Here are some of the most FAQs people ask during the course of a school year. More will be added as the year goes on. If you are ever unsure about something see a building rep for help!

 

1. Who are the current officers in our association, and what is Uniserv?

A. Click on the “About” link on our website to see a list of all the DEA officers. Uniserv is our local office that supports our members. Our current field rep is John Williams.

2. Can anyone attend our union meetings?

A. Everyone can and is encouraged to attend Rep Council and General Membership meetings. Dates/times/locations are all on our website. Exec meetings are for Exec Board members only.

3. I have questions regarding my membership. Who can I contact?

A. The DEA Membership Chair, Melissa Matarazzo , 6 th grade teacher at East Dover.
Email: mmatarazzo516@gmail.com

4. How many sick days and personal days do we get each school year?

A. We receive 10 sick days each year. Sick days are accumulated and rolled over if not used from year to year. Sick days should only be used if you are sick. DO NOT post anything on social media if you call out sick. The district has the right to request a doctor’s note, even if you are only out for one day, so please be careful. We receive 1 family illness day per year, and 3 personal days. Personal days must be approved by the board office AT LEAST 3 school days in advance. The form is in your main office.

5. What is the process of reimbursement for taking college courses?

A. Fill out the form in your main office, and give it to your principal. The principal will then forward your information to Dr. McLaughlin. Please try to do this as soon as you know you will be taking a
course.

6. There is a mistake on my paycheck stub. What should I do?

A. First, talk to your Chief Building Rep about it to confirm the mistake. Then, if indeed there is a mistake, you should email Board Secretary/Business Admin, Ron Smith, rsmith@dover-nj.org to let him know. E-mail is always better than calling because everything is documented.

7. How can I become more involved in the DEA?

A. Ask a rep in your building. Help is always welcome. You can also attend a DEA event, become one of our building reps (many needed for each building… we’re allowed one rep for every 10 faculty members), join a DEA committee, come to a rep council meeting, volunteer your time to help at events (FAST/Pride etc).

8. On our paycheck “Teacher Dues” is listed as a deduction. What amount of dues do we pay for each Association that we belong to? What has the amount of dues been for the last few years?

A. Dues since 2005-06 school year for the NEA, NJEA, MCCEA, and DEA are as follows:

2006:
NEA (National Education Association): $140/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $595/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $50/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2007:
NEA (National Education Association): $145/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $626
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $50/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2008:
NEA (National Education Association): $153/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $659/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $50/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2009:
NEA (National Education Association): $158/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $692/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2010:
NEA (National Education Association): $162/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $731/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2011:
NEA (National Education Association): $170/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $761/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2012:
NEA (National Education Association): $178/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $791/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2013:
NEA (National Education Association): $180/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $791/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2014:
NEA (National Education Association): $182/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $791/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2015:
NEA (National Education Association): $183/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $817/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2016:
NEA (National Education Association): $185/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $840/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2017:
NEA (National Education Association): $187/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $866/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $85/yr

2018:
NEA (National Education Association): $189/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $897/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $105/yr

2019:
NEA (National Education Association): $192/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $928/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $105/yr

2020:
NEA (National Education Association): $196/yr
NJEA (New Jersey Education Association): $950/yr
MCCEA (Morris County Council of Educators Association): $60/yr
DEA (Dover Education Association): $105/yr

9. What is the Philanthropic Fund? How can I contribute?

A. Kathy Kalena is the Philanthropic Chair. Emails are sent out annually in September explaining the purpose of the Philanthropic Fund. It is an absolutely tremendous benefit for our Dover students.

10. I see a workshop called the XYZ’s of retirement run by the MCCEA. What is that?

A. MCCEA runs a workshop a few times a year regarding the logistics of retirement. Click here for a link to Eventbrite, which is where you can register for any MCCEA workshop/event that you wish. Many of them are free and usually run at the Zeris Inn.

11. I don't like what my administrator said about me and/or my lesson in my evaluation. Who should I contact?  

A. Talk to your Chief Building Rep. Bring a copy of your evaluation with you. You should ALWAYS comment/respond to every observation that you receive. Even if you simply say, “Thank you for your feedback on my lesson.” If we need to grieve or fight for something to come out of your observation write up your rep will contact Mary Walker our Grievance Chair.

12. When do non-tenured teachers have to be informed about their employment for the following school year?

A. May 15

13. Is our contract still in effect even when it expires, and we are negotiating with the Board of Education?

A. Yes, we still honor our current expired contract until a new one is approved. The salary guide is also frozen at your current step until a new deal is reached between the DEA and the BOE.

14. Since the state is not making their full pension payments, can we stop paying into it and invest our own money?

A. No, as a teacher, you must pay into the pension fund. You can invest some of your money elsewhere, but by law you must pay into the pension fund.

15. When does a teacher receive tenure?

A. All teachers hired after August 2012 must work a consecutive time period of 4 years and one day to receive their tenure.

16.When are the next DEA elections?

A. May 2020. The positions up for vote are 1st Vice President (Negotiations Chair), Treasurer, and Recording Secretary.

17. Where can I find our contract and constitution?

A. Under the members section on our website, and on our DEA Facebook page under the "Files" section

18. Who can I talk to if I have to take a leave of absence?

A. Your Chief Building Rep. If your Chief Building Rep needs assistance or has questions he/she will contact DEA President Jon Coniglio, and then John Williams at Uniserv if necessary.

19. If I need to contact a member of the DEA for a work related issue how should I do that?

A. If the issue involves teaching or anything job related you can communicate with that member via school email. Anything DEA related or private should be sent via PERSONAL email. It CANNOT be stressed enough just how important this is.

20. Can I check my personal email at school using the school wifi?

A. No! This is extremely important. ANYTHING that you do on the school wifi can be tracked by the district. If you check your personal email on the school wifi, they have access to your
emails and personal information, including correspondences from the DEA. All it takes is ONE person to do this and the district has access to all of our private communication. If you need to check personal email at work, PLEASE use your phone (not connected to Tigernet or any other Dover wifi). Do not use
the school wifi! If you don't think the district is checking up on us, think again.

21. Can I purchase additional service credit for my pension if I was out on maternity/medical or any other type of leave?

A. Yes! You are encouraged to do so as soon as you can. TPAF (Teacher’s Pension and Annuity Fund) members may be able to increase their future retirement benefits or qualify for additional benefits by purchasing additional service credit. For those who plan on buying service credit, the cost increases as your salary increases. For more information, go to the Division of Pensions website at www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions. From there click on Publications. Then click on Fact Sheet # 1 “Purchasing Service Credit”.

22. Are my dues dollars spent for political purposes? I have heard about PAC money, what is that?

A. NJEA PAC is the New Jersey Education Association Political Action Committee. It is a legal mechanism through which our Association provides financial support to political candidates for state office. NJEA PAC provides us with the power to shape our profession, protect our benefits, and promote public education. All NJEA PAC funds are raised from the voluntary contributions of our members. NJEA cannot use dues money to support PAC.

23. What is tenure, and how can a teacher lose tenure?

A. To earn tenure, a new teacher must complete a district mentorship program during his/her first year of employment. After completion of this program, the teacher must be rated either effective or highly effective in two of the three subsequent years. If any tenured teacher is rated ineffective or partially effective in two consecutive years that employee may be charged with inefficiency. Tenure charges must be filed by the district for employees who earn consecutive ineffective ratings.

24. What are Weingarten Rights? 

A. If an employee is called in for an interview or discussion or conversation with an administrator and the employee reasonably believes that what is said at the interview may result in him/her being disciplined or terminated, then the employee has the right to demand union representation at the interview. Read more about this!

25. Where can I get information about the school employee retirement system? 

A. Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund – the TPAF was established to provide retirement benefits to all “full-time” certificated employees employed by local school districts or the State Department of Education. Membership is mandatory for these employees. Vesting occurs after ten years of service credit. Members are generally eligible for retirement at age 60 or after 25 years of service credit. The TPAF are managed by the Division of Pensions and Benefits. For more information, contact the Division’s client services office at 609-292- 7524 or visit their website at: www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions

26. How do I find out about a discount from The Buyer’s Edge for furniture, cell phone plans, vacations, etc?  

A. Visit njea.org and have your NJEA card handy so you can enter your membership information to access the Members area.

27. What is the chain of command in the DEA?  

A. Member, building rep, chief building rep, president, Uniserv rep

28. When do I need representation?

A. ANYTIME you enter a meeting with a supervisor, principal, or upper administrator, ask what it the meeting is about. If the administrator does not tell you or you feel uncomfortable about it, tell the administrator you want representation, and do not have the meeting without one. The administration expects you to do this, and it is standard procedure.

29. What health insurance do we have? What are the premiums for 2019-20?  

A. Click Here OpenEnrollmentHealthDentalBenefits1718 to see the insurance information that you will pay for this school year depending on your coverage. The cost of the coverage has increased about 10% this year, but did not increase at all last year.

30. Are our pension contributions done going up every year?  

A. When Governor Christie signed Chapter 78 into law our contributions into the pension system started to go up about 0.14% each school year. We are currently paying 7.50% this school year, which is the final percentage under the Chapter 78 law.

31. What are all of the deductions on my paycheck? If I have a question whom do I contact?  

A. Click Here Dover Board of Ed PayMemo1718 for the attachment from the Board Office explaining all of the deductions from your paycheck from 2019-20. If you have a question contact Cathy Jenisch in the Board Office. cjenisch@dover-nj.org.

32. My administrator seemed very friendly during my interview, and said I could always go to him/her for help. Should I e-mail him/her for issues that I have?  

A.  It is ALWAYS better to talk to your colleagues FIRST.

Non-tenured teachers- Administrators are very busy during the day, and the less you ask them questions that the staff can answer, the better! Talk to members from your team/department. There are tons of people that are glad to help you before you go running to the principal.

33. I’m a non-tenured teacher. What can I do to enhance my chances of being employed next year?

A. Go to as many extra curricular activities as you can. School concerts, sporting events, school plays, etc. Anytime the administration sees you supporting the students out of your normal contact time that's a huge plus.

34. Who are the officers of the NEA (National), NJEA (NJ), MCCEA (Morris County) associations?

A. On our website www.doverea.org Click on the About link, and then the, Beyond the DEA section. This will show you all the officers for those organizations. Click here to go directly to that page.

35. I hear that people leave school 5 minutes after the students do on certain days. When can I do this?

A.  1. On days that Pre-K-6 grade teachers have morning duty.

2. On a day that the teacher has evening conferences scheduled on a school wide basis, or any day that teachers are required to return in the evening.

3. On the day preceding any recess or holiday.

If you are ever unsure if you can leave early or not ASK someone first!