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Board of Ed "Disappointed" with Lack of Teacher Contract Talks

With only four months to go before contract expires, BOE and union reps have yet to meet.

 

Sandra Karriem, chairperson of the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education's negotiating task force, said at Monday's board meeting that the South Orange Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) teachers' union had not yet responded to the board's overtures to begin negotiations on the current teachers' contract, which will expire on June 30. 

Since September, Superintendent Brian Osborne has issued monthly reminders at board meetings that the current contract will expire in June of this year. Monday night, Karriem said she thought the public deserved to know where the negotiations stand.

The board is "deeply committed" to reaching a mutually satiscfactory contract and the task force has been meeting regularly with a consultant since September to discuss the process and formulate a proposal, said Karriem.

The current contract required the board and SOMEA to begin negotiations by Feb. 1, 2013, a deadline that has passed.

Karriem said the district's consultant had reached out to SOMEA's NJEA (New Jersey Education Association) representative in December to set up a meeting, but the rep said the union would not be ready to begin negotiations until mid-March.

"To sum up, the board has been ready to engage with the union since January of this year and we will continue to reach out to SOMEA... to get the ball rolling. We are disappointed that we were not able to meet by the Feb. 1 deadline."

Karriem said students and staff deserve to have a contract in place before the current one expires.

The current contract was approved in May of 2011, after two and a half years of negotiations -- and two years of teachers going without a contract.

"We will anxiously await an overture from SOMEA with a first meeting date," Karriem said.

Clive February 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Having done all that reaching out - just stay back and relax they will have no choice but to negotiate. The ball is in their court why are you guys Bering overly anxious and loosing ground? Maybe I can be of help to you guys and you can spend the strategy consultant fees otherwise. Relax play to win it's their serve now and by stalling they are rattling your cage.
CJV February 26, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Not sure why the union should bother- the last go-round, we gave them a retroactive pay raise covering the time without a contract along with big pay raises going forward. And we didn't even tell the taxpayers what was going on until the BOE surprise-ratified the deal. The union knows it still "owns" its lackeys on the BOE.
JoeF February 27, 2013 at 02:27 AM
The Teachers' organization serves to bring forth the best situations for the faculty AND the students. One needs to realize, that not one of the teachers came forth to that field for any other deeper purpose than to assist youngsters with learning. Therefore, the Bd of Ed needs to take that fact as item #1 and deal with the other side fairly and deeply as having a great school (CHS is the Best) will surely serve to benefit the townships in everyday possible format!!!

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