Next Step Mediation, but Township Teachers Turn Out Anyway [VIDEO]

Gloucester Township school district teachers have worked without a new contract since June.

About 150 teachers turned out for the Gloucester Township school board meeting Monday. Just about all were clad in bright, red polo shirts and blue and white buttons that read "United in Excellence."

In a state where it's illegal for teachers to strike, the township educators were flexing their muscles in another way.

"We just wanted make sure they don't forget about us," said Gloucester Township Education Association President Angel McDermott.

She said the next step is mediation for the 600-plus members in her bargaining unit. Their contract expired in June and now they're waiting for one of a limited number of state mediators to become available.

Until then, at board meetings like Monday's at Glen Landing Middle School, McDermott and the teachers will make their presence known.

Michael March 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Does anyone recal one instance where Angel and the GTEA did not support the incumbents for re-election? I don't.
Roger Delgado March 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Michael: For the past few years there have been few, if any, challengers in the school board. This past year there were three at both districts with one of them winning at the BHPRSD. Since Team Mayer likes to accept campaign support from vendors and thus thinks it is ok, why not have the teachers unions raise funds for a slate of challengers this year to both school boards?
SJ Birds Fan March 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Sure. That will happen. The Union itself does not care about performance.
SJ Birds Fan March 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM
I have asked this a couple of times here. - What does the union want? - What has the district offered? All we here is the union whining but no information on the issues at hand.
Sybil Evans March 19, 2013 at 02:40 PM
I forget the exact figure but didn't Governor Christie cut about $13M from our schools state funding? Didn't he also force the special needs students to take the same standardized testing as the other students and grade their scores the same way as the other students? Isn't it true some of the special needs students can't even hold a pencil to mark there test papers, hmm seems we found a couple coincidences in the scores dropping. Lets see what has increased "college enrollment from graduates," but of course you will dismiss that statistic since it does not fit your argument. Lets face it what is a teachers job? To prepare these kids for college and their future. Despite Christi's destruction of our Schools funding the children are graduating at a higher rate and attending college at a higher rate so these teachers must be doing something right, at least for the kids that want to learn. Maybe we are not Bishop Eustice High school, but we certainly are not Camden Schools either.
Darren Gladden March 19, 2013 at 04:43 PM
For what I hear , Not what I know ...Is both the union and School board leadership is poor .....No one talking about the issues ,SMH and that my birds FAN is all we got here in GT................. POOR leadership BRINGS a ton of issues , Now someone pass me a Tissue ....Dave team stinks .......Just care , I do
Dave's Stache March 19, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Nice try but facts sometimes get in the way. State aid is UP this year and even with that the BOE is still raising taxes. The budget is around $110,000,000 but still crying poor. As for blaming special needs kids, the mayor and his thugs really are showing how much they really care about the community. Children with an IEP take standardized tests but are not included in the schools overall score. Maybe the Mayer Team should stop blaming families, residents and special needs kids for the failure of his hand picked minions on the school board. Next time instead of creating a job for an unqualified political hack the BOE should take care of the teachers the children and the residents.
Winston March 19, 2013 at 06:12 PM
These articles about the teacher's contract are useless until we know the sticking points. Why don't we know so we can either support the teachers or the board to get this thing done before it starts to interrupt instruction?
Angie Jones March 19, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Jut a point of clarification to the article: There is no Chews Landing Middle School. It's either Chews Elementary School or Glen Landing Middle School.
Darren Gladden March 19, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Yea they really care about the special Needs so much they could not even build them a FIELD to play on this YEAR ........SMH all smoke and mirrors
Ginger McCarty March 19, 2013 at 06:36 PM
All students, even ones with IEP's must take the same tests as non disabled kids not just in GT, not just in NJ, but across the country. It's not some standard Christie set. It's been that way for years now, well before Christie took office. If they're fighting about the same things as 3 years ago then its the unions demands for 4% per year raises and trying to get out of paying for any portion of their health insurance that are the sticking points.
Charles Mihalitsch March 19, 2013 at 07:43 PM
It's not so much the teachers but the students and as the environment changes for the worse meaning more lower income families the grades will continue to drop. The curriculum doesn't change and would be the same across the state. Does Moorestown or Haddonfield school districts have better teachers? No they don't. The parents need to be more of a factor in their kids' life
Concerned citizen March 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM
I agree Charles. No where do I see anyone asking about parent accountability in their children's successes. Teachers teach what they are told to teach by upper level administrators, and most go above and beyond. My children have been very successful at GT schools. I had one child in Excel and one who needed Special Ed. Services, so I have seen all types of instruction. It is up to us to challenge our children, to become involved in their daily education. As long as people keep expecting educators to be the MAIN force in their children's lives, then scores will continue to drop. I AM MY CHILDREN'S MAIN FORCE, CHEERLEADER, DISCIPLINARIAN, GUIDANCE COUNSELOR and so much MORE! The day I decided to have children I embraced that commitment and never even thought it was someone else's responsibility! I wish more parents would do the same. The world is a different place!
Tony Edwards March 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Team Mayer needs to go. He's fake and he is not there for the people. He just wants to be re elected. He uses others to do his dirty work. He's a Norcross Boy who just wants to get re-elected so Norcross can get his no bid contracts passed by his handpicked council and then the burden of taxes are on the taxpayers. PARENTS, SPORT TEAMS, TEACHERS AND SENIORS - WAKE UP. The people running these organizations are all part of his regime. his builder buddies are making money and causes our schools to be overpacked by poor planning of this township. Vote Mayor Mayer out and ignore his attacks. He's a bully Mayer and a liar. DO YOU LIKE THE WAY THINGS ARE? Don't be fooled by a handshake, and a crooked smile. MAYER IS NORCROSS
Tony Edwards March 19, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Mayor Mayer and his staff talk and never come through. We are still waiting for him to fix that drain that he said he would fix in our development. He's full of blarney. Several people have made requests to have things done since he's been mayor and it goes in one ear and out the other.
Roger Delgado March 20, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Then I really guess you shouldn't ask him to fix Erial and Little Gloucester Roads from when his friends in the MUA put in an additional sewer line so we could service Winslow. Have you driven these roads lately? Their condition is awful and deplorable! How could his hand picked people on the zoning / planning boards have approved the MUA to use such poor quality workmanship? When you think about, the same people are now running our schools. They transfer principals mid-year and transfer funds leaving after school tutoring broke and having to stop. I agree test scores are partly the product of family structure, but they are also a reflection of the poor decisions by the school board and administration. No one who knows a thing about education would make these decisions. Now I hear we are out sourcing off much of our special education and speech to Bankcroft, where we recently hired a certain someone from. The same Team Mayer that leaves our roads a mess is the same Team Mayer that is leaving our childrens education a mess. The next time your spill your hot coffee remember this is just the visible scars left on our community. What about the ones we can't see?
Bob Flynn March 20, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Mayor Mayer is good at Perpetrating a Fraud And stealing the consumer’s confidence by his actions and negative talk about people who made a difference in this township. He lost our vote. We didn't forget, you did. You forgot where you came from Mayer, you threw away good people who helped us and we trusted you because of them. Never Again, this time you went too far and it's going to show when you run this year. The truth about you will come to light. All of it. This MAYOR should be ASHAMED OF Himself........ Dirty low down
Christine March 20, 2013 at 03:07 AM
The sticking point is money. The BOE claims it can't afford to give all of the teachers their raises, even though the teachers are now paying for health care (which is not part of the argument - Christie has mandated this and the teachers' contribution will double each year for the next 3 years.). Yet, there's enough money for new parking lots, solar panels at the schools, and newly created positions for political cronies. There's money for things that have NOTHING to do with the education of the students. Class sizes in the middle schools are up to 30. It's a disgrace.
Jennifer March 20, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Concerned Citizen. I will agree that the parents are the biggest factor in their children's success. I also have to add that parents need to know what their children are being taught. Did you have to support your 2nd or 3rd grader doing Everyday Math? It's insane! I have to get notes from the teachers on how to do it properly so I can reinforce the lessons taught during homework.
Ben March 20, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Don't forget the $277,000 Tank and multiple police vehicles. We have a 7 Million Dollar Police Department, 6 Fire Departments and a whole lot of wasteful spending but the same crook we voted in four years ago and now he visits every baseball, basketball, cheerleading and football game to hand out awards and handshakes. The typical politician that just wants to get elected. Christine, you have great points, but how do we get the teachers and all these organizations to stop falling for the lies and deception by voting this Crooked Mayor and his handpicked, Council and School board people back in. Unfortunately this town will Never Change until people get educated and see all the nonesense and misconceptions that the Mayor and his council play. They constantly pull a wool over everyones eyes and they fall for it. This mayor is smooth as butter, but behind the scenes he's a crook and a liar. The Mayors got 5 jobs. The Assemblywoman works in his office as a Secretary and that two jobs she has. In any other state this would be a major Ethics Issue. Only in NJ does this corrupt culture go on and the people don't vote them out. They stay stuck in a rut. NJ is Not a commonwealth state so the leaders make the rules, BUT the people can change the rule if for once in their life they would wake up and smell the coffee and vote out these long term crooks that offer nothing but a fake smile and an award. At the end of the day we are still stuck with high taxes and that Mayor
sdt March 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Seems like Christine and Rodger have some inside information. For me, I agree with Ginger. If unions in other districts are getting 2-2,5% and this group wants 4%, then are they trying to get back the money they now have to pay for health benefits? Christine thinks that is not part of the argument. How much do we taxpayers pay for our health care?
Roger Delgado March 20, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Unless you call my wife and I going to meetings, listening to the teachers and parents around me, and me reading the meeting minutes insider information, I know nothing "inside". It is amazing what you can learn by showing up and paying attention. Those mothers asking questions after the last school board meeting were both angry and knew what they were talking about. They seemed frightened at what they thought was happening to the autism program under the new hire. The only other "inside" information I have is the flyer about the cancellation of my son's SNAP tutoring. Unfortunately the accounts and descriptions for how they move funds around is way too cryptic for a parent like me to understand, but I am learning. I see large funds moved and the next week a tutoring program calcelled because of budgetary shifts. I wish I had insider information on what they are really doing.
Darren Gladden March 20, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Don't we ALL ,and if I can state we have ever right to ASK these QUESTION and we HAVE ever RIGHT for OUR leaders to answers those questions .........Now enjoy your day http://youtu.be/h_L4Rixya64 JCID ....Dave team stinks
l t Paine March 21, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Roger, the deal with the Budget transfers is it's the Spring BUY-A-THON! Bilodeau and the Board move the money from account to account until parents and residents get lost in the shuffle. Keep an eye on the April, May and June Board Agenda you will see more transfers and alot of purchases. They need to spend the money before July 1, the new Fiscal year. The whole time this is going on Bilodeau and the Board cry poor to parents and residents saying they need more money to run the District. Yet they seem to have some accounts with quite a bit of extra cash in them, so the extra money in these accounts due to thrifty ways during the year or is the extra money in these accounts due to this Administration and Board padding accounts so they have extra cash near the end of the fiscal year for some special non budget items? It's just a game they play every year with the accounts and money, just check the Board minute archives and look at last year's minutes(April, May and June) and judge for yourself. Bilodeau and this Board need to be replaced with people who put the children of this District first for a change.
Darren Gladden March 21, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Nice comment
Tara Feeley March 21, 2013 at 02:10 AM
I'd like to know why Bellmawr still contributes to the BHPRSD
Roger Delgado March 21, 2013 at 03:00 AM
Do you know what S1701 is and why they would moved around so much money in support of it in January? Is there anyone out there good at figuring these types of things out?
SJ Birds Fan March 21, 2013 at 02:04 PM
If Bellmawr would like to leave the district I would support it fully. Hell I would even give them Triton to make it happen. But you have to take Runnemede also.
l t Paine March 21, 2013 at 02:51 PM
When the Board started their hunt for a new Superintendent they hired a firm for over $5000 to find a replacement. Now we are stuck with Bilodeau as "INTERIM" Superintendent because for over a year they have found no one or so they say. I'm guessing they found no one willing to play the GTBOE political games and favors. I'm curious how many people they have interviewed since September and how many interviews are scheduled my guess, zero. Come July I'm willing to bet they will name Bilodeau Superintendent and get rid of the Interim tag. So as our schools continue their downward spiral this Board has done nothing to stop it, instead they continue with political games and favors. This Board expects Bilodeau to lead this District no classroom or teaching experience. No idea how buildings run, this was evident by Bilodeau and the Board's plan of moving Principals mid-year. Talk about a disruption in a building.Bilodeau leading this district really? If you believe the stories from employees he has had his own issues with this Board. Leaders lead by example is this what we want? We need new Board members that above the political games and favors and a new Superintendent that is an educator with new and fresh ideas. Time for people to vote down any Budget until we can see true numbers and to vote in new Board members.
alimar March 25, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Our children went all through Gloucester Twp. schools and did extremely well there. We chose Glo Twp to purchase our home 35 years ago because of the excellent school district. The teachers and staff were caring, supportive and did their jobs extremely well. The budget always passed because parents were happy with the school system. Houses maintained their value, also because of the excellent school system. Sadly, things have changed. Not because of the influx of poor people, but because of the influx of parents who do not value education for their children. You must maintain an excellent teaching staff, as well as parents who are active in their child's education, in order for children to do well in school. My children did not need after school tutoring or supportive services, because they had us, their parents. We never, ever, missed a conference or school event. It was hard because both of us worked full-time but we took vacation, or personal days to be there. Not sure about all of the politics with the mayor, BOE etc. I think the public needs to demand an audit from Trenton. With all of that said, I think there should be a settlement of the teachers' contract as soon as possible and as parents, get into the schools and make your presence known!


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