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Collective Bargaining Agreement


By and Between

Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education

and

Hopewell Valley Education Association

for


2011-2012 through

2014-2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

ARTICLE I Recognition 3

ARTICLE II Negotiation Procedure 4

ARTICLE III Grievance Procedure 6

ARTICLE IV Board Rights 10

ARTICLE V Teachers' Rights 11

ARTICLE VI Association Rights 12

ARTICLE VII Work Year/Work Day 15

ARTICLE VIII Salaries 21

ARTICLE IX Sick Leave 24

ARTICLE X Sabbatical Leave 25

ARTICLE XI Personal Leave 26

ARTICLE XII Involuntary Transfers Between Schools 28

ARTICLE XIII Voluntary Transfers Between Schools 29

ARTICLE XIV Deduction from Salary 30

ARTICLE XV Insurance and Health 31

ARTICLE XVI Miscellaneous Provisions 35

ARTICLE XVII Signatures 37


APPENDIX A1 Teachers’ Salary Schedule 38

APPENDIX A2 Teachers’ Salary Schedule 39

APPENDIX A3 Teachers’ Salary Schedule 40

APPENDIX A4 Teachers’ Salary Schedule…………………. 41

APPENDIX B Extra-Curricular Activities ………………... 42

APPENDIX C Memorandum of Understanding: Return

from Long Term Leave ………….……. 50

APPENDIX D Grievance Form……………………….….… 52




THIS AGREEMENT
entered into this 11th DAY of JUNE 2012.

By and Between


HOPEWELL VALLEY REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION, with offices at 425 South Main Street in the Borough of Pennington, County of Mercer and State of New Jersey, hereinafter referred to as the "BOARD";

and
HOPEWELL VALLEY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, as Collective Bargaining Representative for those employees of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District as hereinafter specifically designated, being hereinafter referred to alternatively as "ASSOCIATION.”


ARTICLE I
RECOGNITION
A. The Hopewell Valley Regional Board hereby recognizes the Hopewell Valley Education Association as the exclusive representative for the purposes of collective negotiations concerning the terms and conditions of employment for the following certified personnel under contract with the Board: teachers, librarians, specialists, (reading, speech, learning disabilities, media, helping teacher/staff development, nurses, social workers, guidance counselors, behavioral specialists, athletic trainers, psychologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists).
B. The Association does not represent administrators, substitutes, homebound and supplemental instructors, night-school instructors and all other certified personnel not specifically listed in Section A.
C. Unless otherwise indicated, the term 'teachers' when used in this Agreement shall refer to all members of the unit.
D. The parties affirm their intent, as required by existing statutes, to follow policy of not discriminating against any employee on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, age, religion, sex, disability, political affiliation, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, or membership in an association with legal activities of any employee organization.
E. The Association accepts the requirement of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act as amended to represent equally all members of the above-defined unit.


ARTICLE II
NEGOTIATION PROCEDURE
A. The parties agree to enter into collective negotiations concerning the terms and conditions of employment for a successor agreement in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey. Upon notification of intention to enter into collective negotiations by either party, the Board shall establish a mutually agreeable meeting date with the President of the Association.
B. 1. The parties agree to commence negotiations no later than February 1, or at a mutually agreed upon time in close proximity to this starting date. Proposals shall be exchanged at the initial meeting.
2. Proposals, not submitted in the original exchange, shall not be a subject for consideration or discussion unless they are counter-proposals or substitute proposals.
C. The Board recognizes the Association as the exclusive representative for purposes of collective negotiation concerning the terms and conditions of employment for the employees enumerated in Article I of this agreement. Any change or modification to this Agreement, or any new Agreement so negotiated, shall apply to all unit members as outlined in the Agreement unless otherwise specified. This recognition shall not impair the rights of any employee or group of employees under the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, or any applicable law or State administrative regulation now or hereafter enacted or promulgated.
D. Negotiations shall be conducted in the Board of Education Administrative Office or at any other mutually acceptable location. The Board shall make available to the Association a caucus room in which to meet for separate conferences.
E. Dates for conducting negotiations shall be fixed by mutual agreement; provided, however, that no negotiating session shall be recessed without having agreed upon a new date upon which said negotiations shall be reconvened, and further provided that in no event shall said negotiations be recessed for a period in excess of thirty (30) calendar days unless extended by mutual agreement.
F. Times for commencement of negotiating sessions shall be fixed by mutual agreement. Negotiating sessions shall not be conducted during usual school or business hours. A negotiating session conducted during evening hours preceding a school or work day shall be terminated at 11:15 p.m. or as soon thereafter as is reasonable. It is the intent and purpose of this section to permit the parties to preserve continuity and permit recapitulation and confirmation of understandings prior to recessing negotiations.
G. Neither party shall have any control over the selection of the negotiating representatives of the other party.
H. One representative for each party shall be the spokesperson-negotiator. Those representatives shall be responsible for all procedural details including fixing dates for negotiating sessions, requesting caucuses, initial presentation of proposals and counter-proposals, requesting information and clarification and tentative acceptance of proposals. The spokesperson-negotiators may recognize other members of the negotiating team or call upon resource personnel to present or discuss pertinent data.


I. Either party shall have the right to call for a caucus or private conference during the course of negotiating session; provided, however, that no such caucus or private conference shall be longer than forty-five (45) minutes in duration without mutual agreement.
J. During negotiations the Board and the Association shall present data, exchange points of view and make proposals and counter-proposals. The Board shall make available to the Association for inspection at reasonable times that information which is available to the public.
K. All subjects, items and matters proposed or discussed during these negotiations which are not ultimately contained or provided for in the final agreement shall in no way be binding upon either party. With the exception of their use as parole evidence, all subjects, items and matters so discussed shall be without prejudice to either party.
L. This agreement incorporates the entire understanding of the parties on all issues which were or could have been the subject of negotiation.


ARTICLE III
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A. DEFINITION
A "grievance" shall mean a claim by an employee or the Association that there has been a misinterpretation, misapplication or a violation of any of the provisions of this agreement. It is agreed that binding arbitration as provided for in this Article does not apply to a misinterpretation or misapplication of Board Policy or Administrative Regulation; provided, however, that no claim shall constitute a grievance to be processed in accordance with the following procedure which pertains to:
(i) any matter for which a detailed method of review is prescribed by law;

(ii) any rule or regulation of the State Commissioner of Education unless the Commissioner of Education shall first specifically determine that the Board has exclusive jurisdiction therein;

(iii) any policy or by-law of the Board or administrative decision;

(iv) any matter which according to law is beyond the scope of the legal authority of the Board;

(v) any matter for which a grievance has been filed under a special purpose grievance procedure provided by Board policy;

(vi) a complaint of a non-tenured teacher which arises by reason of his/her not being re-employed;



(vii) a complaint by any certificated personnel occasioned by lack of appointment to or lack of retention in any position for which tenure is either not possible or not required.
Further provided: for a grievance to be considered under this procedure, Step One must be commenced by the grievant within thirty (30) calendar days of either its occurrence or when the grievant could or should have reasonably known of the occurrence. Failure to act shall constitute abandonment.
B. PROCEDURE
Any employee who has a grievance shall discuss it first with the principal or immediate supervisor in an attempt to resolve the matter informally.


Step One: If, as a result of the discussion with the principal or immediate supervisor, the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant, the grievant may set forth the grievance in writing to the principal or immediate supervisor on the grievance forms provided. The grievant shall have the right to request an informal hearing before the principal or immediate supervisor upon the form provided. If an informal hearing is not requested by the grievant, the principal or immediate supervisor may conduct such a hearing to assist in the consideration of the grievance. The immediate supervisor shall communicate the decision to the grievant in writing, with reasons, not later than ten (10) school days from the receipt of the written grievance.


Step Two: Not later than ten (10) school days after receipt of the Step One decision, the grievant may appeal the decision to the Superintendent or his/her designee. That appeal must be in writing upon the grievance forms provided, specifying the nature of the grievance, the nature of the injury, loss of inconvenience claimed, the results of prior discussions with the immediate supervisor and the grievant’s dissatisfaction with the decision previously rendered. On the grievance form, a hearing may be requested before the Superintendent or his/her designee. If a hearing is not requested by the grievant, the Superintendent or his/her designee may conduct such a hearing to assist in the consideration of the grievance. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall render a written decision not later than fifteen (15) school days from the receipt of the appeal. The written decision shall be sent, with reasons, to the grievant, the principal or immediate supervisor, and the president of the Association.
Step Three: If, as a result of Step Two, the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant, the grievant may request a review by the Board of Education. This request shall be submitted on a grievance form provided through the Superintendent. All related papers shall be attached and forwarded to the Board Secretary. Any grievance appeal to the Board of Education must be filed with the Board Secretary not later than ten (10) school days or fourteen (14) calendar days, whichever is less, from the receipt of the Step Two decision. The grievant may request a hearing before the Board of Education on the form provided. The Board of Education shall render a written decision, with reasons, not later than forty-five (45) calendar days following its receipt of the grievance. The Association may move the grievance to Step Four after forty-five (45) days if the Board has not rendered a decision. Copies of the Board's written decision shall be forwarded to the aggrieved, the principal or immediate supervisor and the president of the Association.
Step Four: If the grievant is not satisfied with the Step Three decision, a request for the appointment of an Arbitrator may be made by the Association within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the Board's decision. A copy of the request shall be forwarded to the Board Secretary at the same time. The Board and the Association agree to adhere to the rules of the American Arbitration Association or the Public Employment Commission in the selection and the performance of the Arbitrator. The selection of AAA or PERC is to be decided by the moving party. The Arbitrator shall be limited to the issues submitted by both parties and shall consider nothing else; he/she can add nothing to nor subtract anything from, nor modify in any way, this Agreement between the parties. All proceedings shall be conducted in the Board of Education Administrative Office or at any other mutually agreeable location.
C. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. Time Periods
a. All time periods specified shall be strictly adhered to unless both parties mutually consent, in writing, to an extension or waiver.


b. If the grievant fails to proceed to the next level within the time period specified, the grievance shall be deemed abandoned and the most recent decision shall be considered binding. If a decision is not rendered within the prescribed period of time at Steps One or Two, the grievance may automatically proceed to the next step.

c. When the grievance procedure extends into or occurs during the summer, 'school day' shall be construed to be 'calendar days' exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, or holidays.


2. Procedures
a. No employee shall have the right to refuse to follow an administrative directive or Board policy upon the grounds that a grievance has been filed. All employees shall continue to comply with directives or Board policies as requested by the Superintendent and/or administrators until the grievance is properly and finally determined.
b. Forms for filing grievances and requests for review are referenced to in this Agreement and no grievance shall be processed unless the forms are utilized. See Appendix D.
c. All hearings conducted under this grievance procedure shall be conducted in private and in confidence. Details of these proceedings shall be available only to persons needing such information in the performance of official duties.
d. In the event that a grievance involves more than one employee and only one supervisor, those employees processing the grievance shall comply with the grievance procedure as outlined above.
e. If a grievance involves a group of employees who do not have a common principal or immediate supervisor or one employee with more than one immediate supervisor, the grievance shall be processed in accordance with Step One before one of the principals or immediate supervisors involved selected by the Superintendent.
f. If the Association files a grievance, it shall comply with the grievance procedure as outlined above.
g. No reprisals shall be taken by the Board or Administration against any party in interest in the grievance procedure by reason of such participation.
h. All documents, communications and records original to the grievance shall be filed in a separate grievance file and shall not be kept in the personnel file of any of the participants.
3. Representation


a. Following the filing of a written grievance at Step One, an employee may be represented at all stages of the procedure by him/herself or by a representative of his or her own choosing. Even if the employee has designated a representative for the discussion stage with the principal or immediate supervisor which occurs prior to Step One, the employee shall also be involved in those discussions.
b. The grievant shall have the right to legal counsel at all stages of the grievance procedure as outlined above. Legal counsel for the Board of Education may be in attendance at any stage of the grievance procedure.
c. The Association may have a representative present at grievance hearings held in accordance with Step One herein. The Association shall have a representative present at grievance hearings held in accordance with Steps Two through Four herein.
4. Costs
a. Each party will bear the total cost incurred by itself.

b. The fees and expenses of the arbitration are the only costs to be shared equally by the parties.




ARTICLE IV
BOARD RIGHTS
The Board, on its own behalf and on behalf of the electors of the District, hereby retains and reserves unto itself all powers, rights, authority, duties and responsibilities conferred upon and vested in it by the laws and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and of the United States, including all decisional law and rules and regulations of the State Department of Education and Commissioner of Education of the State of New Jersey, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following rights; subject, however, to the provisions of this agreement and the policies as formally established and promulgated by the Board.
1. To the executive management and administrative control of the school system and its properties and facilities, and the activities of its teachers in the performance of their employment;
2. To hire, direct, promote, transfer, assign and retain teachers in positions within the school district, and to determine their qualifications and the conditions for their continued employment or their dismissal or demotion, and to relieve teachers from duties because of lack of work or for other legitimate reasons pursuant to rules and regulations of the Board;
3. To maintain the efficiency of the school district operations entrusted to the Board, and to determine the methods, means and personnel by which such operations are to be conducted;
4. To establish grade levels and courses of instructions, including special programs, and to provide for athletics, recreational, and social events for students, all as may be deemed necessary or advisable by the Board;
5. To decide upon the means and methods of instruction, the selection of textbooks and other teaching materials, and the use of teaching aids of every kind and nature; provided, however, that the Board will be guided by the recommendations of the professional staff as provided for in existing Board policies;
6. To determine class schedules, the hours of student instruction, and the duties, responsibilities and assignments of teachers with respect thereto, and non-teaching activities;
7. To take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out the mission of the school district in situations of emergency.


ARTICLE V
TEACHERS' RIGHTS
A. Pursuant to Chapter 303, Public Laws of 1968, as amended by Chapter 123, Public Law of 1974, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 et seq. the parties agree that every employee of the Board shall have the right freely to organize, join and support the Association, the New Jersey Education Association, Mercer County Education Association, and the National Education Association for the purpose of engaging in collective negotiations concerning the terms and conditions of his/her employment.
B. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to deprive any teachers in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District of any rights now enjoyed by teachers as conferred and guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and of the United States, and all duly enacted laws of the State of New Jersey pursuant thereto, including but not by way of limitation Chapter 303, Public Laws of 1968, as amended by Chapter 123, Public Law of 1974, commonly known as the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act.
C. Whenever any teacher is required to appear before the Board of Education, or any Committee or member thereof, concerning any matter which could adversely affect the continuation of that teacher in his/her office, position or employment, or the salary or any increments pertaining thereto, then he/she shall be given prior written notice of the reasons for such meeting or interview and shall be entitled to have a person of his/her own choosing present to advise and represent him/her during such meeting or interview.
D. No teacher shall be subjected to disciplinary action, reprimanded, or reduced in compensation without just cause. Any such action asserted by the Board shall be subject to the grievance procedure herein set forth. This provision shall not be construed to pertain to a decision by the Board not to re-employ a non-tenure teacher, or to lack of retention in any position for which tenure is either not possible or not required.
E. A teacher must have at least 48 hours to read over his/her observation or evaluation before the conference is held.
F. No material derogatory to a teacher's conduct, character or personality shall be placed in his/her personnel file unless the teacher has had an opportunity to review the material. Teachers shall also have the right to submit a written answer to such material within ten (10) days following the conference. His/her answer shall be reviewed by the Superintendent and attached to the file copy. This material will stay in the teacher's file for three (3) school years.

ARTICLE VI
ASSOCIATION RIGHTS
A. The President of the HVEA shall be afforded one duty-free period of forty-two minutes per school day to carry out the duties of that office. The Vice President of the HVEA shall be afforded three periods per school week to carry out the duties of that office. The length of the period shall be forty-one minutes for K-5 or forty-two minutes for 6-12 unless there is a change in the traditional schedule. The Treasurer of the HVEA shall be afforded two periods per school week to carry out the duties of that office. The length of the period shall be forty-one minutes for K-5 or forty-two minutes for 6-12 unless there is a change in the traditional schedule. Such duty-free periods shall be scheduled in consultation with the building principal of the building where such officer is assigned, and shall not be scheduled to coincide with the officer’s duty-free lunch or preparation period.
B. The Association shall have the right before the opening of school or after the close of school on school days, to use school and office equipment as may be in each school upon reasonable notice to and approval by the building principal or his designee, which approval shall not be withheld unless such equipment as is desired is in use or about to be used for other authorized purposes. The approval may be revoked if the equipment is required for school use after the Association has begun using it. No equipment shall be removed from the school building. All use of computer equipment shall be subject to and consistent with district policies governing the use of such equipment as a means of communication.
Such equipment shall be operated only by members of the Association experienced in its use, and the Association shall bear full financial responsibility for its misuse or damage while so being used. In the event of damage to school equipment occurring during the time that said equipment is in use by the Association, the Association agrees to reimburse the Board of Education for costs of repair or replacement of said equipment. The Association shall inventory and, upon request, pay for the reasonable cost of all materials and supplies incidental to such use.
C. The Association and its representatives shall have the right to use school buildings for professional meetings upon request after the close of school on school days, provided that all requests for such building use shall conform to existing applicable rules and regulations of the Board. Any requests by the Association for the use of a school building for a professional meeting shall be made in advance, in writing, to the Business Administrator, who shall have the authority to approve a reasonable time and place for such meeting within the building so as not to interfere with other regularly scheduled meetings and activities being held therein; provided, however, that if the use of the said school building by the Association results in any expense to the Board for utilities, custodial services or any other service, the Association shall, upon request, reimburse the Board for such expense, and further provided that the Association shall leave any premises so used by it in a suitable condition for the next user thereof.
D. No meeting, hearing or conference as defined, specified or provided for in the within agreement shall be held or conducted during normal school hours except in emergency situations by mutual agreement.
E. The Association shall be permitted the use of one-half of one bulletin board in each teachers' room for the purpose of posting official Association notices; provided, however, that no Association notices, posters or informational bulletins of any sort shall be posted elsewhere in any school building. All Association notices as posted in teachers' rooms shall be official organizational materials, and all notices prior to posting shall be signed by the authorized Association building representative, who shall be solely responsible for the posting and content thereof, and who shall exhibit said notices to the building principal before posting, although the prior approval of the principal shall not be a prerequisite to the posting thereof.
F. No district, building, department, grade-level, committee or PDAC meeting shall be scheduled on the first or second Tuesday of the month.


G. The Association may distribute to teachers within the school buildings by use of the existing school mailbox facilities materials dealing with appropriate and legitimate business of the Association; provided, however, that all such materials shall be distributed before or after normal school hours, and further provided that no student, member of the administration or employee in the business offices of the Board or its secretarial staff shall be responsible for the preparation, posting or distribution of materials for the Association. The Association shall have the right to utilize such interschool distribution facilities as may exist; provided, however, that in no case shall the Board be liable for any loss or damage which may result to any materials so distributed by the Association.
H. At all times in its exercise of the foregoing rights and privileges, the Association agrees that it will in no way involve members of the student body in any Association organizational efforts nor will the Association permit the use of students as couriers either inside or outside of school buildings.
I. The rights and privileges of the Association and its representatives as set forth in this Agreement shall be granted only to the Association as the exclusive representative of the teachers, and to no other organizations.
J. Representation Fee
1. Purpose of Fee - If an employee does not become a member of the Association during any membership year (i.e., from September 1 to the following August 31) which is covered in whole or in part by this Agreement, said employee will be required to pay a representation fee to the Association for that membership year. The purpose of this fee will be to offset the employee's per-capita cost of services rendered by the Association as majority representative.
2. Amount of Fee - Notification - Prior to the beginning of each membership year, the Association will notify the Board in writing of the amount of the regular membership dues, initiation fees and assessments charged by the Association to its members for that membership year. The representation fee to be paid by nonmembers up to 85% of the regular dues will be determined by the Association in accordance with the law and the change(s) therefore being brought to the attention of the Board for verification purposes by the Association.

3. Deduction and Transmission of Fee


a. Notification - Once during each membership year covered in whole or in part by this agreement, the Association will submit to the Board a list of those employees who have not become members of the Association for the then current membership year. The Board will deduct from the salaries of such employees the full amount of the representation fee and promptly will transmit the amount so deducted to the Association.
b. Payroll Deduction Schedule - The Board will deduct the representation fee 30 days after the employee begins his/her employment.


c. Mechanics - Except as otherwise provided in this Article, the mechanics for the deduction of representation fees will follow the NJEA guidelines and the transmission of such fees to the Association will, as nearly as possible, be the same as those used for the deduction and transmission of regular membership dues to the Association.
d. Changes - The Association will notify the Board in writing of any changes in the list provided for in paragraph (a) above and/or the amount of the representation fee, and such changes will be reflected in any deductions made more than 10 days after the Board received said notice.
e. New Employees - On or about the last day of each month, beginning with the month this agreement becomes effective, the Board will submit to the Association, a list of all employees who began their employment in a bargaining unit position during the preceding 30 day period. The list will include names, job titles and dates of employment for all such employees.

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