.

No comments: