Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Marlboro Contract Negotiations – A Case Study

Although the details are under wraps until the contract is ratified, the Marlboro teachers union is celebrating big time. According to their website, they got big raises for the single concession of moving to the state health insurance plan. Their path to victory is quite illuminating.

As often happens, negotiations reached an impasse and the parties turned to the state for mediation. The state mediator is called a “fact-finder” to disguise his role as a state flunky who’s received the teachers union’s seal of approval. His findings of fact were so uproariously ludicrous that the Marlboro school board promptly posted his report.

According to the report, the final offers still in dispute prior to his arrival were as follows:

Marlboro School Board:

  • Employees working 20 hours a week must now earn 30 hours a week to receive health benefits (current employees get grandfathered)
  • Healthcare – Employees must contribute $494 per year for single plans and $1048 for family plans
  • Increase co-pay from $15 to $30
  • Increase prescription brand co-pay from $20 to $30
  • Increase teacher salaries by 13.57% over the next three years
Teachers Union:
  • No to all the above
  • Increase salaries by 21.55% over the next four years
  • Eliminate dental cap payment of $785.16
So, in addition to the raises teachers receive for progressing along the salary guide, the Marlboro teachers union wanted another 21.55% raise over four years, and they were demanding this during the worst recession in thirty years.

How does the “fact-finder” characterize their demand? “The Association argues that its proposals best serve the interest and welfare of the public.”

Let’s look at that line again. The teachers union is demanding annual raises of 5% during a recession and housing crisis in “the interest and welfare of the public.” By a show of hands, how many people think the union is demanding big raises because they want more money, period? Now, how many believe the teachers union is demanding more money to benefit the community? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Well, this may shock you but the state flunky, I mean “fact finder”, agreed with the teachers union. “While the public welfare is a broad measure, it requires consideration of fiscal responsibility as well as the compensation package needed to attract and retain a highly productive teaching staff with high morale and dedication to their important tasks.”

Let’s talk about fiscal responsibility. How is the school district going to pay for these salary raises? “The District’s financial situation has been reviewed and shown capable to support the [fact finder] recommendations made.”

You hear that? The district has the money. They can just take it from the taxpayers. Recession? What recession? Pay up.

The “fact finder’s” recommendations? No change to benefits, no employee contributions to health benefits, and salary increases of 13.14% over three years.

Why are half-time employees entitled to full-time benefits? “The board’s proposal to increase the number of hours of eligibility from 20 to 30 would immediately add a large number of bus personnel, instructional and library assistants to the ranks of the uninsured. Employees who currently work six hours per day could readily find themselves working five and one-half hours and thereby not qualifying for health coverage. While the board would achieve its goal of reducing insurance cost, the community would suffer more from the loss of these talented and dedicated employees.”

That’s a remarkable finding considering the board recommended all current employees “who work twenty (20) hours or more shall retain health benefits” but I guess the “fact finder” had to find some reason to justify full-time benefits for half-time employees, even if it meant lying.

As for the rising costs of health care, they are “far from the crushing increases the board likes to portray.”

True, six school districts in Monmouth County require employee contributions to health benefits but they’re a minority. “The district may point to the private sector where contributions may be more common, but it is not in the private sector.”

There you have it. A state employee demanding that all public employees be immune from the economic pressures confronting us serfs, the lowly taxpayers.

Well, the boldest and bravest among the Marlboro school board said no before they said yes. As reported by the teachers union
At the Nov. 17 board meeting, MTEA President Diane Saks made it clear that the MTEA was not going to back down from a fight. In a packed auditorium filled with MTEA members and scores of supportive parents, Saks told Board President Cynthia Green that “you treat the collective bargaining process like some sort of obstacle standing in the way of your goals . . . We are educators and we are not afraid!”
The teachers union also organized hundreds of parents including one hack who wrote a letter to the editor demanding higher salaries and no employee contribution to benefits no matter how high her taxes rise.

The following week, the Marlboro school board caved.

Here’s what we need to remember going into contract negotiations. Nobody, absolutely nobody, can compel the school board to ratify a contract. Nor can anybody compel the teachers union. As far as I’m concerned, our district will continue operating under the current contract until we agree to a new contract that’s better for our community and better for our teachers. Anything less would be lunacy.
>>> Read more!


Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren...can I assume that you feel that the final offer made by the Marlboro BOE was fair.

You wrote, "As far as I’m concerned, our district will continue operating under the current contract until we agree to a new contract that’s better for our community and better for our teachers.

How can the Marlboro BOE final offer be viewed as "better for our teachers?" Why do you think the teachers' union thought it was unfair?

Aberdeener said...

I believe the Marlboro school board offer was fair.

The teachers would be receiving significant salary increases while still enjoying all the benefits of tenure during a time of high unemployment. Those increases are in addition to their scheduled raises according to their salary guide.

Even after the employee contributions, their raises would still have been over 3% a year, higher than average in the private marketplace.

As for personnel working 20 hours a week, they should not qualify for benefits.

Under the offer, teachers would be earning more than under the existing contract and their salaries would continue to outpace inflation.

The teachers union has been "advised" by the NJEA to reject any contract that includes employee contributions to benefits. That's why the contract was rejected. Once that provision was removed, the parties quickly settled.

Anonymous said...


Would you agree that teacher's salaries should be tied into the cost of inflation?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I chose the wrong profession.

I'm about to become a teacher.

Joey, where do I apply?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone understand the concept of these raises??? A very small number of teachers actually see any significant increase in their salaries per year. A teacher who is at the top of the guide is lucky to see an extra $30 per paycheck! A teacher earning $83,000 (after 20 years of service and a master's degree mind you) is certainy not going to see $4150 extra per year. It's a total misconception!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren...tenure is not a negotiating perk for either side.

Aberdeener said...

Absent merit pay, I believe teacher wages should be constrained by state/county wage growth. I believe they are fairly compensated, as evidenced by the large number of people trying to get teaching jobs in our district.

Considering the number of people in the community at risk of losing their jobs and their homes, having tenured teachers in effect demanding tax increases to fund their raises does sound a bit obscene.

Also, while everybody's retirement fund is struggling, teachers have a guaranteed pension.

The other anon is correct that the teacher raises refers to the total salary roll, not individual teachers but, from a taxpayer perspective, the teacher payroll is what's important.

I hope our teachers recognize we have finite resources. The upcoming budget is going to require major cuts and the more their salaries rise the more we'll have to cut.

Here it comes get ready Joey said...

Mr. warren don't bother trying to defend your role on the school board. The NJEA and their selfish and ignorant trolls will be picketing your house soon enough. I suggest you don't feed them or offer them water as they will be just like the Geese who each leave two pounds of shit everywhere they go.

The NJEA may bring them to the dance (negotiating table) but the supposed arbitration fact finders are nothing more the wolves in sheeps clothing always ready to feed on the carcasses of the lowly taxpayers. Their is no concern by the NJEA or the teachers for the financial situations we are in or the low test scores their teaching results in. Results are second to the selfishness as is quite evident in the Marlboro situation. Your publication of that gross miscarriage of justice will be coupled with the personal attacks you will now receive from the under worked,unaccountable and overpaid teachers in this district.

The school board needs to stand up against the teacher union thugs who are far more concerned with their selfish union demands then the students they are supposed to teach, to the best of their ability.

Our districts test scores mostly went down once again, so how about teachers pay goes down the same amount. That would wake them up you could be damn sure. Tenure and the lack of any real accountability is their only concern.

The signs on the side of the road say "FOR THE CHILDREN" Their children not the taxpayers who pay them is their concern.

Anonymous said...

I hope the superintendent realizes we have finite resources the next time he puts in a requisition for a big raise.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Here It Comes @ 9:50 pm, Wolves or geese, make up your mind!

Play ball said...

Can't sleep anonymous? Is it due to your angst and aggravation over the reality of our schools teachers not teaching effectively or the costs of education rising out of control because of the N.J.E.A. lobbyists and their paid thugs and hench-men and hench-women?

Anonymous said...

Hey Joey, didn't we have finite resources when you gave Sue Irons a 9% increase? I thought so.

Aberdeener said...

Ms. Irons got a raise after formulating a budget that was $600,000 less than the prior year and had no tax levy increase without cutting services.

If she can do that again, you betcha I'll recommend another big raise.

Anonymous said...


Ms. Irons got lucky that the federal government provided $1.7 million in one-time funding to MARSD that supplanted the $1.7 million in funding to MARSD that was cut by the state in 2009.

Then, she was able to formulate "a budget that was $600,000 less than the prior year and had no tax levy increase without cutting services."

"If she can do that again, you betcha I'll recommend another big raise."

Well, good for you... But, if she cuts the budget this year by $1, I'm going to bring her some lead so she can turn it into gold, or some water for her to turn into wine...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren...will you be this aggressive in your anti union campaign when our police departments need to negotiate new contracts? I would assume that their salaries come from our taxes as well.

Would you feel this way about the teachers' union if your wife or children decided to work in the field of education?

Aberdeener said...

I'm not familiar with the police contract nor am I anti-union. I'm anti union abuses.

As for the teaching profession, I have several friends and family who are/were teachers. The disparity in salary and benefits between public and private is stunning.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren,
You say our district will continue operating under the current contract until you agree on a new contract. That is all well and good as long as they don't receive retro active pay. Will this board insist on no retro active pay? It is lunacy to pay them from the end of the existing contract the increases that are negotiated. You make it seem like they would not get the increases until they settled. They have no incentive to settle because they always get paid from the end of the old contract only at a later date.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Put some teeth in negotiations, end retro pay for good.

Aberdeener said...

Retroactive pay has to be negotiated. We won't be giving it away.



Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren...is it safe to assume that you had little/no experiences with public schools until you became a tax paying citizen of Aberdeen?

Anonymous said...

Unless it is stated up front, no retro pay ever, it will never be negotiated later. They expect it and you will negotiate nothing for it. After months or even years of negotiation on all the other matters this will not be a contention until the end and they will get it, or they won't settle. Being naive on such matters makes one ask if they have more experience and are in a better negotiating position then the taxpayers are.

Anonymous said...

Who will be representing the taxpayers on the negotiation team and what experience do they have in negotiating with these professionals who have done it many times before with all the laws and powerful NJEA behind them?

Aberdeener said...

The negotiating committee is chaired by Mr. Ruprecht. I am a permanent member and the remaining available board members will be rotating.

We have hired an attorney who specializes in negotiations with public labor unions, particularly teacher unions.

We're being represented by a professional and everyone at the table will be aware that retroactive pay is a negotiable term.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that you and Mr. R. are newbies on the school board and have probably never even been part of any board negotiations or settlements, so why are you the two mainstays of the committee? Should there be at least one experienced board member on the committee?

Aberdeener said...

The attorney will be handling all negotiations.

Aberdeener said...

One more point - of the six board members participating, three of us are serving our first year, Mr. Ruprecht is serving his second year, and Board President Kenny has effectively recused himself from taking any leadership position on any of the committees.

Ms. Rubino is the only board member with any significant experience who could have assumed a leadership role.

Matawan Mom said...

As a taxpayer of Matawan I am very taken aback by your "line in the sand" attitude and disparaging comments about our teachers. All my children had a wonderful MARSD education with GREAT teachers. They all graduated with honors, got into great colleges and have wonderful jobs thanks to the teachers they had. Have you been inside a Matawan classroom? Have you been a class parent or have gone on a class trip? Showed up for Education Week? Volunteered to help at a school function? Attended any music/drama program, art show or sporting event? Sat in on parent teacher conferences? Attended any awards programs? Talked to a teacher one on one to find out what is actually going on in the classrooms? If you did, like so many of the other board members have with their children, I do believe you would have a better appreciation of our teachers, like they do. It's a shame but I do believe that you have done more to divide our district than to bring us together. Just remember that any long contract negotiations will come out of my pocket and I would rather spend my money on books than lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I once heard a long time employee state," run Forest run", as he closed the door and left. This blog only makes me wish I had followed suit.

Aberdeener said...

Matawan Mom,

I'm happy to hear your children have done well but if they're recent graduates then they are the exception. Fewer than one third of our graduates are projected to earn 4-year degrees. Only 10% of our seniors are "college ready" as measured by the US DOE. High school teachers were barely testing writing skills because they didn't want to spend the time.

I have been to a number of the events you list. I have spoken with teachers, parents, students, graduates, and administrators. Many of the stories I hear would shock you.

The vast majority of our teachers range from good to great but we have a union that protects teachers who should not be in the classroom and encourages teachers to snatch every taxpayer dime within reach.

I sorely regret that we have to treat our best teachers as we do our worst teachers but this is the policy the teachers have chosen through their union elections.

As for our negotiating attorney's legal fees, our return on investment will be enormous.

Anonymous said...

So basically all off your "superman" ideas on negotiations are mute since the lawyer will be handling it all. How is that representing the taxpayers who voted for you and your grand ideas. I also believe the board President should be on the committee. I guess he's too chicken. He amazes me. He's a big district cheerleader but doesn't actually seem to be a "fit" for this community. He always seems to be socially awkward in public.

Aberdeener said...

And who do you think tells the attorney what to negotiate?

Anonymous said...

If the answer is the committee, then put some experience on that committee.

Anonymous said...

I would bet that there isn't a single teacher that would give you a moment of their time. I have children in three different schools and I have never seen you at any program, sporting event, club, awards assembly, parent teacher conferences, or back to school night. You lived a shelter life through privite schools. You have no experience with anything associated with public schools. You moved to Aberdeen and have an axe to grind with teachers because your taxes are what they are. I give no credibility to you or your site when your own child doesn't go to public schools. Keep the propaganda spewing...someone will buy it.

Anonymous said...

The board president not being on the negotiating committee is a major act of cowardliness. The leadership should be front and center in these negotiations. Having rotating members also seems to be an injustice to the taxpayers they represent. These acts show how weak our representation is against a machine that is seasoned and ready to do battle. What about Mr. O'Connell, or is he still scared from the last time he got beat up. What about long time member Donoghue? Will he represent the people he serves or serve his own family interests as he done in the past. I suspect the later. Your team, our team, is weak, and this powerful union will chew us up and spit us out just like it did in the past. Board President Kenny is a pussy, I said it, and wants to hide during one of the most important issues facing the district. It seems Mr. Warren wants to do the right thing, but with this team of cowards behind him we can only expect a dismal outcome. The question then needs to be asked, why go through the charade if leadership and senior members are afraid to stand up, front and center, while the lawyers get richer.
Retroactive pay has never and will never be a negotiable term. Just ask the union, or Mr. Kenny, or Mr. O'Connell, or Ms. Rubino. They learned that lesson and so will you. Ask what they got in the past for retroactive pay.

Aberdeener said...

Actually, I think it's a good idea for Mr. Kenny to not be a standing member. The only difference is whether they attend all the negotiations and you generally don't want any of your officers at the table.

If you have no authority, the other side can't pressure you into making a deal you don't want. The teachers union actually weakens their negotiating position by sending in the folk who make the final decisions.

As for the prior anon, I've never seen you in any of the schools, any of the events, any of the board meetings, any of the parks, any of the stores, or any of the streets. I don't even believe your real name is "Anonymous". How do I know you even live in this town? :)

Anonymous said...

I hope the MRTA is reading this!

Main St. Matawan ???? said...

They may not be reading this but you can be sure their overpaid and under worked union reps will be. God forbid an elected official goes against their union or its members. That in this NJEA controlled state is a death wish. BULLSHIT. I applaud Mr. Warren for his efforts to tame and bring ACCOUNTABILITY to our area.

Anonymous said...

He has a lot to say about the teacher union, but he wouldn't say or do much about the bully coaches.

Anonymous said...

Don't think the coaching thing is over yet myself. I think Dr. O'M is looking at every side of that one. Then again maybe Gorila Joe apologized? Maybe the gravy train stopping would not be good right now with all Joe' expenses. By the way why does Gorilla Joe park in a handicap spot? Anyone know? Maybe he got a handicapped spot the same way Vincei did? So much ammunition for when Vincei runs next time. I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

Joe isn't the only bully on the sidelines.

Anonymous said...

Joey, why don't you get on Joe for parking in the handi. spots like you did Vinci?

Hold the Pickle said...

Aberdeener said, "Also, while everybody's retirement fund is struggling, teachers have a guaranteed pension."

Your contention is not only should teachers' salaries be in accordance with or less than the private sector, but their ability to have a comfortable retirement should be too.

Every worker in this state has the right to organize to improve working conditions, health care, and compensation.

The unions of this state, public or private, should be commendend for their forsight in not allowing their members to be subjected to the ups and downs of the stock market during their retirement years.

Your statement comes is just sour grapes.

Hold the Pickle said...

Last sentence should be your statement is just sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

I very much agree with Grapes. During the time of greater membership in Unions our country saw the biggest increase in the size and improved welfare of the middle class than in any other time in human history! Since the demise of the unions, not so much anymore. The middle class is shrinking by leaps and bounds. The right to organize brings good results for those who do, whether you like it or not. I begrudge nobody the right to do the best they can for their families.

Anonymous said...

Unions are ruining this country.

Anonymous said...

Unions built this country!

Anonymous said...

Retro active pay- like it or not is almost a necessity -

What is to stop the BOE here or anywhere or any negotiating side from stalling on EVERY CONTRACT in order to save money.

Think about it - the longer they hold out- the less money they owe the teachers - and do not forget that natural salary increases do not take effect until an agreement is signed.

Bet no one knew that one. No retro would give the money giving side a huge adavantage over the side looking for a contract. I worked in in Sussex county for years and saw many contracts.

sick of it all said...


I just dont get your nasty outlook toward the teachers in the town.

You know PRIVATE education. If you are mad about our schools, towns, and taxes - then you should have done research as you always claim to do here and MOVED SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sick of your negativity. Are there some good points- admittedly yes. But your "my way or the highway" on some issues is sickening. It is also disheartening to know that your unopposed election to our BOE will cast more negativity.

See now Aberdeen and Matawan - JOEY is what you get when no one runs for BOE or council. Kudos for volunteering Joey, but it is obvious that you did this just to get on the negotiating committee.

And you hired a lawyer to negotiate for you?>???? What the hell is that? More money spent. Research company to find a Super, stimulus money to make a 600k cut and look good, and now money for ANOTHER lawyer. GREAT!!!!

Last thing, you told the mother above that her kids are not the norm???? HOW THE HELL WOULD YOU KNOW???? YOu are new to the area. You have no idea about history or traditions here. You heard from parents who complained? WHO???

And for the record- no one knew who were and most still dont. You dont show your face. I have kids in schools here and have seen you once, I think.

I am sorry. I just hate the negativity you spew week after week when I thought you were for change- not self-righteous self promoting grandstanding.

Aberdeener said...


I'm surprised how quickly people forget recent history. After I announced my candidacy, the two senior representatives from Aberdeen and the board president either resigned or declined to seek reelection. That's why I ran unopposed.

As for my intentions, look at my actions over the past year. Look at the changes I've pushed and tell me which one you dislike.

As for an attorney, the school board has always used an attorney for labor contract negotiations. The only difference this year is that we've chosen to hire an attorney who specializes in labor contract negotiations rather than use a board attorney.

When the school budget was developed and approved, the state had not informed the district that part of the state funding included stimulus money. Obviously, this year, we'll need to cut much more.

Regarding our students, I do know the norm because I study the data. I'm the one who researched the likelihood of our students completing post-high school degrees and presented my findings to the school board and administration. Nobody disputed my methodology or results.

As for showing my face, it's not that I don't show my face, it's that 99% of the people in this town don't recognize me and I don't announce myself.

I've been on the board for 8 months. What have I done that you find disagreeable?

Anonymous said...

You manipulate data to point to your own predetermined conclusions. You include your own opinion deductions as if they are the "facts" to the public. I have absolute specific details on these accusations but will not share because I have seen what you do to those who you have predetermined to misrepresent.

Anonymous said...

The "natural salary increases" the anonymous teacher expects and talks about must stop. This attitude is why our schools are in a race to the bottom. The NJEA objecting to the states Race to the Top federal education grant is appalling. Joey, we are counting on you to put them in line with the rest of us hard working people.

Warrendrhadenough said...

What a whiny bitch anonymous at 9:56 is. Anonymous at 9:56 has all of these accusations but does he or she or heshe put themselves out there like Ken, NJoe, Joey and others? Let me guess the response will be that they don't know what they are talking about either. It is amazing how much those who hide behind the moniker of anonymous know everything. Not!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't bet the house, but I have a pretty good idea that the reason why Joey ran unopposed and the reason why people don't want to put "themselves out there" is because of the ferocity of all the personal attacks on this site. Gheez! Case in point, anonymous @ 5:24 opens his comment by calling someone he/she disagrees with a "whiny bitch". A pretty tame insult, actually, considering some of the stuff that's been said on here in the past.

Sooo, Guys,....just in case a smear campaign is on the drawing board....I'd recommend not using the same tired school yard bully tactics against the teacher's union as was used against the dems in the election. The Union is professional. They won't blink an eye. On the contrary, if you try to taint the community atmosphere against the teachers by setting them up here, you will only make them appear the victims, illicit sympathy from the parents and give them a stronger position from which they can dig in their heels. So why not negotiate as honorable opponents of good faith? What a concept!

Just so tired 2 said...

The above post should have ended with a circle sing of ITS A SMALL WORLD (IN THEIR MIND) AFTER ALL. It is long past the time that the NJEA thugs and their self serving actions is stood up to. Let them go on strike like they have done before. Then who will really be worried about the children they put on their signs?

It is just a political ploy each and every budget season. The "FOR THE CHILDREN" signs posted all over town used as a pull at the voters heart string type tactic is just bullshit. Just more NJEA thug bullshit of course.

The NJEA and its well paid contract negotiators have pummeled the taxpayers for years. It is time it meets a foe that says NO! No to the outlandish demands and worse that is crippling the taxpayers in a system that shows "THE CHILDREN" don't really matter as long as the NJEA gets exactly what the NJEA demands.

The damage that past contracts have cost all of us is immeasurable. So too is the very real costs to the damage to the quality of the lives of taxpayers who have paid the very real costs of the NJEA ransoms all of these years.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Is this board in unity to stand up for the majority that feel this way? We all know of parents of students who will stand up for the union no matter what they ask for, but does this board have a sense of what the majority of its citizens wants? Many of these same board members have proven in the past they will not and cave to pressure easily. Is this board willing to do whatever it takes on behalf of the citizens it represents? Joey?

Anonymous said...

Smear campaign off to a flying start! The teachers are thugs? Thugs!!!! You've got to be kidding! Go ahead, act like animals and flee your feces, see how far it gets you. You people never learn.

Anonymous said...

Please excuse me. I meant to say "fling" your feces. So sorry.

isawjoeythrowfeces said...

I can confirm the previous post. I witnessed Joey throwing his poop at passing cars in front of the swim club on Lloyd Rd. Yesterday.

Aberdeener said...

Couldn't have been me. I was busy laying on the frozen ground in front of the bulldozers to prevent the pool club demolition.

The strategy worked for a while but then somebody called Councilman Vinci. When he got behind the wheel, let's just say I changed my mind and hopped back to my side of the fence. :)

As for the earlier post, lets say I trust the board more than I do the community. Word is out that the anti-O'Malley/pro-union faction is fielding candidates in Aberdeen for the April election that could severely undermine our position.

Know the truth about Kauff .com said...

Bet Norman has his hooks in all of that as well. Yes Kauff is that evil. Think not? Think again.

Know the truth about Kauff .com said...

By the way the pool club is moving faster then anything Kauff has his corrupt greedy little mittens in. At least the pool club buildings are down and it is starting to look better. Then again the last guy who took a building down in Aberdeen got fired. After all you cannot take a building down without CME. You see Norman did not get his piece of the pie for CME for the pool club coming down. Or did he? Let us ask Mr. Brown what happens when Norman and CME don't get their piece of the taxpayer pie. Right Norman?

Anonymous said...

1. What are they doing in the pool club location?

2. Word is out that the anti-O'Malley/pro-union faction is fielding candidates in Aberdeen for the April election that could severely undermine our position.

Our? You mean yours.

3. How is that Zero % increase working out for the school? Wasn't it 0% increase and no cuts? Can't wait to see what happens when all those cuts go public.

Anonymous said...

Wish people would stop drawing lines in the sand. Its divisive and tiresome and very bad for the community.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Aberdeener is pro O'Malley and anti-union...I mean that would make sense if this "faction" is anti-O'Malley and pro-union.

Aberdeener said...

I am pro-O'Malley and anti-union abuses. The presumed candidate will try to push O'Malley out of the district and supports a majority of the union positions. If that's what you want, then he's your man.

I support a union's right to defend workers against unfair labor practices. That's not what we're talking about.

Anonymous said...

The presumed candidate will try to push O'Malley out of the district and supports a majority of the union positions. If that's what you want, then he's your man.

You are too funny Joe. It is amazing how you know all this already. I'm sure you have a name and a rap sheet on this "supposed" person already as well.
It is amusing to watch you attack a make believe person, who no ones of but yourself.
Actually, it would be a relief to have someone on the board who isn't a sheep. Someone who you know has a mind of their own, doesn't follow the leader blindly, and maybe actually has some REAL knowledge of the district...not just what they read.

Anonymous said...

What about O'Malley abuses? You don't seem too worried about those.

NSectionJoe said...

I find it incredulous that the two previous posts castigate and defame Mr. Warren for his opinion, his commitment to the school board, this blog site, his questioning of abuses, mistakes, over payments and more of the past administrations. An administration that decimated this district by spending huge sums of money with little if any improvement in the educational process and test scores, and more.

Similarly you criticize Mr Warren's positions on contract negotiations and more along with his support with a skeptical eye of Dr. O'Malley at the helm. As for Dr. O'Malley, whom I will mention I myself have no real solid opinion on as of yet, the anonymous poster feels it somehow easier to ridicule rather then look at Mr. Warren's thought processes, stance and involvement.

As for the next school board election, if you do not think that as soon as Barbato, Zavorskas and the others left the school board that they did not immediately think of how they would exact their pound of flesh, you are mistaken. These people were and are power hungry. This is easily proven by looking at the tactics they used to control and manipulate the school board during their unfortunate time in control. It violated every sense of fairness.

Certainly many people do not like what some have wrongly termed the good old boy network on the school board at present. I can assure you many people find it far better then the BARZA years when arrogance, manipulation, job giveaways, multi-million dollar construction messes and worst of all their arrogant violation of the normal voting processes by not allowing the taxpayers to vote on major expenditures like the football field were bypassed, perhaps illegally.

But you are of course free to criticize Mr. Warren in the face of the many examples of our former inept past leadership under BARZA. I will be the first one to say the O'Malley changes have ruffled feathers and I did not agree with the monies rewarded for doing the jobs they were paid to do. I feel it was based on little more then fuzzy math. However, in the face of BARZA and in the hopes of more accountability, improved financial responsibility and the most important thing being improved test scores, I am free to give them some more rope and time to prove their methods work.

You can still sit comfortably in your home or office and put all of your negative thoughts out here for all the world to see. But never forget that Mr. Warren is in front of the public at those meetings twice a month.

I feel strongly that Mr. Warren can represent the segment of our taxpayers who want some fiscal accountability on behalf of the seniors, childless couples and those parents who send their children to other schools at great expense. It is called fair representation.

I myself await the ruling on Ms. Rubino and her ethics violation charge as further action against the BARZA crew, as well as the amount of savings on some of our overpriced professional services that may come from Ms.Irons and Dr. O'Malley's changes. I myself think the savings on legal fees formerly paid to School Board Attorney Micheal Gross should be quite significant. That is a great start if the savings are there and a feather in the cap of whomever put that man to the curb. It is time that such outlandish costs be placed under the microscope and not simply be allowed to be the norm. No pun intended of course to the municipal watchdogs.

Anonymous said...

So therefore, if anyone runs for board who is not currently on the board then they are clearly "anti-O'Malley" because Joey Warren says so. This is one of the examples of how Joey misrepresents his opinion as facts to the public.

Anonymous said...

So N-section Joe, you are ok with the full-time full benefits job giveaway the current board gave to Donoghue's wife.

Aberdeener said...

The guy I'm referencing is a disgruntled former employee who was canned by O'Malley and is now trying to return the favor.

I welcome anybody who wishes to serve the community through service on the school board. This guy is not one of those people. And I will do whatever I can to defeat him at the polls.

It's always been an open question what impact I would have on an election if I participated fully. I look forward to answering that question.

Anonymous said...

NSec Joe..Once again the mighty wind blows. You and Joey should get a room. Vast conspiracies, illegal football fields. You gentlemen (and use the term very loosely) are too damn funny.

Anonymous said...

Wow Joe this guy sounds just like you do, only his beef is with O'Malley and yours is with the teachers, students and parents.
Your goal had nothing to do with making the schools better it was an attack from day 1. You are no better than you are accusing this man of being.
I wonder if the man is Mr. Lloyd?

Anonymous said...

Early risers it seems are on the attack this morning? As for the football field that Njoe and others are still upset about, lets try and remember how the spending of those millions happened. Remember if we do not learn from history it will certainly repeat.
The year before the millions for the stadium was approved Quinn allowed the voters a say on that stadium and field expenditure. IT FAILED the voters said NO! The next year Quinn put it in as a capitol improvement line item and the public was denied its vote. So Martucci got to keep up with the Joneses and could say we had a million plus dollar synthetic field too. Of course educational requirements, test scores and broken computers had to wait. Coach Joe wanted his field.
As for vast conspiracies I ask if monies in the tens of millions are spent without adequate supervision and questionable processes, is that a conspiracy? If test scores remain in the basement even though millions in monies spent annually repeatedly fails to bring up test scores and standings, is that a conspiracy? If job giveaways and useless administration positions are pushed around and educators and administration personnel who disagree with the control leadership or vocal teachers who whine and complain are allowed to force principal reassignments, firings or others to be pressured to leave the district, is that a conspiracy? If jobs are given out to assure voting blocks and PTO group and phone chains are used in violation with very questionable content and scare tactics, is that too a conspiracy? Pick just one if it is too much for you. Why is it that people who stand up against such things are so easily ridiculed without proof? My proof and examples were all paid for. Processes were violated and more. So the question remains. Why yell at those who point it out? Train time I am out.

BaseballfanAT said...

Big Joe keep it up. They only criticize from the dark while you put your name and more out there.

Aberdeener said...

My critics enjoy criticizing but on the idea front they got nothing. When are we going to hear an actionable idea that will either improve our district or reduce costs?

NsectionJoe said...

The question is asked. Why is it that people who stand up against such things are so easily ridiculed without proof ?

That is an easy one to answer.

Politicians and community leaders arrested almost monthly in New Jersey never happens or does it ?

School test scores and accountability to the taxpayers and to the monies spent on behalf of the voters is scoffed at so easily by those who like the status quo and don't rock the boat.

Unfortunately those who take a stand or highlight such actions are too often seen as the problem just for speaking out. That is sadly true even in the face of those whose leadership is seldom questioned by the great majority. It is far too easy to just say, that is the way it has always been and nothing I can say or do will change that.

All I can say is it is a persons right to criticize me and prove me wrong. That is fair and equitable in the big picture. But remember you need to prove me wrong while you criticize me or anyone else who stands up and speaks their mind. That is also fair and equitable.

Anonymous said...

I guess, some people are just cut out to be "public scolds." If these people, by doing what comes natural to them, develop a reputation for constantly stepping up and making their opinions known loud and clear, it really is silly if they feel victimized when people notice and remark about it!

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr. Lloyd runs against Joey and kicks his ass at the polls! That old guy is badass!

MARHS 2007 said...

Yeah like Mr.Lloyd should get on the school board so he can fall to sleep at school board meetings like he did in my class. I had Mr. Lloyd in senior english and learned about proper manners and holding out a chair for a woman. When I got to college I fell behind from what I was not taught about report writing and other things. Those were the things that I should have been taught in my senior year. Maybe to be prepared for college?

I did know how to open the door for a lady though. All thanks to Mr. Lloyd.

Slippery Rock Rules !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ellen S said...

What is really silly is that when people do stand up the criticisms fall way short. People like Joey, Joe, Ken and some others seem to put community first before politics unusual. So what do they get for caring for their community in such a vocal manner. From many posts on here all they get is abused, defamed and worse by those who skulk around in the dark of their purposefully typed anonymity. Should such people be treated like that for caring about their community, seeking positive change and perhaps fighting for a little bit of accountability from our elected officials and the controllers of how our tax dollars are spent. Is that so horrible?

In a state that has most people seeing politicians in the same way they see cockroaches or other pests. Why is it then that men and women who speak out end up being targets from the dark voices held out to ridicule and scorn?

It is obvious they fear little as they speak out in spite of the defaming and worse they receive. I say good for them. Keep it up.

Submitted by Blackberry NJCL NJT

Anonymous said...


Did you ever go to the guidance office and as to be moved? Ever say to someone all I'm learning is to be polite and I would really like to know how to put an essay together? Bet not- you were happy to sit in a class your senior year and relax. Hopefully before you graduate college you will grow up and learn personal responsibility.

mrhsalumni76 said...

You seem so eager to blame a former high school student for a teacher possibly not doing their job? Get real. How can you even suggest that the student should have gone to complain and request a move out of the class. This is not the first time that such accounts of that teachers teaching skills or responsibilities were questioned or exemplified. Yet you put the blame on the student?

How about blaming the fellow teachers who knew the problems existed yet said nothing. How about blaming the administration who said nothing and just moved the teacher around keeping him busy monitoring the hallways. How about the teachers union actions that would have been expensive and exhausting to protect and defend that same teacher and his possible ineffectiveness.

Don't blame a student when that student was failed by the teaching and administrative processes along with the union that would have gone to the hilt for a teacher that should have stopped teaching a long time ago.

I find it ironic that while putting the blame on the student you did not address the lessons in manners given instead of preparing that student for college. Was not that the job of the teacher and the school administration to ensure the subject matter? The too long in teaching respect shown to this teacher was damaging to many if the instruction was ineffective as described. I think it was and many knew it and said nothing.

We should all respect the teachers dedication. Likewise the insuring that the time he was instructing should have been more effective in preparing and the use of the instructional time. It was not and many people knew it. To blame a student is short sighted and offensively defensive of a possible insider who also knew.

Aberdeener said...


The overwhelming majority of our students graduate unprepared for a rigorous college education. When does our community begin accepting responsibility as well? How about pointing fingers at ourselves and acknowledging we've done a terrible job of preparing our children for the future.

When we begin accepting responsibility for our actions and inacations then we can begin expecting our children to do the same. After all, they've developed their outlooks from watching us.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren...long before you moved here we had a hs that was geared for preparing our children for the future. Our community is extremely diverse. It is not in everyone's DNA to go to college. When I was a student at MRHS, there were vocational classes that taught skills to be used for those who chose the "blue collar" route. These were removed over the years to a point where there are just a few of these classes still remain.

Why is it such a bad thing to not want to go to college. There are many successful citizens in our community that never spent a minute in a college classroom.

Anonymous said...


While I agree that the BOE, teachers, administrators and the community at-large must accept responsibility for our schools' shortcomings, the ultimate responsibility is on individual students and their parents to achieve success. I graduated from MRHS several years ago. Among those that I graduated with, the two biggest factors in their ultimate success at college and finding employment were: 1) the individual's work ethic, and 2) the level of support they received from their parents.

Indeed, we all had the same teachers... some great, some good, some bad, and some downright terrible. However, these teachers did not follow us to college, they did not prevent us from learning on our own, and they do not come to work with us everyday.

I recognize that, as a BOE member, you have a responsibility to provide the best possible facilities and educators to MARSD's students. I commend you for undertaking that responsibility. However, there is nothing you can do to make sure parents support their children's education, nor can you force unwilling students to learn. Sadly, your recent satire "A Modest Proposal for the Unfit" is probably the best solution the BOE could arrive at.

Of course, I do not find it to be a feasible or morally responsible solution, but the reality is that students only go as far as their own ambition and parental support will take them. As such, I merely ask that, as a BOE member, you balance your aforementioned responsibilities with the cost of force-feeding education to those who do not embrace it.

The cost of babysitting unwilling students and substituting the school's resources for parental responsibility is a heavy burden for taxpayers to bear. Especially those taxpayers, like myself and my cohorts, who found MARSD to be a sufficient environment to nurture our success if you were willing to put in the effort yourself. We chose to return after college to live (and pay taxes) in this community because of that experience and the wish that our children could experience the same. However, that wish is jeopardized by the ever increasing costs of the nanny-state, and it appears that a significant amount of those costs are controlled by you and your fellow BOE members.

Please keep this in mind when contemplating future programs for the "unfit," and again, I thank you for your service.

Aberdeener said...

Both Anons,

Thank you for your comments and I apologize if my response seems a bit long-winded.

I agree that college is not for everyone but we must give every student the opportunity to make that decision for himself rather than having that choice forced upon him. Students prepared for college are far more likely to choose college than those who aren't.

Additionally, mastering the skills and knowledge necessary for college will instill a work and study ethic that would benefit every person whether he attends college or not.

Let's make sure our kids don't dig themselves into a hole and then "choose" to stay there because they can't get out.

As for the issue of struggling students who reject extra help, this is a communal issue and only the community can fix it. When students feel social pressure to excel in the classroom, they will.

Till then, all we can do is raise the bar and hold our students accountable.


I agree with MRHS 76. Military service builds character and self reliance and much more. What we have lately coming out of college or staying in college just because life is just so hard, do not have the same gumpshun we had to get up and go out and make our own way in the world. Get a job and work hard for what you want has been replaced by, I don't want to face reality. That is our catered society.

Ask yourself how old were you when you got your first job. Don't try and give me that things have changed bullshit either. Priorities have changed and the strict home environment no longer is allowed to make its point sometimes at the snap of a belt or the back of a hand. Some of these kids just need a good kick in the ass. We came out all right for the most part and most of us deserved the punishment or strict guidance we got.

FormerAdvocate200? said...

Joey, what a hypocrite! You complain that Malboro Teachers get raises for doing nothing, meanwhile you voted for O'Malley to get a raise after being here 12 months. Joey Warren will get a wake up call one day, when everyone tells him to shove it, and when I oppose you for your future re-election seat.

Aberdeener said...

Ah, another super-fool immune to the powers of facts and reason.

I wonder if this great super power derives from their anonymity.

County Road voting Republican said...

Former advocate will oppose JW?

Get on this election slate if you want to add to the school leadership or shut up. The two proposed idiots attached to Barbato and Zavorskas are just tools of those who failed miserably and then skulked away. And idiots think we should let them back on the school board to fail again. Idiots you are if you think that way.

Then again people voted for Tag and the others. Maybe idiots make the world go around.

Right Mr.K?

FormerAdvocate200? said...

Maybe idiots do make the world go round, I mean, 9 people voted O'Malley as Superintendent right?

Aberdeener said...


Are you new to the neighborhood or do you not live here? O'Malley never got nine votes on anything to do with his contract.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware that their aren't enough books at MRHS, I mean, copies of books are being made, which is illegal. Don't you think Irons's raise could have went to books and other materials that helped the STUDENTS instead of the administration...AGAIN?

FormerAdvocate200? said...

You are right, I believe it was 6-3? But it was a mistake. He doesn't care about the students, and neither do you. If you did, you wouldn't project negatives about the school on a website that lowers the student's morale..Trust me, it affects them.

Aberdeener said...


Since we're both online at the moment, let's try a discussion.

Are we both agreed that at least half our graduates should ultimately obtain 4-year college degrees? If so, what changes would you make to accomplish that goal?

FormerAdvocate200? said...

How can you blame the teachers for this? All teachers there are 100% willing for extra help and offering more challenges if the student wishes. They are following a dated curriculum that was approved by administration at one point. Honestly, why doesn't Michele Ruscavage face any questioning for this? It seems to me that teachers are scapegoats here. If a student wanted to go to a 4 year school, I believe they would find a way to improve and go. You can't force a person to want to go to a 4 year institution. Also look at the NJ Stars program. Many students go to Brookdale for the financial reasons. Contrary to popular belief, Brookdale is a great path for several reasons:
1. Money
2. Stay at home longer(possible separation issues?)
3. Brookdale is one of the best Community Colleges in the U.S.
4. Famous people have attended Community College and achieved success. A perfect example is Gwendolyn Brooks, who won the Pulitzer Prize.

How would I try to help students eventually go to a 4 year school? Make school more enjoyable. Every year for Spirit Week, attendance increased and Discipline write ups were almost non-existent. Make Administration act like they care about the kids. Mr. D'anna would walk in classes and wish us all a safe and enjoyable weekend. That made us feel appreciated.

The Administration cannot take a back seat in a project that is as motivationally driven as this plan that you are talking about. Establish a family type environment in the school. Have motivational rallies! Make certain goals and let the students and teachers know that this goal is obtainable. These students can learn. These teachers can teach. However, the teachers can't make the students do everything. The students must be motivated. Even watch the movie Lean on Me.

If you ask me, I believe that starting at Brookdale and going to a 4 year school after isn't a bad option either. Believe it or not, Administration urged me to go to Brookdale, I made the decision myself to go to a 4 year school. I am my own person, as is all of the students in MARSD.

Aberdeener said...


Thanks for responding. I asked what changes would you make.

Your initial response was "How can you blame the teachers for this?" Not exactly a solution.

You then say "All teachers there are 100% willing for extra help . . ." I wish that were true. As a board member, I know of several instances where the union has objected to teachers providing extra help without compensation.

"and offering more challenges if the student wishes." So you think part of the solution lies in children asking teachers for more work and tougher exams?

"Honestly, why doesn't Michele Ruscavage face any questioning for this? It seems to me that teachers are scapegoats here." Remember, we're looking for solutions now, not playing a blame game.

"Contrary to popular belief, Brookdale is a great path for several reasons:" You feel we should encourage kids to go to a school that has a 70% dropout rate?

"How would I try to help students eventually go to a 4 year school? Make school more enjoyable." So, you feel the way to get more students college ready is to make school more fun. This is your solution.

"Establish a family type environment in the school. Have motivational rallies! Make certain goals and let the students and teachers know that this goal is obtainable." So, no accountability. Just lots of cheering "You can do it!"

"The students must be motivated. Even watch the movie Lean on Me."

FA200, I'm very sorry to say this but I believe you're part of the problem.

FormerAdvocate200? said...

I would love to have a 1 on 1 debate with you in person. You are a Board Member, not a student. Do you know teachers do offer extra help, even if the union is against it? No, because you never attended MRHS, you attended a school where your Math teacher thought you were slow and you explained this story at your first meeting. Speaking of accountability, why can't I say that administration should be held accountable? Because honestly, they get paid twice as much and aren't doing anything. The teachers and student's morale is at an all-time low, mainly because administration isn't providing a comfortable environment. So, you can talk about all you want when it comes to MRHS and schools, but when it comes down to it, you are a board member, not around during school hours and rely on the info administration gives you. You preach the situation, but you really know nothing about this District. Let's have a debate, unless you are afraid your reputation will be damaged even more..

Aberdeener said...

I would love a debate. My only requirements are that it be public and videotaped.

Email me your contact info and we'll work out the details.

Anonymous said...

"BOE Member Debates Recent MRHS Graduate On Who's To Blame For Most MRHS Graduates Attending Brookdale And Then Dropping Out"

Sadly, this would probably be more productive than the actual BOE meetings...

And, someone may actually watch Channel 12 or 21, whatever that crappy TV station is...

Aberdeener said...


Haven't heard back from you, yet. Don't forget to contact me so we can have our public debate.

Anonymous said...

Marlboro Contract Negotiations – A Case Study IN WHAT NOT TO DO!!!!

Marlboro school system has one of the finest reputations in the county. People move there for the school district. However, what happened in our neighbors' town tore apart a community and did some serious damage. Why Joey, would you want to use what happened in Marlboro as any kind of model for how this community should embark on teacher negotiations. What happened in that community was a travesty, perpetuated by a nasty Board of Ed who sought to divide and malign, rather than unite and build. I think the community of Marlboro had its eyes opened to these tactics, and will see to it that not a single sitting board member will be re-elected. If that is the model you plan to follow, then I can tell you plainly Mr. Warren...you do not represent me! I believe there are many other hard working parents and community members who feel the same way. There are serious problems to address and tight times to get through. This economic climate puts a strain on all aspects of a community. We do not need to add to that strain by setting into motion a scenario like what took place in Marlboro. Starting so early to create discord and pick a fight is not how we want to begin the negotiations process.
You represent the community Mr. Warren, not your own personal agenda. I am all for accountability and transparency, and I believed up until now that is what you pursue as a school board member. But I can tell you that I have no faith at this point that you represent the entire community and have no desire to see you sit on the negotiations committee. It is obvious that you are hell bent on a fight, and costing the taxpayers untold dollars in legal fees. Buy books, not billable legal hours Joey!