Chart: Compensation for Teachers Who Coach in the Princeton Public Schools

Following is a chart that details the 2014 calendar year compensation paid to teachers who are coaches in the Princeton Public Schools who signed a letter this week about summer volunteer activities and the ongoing contract dispute between teachers and the school board.

The chart lists each teacher’s name, salary for teaching, stipends for extracurricular activities (called extra service for extra activities) and any other non-pensionable income, and total compensation for the 2014 calendar year. It should be noted that some coaches coach more than one sport and are involved in other extracurricular activities. This chart indicates each teacher’s total extracurricular compensation, not just the payment for one sport. Also note that Rashone Johnson also served as an acting assistant principal for about two months in 2014, and his salary reflects that additional duty.

Data is for the 2014 calendar year, because that is how compensation data is available in spreadsheet form as requested by Planet Princeton via the state’s Open Public Records Act. Planet Princeton requested data for all district employees.

The union has provided their own chart listing coaching salaries for the current academic year for the 24 coaches. We have embedded below the total compensation chart.

Below the chart showing total compensation for 2014 and the union chart for the coaches, we have also added charts listing stipends for individual sports at the high school as per the terms of the most recent teachers’ contract. Coaches at the John Witherspoon Middle School are paid $32.74 per hour for coaching activities.

The teachers’ union and the school board have not been able to come to an agreement on salaries and health benefits. This week coaches announced that they will not do any volunteer summer coaching or training until August because of the impasse. Their contracts specify Aug. 10 as the starting date for coaching. Earlier this year, teachers stopped doing other work they are not compensated for because of the contract stalemate.

Compensation data for 2014 provided by the district:


Chart provided by the PREA (teachers’ union) for the 2014-15 academic year:

stipends prea


The stipends for each coaching position at Princeton High School, as detailed in  the last PREA contract:

salaries coaches

salaries 2

salaries 3

The salary guide for teachers for 2013-14:

salary steps


  1. Let’s be clear – will they be getting a stipend and yet NOT coaching??

  2. This information is incomplete. How many sports are being coached? How many hours does it take to coach those sports? What sports pay what amount? Is any sport more highly compensated than an other? What does this have to do with volunteering to work with children during the summer?

      1. Hours…and time of day? What time is the teacher (by contract) supposed to be in the building in the morning? What time does the “coach” get finished with their practices/games? How long a day is that?

  3. So you are looking at Salaries and Stipends – what is not taken into account is the long hours of practice – sometimes not getting to coach due to space limitations until evenings, game days, travel time, pre-season planning, etc – and if you look at the list – most of these coaches have families that they are not getting to see because they are working a stipend job to earn more for their families. And yes – with some of those coaches – it includes more then one sport – example – rashone Johnson – he coaches 3 sports at the high school – as does Jim Smirk. Also the stipends only call for work during the season, not all the out of season work that the coaches do to help their sports and their athletes – so the comment of are they getting their stipends without coaching – NO they are not – they are only working to the letter of their contracts.

    1. In every profession, there are many hours spent on work that are not officially compensated. It’s part of the overall job and the salary that goes with it. Everyone is working hard these days. It’s part of the modern work world.

      These salaries seem very good for a position with 2 months of vacation each summer, additional weeks of vacation during the school year, and with a defined pension that few workers in other fields receive.

      1. Those are a couple of very generic opening statements. It seems to me the benefit of this article is that it’s dealing in hard numbers. I don’t see where it does much good to water down those facts with sweeping generalities.

        1. What facts are being watered down? The issue is that the union is acting as if their jobs are hourly-wage jobs where each responsibility is completely spelled out. Teaching is a profession and there are responsibilities that go with being a professional.

          1. “Everyone is working hard these days. It’s part of the modern work world” is so generic as to be devoid of meaning. (I won’t even mention the service I get at many places to also suggest that it’s simply wrong. Nowhere near “everyone is working hard these days.”)
            That aside, their coaching activities are not their professional responsibilities. The responsibilities that go with teaching – grading and such – are still being carried forward, or at least that’s what my daughter’s work indicates.

      2. How dare you presume to know how teachers use their summer months! I’m so incredibly tired of hearing that teachers have their “summers off.” I will gladly meet with any member of the public who questions how I spend my time in July and August. I’ll share each summer job I’ve had and each and every workshop I’ve attended (and paid for) over the past 21 years. I won’t bore you with the professional reading and planning I do throughout those two months OR the weeks I spend closing up my lab or the weeks I spend opening it back up. I’m tired of this bogus narrative that goes hand-in-hand with teacher bashing.

        1. I agree that usually work is done in the summer, but there is no time clock and one is free to choose how to spend one’s time. The teachers have pointed out that they aren’t required to work during the summer. That is the definition of having summers off. One can’t have it both ways.

          If one is working in the summer, then choosing to take it out on the kids is mean-spirited.

          1. Declining to work for free isn’t taking anything out on anyone. It’s simply declining to work. Saying it’s “choosing to take it out on the kids” is confusing cause with effect.

          2. If one is volunteering their time during the summer, it seems reasonable that a staff member exhausted by 14 months of frustrating negotiations (or lack thereof) might decide to use their time in a different way. Mean spirited? Please! This town doesn’t get it both ways- telling their teachers that they are commodities to be traded in (“I’d be perfectly happy to trade them out “) but expect us to continue to sacrifice our own families and finances. And please don’t tell me that every other profession has to do the same because we all know that would be false.

        2. @marthafriend:disqus: Kudos to you for attending summer workshops for which you are not compensated. And I’m pleased to hear you keep up on professional reading. Honestly, I don’t think people here are “teacher bashing.” I think they are trying to get a better idea of the total compensation teachers are receiving so they can make an informed conclusion on the union’s demands and the board’s offer. And the truth is that many teachers are compensated for summer work, for conferences they attend and for extra work they do during the year. The list of EPES opportunities teachers have is pretty significant, as evidenced by the fact that the district paid just under $1.8 million in extra pay to PREA members in 2014. Why is every request for information to inform dialog viewed as “teacher bashing”? I think nearly everyone in this town is pro-teacher, but everyone is also pro-student and people are wondering what the tipping point will be when teacher compensation will result in curtailed opportunities for students.

          1. I think your head is in the sand, Tim, if you think many of the comments that have been flying on Planet Princeton’s site aren’t about bashing teachers. It’s not the information requests that I’m speaking to- it’s the obvious vitriol by many aimed at Princeton teachers. Accurate information is always a good thing.

            Let’s be clear that there is SOME summer work that is compensated (usually curriculum writing and summer classes held in schools) but most work completed by educators to better themselves and for the benefit of their students is not. We might be compensated for the payment of the conferences but most are not paid for our time at the conferences. I guess I should feel lucky that I get that?

            Isn’t pro teacher the same as pro student?

            Alas, I don’t have the time or energy to continue checking this website so the floor is yours.

            1. @marthafriend:disqus: I appreciate your clarifying this. Obviously, I’m not with the teacher bashers. I think pro teacher is, in fact, pro student right up until we reach that tipping point I mentioned earlier. When programs are endangered, as I think they will be due to circumstances outside anyone’s control, a hard look must be taken at everything. You’ve lived in this town for a long time. You know that when asked “What would you be willing to do without so teachers can be paid more?” the answer is most likely to be “Nothing that will have a negative impact on my kid.” I wrote a letter to the editor asking the community to share their answers to that question with the board as part of the budget process. I did not see the entire public hearing into the budget, but was told by a friend that only two people spoke and no one said, “Make classes sizes larger at the elementary level” or “Cut this sport or that sport” or “I’m OK with fewer electives at PHS.” The district faces hard choices and the community needs to educate itself about what those choices entail. Bashing teachers and demonizing board members won’t get that done.

      3. On the topic of summer work: two days ago I received an email from one of my daughter’s teachers at PHS, which was sent to all the parents of students he teaches. He urged us to attend the BOE meeting. He then listed all of the teaching related activities he does during the summer. One thing he mentioned was writing college letters of recommendation. At the end of the letter he said that if “things don’t change” he won’t be doing “any of these things this summer.” Read between the lines: parents better support the teachers and help them get what they want. If not, no college rec letters for your kids! Before this email, I respected this teacher. Now,I don’t.

        1. Except that they have continued to write these letters and have made several public statements that they will continue to do so. Given what you’ve written here, the teacher seems to be saying s/he won’t be writing them during the summer. That’s quite, quite different from saying “no college rec letters for your kids.” You’d probably want to clarify this with the teacher.

        2. That’s exactly the intent, same as the letter from the coaches. It’s the same tactic PREA has used (unfortunately with success) so often in the past. Scare the parents so they’ll pressure the board. It is disheartening. I also would like to see the side-by-sides you mention in an earlier comment. I think it’s past time that the pertinent facts were placed in front of the public so we can draw our own conclusions, and appreciate what Krystal has given us along that line already. It isn’t teacher-bashing at all. That charge seems to have become as reflexive as “it’s for the children.” It’s asking for information we as taxpayers should have. At this point, though, I think the Board needs to stand firm. If the tactic doesn’t work this time, perhaps the PREA will approach things differently next time. That can only be good for the students, the taxpayers, and — indeed — the teachers in the long run.

          1. Well, “it’s for the children” is a phrase bandied about by both sides. You have a poster below offering “choosing to take it out on the kids” as the position of the teachers. So if it’s reflexive, it seems to be a reflex shared by all (which is, I suppose, good if it really does arise from concern for the kids).
            And I hardly think “scaring the parents” is the goal. As I note below, it seems to me far more likely that Daphne has misunderstood – perhaps electing to do so – what the teacher in question said. If I recall correctly, several people here were saying way back in autumn that teachers were no longer writing letters of recommendation. (Indeed, Daphne may have been the person who posted this idea.) Yet we know they’ve continued to do so. So if such a threat were ever made, it would hardly be “scary” when no teachers are apparently carrying it out.
            I agree on the information. Certainly, since this is an issue, the Board should make known its offer on coaching and other stipends.

            1. The email I received from the HS teacher was the first I’d heard of teachers not writing rec letters. It stated specifically that summer is when he writes the letters, as he has more time. He then flatly said he wouldn’t be doing anything like that over the summer. Whether they follow through is not really the point. They know it will get the attention of parents with HS students in a district that’s very focused on college admissions. It read like a threat to me. The purpose of the teacher even having our email addresses is to communicate about academics, not employment issues.

              1. No, “whether they follow through” is entirely the point if someone such as yourself goes on to characterize their position as “parents better support the teachers and help them get what they want. If not, no college rec letters for your kids!”

                You’ve now stated twice that the teacher said he would not write letters “over the summer” In neither case have you indicated he said he would not write them AT ALL. Yet you’ve summarized his position as one in which he indicates he will not write them at all (“no college rec letters for your kids!”). I hope you can see the problem with such a characterization.

                But if it “read like a threat” to you, did you ask him to clarify? I suggested that in my response to you, and it is, after all, an easy way to get your question answered and set your fears to rest about whether or not you were threatened.

                1. Let me clarify. He provided a list of things he does every summer. Most of them were related to course prep. I won’t get more specific, since it would become obvious which course he teaches, and I’m not trying to out him here. Sandwiched in that list was a mention of college rec letters, which he explained he does during the summer, because that’s when he has time. Unless things change with the contract, he won’t be doing any of the activities he mentioned this summer, which includes the letters. Since he already stated that he doesn’t have time to write them during the school year, it’s not unreasonable to think that he won’t be doing it all all. I find his email unprofessional and angry sounding. Why would I risk asking someone who has demonstrated such behavior for clarification? What if he takes it out on my daughter? The school year isn’t finished yet. Before the email I was mostly neutral on the contract issue, maybe leaning a little towards the teachers’ side. Now I think they are being immature.

                  1. So to clarify, you’re surmising that he won’t write letter in the fall either. I think that’s okay, but then I also think you should not be claiming he said something he did not. In the end, you acknowledge here that it’s a conclusion you’re electing to take away, not something he wrote in the communication. Again, that flatly contradicts the letter the teachers published a few months back where they plainly stated they WOULD continue writing letters of rec.

                    Finally I think the root of the problem rests in your last couple sentences. You say there that you wouldn’t “risk asking someone who has demonstrated such behavior,” yet “such behavior” is merely a surmise you are placing on him. For you (at least as you’ve written here) “such behavior” is him saying “no college rec letters for your kids!” (with, presumably the exclamation point attached). Yet he wrote nothing of the sort.

                    It seems to me hardly damning to write a note saying “Hi. I just wanted to clarify that you are unable to write a rec letter at all. If not, I need to try to make other arrangements. Many thanks for any info.”

                    But either way, if you fear retribution, you can certainly clarify this at the end of the school year, after grades are in, perhaps withholding judgment until you know what he’s actually saying. Right?

  4. These numbers are incorrect. You just have to look up the PREA contract to figure out individual stipends.

    1. This data is for the 2014 calendar year and not based on an academic year. If you email us a link to info. that shows these numbers are wrong we will gladly make corrections.

    2. The first chart lists info. for the 2014 calendar year and includes all teacher salaries, plus compensation for all extra activities, not one sport. We have added the charts for individual sports under that chart.

  5. I have a child who has moved through the Princeton school system since the start of elementary school and is now in the high school. I also happen to come from a family of public school teachers, and as a result I generally have a pretty good understanding of the time and energy involved in an often thankless profession. Despite the repeated refrain from the Princeton teachers during their several contract negotiations over the years, I have to say that my observations tend to point away from their assertions. Princeton teachers have spent systematically less time and been systematically less helpful than what I would have expected — certainly my own mother was far more accessible to her students and spent more hours in the school building than the vast majority of my child’s teachers, and for substantially lower pay. There are some things that Princeton does well, but there is really an extraordinary extravagance in the spending here (of which salaries and compensation are only one part) and we are nowhere near the budgetary bone. In Princeton, there is a lot of room for prudent cuts without risking “hurting our kids.” If the current teachers don’t like the offer on the table, I’d be perfectly happy to trade them out with teachers who would — and I wish them good luck in finding such lucrative terms elsewhere.

    1. This does not correspond with my experience at all. I can’t think of one teacher my children have had who did not work long hours to be really prepared. And I don’t know what you mean by “accessible,” since you can contact any teacher any time via e-mail, a means of communication I have taken advantage of many times. Our family moved to Princeton largely because of its excellent schools, and we feel very fortunate that our children have received such an awesome, well-rounded education. Since the Princeton Public Schools are widely acknowledged to be excellent, it seems to me your comment suggests you may be part of the “thankless” crowd.

  6. What I would like to see is a black and white comparison of Princeton teacher salaries and health benefits to teachers in similar districts with similar cost of living. Then I would like see what kind of raises Princeton teachers do currently get or would get with the contract they’ve been offered versus the contract they want. Then compare those numbers to other professions in our area. Are they getting less of a raise than other professionals in our current economy? More? How do their healthcare deductibles and copays compare to people in other college educated professions in our area? I see so many sound bites and slogans but little actual concrete INFORMATION.

  7. I have to say:

    Point number 1: summer time is Not Paid – thus not vacation at least in the more traditional sense of the word. And I agree no one is really attacking teachers here, for the most part, but maybe it’s the American (uptight about money) in me, there is just something that makes me feel defensive when full names are printed out with what salaries.

    What do you make per year (please include bonuses)?
    What are the salaries at the public library?
    Do you think you would feel defensive or attacked if your full name and salaries were posted or a member of the community was discussing how he spent his free time filing a freedom of information act? It just made me feel like I needed to be defensive to be honest, like I needed to defend information (that wasn’t really secret anyway).

    I also want to say that a big problem, in my opinion, regarding education/ers is that there is so much that cannot be measured. The hours spent outside of work worrying about students. It’s just not measurable. I can’t measure it. If you have educators in your lives (like several posting here) than you know that it is never ever going to be a job that ends at the bell. There isn’t even a point is writing out what people do to improve or what they do outside of the bell. If you have kids in the system you know it is true. And if you feel like you aren’t getting your $$$ worth you only need to call teacher/supervisor/principal. Because communication is key and most if not all of my colleagues would go the extra mile for any student in need.

    Point number 3. Will the pension actually be there? Most of us, at least I picked a pension job over a bonus job for the long game. I just don’t think I will get that $$$ back in 20 years. My sig other just interviewed and hired someone out of college who makes almost the same salary as me. He called it an analyst. And he said it was just entry level. Now I chose my field for a greater real purpose (and pension) but I also planned my mortgage, my graduate work and really the rest of my life on the idea that I would incrementally make more. I realize that everyone would like to chime in and say that is life. But honestly, I thought I was being smart with my plans and now I am in more debt than I would like to admit. I don’t have stocks or bonuses or gifts for 20 years.

    I don’t know. I really don’t.

  8. It’s funny. I don’t see you sharing the salaries of the administrators in the Princeton School District. I’d be curious to see how much they are making. In addition, I ask you this, Krystal Knapp, would you continue to work at a job where you are taking home less money each year? Teachers are being asked to pay more into their health benefits which results in less money in their pay check. Teachers are fine with paying into their benefits, but it is insulting to the profession when the board won’t compensate them for what they are paying into their benefits. How can you expect someone to be okay with taking home less money each year? I’m assuming that the board is not giving them enough of a % raise to make up for the amount that they are paying into their benefits; therefore, resulting in less money. Would you accept less money?

    1. People EVERYWHERE are being asked to pay more into their health benefits program. Why should teachers be any different?

      1. Where did the comment state that teachers had to be different? In fact, the comment states that they don’t mind paying into their benefits. Would you be okay with your paycheck resulting in less money?

        1. again:

          A simple reality is that healthcare costs have gone up for everyone everywhere and it often (myself included) results in less money in your paycheck. Reality of the times. Teachers are no differant.

          1. But then isn’t the solution to that to make everyone more like the teachers? Lowering the standard for one section of the middle class is not helping another. That, at least, is definitively true. Falling wages for the last decade haven’t helped helped some middle class workers at the expense of others; the research shows that falling wages have helped
            those at the top.

            So what’s the benefit to lowering the bar for some workers (teachers in this case) because that’s how it is for “everyone everywhere”? (Especially since that’s not how it is for everyone everywhere.)

    2. Who out there is actually feels like they are taking home more money each year and feels that their economic trajectory is on the up? Who is not accepting less money than they did before and seeing their dollars go less far? I live in Princeton and my child’s kindergarten teacher makes more than I do, my current position required a graduate degree, I have decades of experience in my profession and am a top performer in my group and I haven’t gotten a raise or bonus in several years. I, like most people who work in a profession, put in several hours of non paid time in professional development and keep-up so that my value-add to my employer is competitive. My health insurance benefits have declined, doctor visits cost more, deductibles are higher. The cost of living increases as it does and so I essentially “take home” less money than I used to. And I know many many who are like me in this way we stay at our jobs and try to vote for people who support policies that might help the economy. Yes its “insulting” if you want to put it that way, but I am happy to have my job and know that its hard to find one. I have borrowed money from my parents and understand that I will not be in a position when I am their age to help support my kids and (hopefully) grandkids. I fully support and value teachers. I believe insanely compensated CEOs should be giving back and funneling resources into education in the US rather than development overseas. However, the argument that teachers are especially suffering in this economy is just going to fall flat. Sure, there are some really rich people in this town but many of us, who were successful in school, college and graduate school and who work hard, contribute to the community and the economy, and perform well at work for stable and good organizations and companies, are struggling to get by and are experiencing a downward economic mobility.

      1. I understand your points, but my essential point is that the teachers are actually taking home less in their paycheck. It is not because of cost of living. I agree with you that we vote in people that try to help the economy, and many of your points. I understand all professions work outside their hours, but it’s not just several hours for teachers. I’m glad you support and value them because I do not think they feel that support. I think the comment was directed more towards the board in the fact that they have to understand that people can’t just accept less money in their actual paycheck. This comment wasn’t meant to come off as not saying that it isn’t rough all over and people all over haven’t had to make sacrifices, but for people to understand why the teachers in Princeton are trying to hold strong and agree to a contract.

        In addition, I would for the PlanetPrinceton to show the salaries of the administrators.

    3. The claim that one is “taking home less money each year” is false. It was due to the increase in health care premiums, which are now completely implemented. It won’t be true going forward. If a contract had been agreed to, it wouldn’t have been true this year either. But then the union wouldn’t have this talking point.

      1. I am not in the union, and I am fully aware that it was due to the health care premiums as I am a taxpayer in another community. I have friends that teach in this district. They made less money in their paycheck due to the health care premium. It COULD be true if the board is asking them to pay more into their benefits and not making up the difference. I am trying to show support of the teachers who spend more time with your kids than the board of education does.

        1. It’s great to show support, but let’s make sure the claims are accurate. There are a lot of false claims going around. And since the health care contributions are now implemented, it is not true that pay will be going down in the future.

          There are lots of people making less due to health care contributions. It sounds unfair to not recognize this as a general problem in society, and not an issue specific to Princeton.

          1. I agree with you that it is a problem in society. It’s quite unfortunate, and I apologize that I did not recognize is as a greater issue.
            However, the claim was not false. The teachers took home less money.It just needs to be known that the teachers are not being unreasonable. As a taxpayer, continue to support your teachers since they are the ones that spend the countless hours with your child.

          2. No, as I understand the benefits law, public workers pay different percentages of the premium depending on their salaries. Thus, even though the “contributions are now implemented,” salary movement will dictate future contributions, and that could very well mean more money lost.

  9. It is funny how the article includes what the comparison is for sports compensations for 3 years running, however it doesn’t do that with the salary guide since it would show that teachers did not get raises two of the three years. Selective information sharing really is so unfair.

    1. @princetonparent: Not sure it’s totally accurate to say the teachers “did not get raises for two of three years.” The salary guide was frozen, but unless I’m remembering incorrectly (entirely possible) the contract contained salary increases in each of the years. It’s true that in most cases, the raises were offset by healthcare contributions, but they were raises nonetheless and those at the middle of the salary guide were hit much harder than those at the very top. Also worth noting that freezing the guide was negotiated by both sides. I understand teachers feel they are going backward; it’s a sentiment many of us share. I’ve heard the PREA president refer to the current, expired contract as “an austerity contract,” ignoring the fact that while the economy has improved for some people, the constraints facing the board have not improved, and in some cases have worsened. The 2 percent cap is not going away. Enrollment is rising and is likely to continue to rise with new housing being built. Healthcare costs don’t appear to be flattening, let alone going down. Every year, the state imposes some new mandate, but never provides increased aid to pay for it. We pay $5 million to educate children at Princeton Charter and that number is rising. Something has to give.

  10. Wait. Carly Misiewicz is the coach of the girls’ swim team. Not only does her stipend in the top table not match the “PREA contract” stipend posted, it comes in lower than the ASSISTANT coach (Scott Cameron). Is someone saying the assistant coaches get paid more than the head coaches? Where are these sets of numbers coming from?

    1. As the story states, the data is for total extracurricular compensation. So if a coach coaches more than one sport or is compensated for another extracurricular school activity that accounts for the differences and not matching the PREA contract. We included the PREA breakdown for coaching salaries below the table. THe data was provided by the school district and we are going over it again.

      1. 1. I’m not sure why total compensation of all extra-curriculars would be relevant since this is about what the coaches are doing (or not doing as the case may be) in the summer. It seems to me listing all compensation muddies the issue, as it just did.
        2. So if Cameron is doing something else, that would explain why he has a higher listed compensation, but that doesn’t resolve the discrepancy between the two tables re: Misiewicz. (And I wonder how many others there might be.)
        Where are these from please?

        1. Parents have asked us for compensation info. and we are providing it. They want context about overall compensation. The data is directly from the school district for 2014, in response to an Open Public Records Request. We have the compensation for each employee for the 2014 calendar year.

          1. Hmmm. Okay thanks. So both documents are from the administration. I wonder if they can explain the discrepancies between them.

            1. School district provided calendar year data for 2014. For someone who became head coach for swimming for 2014-15, for example, the new compensation for that would not show up. Some people were paid for more than one extracurricular activity or other compensation in 2014. The union provided us with a chart of what it says the 24 coaches are being paid this academic year, and we added that to the story as well.

  11. Wow, this is the salary scale? I would have assumed our teachers made much more than this. They certainly deserve it. Board, pay the teachers. Pay them well.

    1. Yes the teachers deserve fair compensation, and I’d rather see teachers get more and bank-robbing CEOs get less, but if you are seriously following this issue you would not be “wow” ed by this salary range. Please compare this scale to those in other districts, there are other districts with better performance metrics and in regions with higher costs of living where teachers make less. Teachers should be valued, for sure, but Princeton is not undervaluing teachers in a relative sense, and Princeton’s compensation is not “wow”-ingly less or even less in any sense than many comparable districts.

  12. I also would like to see the pay scale for administrators and see the increases that they receive per year

    1. You can find some of those stats at the district’s website. If you go to “Contract Updates” you’ll find a link to a pdf called “Board presentation of May 20.” Basically the admins got 2.39%, 2.38%, and 2.37%.

      The PREA offer was 2.44%, 2.2%, and 2.3%.

      PRESSA’s was 2.5%, 2.5%, 2.5%.

      1. In the name of fairness, you should mention the additional compensation to PREA on that slide. it’s misleading otherwise. I think there’s a figure around 2.9% for PREA on that slide.

        1. Including bonuses and vacation days, the salary for administrators went up around 3.3%.

          1. @Anonymous: Just like @guest2, I’d be interested in your methodology. Up until now, the discussion has been about total compensation, how much money members of PREA earn from all sources. Administrators do not qualify for non-pensionable extra pay in the same way that members of PREA do; administrators do not qualify for overtime, as do members of PRESSA. They do receive longevity payments, which were frozen in the current contract. You can argue the merits of longevity — I personally think it’s an anachronistic holdover from a simpler time — but those payments are not “bonuses.” And no one in this 80-comment thread has talked putting a monetary value on vacation days, even the two that each administrator can monetize if he or she chooses. From the table that was released, we get a snapshot of the potential additional non-pensionable compensation available to members of PREA. To be clear: this is money paid if members are willing to do work; it is not a giveaway. And I’m guessing in some cases the taxpayers receive tremendous value for their dollars. Here are some other facts about non-pensionable income paid to PREA members, most of it in the form of Extra Pay for Extra Service (EPES) stipends or hourly compensation:

            — The district paid just under $1.79 million to PREA members for extra service in the 2014 calendar year, an increase of $92,189 over 2013.

            — 321 of 387 PREA members received non-pensionable payments for extra work in amounts ranging from $29,901.78 to $20.83, for an average payment of $5,576. Sixty-six PREA members received no additional, non-pensionable payments.

            — Ten PREA members received non-pensionable extra pay in amounts over $20,000; another 48 received non-pensionable pay in amounts between $10,000 and $19,456.

            Again, this is public information to enlighten public dialog about compensation. In its public statements, PREA has emphasized the ground its members have lost due to increased healthcare contributions. Until now, most members of the public have had no context for those losses until this sampling of PREA members who signed a letter to sports parents.

        2. Right bit the slide did not include “additional compensation” for the administrators.
          That was left out, which is misleading in its own right. I gave the numbers we know for all three contracts.

  13. Every time I go to the municipal building to pay the property taxes, there is at least one stressed looking person in the line who pays with a credit card. I doubt they’re doing it for the airline miles, as the town imposes a surcharge for using cards. On a couple of occasions, the cards were declined. Imagine how close to the financial edge they must be. It’s easy to say, oh taxes will only go up a couple hundred dollars if we pay the teachers this amount. There are other things property taxes cover which can and do increase in cost, though, not just teacher salaries. Not everyone in Princeton is affluent with a comfortable financial cushion.

    1. And most/many taxpayers have NOT had their incomes go up since 2007.
      And almost everyone pays more out-of-pocket for health-care . . .
      The percentage of taxpayers and BoE members who believe, “let’s just write a check and pay everyone what they say they deserve!” is dwindling.

      Still, I can see the teachers’ discomfort, especially the younger ones who see
      a) their big pension take-out with less-and-less certainty that they will eventually benefit, and
      b) relatively little benefit from the generous health-care program (compared to older folks who need/use care a lot more).

      Imo, the too(?) generous deal with the administrators set a pattern that the teachers feel they deserve as well. Hence the lack of movement towards a negotiated middle-ground.

    2. @Daphne:disqus: Wish I could offer more than one Up vote to your comment. Well-said.

  14. What about having PU pay what they should pay for taxes. Princetonians ‘taxes would be significantly reduced if PU pays what they should pay and not based its “non profit” label with what stipulated in the 1900’s. yes, they are the bigges employer but also they are the biggest landlords in town, they own so much, and they still are tax exempt….ludicrous.

  15. I am still trying to resolve the relevance of the financial information above. How does the information being provided connect to the point stated as being the genesis of the story — that coaches signed a letter notifying the school district/board that they won’t be doing volunteer work??? Is there a dollar amount that reaches a certain threshold that means we are to do volunteer work? Or, only coaches? Or only teachers?

    1. @Cris Maloney: When teachers say they are not going to participate in certain activities, as they have in the past, it raises questions about compensation. Coaches are paid a stipend for coaching. Some of them consider work done when school is not in session (in this case the six weeks between the end of school and the Aug. 1 start of fall sport practices) as “volunteering” their time. I’m not sure everyone sees it this way. Similarly, teachers purport to want to be treated and compensated as the professionals they are, yet somehow consider anything they do outside of the confines of the school day that is not accounted for in what is called Extra Pay for Extra Service (EPES) to be “voluntary.” Some think they can’t have it both ways.

      The bigger issue here is that the public is looking for information about overall teacher compensation so they can make an informed decision as to which side’s claims in current negotiations have more merit. The top chart, which covers both base salary and non-pensionable compensation for the coaches who signed the letter, is the result of that public desire.

      1. So, the public is trying to define what it means to be a volunteer? If not, and it is the bigger issue that is at issue, then the problem here is with the journalism — the context of how (or even the why) the information was presented.

        1. @crismaloney:disqus: As I said, I think the public is looking for information on overall compensation for teachers. If and when teachers are (or are not or consider themselves to be) volunteers is a related matter. These coaches wrote a letter to parents saying they were not going to work with students during times they considered voluntary. They said they were not going to do work they did in the past. This raises natural questions: How much are they paid to coach? How does coaching factor into their overall compensation packages? This chart gives the public those answers, adding context to the letter. For a year, teachers have been saying they feel disrespected and that they aren’t being treated like professionals because the board of education won’t give into their contract demands. The public doesn’t know what to make of these claims because they don’t have information about compensation.

          1. From the letter they wrote this isn’t about time “THEY considered voluntary” {emph. mine}. The letter says the contract begins on August 10, so the contract is what makes clear that the time is voluntary.

            1. True, it does said “on or about Aug. 10.” I stand corrected. I wonder when the contracts end. End of the school year? End of a particular sport’s season? Just curious. And what kind of work would the coach of a winter or spring sport be doing in July and early August? Lots of questions.

            2. Thanks Joseph. That’s helps a lot. Not sure why this was a question given the context. The article conveys that because teachers/coaches are paid for X they should therefore also volunteer.

  16. As a relevant point regarding property taxes (many comments below) people should be aware that every year Princeton sends nearly $100,000,000 in school tax revenue to Trenton and gets back roughly $3,000,000. This is due to the Abbott court rulings that created special school districts in NJ in cities like Newark, Trenton, New Brunswick and Camden. Most NJ residents are quite unaware of these court rulings according to well-respected polls and therefore ignorant of how confiscatory levels of property tax school revenues are being spent. It’s totally unfair to communities like Princeton and the schools in many of these towns continue to be “failing” due to non-monetary reasons.

  17. Is it part of the negotiated contract terms that teachers get all first dibs/offers on any & all coaching jobs at the schools (above any non-teacher applicants for any open coaching positions)? Is teacher-preference a requirement when filling these coaching positions, or is that just an informal practice of preference? (Many teachers are also awesome coaches, but in some cases, outside applicants for the coaching positions might be better coaches).

    1. Whether it is common practice or part of the agreement, it will always be true that outside applicants might be better coaches — or worse. Not sure what that has to do with volunteering.

      1. Volunteer, by definition, means you choose to do something. If teachers automatically get these coaching positions and the associated cash by contract, over any other applicant non-teacher that might be more qualified, then the coaching job itself becomes a type of “benefit” provided to teachers. Its certainly a benefit to have a preferential option/job track for a compensated position. If the coaching positions are competitively open to all applicants, regardless of their status as teachers (and I mean just technical “status” as teachers, not merit or qualifications that they may have obtained or exhibit as teachers that make them good coaching candidates), then we might find that people compete for these positions by offering to put in additional hours, either with the kids or by attending coach or sport-related training and development, etc. My question is whether the coaching jobs are open market, or if the district must, by contract, offer these compensated roles to teachers, at least for “first dibs”?

        1. You’re suggesting that when a teacher is a coach (and got “first dibs” at the job), the teacher-coach doesn’t do anything (compared to a non-teacher). In other words — your positioning that a teacher who is a coach doesn’t plan for practices, doesn’t hold practices, doesn’t plan for games, doesn’t go to games, doesn’t evaluate player/team performance during practices, doesn’t evaluate player/team performance during games, doesn’t have to deal with teenage “drama”, doesn’t have to explain to son’s/daughter’s Mom or Dad why son/daughter doesn’t start/play. THAT is what they are getting paid for and, it has NOTHING to do with volunteering/choosing to do work like that during the summer.

          1. Curious said no such thing. What s/he suggested is that there is something wrong IF teachers get preferential consideration for the stipend positions based upon their job as a teacher, but then choose to not put as much additional time in (before Aug. 10th) as someone would, who wasn’t trying to make a statement regarding their contract.

            It’s a fair point that s/he makes. Should these positions be open to all, teachers and non-teachers alike, so that the kids are not hurt by situations like the one we are currently in?

            1. I’m having difficulty imagining the job interview in which the HR person asks, “How many hours are you willing to work without getting paid?”

              The point she/he is making is not fair, it’s a red herring. And, it is contradictory with his/her own definition of being a volunteer.

              It is not “choosing to do something” when at the same time you’re putting forth the position that because of X the person must volunteer.

              1. The heart of this discussion is whether these positions are hourly positions or professional positions. Is someone being hired and paid by the hour, or is someone being hired to complete a task?

                In the former, people see themselves as working for free.

                In the latter, people see the employees are unwilling to do what goes with the position unless it is completely spelled out.

                These points aren’t red herrings. It’s different ways of looking at these positions.

                I see the teachers here as wanting to be treated as professionals, which they are, but are then changing their view and saying they only need to do what is specifically spelled out in their contract, as a reason to use this leverage with the kids.

                And everyone is free to make decisions on how to use their free time. But in this situation, these teachers have previously made this decision, have created expectations among families and kids, and are only changing their minds at the last minute because of the financial issues of the contract. This decision could have been made last fall, giving families time to plan. It seems to be being done now in order to intentionally create as much harm as possible. That seems incredibly wrong.

                1. @guest: I could not agree more. Teachers can’t have it both ways. Following this as a board member and now as a private citizen, this dichotomy is most confusing. Teachers are professionals. It’s always been my understanding that professionals work until the job is done, no matter any mention of hours in their job agreements. I’m glad you pointed to the timing of the announcement by the coaches. I don’t know if this was timed specifically for late spring, but you’re correct: the union could have announced its job actions soon after returning to school in September. According to press reports, impasse was declared on June 12, 2014, during the previous academic year.

                  However, to the informed observer, it appears as if PREA rolled out its job actions incrementally. According to the Nov. 26 issue of the Princeton High School student newspaper The Tower, teachers announced that uncompensated advising for PHS clubs would begin on Dec. 1. It could be a coincidence, but it’s worth noting that this was after the parent- and privately-funded PHS student trip to France, where one teacher described by The Tower as a “PREA action team leader” posted photos on the Internet of him wearing his “Princeton Proud” PREA T-shirt at the Arc de Triomphe (and in Alsace. Think what you will of the appropriateness of bringing a labor dispute on a student trip — it’s certainly his right — the timing of the job action that followed raises questions.

                  The announcement that PREA members would decline to participate in spring concerts and the fifth-grade Gettysburg trip was similarly not made at the beginning of the school year, but closer to the actual dates of these events. And now, right after Memorial Day, we see this letter from the coaches about summer. Again, it raises questions if these job actions were timed in the hope that parents would pressure the board to agree to PREA’s demands. They certainly were not timed in the best interest of students or their parents.

                2. @guest: I could not agree more. Teachers can’t have it both ways. Following this as a board member and now as a private citizen, this dichotomy is most confusing. Teachers are professionals. It’s always been my understanding that professionals work until the job is done, no matter any mention of hours in their job agreements. I’m glad you pointed to the timing of the announcement by the coaches. I don’t know if this was timed specifically for late spring, but you’re correct: the union could have announced its job actions soon after returning to school in September. According to press reports, impasse was declared on June 12, 2014, during the previous academic year.

                  However, to the informed observer, it appears as if PREA rolled out its job actions incrementally. According to the Nov. 26 issue of the Princeton High School student newspaper The Tower, teachers announced that uncompensated advising for PHS clubs would begin on Dec. 1. It could be a coincidence, but it’s worth noting that this was after the parent- and privately-funded PHS student trip to France, where one teacher described by The Tower as a “PREA action team leader” posted photos on the Internet of him wearing his “Princeton Proud” PREA T-shirt at the Arc de Triomphe (attached) and in Alsace. Think what you will of the appropriateness of bringing a labor dispute on a student trip — it’s certainly his right — the timing of the job action that followed raises questions.

                  The announcement that PREA members would decline to participate in spring concerts and the fifth-grade Gettysburg trip was similarly not made at the beginning of the school year, but closer to the actual dates of these events. And now, right after Memorial Day, we see this letter from the coaches about summer. Again, it raises questions if these job actions were timed in the hope that parents would pressure the board to agree to PREA’s demands. They certainly were not timed in the best interest of students or their parents.

                  1. Thank you (again) for providing so many informative facts.

                    If I were one of the parents who funded the France trip — perhaps including the expenses of the teacher in the photo — I would be very upset. His “right” or not, and I’m not so sure it was, it was completely inappropriate to bring this dispute to a student trip.

                    One thing missing from this discussion is a explanation from the PREA of what they want. — facts and numbers, not rhetoric. It would certainly give context to the issues. All I can glean is that they want increases to the stipends, and raises above what the other bargaining units received to make up for higher insurance premiums, essentially asking the Princeton taxpayers to nullify their increased premium contributions. I’m wondering if someone would be willing to provide that information?

                    1. @Resident: I think you summed up what is known of the union’s demands:
                      — A raise equal to or greater than that received by the other two units.
                      — In addition to A rollback of their state-mandated healthcare contributions levels. You correctly conclude this is asking the taxpayers to soften the blow of healthcare contributions agreed to by the two other unions (and by 107 other NJEA locals).
                      — Increases to non-pensionable extra pay of the sort that started this string.
                      — Rejection of the board’s proposals on healthcare options that would save the district money, with the district sharing the savings 50-50 with PREA membership. (The two other Princeton locals saw the benefit of these proposals and ratified them.)
                      — Refusal to consider any deductibles in any healthcare plan.

                      I might be missing something, but I think those are the highlights. With two other Princeton unions having agreed to similar terms in three-month talks that were described as productive and professional, we’re left to wonder, “What’s with PREA?”

                    2. Your forgot to include one other union demand which will most certainly be met and agreed to by the BOE…

                      Retroactive pay – Teachers will receive retroactive raises to compensate all time spent at the bargaining table. Yet, there is no way for the same folks to provide retroactive services to the students that did not receive their teachers’ full efforts.

                      It is very sad when one does not bargain in good faith. I will note that I am not and have never been a member of the Princeton Board of Education, yet I applaud their willingness to spend countless hours volunteering their time without compensation for the betterment of the district.

                    3. Completely agree re: the BOE’s volunteer time. Thank you for saying it. I’d also note that Tim Quinn has spent a lot of time providing factual information here, and in a continuously courteous tone no matter what, that I’m sure is also uncompensated.

                      It is not unusual for bargaining unit pay raises to be awarded retroactively. I won’t have a problem if that’s what happens here (although it might send a potent longer term message if it doesn’t). What I will have a huge problem with, however, is if the BOE agrees to pay (with taxpayer money) the union’s share of the mediator’s charges as sometimes happens in settlements. You’re right that there is no retroactive fix for the injury already done to our students. It would add insult to that injury, however, if Princeton families also absolved the PREA of their portion of, at the very least, the cost of a mediator when that step was not needed to come to an agreement with the other two unions.

                  2. And once again, Tim, your bias shows through as you post incorrect information as fact. You write “The announcement that PREA members would decline to participate in spring concerts and the fifth-grade Gettysburg trip was similarly not made at the beginning of the school year, but closer to the actual dates of these events.” Patently false, Tim. September 19th was when the first letter went out to give parents some notice that “actions” would be necessary if the BOE continued to dig in their heels and refuse to bargain (which had been the status quo up until that point.) This letter went home to all families with a student enrolled in an AP class as the teachers decided they could not organize and run VOLUNTEER AP study sessions. On November 13th, a letter went home to all PPS parents sharing that all PREA members would stop volunteering their time on December 1st. We explained our reasoning and clearly stated how we came to this decision. Tim, you are taking advantage of the supposed “expertise” you bring as past BOE member and perpetuating misinformation in the community. It’s quite frankly astonishing.

                    1. @Martha Friend: Thank you for correcting my memory. I stand corrected on my Gettysburg comment; you have my apologies. I don’t think mentioned the AP letter at all, but you’re quite correct that it was the first communication and it went to all parents with children enrolled at AP classes at PHS. I remember it now because it cause great anxiety among parents and I received many constituent calls. It seems the announcement came right around the time that summer break was becoming a memory and many students and parents were thinking about college visits and applications. Several parents viewed the timing unfortunate, given that the college application process is already stressful enough. I remember being curious about how these voluntary AP prep sessions, since I know teachers despise teaching to the test. I also wondered how the union received the data on students in AP classes and their home addresses.

                      I think I did get the basic time frame of the clubs letter correct. Nov. 13 was certainly after the NJEA statewide convention and the exchange trip to France I referenced. However detailed, that letter cause similar anxiety among high school students that filtered down and intensified at JW and the elementary schools as the events I mentioned, many of which were in early spring, were either canceled or rescheduled. Honestly, I do appreciate your diligence in correcting the timeline — and for reminding me about the AP prep sessions that I’d overlooked.

                      As for me using my “supposed ‘expertise’,” I think I’ll have to disagree with you there. Everything I’ve written and said since January has been based on public statements and media reports. As you heard me announce at every meeting, I was barred by law from any involvement with negotiations because my wife is a member of an NJEA local. Any time the board was updated in closed session about the talks, I would leave the room. And since the negotiating team is composed of three board members trained in the law, they were very careful to be sure that non lines were crossed. So like other members of the public, I only know what was said and reported. As such, I don’t think I’m “taking advantage” of anything but the public record and my memories of the open forums at board meetings where I sat and listened with great interest as the members of the public and PREA shared their perspectives. I regret if the details get fuzzy sometimes — I’d just like to point out that I received neither of the letters you mentioned, though a constituent did forward me a copy of the AP letter.

                      All told, I’m not sure such lapses of memory constitute “perpetuating misinformation in the community.” Again, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that characterization.

                      I hope you have a nice weekend and that this matter is resolved as soon as possible.

                    2. If you aren’t sure about a detail, Tim, or the details get “fuzzy”, please ask. What you have chosen to do instead is spread misinformation by stating as fact things that aren’t correct. You also insinuate a lot of very offensive things about teachers. Are you actually trying to say that the teachers chose December 1st to implement our “no more volunteering” job action so our PHS teachers wouldn’t miss the French trip? As if we did that with our teachers in mind rather than the students? “the timing of the job action that followed raises questions” Absurd, Tim. Again- please don’t pretend that you are walking a line as a friend to the teachers when you make statements such as this.

                      Maybe you can reach out to your friends on the BOE who have yet to post the corrected Powerpoint from the Emergency Board of Ed meeting on May 20th. You talk about just wanting to share the facts with the public but your colleagues are certainly taking their time doing the same. It does make one wonder why they’d want to spread misinformation that at the May 26th Board Meeting they acknowledged needed correcting.

                    3. @Martha Friend: I’m still uncertain as to what you think constitutes “misinformation.” One date was off by a week — I was quoting The Tower since I didn’t receive the letter in question — and I believe I apolgozed regarding the Spring events, noting correctly that people who hadn’t been paying much attention previously only became fully aware of the ramifications of PREA’s action as it affected their kids’ events. I wasn’t “actually trying to say” anything regarding the France trip; I merely found the timing interesting, as it involved an “action team leader,” someone who I assume had some role in deciding when job actions would take place. Was the decision made prior to the trip or after? Why wait till Nov. 13? Whatever the case, I am delighted that PHS students were able to participate in the Colmar exchange. I remember when the sister city agreement was formulated and I think it’s an important tradition to uphold.

                      To be clear, I personally don’t think any of PREA’s actions were taken with students in mind. As @interested_observer2015 points out, PREA members will likely receive retroactive pay, but there is no way they can repay the lost experiences of students. PREA’s attempts to lay responsibility for these job actions at the feet of the board were less than convincing. The board did not withhold services it had provided in the past; PREA members did.

                      Actually, I do have a deep and abiding respect for teachers. In addition to my wife, many of my family members teach, most in public school. One is a school psychologist in an Abbott District. Many more friends teach and are administrators in other towns in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania. That respect extends to many Princeton teachers, as well. We may disagree on just about everything, Ms. Friend, but I respect you, too. Do you really think people run for boards of education and devote tens of thousands of volunteer hours to school governance because they disrespect teachers?

                      Finally, I will relay your message to my former BOE colleagues — I don’t know everyone on the board — if you will forward a message to your negotiating team. It’s from me, but it’s similar to what I’ve heard from many people I’ve talked with since the other two units settled: take the deal.

                    4. @marthafriend:disqus: Just wanted to add to this that part of my respect for you is your willingness to add your name to these posts. So many I presume to be teachers use noms de plume such as “teacher” or “Reality check,” with one PREA supporter using the historical figure @disqus_Xhaac6BNen:disqus. I use my Twitter handle and sign some of my posts so there is no doubt.

                      You seem to think I’m using some “presumed ‘expertise’,” when my service on the board has only made me a better informed member of the public who has listened to nearly all of the union’s statements since last April. Though I received no payment for all of those hours volunteered over seven years, I found being a board member very rewarding. I accepted the legal restriction upon my service that removed me from any involvement in negotiations with a local unit of a statewide union that also represented my wife. This law was put into place to remove from board members in similar situations the temptation to push for settlements that might not be in the best interest of the community. From what I know of PREA’s demands, this is certainly the case here.
                      — Tim Quinn

  18. I’m still not sure if my factual question is answered. I still would like to know if the “teachers get first dibs on all compensated coaching positions” rule is a formal rule to which the district is contractually obligated to comply. We hear about it when we know non-teachers who have applied for coaching jobs in the district but hear that “they’ll never get the job because it has to go to a teacher if a teacher applies”. So is this a codified rule? And was this a negotiated “benefit” at some point, was this requested by teachers or offered by the district as a contractual benefit of holding a teaching position?

    I understand the position of teachers who are engaging in a “work to contract” action and who are not doing extra or voluntary work that they normally do as professional teachers. And I understand that the teachers are refusing to do this work as part of a negotiating position, and that for the most part most of the teachers would feel that much of the “extra duties” being described are actually part of their role as professional teachers and they normally they do not object and may even in fact enjoy doing them as career teachers, but as a negotiating position, they are demonstrating (by omission) to the students and families how much work above and beyond the contract job description that they actually do as professional teachers. Whether or not I agree or not with whether they’ve been made a fair offer, they have a right to engage in a “work to contract” demonstration if they don’t believe they’ve been made a fair offer and they feel that such a demonstration might rally the community to their viewpoint by demonstrating their value (the tactic may or may not be working to rally community awareness and support, but I definitely understand it).

    But is are the coaching activities separate from teaching, or not? Teachers are engaging in a “work to contract” action because they feel like they have not been made a fair offer of compensation for their teaching jobs. So they are not doing the “extra” teaching tasks that they are not required to do. But why are they not doing the “extra” coaching activities? Is this a new “work to contract” action regarding the compensation for the coaching positions because they think the compensation offered for the coaching roles specifically are insufficient? Are they lobbing for more coaching pay? If not, then I think there is a muddling of teaching and coaching here. Coaching and teaching are not the same job, even if done by the same person, and they are compensated as different line items. As I understand it, the teachers are now saying they are refusing to do some of their usual “extra” coaching activities because of what has/has not been offered to them as teaching compensation?

    As a taxpayer, regardless of my views on teaching compensation, what if I’m not sure that the coaching compensation should be increased in our district at this time? There will always be a natural overlap between teaching skill and coaching skill, but its not true that any teacher will automatically be the better coach for our kids among a mix of teacher and non teacher candidates. I think that we may be constrained from having real information about what the coaching dollar we are currently offering can actually buy for our kids and our district if we do not have “open market” hiring for coaching positions.

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