South Orange Maplewood Education Association

October 1, 2014

Congratulations to Melissa Butler for being Awarded Middle School Teacher of the 2014-15 School Year


The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline honor that identifies and acknowledges the extraordinary work being done across  the entire education field every day– from teachers, principals and superintendents, to school nurses, support staff, advocates, researchers, school custodians, early childhood specialists, education journalists,  parents and students.  The Bammy Awards were created to help reverse the negative national narrative that dominates the education field.

The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can’t do it alone and don’t do it alone. The Awards aim to recognize the collaborative nature of education, to encourage respect in and across the various domains, to raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field and to elevate educators, education and the value of life-long learning in the public eye.




September 23, 2014

The NJEA Jim George Collective Bargaining Summit will be held October 17-18



The NJEA Jim George Collective Bargaining Summit will be held October 17-18 at the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center in Somerset. Invitations have been sent by Wendell Steinhauer to all local/county presidents, Executive Committee members and Delegate Assembly members. The nomination flier and registration form were also included in the mailing.

Here is the link to the nomination form:  Electronic Form

 Nominations are due September 18.

CBS Award Flier 14  CBS flier 2014

July 30, 2014

BOE did ratify the Agreement

Thank you to all of the SOMEA members who attended last night’s Board of Education meeting. For those who did not attend, please know that the BOE did ratify the agreement. Since both sides have ratified, we are officially settled.

Some questions came up at the meeting regarding how the board is reporting information to the state. From the discussion on the board, it appears that they have inflated the SOMEA teaching staff salaries by including other items in the salary line item.

When we negotiate salaries, we use a scattergram. A scrattergram is a snapshot of where every single member is currently placed on the salary guide. Once the scattergram is signed off by both sides, this is what we use in negotiations to develop future salary guides and settlement offers. We distributed that scattergram in the ratification packet for all members to review.

We are concerned by the information questioned last night and are investigating why the board is inflating salary numbers to the state.

We have a scheduled meeting with the administrators for Thursday to discuss this further.

In addition, many questions came up at the ratification meeting and voting about placement on the salary guides. We did discuss this concern with the administrators and will be working on establishing a formal grid that they will use when they are hiring staff. For example, if you have been in district for 5 years, the compression of the guide places you on step 1. When they hire someone with 5 years of experience outside of the district, they should also be placed on step 1. Mr. Memoli did indicate that he has been using a grid, but we plan on making this a SOMEA initiative in order to make sure that the hiring practices are fair for everyone.

Thank you for your continued support to SOMEA and we hope you are having a great summer.
Paula and Hannah

May 21, 2014

Steinhauer: Christie pension proposal is illegal and reckless

Steinhauer: Christie pension proposal is illegal and reckless

Will pursue legal action to block plan

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer released the following statement in response to Gov. Christie’s press conference earlier today:

“This much should be abundantly clear to every New Jersey resident: Gov. Christie is much better at making pension promises than keeping them. As a candidate, he pledged to educators that ‘nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor.’ He broke that promise in 2011 when he signed a law that reduced pension benefits even for current retirees. In signing that law, he made a new promise that the state would slowly return to responsible pension funding practices by phasing in its contributions at a rate of 1/7 per year. Now he says he intends to break that promise, too.

“Gov. Christie’s illegal, irresponsible and reckless proposal to further delay a return to sound pension funding practices will irreparably harm New Jersey and cannot be allowed. In addition to the damage this will do to the pension system and to the employees and retirees who rely on it, this will further damage New Jersey’s fiscal reputation, to the detriment of every taxpayer. NJEA will pursue every legal avenue to stop this reckless and illegal attack on working-class New Jersey resident.”