MEA and Montclair BoE Reach Agreement On Aides

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 30, 2011 6:11am  |  COMMENTS (7)

Interim MEA President Marge Astorino

After a long, and tedious budget process, the Montclair Board of Education’s final budget included the outsourcing of teacher aides for a savings of $1.7 million. Teacher aides, parents and, eventually, the Montclair Education Association (MEA) stood up in protest.

On Monday night, some members of the MEA and the BoE met to negotiate. Board Vice President, Leslie Larson told Barista Kids that, although she couldn’t give specifics until the agreement was voted on by both the MEA and the Boe, “it was a very productive meeting.”

According to, the agreement possibly will allow aides to keep their jobs in the district, rather than be outsourced, but not include health insurance, which could save the district $1.4 million.

The MEA is expected to vote on the agreement on Tuesday, April 5. The BoE will review the agreement and is expected to vote on it at the next meeting on Monday, April 11.


  1. POSTED BY qby33  |  March 30, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    The whole point of the Aides NOT wanting the Outsourcing was so that they could keep their benefits. This deal will NOT keep the Aides in their postions. Maybe some, but not all. Shame on the MEA for accepting this offer. What will happen to the teachers next year if the MEA shows so much weakness now???

  2. POSTED BY njgator  |  March 30, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    qby – I don’t see this as weakness on the part of the MEA. I see it as stubborness and a shameful willingness to sacrifice the livlihood of the lowest paid of their members. Appalling!

  3. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  March 30, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    (Is Paula Deen cookin’ up some good ‘ol Southern food for the Aides?)

  4. POSTED BY njgator  |  March 30, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    Well on the bright side, since the MEA clearly doesn’t value health insurance for it’s membership, it looks like the district can pick up a nice chunk of change in next year’s teacher’s contract negotiation to actually put back into the classroom!

  5. POSTED BY tgb2002  |  March 30, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    my guess is that when they talk about benefits, it’s the big one — the pension — that the don’t want to lose.

  6. POSTED BY Schooled  |  March 30, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    The pay will be higher than it would be coming out of Essex County. Also, after seeing several tours this week, it seems that the desire to continue as a part of the school/community they are currently in is a big reason for wanting to maintain the status quo (or some semblance of it).

  7. POSTED BY agideon  |  March 31, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    The small set of aides that have spoken at BOE meetings (largely the same set at each meeting) have all explicitly mentioned health benefits. Comparisons were made to Cobra, medicare, etc. Pensions may also have been mentioned, but with nothing like the frequency or emphasis on health benefits.

    On the other hand, it really was largely the same small set of aides at each meeting. They may not be representative of the larger population.

    @Schooled I’d like to understand better what you mean. “Tours” as in the tours of the schools for prospective families? What did you see regarding aides wanting to remain a part of the community?


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