Status of Negotiations with the RIHEA

Status of Negotiations with the RIHEA
Posted on 09/19/2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Ramapo Indian Hills Reginal High School District Board of Education

Oakland, September 18, 2017

The Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District Board of Education and the Ramapo Indian Hills Education Association have been unable to reach a contract settlement after more than a year of negotiations and after exhausting mediation efforts with a State-appointed mediator and fact-finder.  The Union’s contract expired on June 30, 2016.  As a result of the continued impasse, the parties must now participate in a formal fact-finding hearing.

The negotiations have stalled over the employees’ contributions to their health insurance premiums and the scheduling of preparation time for non-instructional staff.  The Board has offered a highly competitive salary increase to compensate its employees for their valued contributions to the District's outstanding educational and extracurricular programs.  The Board is committed to a restructuring of the teachers’ salary guides to make them more competitive for the junior staff.  The experienced staff receive salaries that are highly competitive when compared to other comparable high school districts because of the substantial longevity amounts they receive in addition to their base salaries.  Even though the Board offered some assistance and relief as to employees’ mandated health insurance premiums, the Union is demanding that the District assume an even greater portion of the employees’ obligation.  

The State appointed fact-finder will now schedule a formal hearing, at which time the Board and the Union will submit their final proposals and evidence to support the reasonableness of their offers. It is anticipated that the scheduling of a hearing and the issuance of a report by the fact-finder will take several months and extend well into the school year. The fact-finder has the authority to recommend the terms of a settlement to the parties. However, the recommended terms of settlement are not binding upon either party. The costs for the services of the fact-finder are the responsibility of both parties.